100 Favorite Books of All Time (60-51)

Almost halfway through the list of my favorite books of all time!



60    Irish America: Coming Into Clover by Maureen Dezell

An uplifting study of what it means to be Irish AND American.  There were a lot of instances in this book where I exclaimed to myself “that’s just like me” or “that’s like my family.”  Not everything matches up but there’s enough that I think Dezell is on to something

59    Time and Again by Jack Finney

A unique time travel adventure whereby the simple practice of self-hypnosis allows a man to go back to New York City in the 1880’s.  It may be the only book of it’s genre that just takes joy in the touristic aspect of visiting another place and time.

58    A Star Called Henry by Roddy Doyle

Doyle is one of my favorite writers and this is his best novel.  Set in the time of the Easter Rebellion and Anglo-Irish War, this epic story mixes fact with fiction as the protagonist Henry Smart rubs shoulders with the historical figures of his day.  The adventure continues in a second novel Oh, Play That Thing, but sadly after a brilliant start the sequel falls flat.

57    Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes

This may be my first favorite book which I read in 7th grade when I had already gotten my geek on for Colonial and Revolutionary history.  Featuring a boy in Boston who interacts with the leaders of the Revolutionary era, I couldn’t imagine a more perfect book for me at the time.

56    The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff

A book that teaches Taoism through the lens of A.A. Milne’s Winnie the Pooh characters.  Or a book that uses Taoism to understand Winnie the Pooh.  Either way it was a great introduction for me to both topics.

55    Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser

An unsettling expose of what goes into making our food in today’s agribusiness. It’s hard not to be disgusted and outraged by the things Schlosser describes. Recommended reading for anyone who eats.

54    The Portable Door by Tom Holt

A couple of clueless, apathetic dolts get jobs doing next to nothing at a company that turns out to be run by goblins.  Their indifference in such a phantasmagorical setting makes for a lot of the humor in this clever novel.  The first of a series of four books of which I’ve only read two.

53    The lost continent : travels in small-town America by Bill Bryson

I’ve long been a fan of Bill Bryson, perhaps even before it was fashionable to do so.  This is my favorite of his books partly for chauvinistic reasons (it’s about America with equal parts admiration and skewering of our nation) and partly because it was written before Bryson became a famous travel writer and thus has more of an Anyman feel to his travel adventures.  A Walk in the Woods, Notes From a Small Island, and Neither Here Nor There are also favorites of mine.

52    The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum

Forget the movie musical and read this brilliant novel about a bold girl named Dorothy Gale and her travels through the magical land of Oz.  Sparse on the details but big on imagination.

51    In Watermelon Sugar by Richard Brautigan

I read this book first when I was in high school and interested in 60’s counterculture.  This was my introduction to stream-of-consciousness literature.  Both bizarre and beautiful this is some great creative writing.

The top 50 starts next Friday!