Friday, April 24, 2009

L. Neil Smith's top 15 favorite books

A friend of mine on Facebook named Catherine Green has begun a "15 Books" meme on Facebook. The idea is to name the first 15 books you can think of in 15 minutes.

After I posted my list of 15, science fiction writer L. Neil Smith followed with his 15 books. Here El Neil's list:

Anthem by Ayn Rand
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
The Crossroads of Time by Andre Norton
Death of a Dude by Rex Stout
Door Into Summer by Robert A. Heinlein
Double Star by Robert A. Heinlein
Guardians of Time by Poul Anderson
Lord Kalvan of Otherwhen by H. Beam Piper
Microbe Hunters by Paul de Kruif
A Planet for Texans by H. Beam Piper
Principles of Personal Defense by Jeff Cooper
Roosevelt's Road to Russia by George N. Crocker
Starman Jones by Robert A. Heinlein
Tunnel in the Sky by Robert A. Heinlein
The Whenabouts of Burr by Michael Kurland

Smith noted later he forgot to list "Fahrenheit 451" by Ray Bradbury. "
I knew the instant I pressed ENTER that I'd think of five more books I'd like to have added," he remarked.

If you want to try one of Smith's own books, he suggests "The Probability Broach," "The Forge of the Elders" or "Pallas."

Here's my fifteen:

Illuminatus! — Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Shea
Cryptonomicon — Neal Stephenson
The Gold Bug Variations — Richard Powers
Money — Martin Amis
Hyperion — Dan Simmons
Excession — Iain M. Banks
The Book of the New Sun — Gene Wolfe.
Pride and Prejudice — Jane Austen
The World of Late Antiquity — Peter Brown
Nine Hundred Grandmothers — R.A. Lafferty
Main Street — Sinclair Lewis
Pale Fire — Vladimir Nabokov
This Immortal — Roger Zelazny
Islands in the Net — Bruce Sterling
Flag of Ecstasy — Charles Henri Ford

I wish I'd remembered Heinlein's "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress." It's not a coincidence I listed "Illuminatus!" first — Robert Anton Wilson is a big influence on my politics and thinking.

My son Richard Jackson's list:

1.The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
2.The Princess Bride by William Goldman
3.And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
4.Matilda by Roald Dahl
5.The Giver by Lois Lowry
6.The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
7.The Seven Percent Solution by Nicholas Meyer
8.Road to Perdition by Max Allan Collins and Richard Piers Rayner
9-15. All seven Harry Potters by J.K. Rowling

Ricky says he forgot Orwell's "Animal Farm."

Cathy Green's original 15:

The Botany of Desire - Michael Pollan
This Our Exile - James Martin
Exiles - Ron Hansen
Dancing in the Streets - Barbara Ehrenreich
The Far Field - Theodore Roethke
Six Tales of the Jazz Age - F Scott Fitzgerald
Sweet Thursday - John Steinbeck
Sex Lives of Cannibals - Troost
Diving Bell and the Butterfly - Bauby
Owl in the Family - Farley Mowat
Pilgrim at Tinker Creek - Dillard
Grendel - John Gardner
Nothing with Strings - Bailey White
A Green Journey - Jon Hassler
A Fine and Private Place - Beagle
Every Living Thing - Cynthia Rylant
Animal Vegetable Miracle - Kingsolver

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