My friend Amanda might be the smartest person I know, like, in the classical scholar sense. She posted a couple of Top Ten entries over on her blog. I'm somewhat ashamed to say that I've only read one of her "Top Ten Books I Read Over and Over" listed books, and...I didn't even like it that much.
I go to a pretty Western university, so the light of the ivory towers does reach us here in the Rockies, but it's not as blinding as it might be in, say, New Haven. But traditional scholarly pursuits hold a significant cachet among the profs and students, even if football holds an outward sway over the population. For someone like me, with, shall we say varied academic interests, I sometimes find myself feeling out of place. Not because students like my dear Amanda make me feel bad. Amanda is pretty rad all around. But our lists, as you will see, are rather different. But after a spirited dinner with a professor and some fellow students, I feel pretty good about my corner of academia. We also decided that my job at the library is an equivalent of an adjunct university professor, so I'm rechristening myself as an adjunct librarian.
And so, here are some lists from an erstwhile academic and adjunct librarian.
Ten Books I Read Over and Over (and Over and Over)1. Anne of Green Gables by LM Montgomery*
2. Emily of New Moon by LM Montgomery*
3. The Song of the Lioness by Tamora Pierce*
4. The Immortals by Tamora Pierce*
5. Jack of Kinrowan by Charles de Lint
6. Tam Lin by Pamela Dean
7. American Gods by Neil Gaiman
8. The Enchanted Forest Chronicles by Patrica C. Wrede*
9. The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
10. Bulfinch's Mythology
Amanda also listed Ten Books Essential for Civilization and Humanity. I've read three out of ten this time! I would agree with some of her choices, but I have a few others.
Ten Books Essential for Civilization and Humanity
1. 1984 by George Orwell
2. Complete Works by William Shakespeare
3. The Odyssey & The Illiad by Homer
4. The Metamorphoses by Ovid
5. The Tao Te Ching by Lao Tsu (this translation is particularly lovely)
6. The Partly Cloudy Patriot by Sarah Vowell
7. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
8. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
9. The Essential Calvin and Hobbes by Bil Watterson
10. The Rights of the Reader by Daniel Pennac
What books would you include on your lists?
*I mean the whole series here. Individual titles would take over my whole list.