Archive for February 13th, 2009

100 Favorite Books of All Time (70-61)

Continuing down the list.

Previously:

100-91
90-81
80-71

70 My Life With the Saints by James Martin, SJ

A fascinating account of one man’s encounters with saints – canonized and otherwise – throughout his life.  It inspired me to try to do the same on this blog, but I’m not as good a writer as Fr. Martin.

69 Through a Window by Jane Goodall

One of my all-time heroes writes about her 30 years with the chimpanzees of Gombe Stream.  It reads almost like a novel about a multi-generational family while offering insights on our own humanity.

68 Dead Certainties: (Unwarranted Speculations) by Simon Schama

Another great book about two historical events – the death of General Wolfe and the murder of George Parkman – but also the perceptions of the historical events of the people of the time and in popular history.  A fascinating book that once made me jump off a subway to investigate the scene of the crime.

67 Doomsday Book by Connie Willis

A book that Susan started reading to me while I was in great pain from a kidney stone.  It’s a great time travel adventure to Oxford at the time of black death, well done from a historical perspective.

66 The Princess Bride: S Morgenstern’s Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure by William Goldman

Hard to believe, but this book is even better than the movie. Classic adventure and classic wit go hand in hand in in this comical romance.

65 Five Points: The Nineteenth-Century New York City Neighborhood That Invented Tap Dance, Stole Elections and Became the World’s Most Notorious Slum by Tyler Anbinder

Another book that appeals to a fascination with a place, the immigrant “slum” of Five Points.   Anbinder shows that Five Points wasn’t always as bad as its reputation and often was the home of a hard-working, multi-ethnic community making their way into the American society

64 Joshua: A Parable for Today by Joseph F. Girzone,

This book is a bit hokey, but I found it inspirational.  This novel tells the story of what may happen if Jesus returned in human form to a contemporary American town.  There are several sequels as well.

63 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon

A well-written novel from the perspective of an autistic boy.  He attempts to solve a mystery but unintentionally reveals the sad domestic squabble between his parents.

62 The Devil in the White City : Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America by Erik Larson

A history of Chicago’s Columbian Exposition in 1893 that shows the hopes (the White City) and horrors (mass murder) of the coming 20th Century.  Two seemingly disparate stories are tied together well in this narrative.

61 To Say Nothing of the Dog Willis, Connie

Something of a sequel to The Doomsday Book, this is a more comic novel of time travel.  This hillarious comedy of errors takes its protagonists on a shaggy dog adventure from the future to the Victorian Era and war torn Coventry of the 1940’s.

Come back next Friday for 10 more books.

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