Books

Books I Like

I really love books. Some day I hope to have a library like in The Ninth Gate.

  1. Hush / Tim Lebbon and Gavin Williams. No-one has ever heard of this book. I believe this story might actually be magic. Every time I read it I love it but then immediately forget what it’s about. I suspect it has no plot. I tend to like art that is more about feelings or impressions than coherent narrative. Anyway Hush gets my #1 vote.
  2. Call of Cthulhu / HP Lovecraft. Lovecraft is my favorite author. This is the best of his stories I think. The intro is awesome. Here it is: “The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far. The sciences, each straining in its own direction, have hitherto harmed us little; but some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the deadly light into the peace and safety of a new dark age.”
  3. Ready Player One / Ernest Cline. Love this one — filled with references to all of the things I grew up with — Tomb of Horrors, Dungeons of Daggorath, and of course the connection to Kindred.
  4. Neuromancer / William Gibson. Like Hush, every time I read Neuromancer I immediately forget what happened in it. I think is also has no plot and is a type of art that is more experiential than narrative. It is terrific.
  5. Swan Song / Robert McCammon. This is my favorite post-apocalyptic good versus evil story. Some epic stuff in here.
  6. Codex / Lev Grossman. I got to meet / be interviewed by Lev when he did the Time cover story on D-Wave. It was fun. He autographed a copy of Codex.
  7. Heart of Darkness / Joseph Campbell. I was born in Africa and lived there when I was very young. I like adventure stories. Heart of Darkness has a little of the same weird flavour I liked in Hush and Neuromancer (and somewhat in Codex) — it’s kind of more like a piece of emotionally resonant music than a narrative. The wikipedia entry has a quote about Campbell’s style in HOD: a “unique propensity for ambiguity.” I think this thing is a big part of what I like.
  8. Genome / Matt Ridley. Super interesting book about genomes and what they mean.
  9. The Ancestor’s Tale / Richard Dawkins. Also super excellent. Get the version with the color plates.
  10. Snow Crash / Neal Stephenson. Ever wonder what that business about the Tower of Babel was really about? Read Snow Crash and find out.