Top Ten Books

16 April, 2008
Rat Fink

I’ve read so many books over the years, there’s no way I could remember them all.

But certain titles stand out over nigh these many decades. The following list is by no means complete – for instance, all the fabulous juvenile fiction I like to read (Artemis Fowl, the Pendragon series, etc.) is not included – but it’s a good representation. Bet you’ve read some of these, too.

Top Ten Books, According to Me

10. The Odyssey – Homer. Yes, Virginia, you can enjoy a book that was written in 800 BC. Here is an entertaining version in which all 24 chapters are reduced to one paragraph each. Funny.

9. The Cry and the Covenant – Morton Thompson. A novel based on the true story of Ignaz Semmelweis, a Hungarian doctor who was ridiculed and shunned by his colleagues for claiming that women and their babies were dying of fever after childbirth because doctors didn’t wash their hands. After handling infectious sores and wounds of other patients and the innards of rotting cadavers, European physicians would simply wipe their hands on their lab coats, then go to the maternity ward to do pelvic examinations on laboring moms. It’s a truly sad story of a dedicated doctor whose unrewarded work in the area of germ theory later made Joseph Lister a very rich man.

8. The Man in the Iron Mask – Alexandre Dumas. Fascinating and horrifying tale of revenge and love by the author of The Three Musketeers. Empathy queen that I am, I had a horrible time wrapping my brain around the idea of being ruthlessly framed, having a cast iron mask bolted to my face, and dragged to a secluded prison to rot, while my twin took my place in real life. Icky. A cruel, uncomfortable premise, but the ending is brilliant and worth the suffering.

7. The Vampire Lestat – Anne Rice. One of the best books of the “Tales of the Vampires” series, the first of which was Interview With the Vampire (made into a movie starring Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt back in the 90s). I like her writing style; her descriptions about old New Orleans make you feel you know the place. And I do so love the vampire experience…

6. Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee – Dee Brown.

5. The Stand – Stephen King. I own every one of his books, and this is one of the best. “Randall Flagg” makes a huge appearance in this one, as he does to a lesser degree in many other King books. [Hmmm…Randall Flagg, Rat Fink. Coincidence?]

4. Dracula – Bram Stoker. I think I’ve read it four times since the seventies. It’s the vampire thing again.

3. Chronicles of Narnia – C. S. Lewis. Awesome series of beautifully written fantasy that every man, woman and kid should read. Incomparable.

2. Harry Potter series – J. K. Rowling. Loved them all. Still can’t convince Kay to read them, though. Stick-in-the-mud, she is.

1. The Dark Tower series – Stephen King. Best read ever, hands down. Someday soon, I’ll start at the beginning again.

If you haven’t read any of these, get thee to the library or local Barnes and Noble. Or borrow from me.

It’s Wednesday – 2 more days until the weekend! (What am I so chirpy about? I have homework all weekend. Sheesh.)

Frieden und Liebe,

Book Fink

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