10 Authors Everyone Should Read

by Michael Engelby

Below I have included a list of ten books I think everyone should read and why. Obviously more books could have easily made the list but I think I can make a pretty good case for the ones listed below. I have also included it as a blog version if you don't want to deal with the gratuitous bookselling tactics I've employed below. Hey, what can you do, baby needs a new pair of shoes. Anyway, I look forward to your comments and let me know what books or ebooks you think should have made the list because I know I left some great ones off.

#1 Ulysses, by James Joyce Picking the book for the #1 spot was a no-brainer as far as I¶m concerned. James Joyce¶s Ulysses takes the top spot hands-down. The historical and literary references alone would take years to research and read and when you couple that with Joyce¶s ability to dominate the English language, and then kick it down the street like an old tin can, you¶re left with a masterpiece without equal. As Joyce said, ³I've put in so many enigmas and puzzles that it will keep the professors busy for centuries arguing over what I meant, and that's the only way of insuring one's immortality.´ Mission accomplished. #2 I Can¶t Go On, I¶ll Go On, by Samuel Beckett Another master of language was James Joyce¶s former secretary Samuel Beckett. ³Ever tried? Ever failed? No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.´ One of my all-time favorite bits of writing from Beckett¶s, Worstward Ho. These two word sentences explode with emotion and are an excellent example of Beckett¶s ability to wring every ounce of intensity out of

every word used. I Can¶t Go On, I¶ll Go On is a compilation of Beckett¶s work and an excellent example of Beckett¶s range. Whenever my writing starts to get a little sloppy or loose I refer to this book for inspiration. #3 Selected Writings of Gertrude Stein, by Gertrude Stein One word, influence. The number and quality of writers and artists that Gertrude Stein had an influence over during her lifetime is mind boggling. She is also on my list of dead people you would most like to meet, somewhere right after Jesus, Buddha, and Abraham Lincoln. Do I understand Stein¶s writing? Not by a long shot, but I do know that much of her writing functions best on the outer fringes, and in many cases, beyond the traditional bounds and constraints of conventional literature. Stein¶s desire to explore language and create new realities for the use of written language is nothing short of fearless. One more word, inspirational. #4 The Sound and The Fury, by William Faulkner If I had to pick a favorite writer it would probably be Faulkner. In my mind Faulkner has combined many of the skills used by Joyce, Beckett, and Stein, whether intentionally or unintentionally, and combined it with an indepth exploration of the human condition. If you¶re able to embrace Coleridge¶s idea of ³willing suspension of disbelief,´ you¶ll find yourself inside Faulkner¶s characters looking out, rather than being the casual observer looking in. Faulkner also came up with my favorite quote in regards to writing a novel. ³It¶s like trying to put together a chicken coop in a tornado.´

#5 The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald I¶ve read F. Scott Fitzgerald¶s The Great Gatsby several times and every time I have walked away feeling like I didn¶t actually read a book but instead had a strange dream incased in a decadent white fringe. I have tried

to figure out how Fitzgerald accomplished this, but to no avail, maybe magic a little voodoo. However he did it it¶s an awe inspiring piece of literature that has haunted me on several occasions and vexed my writing on several others. #6 Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger J.D. Salinger caught adolescence in a bottle with Catcher in the Rye. Holden Caulfield is the undisputed king of that voice and will continue to have an influence on younger and older readers for generations to come. Some critics argue that Catcher in the Rye shouldn¶t be considered great literature and to those critics I only have one thing to say, ³You¶re a bunch of phonies.´ Any book or story that captures the trial and tribulations of the human existence is quite possibly worthy of the title literature, but in the case of Catcher in the Rye I think immortal would be a better label. R.I.P. J.D. #7 The Trial, by Franz Kafka Don¶t know where you¶re going or what you¶re doing? Well then Kafka is the writer for you. Reading Kafka is like walking into a character rich void. But this void creates distinct locations and emotions within the mind. The worlds he has created and the precarious and odd situations his characters find themselves in leave an indelible mark. #8 The Human Comedy, by William Saroyan William Saroyan is probably the least known of the authors on this list. But the humanity and compassion is written with such eloquence and simplicity that it leaves the reader breathless. Every time I see a train I think of Ulysses standing by the side of the tracks waving. Timeless. #9 Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, by Hunter S. Thompson

Drug infused insanity and madness and its absolute pinnacle. Hunter S. Thompson¶s style of Gonzo writing reads like literary machinegun fire. His writing style is a no holds barred, rock-n-roll, and in your face experience that is not to be missed. I don¶t know of any other writer who has written with such ferocity. Thompson was also a genius at telling the story surrounding the story. #10 Elements of Style, by Strunk & White Often times this book is simply called, Strunk and White. Call it anything you like, reading this book will make you a better writer. I don¶t even care if you buy it from this website if you want to improve your writing you need this book. If you¶ve already read it, read it again. I reference mine all the time and could not recommend it more. Every writer should have a copy. It¶s the best advice you can give to any writer and I hope it helps you out as much as it has me. Well that¶s my list, if you don¶t like it write up your own list and send it my way. I¶d love to see it. In the meantime I hope you enjoyed the article and keep on writing« For more go to http://thebullykillers.com

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful