Momentarily Memorable Books

[Content Disclosure: Books and more books]

Otis got me going with his list of books that for whatever reason stand out in your mind. That category caveat makes it much easier to make a book list. You don't have to pick your favorites or even your ten best or most influential. This is just a list of books that stand out in my mind, books that made some kind of impression when I read them. They don't have to be classics, they don't even have to be books I would like to read again or read at all in my 2009 incarnation. But when I did have them in my hands and in my head, they left their mark. I think I am going to guesstimate the years I read them and perhaps annotate a bit.

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintainence, Robert Prisig (I read this one in 1976). I think a lot of males in their 30's to 70's remember this book. Most of us remember it as a literary chautuaqua and for me a motivation to currently be writing my own story wrapped around a journey.

1984 George Orwell (read 1964). I have said before, this was the first book that I stayed up all night to read.

Words of My Perfect Teacher, Patrul Rinpoche (read 1997). A step on my buddhist path.

Politics Among Nations, Hans Morgentheau (read 1969). Part of my political science path.

The Prince, Niccolo Machiavelli (read summer 1966). More of that political path and perhaps a bit of philosopical awakening too. Interesting (at least to me) I read Melville's Moby Dick in that same summer of 1966, it was not then memorable and I have never been able to read it again, though I have tried

Things Fall Apart, Chinaua Achebe (read 1967). Part of yet another path

Memories, Dreams and Reflections, C. G. Jung (read 1993). There are certainly more interesting works by Jung, like this collected works, but this is the one that opened my eyes to him

Catch-22, Joseph Heller (read 1966). Reading this while becoming radicalized by Vietnam was a truly out of mind experience

The Essential Rumi, Jalil al-Din Rumi and Coleman Barks. (read 1992). I don't actually know if this was the first Rumi I read, but it's a good place to start

The Complete Poetry and Prose of William Blake, (read 1975). I know this was not the first collection I read by William Blake, but I am sure of the year and the place and the effect that Blake had and has on me.

Stranger in a Strange Land, Robert Heinlein (read 1972). When Lee discovered I had not had my "sci-fi" period yet--he gave me this book, along with Dune, Moon is a Harsh Mistress and several others. After a year of intense science fiction reading I came to

Lord of the Rings, (read 1973), and several times since. Particularly interesting was the '99 reread with Linda.

Burmese Supernaturalism, Melford Spiro (read 1996). A far reaching encounter on both an academic and mystical level.

Silent Spring, Rachel Carson (1969). Just because.

Red Mars Green Mars Blue Mars, Kim Stanley Robinson (2003) How to tell a story with multiple voices.