Friday, July 3, 2009

Ezra Pound and T.S. Eliot Fighting in the Captain's Tower

I am once again finding myself re-reading A Confederacy of Dunces. For sure this book is and will likely remain my hands down #1 favorite. I don't think I'll ever forgive John Kennedy Toole for taking his own life at such a young age and denying the world more wonders such as this. If you haven't read this, do yourself a favor and pick it up ASAP - it is amazing on so many dimensions.

For my own amusement, I took a quick spin through my bookshelves to see what other books stuck with me over the years and would constitute the Buzzard literary top 20 (okay, as it turns out, top 21). Not surprisingly, the protagonist of one of them is a guy obsessed with ranking things (whether music, or girlfriends or what-have-you). So, in nearly no particular order after Dunces, ...
  • A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
  • Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas - Hunter Thompson (okay, maybe this is #2 for me)
  • A Prayer for Owen Meany - John Irving (I liked this better than Garp or Cider House)
  • Lives of Monster Dogs - Kirsten Bakis (Brilliant book, written in 1998 but she hasn't written another)
  • A Million Little Pieces - James Frey (I liked this even better after I found out a lot of it was made up)
  • Junky - William Burroughs (Junky beat writer extraordinaire)
  • Monster - Sanyika Shakur (Former LA Crip - great writing)
  • Trinity - Leon Uris
  • High Fidelity - Nick Hornby (lots of obsessive top 5/10 lists - love Hornby but this is my fave)
  • American Psycho - Bret Easton Ellis
  • The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • Out - Natsuo Kirino
  • Mysteries of Pittsburgh - Michael Chabon
  • Hell's Angels - Hunter Thompson
  • Invisible Man - Ralph Ellison
  • Psychotic Reactions and Carburetor Dung - Lester Bangs
  • Something Happened - Joesph Heller
  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn - Mark Twain
  • Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs - Chuck Klosterman
  • The Bonfire of the Vanities - Tom Wolfe
  • Manchild in the Promised Land - Claude Brown

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