Monday, January 11, 2016

Reading And Remembering

Today I overheard two of the staff at Moon Palace Books talking about posting David Bowie's list of his top 100 books. I read a G+ post over lunch in which someone said that the best way to honor an artist is to do something creative. I thought what I could do today is start a list of my top 100 books. 

I'm only including ones that I've read cover-to-cover. So no Bible and no Dhalgren. Yet.

In no particular order or precedence, here's a few to get us going:
  1. Miguel Marmol by Roque Dalton. The autobiography of one of the founders of the Communist Party of El Salvador, interviewed by Roque Dalton, El Salvador's greatest poet, himself a martyr and exemplar of the next great revolutionary generation of the 1970s. If you only read one book on the '20's-30's, it should be this one. 
  2. The German Ideology by Karl Marx (particularly for the 11 Theses on Feuerbach; it is possible to skip the rest).
  3. Way Station by Clifford D. Simak.
  4. Horses Make A Landscape More Beautiful by Alice Walker. The first book of poetry I read.
  5. Poemas Clandestinas by Roque Dalton. Wrote poems that incited revolution.
  6. The Black Jacobins by C.L.R. James. Still the most important book about the Haitian Revolution.
  7. The Stars In My Pocket Like Grains of Sand by Samuel R. Delaney.
  8. The Once and Future King by T.H. White.
  9. Ring of Swords by Eleanor Arnason.
  10. The Corum Saga by Michael Moorcock.
  11. The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins. All the world's rubbish about memes started here, but that's not why this book is important.
  12. Philosophical Investigations by Ludwig Wittengenstein.
  13. The Violence of Abstraction by Derek Sayer
  14. Babel-17, Nova, Empire Star, The Ballad of Beta-2, the Fall of the Towers trilogy, and the Jewels of Aptor by Samuel R. Delaney. We'll leave a few lines for other people.
  15. Dune by Frank Herbert.
  16. The Gnostic Gospels by Elaine Pagels.
  17. The Consolation of Philosophy by Boethius. I have a feeling this list may end up more Plato than Marx, but the real reason this book is on the list is because I discovered a possible reference in Boethius' text to the Gnostic prayer-poem "Thunder, Perfect Mind."
  18. The Scar by China Mieville.
  19. Muhammad by Eliot Weinberger. A very short book of beautiful stories about the life of the Prophet, composed as an act of resistance on the eve of Bush's disastrous invasion of Iraq. I read a selection from it at the M.A.R. Barker memorial. 
  20. Night's Master & Death's Master by Tanith Lee.
  21. The Long War and Power in the Isthmus by James Dunkerley. Two important works on the political economy of Central America.
  22. The Elric saga by Michael Moorcock.
  23. The Anti-Social Family by Michele Barrett and Mary McIntosh, and Women's Oppression Today: Problems in Marxist Feminist Analysis by Michele Barrett. The first of these is the most important, and critiques the central role of family ideology in our politics, and how little it offers families, women, or anyone else.
  24. Saint Foucault: Towards a Gay Hagiography by David Halperin.
  25. History of Sexuality, Vol. 1 by Michel Foucault.
  26. Stone Butch Blues & Trangender Liberation: A Movement Whose Time Has Come by Leslie Feinberg. The former is a working class novel set in Buffalo, NY, and the latter is a chapbook published by World View Forum, the print house of Workers World Party.
  27. Multitude by Michael Hardt and Tony Negri.
  28. City by Clifford D. Simak.
  29. Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien.
  30. The Tomoe Gozen saga by Jessica Amanda Salmonson.
  31. A Different Light by Elizabeth A. Lynn.

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