What are some of your favorite books and why?
My Favorite books.
I am a reader. I am the kind of reader who will read any and everything with a loving and critical eye because I love language and the things that a good author can do with language. I have been an avid reader for more than twenty years and my favorite books I return to time and again, and enjoy them every time. I am also an author and it brings me joy to find kindred spirits.
First up, "The Prophet" written by Khalil Gibran. This collection of Khalil Gibran's teachings and philosophies is beautifully written and moves beyond strict ideas about religion and spirituality. Poetic, touching and deeply beautiful this is a book I cherish and often refer to when I am sad or feel lost. I highly suggest this book for people who enjoy poetry and sacred writings from around the world.
Next up "The Demon" By Hubert Selby Jr. This is not a book for the weak of heart, easily offended or those with delicate sensibilities. Selby has a raw, unpunctuated writing style that spares nothing and no one. This particular book is my hands down favorite of all of his works, it's moving and powerful to follow the complete degradation of a man as he goes into his own private hell. Selby's characterization of the main character is at times poignant and at others gross and evil. I recommend this book to people who enjoy a darker view of the world.
Now to switch from fiction I'd like to talk about "The Autobiography of Malcolm X: As Told to Alex Haley" by Malcolm X and Alex Haley. When I was young my only exposure to Malcolm X was the images of an angry man demonizing white people. It wasn't until I picked up this book and read it through that I understood that he was a beautiful soul who went through a transformation that holds up today as outstanding. From being illiterate and jailed, to being the face of Islam in America to his iconic trip to Mecca and renunciation of many of his former ideas after reading this book Malcolm X became one of my personal heroes. I strongly suggest that everyone read this book at least once in their lives.
The last book I'd like to talk about is the classic "Lolita" by Vladimir Nabokov. Despite the subject matter and narrator of this tale, Nabokov does what most writers only dream of doing. His incredible use of language transcends that which is in actuality nauseating and he created a tale of amazing beauty. Unless you can read it in the original Russian I highly suggest picking up the translation done by his son after his death. I've read several translations and (this may well be my imagination) but the one by his son has some extra little something that makes it special.
Currently, I've been a huge fan of Jerry Stahl, Henry Rollins, Lydia Lunch, Cecelia Tan, Clint Catalyst and others who write well outside the mainstream. Reader to reader I think that exploring small publishing houses and people you might have never heard of is really rewarding and wonderful.
Want more book recommendations? Just ask me. I've got a ton of them.