List of My Favorite Ten Great Works of Literature – Part 2

February 24th, 2011 by Michael Tabor

I have 100s of favorite great works of literature, however to go through each and every one of them would require that I write a book of at least 1000 pages (+ the fact that I have yet to seal a contract with Penquin Putnam or some other major book publisher – not yet anyway; perhaps some bigwig will read my blog and offer me a lucrative deal, but until then…) I am forced to list just 10. 

A very astute reader of this blog mentioned the fact that our taste changes over the years and furthermore it’s quite impossible to make a list of one’s favorite books because we as individuals change; what’s more important is the impact and impression the book had on you when you read it. When I read Salinger’s – ‘Catcher in the Rye’, I was blown away, however I read it when I was in high school and have no interest in reading it again; but what an impression it made on me !  So I think I should include it. 

I’ll put it to you this way, here are 8 more works of literature and I’ll be mindful of two things – what type of impression the book made on me at the time I read it and also I’ll try to pick great literature that can be read over and over and still elicit a strong response though it maybe prodigiously different from the first time I read it. 

3. ‘The Catcher in the Rye’ – J.D. Salinger, 1951 – This was probably the first serious piece of literature I’ve ever read, though it’s a very simple read; it’s written in a colloquial style. One views the world from the eyes of a disillusioned teenager, Holden Caulfield, as he jabs at all the phoniness of adulthood; especially affluent middle-class folks.

4. ‘All of Shakespeare’s Works’ – One should not go through life without reading all of Shakespeare’s works. Enough said.

5.  ‘New York Trilogy’ – Paul Auster, 1986 – How about some contemporary literature; Mr. Auster is still alive and I actually met him in person at Bryant Park in New York City. Believe it or not I happened to be reading one of his other books when I saw him and he was kind enough to autograph it for me. This is an absolute must-read for everyone. I actually found out about him by accident; I was in the literature section and I was going to purchase a Jane Austin novel for my wife and alphabetically after Austin comes Auster. So I picked up a copy, thumbed through it and found it to be quite interesting – & luckily it was ‘New York Trilogy’ – his first and by far his best work. ‘New York Trilogy’ is actually 3 separate novellas but they’re all connected. The only way to describe this book is that it’s a very post-modernist detective story which relies heavily on seemingly innocuous coincidence and chance and which ultimately has major implications and invariably ends up impacting all of the characters involved. I have read and re-read this book and I still find it to be endlessly fascinating.  

Well, this blog forum is definitely too short for something this important. I will have a part 3 tomorrow and perhaps I can get through the other 5 books. 

Now it’s your turn WHADAWETHINK? Who are your favorite authors? Do you prefer non-fiction over fiction? Studies have been done and it seems that many more women prefer fiction over non-fiction. Why is this?  There is no question about the fact that fiction is much more important than non-fiction and if it becomes a classic, it will remain with us forever. Please contribute.

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One Response to “List of My Favorite Ten Great Works of Literature – Part 2”

  1. Tatiana Flaker Says:

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