This in response to a fun challenge orchestrated by William Cook. You can check out his list here: http://myhorrorbookcollection.blogspot.com/2013/08/welcome.html?spref=fb
1. 2666 by Roberto Bolano
2. Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy
3. Light in August by William Faulkner
4. Books of Blood Volumes 1-3 by Clive Barker
5. American Psycho by Brett Easton Ellis
6. Dune by Frank Herbert
7. The Gunslinger (original version) by Stephen King
8. 100 Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
9. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
10. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Doestoevsky
11. Sunglasses After Dark by Nancy A. Collins
12. 1984 by George Orwell
13. The Crossing by Cormac McCarthy
14. Underworld by Don Dellilo
15. The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty
16. Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
17. Brief Lives by Neil Gaiman
18. The Bridges of Madison County by Robert James Waller
19. Neuromancer by William Gibson
20. The Elric Saga by Michael Moorcock
Favorite Shakespearean play: Macbeth
Favorite Poets: T. S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, Charles Baudelaire, Charles Bukowski
Sex in the Time of Zombies by William Todd Rose
Beyond the Valley of the Donkey Apocalypse by Jordan Krall
Outer Dark by Cormac McCarthy
Nazis Literature in the Americas by Robert Bolano
The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
The Giver by Lois Lowry
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
The Savage Detectives by Roberto Bolano
The Watchmen by Alan Moore
The Godfather by Mario Puzo
Any Hellblazer graphic novel by Garth Ennis
Okay, so… I cheated.
First of all, only one fantasy series. Elric could kick the shit out of Gandalf and totally wreck anyone in George Martin’s series. Besides, Elric is just... The Heavy Metal of fantasy lit.The Elric Saga also has the greatest conclusion in all of fantasy lit (before the final battle, when he’s climbing the tower and sees the ghosts of his ancestors).
So why did I pick the Elric Saga and only one Gaiman book from The Sandman? I only did this because there is so much confusion regarding which books belong in Moorcock’s intended continuum for Elric, and there are so many damn collections of his books. I have one particular sequence that I enjoy. As far Gaiman is concerned.... Brief Lives just stands out. Anyone can read that book without reading the other Sandman stories.
Yup, there’s a vampire story up there. Ahead of all the classics in the honorable mentions. Dracula’s great and all, but Sunglasses After Dark has stuck with me as the only vampire book I’ll read more than once.
Jordan Krall’s book is just funky. I love it that much.
Lots of love for Bolano and McCarthy. In my opinion, very few authors have written so many awesome books.
Not mentioned at all: Hemingway, and Twain. Screw them both. Overrated jerks.
Sure, I also cheated with the Hellblazer honorable mention, because I can’t pick one right now. As much as I love The Watchmen, I think I’ve grown sick of it. Maybe in a year or two, I’d put it back in the top twenty.
One zombie book. So far.
Keep in mind that I’m still reading books. I haven’t read every damn thing out there. I’m still waiting for that zombie book that blows me out of the water and makes me want to stop writing. Scathe meic Beorh has a poetry collection coming, and as soon as it drops, I’m adding him to my list of poets. Yes. He’s that good.
So these are my personal favorites. That doesn’t mean they’re going to be yours. In fact, you probably hate most of these.