The Odd Blog

And when our cubs grow / We'll show you what war is good for

A list of five

Posted by That Other Mike on 05/07/2008

It’s always nice when people do what I say… A less megalomanical way of saying that might be that it’s always nice when people take my advice, which is clearer but has an unfortunate rhyme.

It is flattering when people take my advice, particularly on things which aren’t necessarily a matter of good sense or judgement, like books or films. While I’m prone to throwing out reviews of various things I’ve seen and heard, I don’t automatically assume that people will take it seriously.

Gary also said:

I’m not familiar with The Stars My Destination but, given your excellent taste, it’s going on the list.

This comment was immediately gratifying. So much so that I had to have my ego made smaller through surgery in order to be able to fit through the door of my house. Aside from that, it also inspired this post – what books would I always and consistently recommend to others people?

I have to admit that when it came to me, my immediate thought was, Great idea!, swiftly followed by, This is going to be a huge pain to write.

But looking at it, I can see my initial opinion was overly pessimistic: I enjoy books, I love books of all stripes. Fiction is my constant companion and narrative my constant joy. Why should it be difficult? I should be able to think of at least five books which I would recommend to everyone without hesitation.

And so I did. The following books are those which are on my list of constants – I would unhesitatingly and unswervingly recommend them. They are in no particular order:

  • I am Legend, by Richard Matheson
  • The Stars My Destination, by Alfred Bester
  • The Left Hand of Darkness, by Ursula K. Le Guin
  • The Talented Mr Ripley, by Patricia Highsmith
  • Moon Palace, by Paul Auster

I’m going to write a series, explaining why these books are on my list. The first of them will be I am Legend, and hopefully I’ll be able to get one of these out a week, although in line with my BWO affiliation, I promise nothing. The segment detailing I Am Legend will probably be posted early in the coming week.

Does anyone else have a similar list? I’d love to hear from you if you do. Pingbacks for similar posts always welcome, too.

In other news, we packed up our office in the centre of Abingdon yesterday, which resulted in chaos on the part of some people throughout the day, while others, such as your faithful correspondent, were packed up early in the day and ready to go. It’s actually a testament to the hard work of our business support manager that we’ve all had very little to actually do until now, and I made a point of telling her so. The crates will be delivered to the new place today, all ready for decanting first thing.

Basically, all I have to do is actually find my way there on Monday morning, which is easier said than done. It shouldn’t be too difficult, and to be honest, the only worry I have is finding a decent route: the main roads between my house and there are rather busy at the best of times, and first thing in the morning is likely to be even worse. There are a lot of back roads, though, and it shouldn’t be a problem to use them. It’ll add a little distance to my journey, but I’m not worried about that particularly.

Right, I’m off to do my shopping so I can watch the last in the series finale of Doctor Who later. It’s going to be a good’n!

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3 Responses to “A list of five”

  1. Lottie said

    I want to read I Am Legend again. Remember when I read while I was visiting you and couldn’t put it down? Shortly after I finished it, we watched Omega Man together, and I recently saw the film I Am Legend, starring Will Smith. Now I want to go back and read the book again. It wins, hands down.

    I’ll do as you say and read the others you’ve approved. 😉

  2. Mike said

    I think you should reread I Am Legend 🙂

  3. Lottie said

    Yes Sir. 😉

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