Book Recommendations: Introduction

Being a book critic and unable to maintain any conversation with human beings for more than 10 minutes unless I’m invoking some sort of literary quote, I have a reputation as one of the chief literates among my friends. As a result, I tend to get asked many times for book recommendations and often throw out a title or two, but that never seems to answer the question appropriately enough for the masses.

So, with such a preamble, let me begin my new series of updates with an all-encompassing list of recommendations from someone who makes a few bucks off doing so and often uses them as a way to dodge my crippling fear of other human beings. (Speaking of which, I’ll try to keep this rational although the fact that there are other people at the table next to me makes me feel anything but.)

Though this was originally written as a basic list, rationalizing why I like each of these books and providing some suggestions to a few friends, it fast moved past that as five years worth of literary chats came pouring out onto the page and I kept finding more and more remembered things to say. Figuring it was best to clean out the brain-attic and make room for some new thoughts, I decided to just write everything I could down for practice and to help people reach their goals.

As a result of all this, we’ll be breaking the postings up into different lists, each one with a brief (or not so brief) summary of each book and the reasons why I like it. A full review of each one would take at least a week to put together and since no one pays me for this, I’m under no obligation to create more than is necessary. The first post will come in the next couple of days, with additional ones to follow with slight regularity.

One note before we begin: many of these books could be moved into other groups with few problems, but I’ve put them where they fit best in my perspective. Beyond putting personal favorites first, don’t see this as a list in order of what to read, but a jangled list of what’s on my shelves and what I’d pull off to loan to you if I ever broke my moratorium on loaning out books. No better way to create an annoying recurring bit of conversation with someone than borrowing their books and not getting them back.

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