Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly book meme run by That Artsy Reader Girl. It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these posts, but whenever I see one that I know I can easily answer I try to post one of my own. Initially, I started to be concerned that this will be a list not unlike a lot of others. In that vein, certain obvious answers aren’t being included here. I’m sure I don’t need to once again talk about how Far-Seer is among my favourite books. So, I followed this week’s topic to the letter, but tried to pick some books that I’m fond of but don’t immediately spring to mind, just to keep things interesting.
I, Robot by Isaac Asimov
Originally published in 1950, I love this book because it wasn’t at all what I expected. Essentially, it’s a collection of short stories about advanced, intelligent robots that aid humanity while following the Three Laws of Robotics, and in many of them, human characters are ostensibly just troubleshooting robots under different circumstances, trying to figure out why an anomaly in behaviour is taking place.
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen by Alan Moore & Kevin O’Neill
First published in the year 2000, I initially read this first volume while in high school. I’m glad I picked it back up so many years later, because I truly did not appreciate what Moore was building here. These are excellent comics that I highly recommend to fans of literature and literary history.
Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut
Published in 1969, I really enjoyed reading this book for the first time last year. Telling a weird story about man becoming unstuck in time while also presenting a haunting look at the horrors of the second world war, this is a novel I won’t soon forget.
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
Published back in 2008, I’ll never forget how it took me a long time to learn that this novel is a spooky re-imagining of The Jungle Book. To be fair, I hadn’t read it yet when I learned this. It may not be the Gaiman book I hold in highest regard, but it is still among my favourites.
When You Are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris
Another book from 2008, this was the first collection of essays by Sedaris that I ever read. I was drawn in by the cover, which incidentally became my favourite van Gogh painting, and the reading experience cemented me as a fan of the author.
House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski
Yet another book from 2000, this is one of the most unique books I have ever read. The book itself is literally labyrinthine and full of secrets, telling stories within stories that haunt the imagination and invite fervent speculation and dissection.
Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl
Published in 1946, this book is a philosophical text that I really enjoyed, as it examines the ways by which all of us can strive for meaning in our lives and make them worthwhile, even under the worst of circumstances. I fear I can’t quite do the text justice in a mere sentence or two, but see that as a distillation of my takeaway after having read it a few years ago now.
The Odyssey by Homer
Composed/written sometime BCE, this work of epic poetry was my favourite in the trio of books from The Iliad to The Aeneid. Epic poetry is definitely a challenge, so it’s not something I read too often, but I especially enjoyed reading this one, which was excellently translated by Robert Fagles. I may not be as crazy about Greek mythology as I was in my early twenties, but reading this book, as well as the others, was invaluable and something I’ll always treasure.
Galactic Pot-Healer by Philip K. Dick
Another 1969 novel (is it weird how many repeats I’m getting?), I’m not even sure if this novel is actually all that good. I don’t recall it being bad, but it sticks out so much in my mind just because of how bizarre of a story it was. I really need to reread it to refresh myself on just what was going on in it. The title is related to the practice of mending broken pottery with melted gold, if I remember correctly, and the main character is recruited by a cosmic being to held with something, but I can’t quite remember what.
Hearts in Atlantis by Stephen King
This 1999 novel, which is more a collection including a novella or two and some short stories, is a great example of King stepping out of horror a little. There are certainly still some horror elements in this book, and even a significant connection to The Dark Tower series, but at its heart this book is simply a fantastic set of coming-of-age stories about growing up in the 1960s.
Until next time, thank you for reading! Feel free to share your own list down below.