We’ve been talking quite a bit around here about this Mayan calendar end-of-the-world business, and a debate just ensued — is it End of the World, or End of the World As We Know It? If it’s the latter, then I immediately picture desolation as far as the eye can see, survivors holed up in seaside cliffs, and darkness everywhere — no electricity, and certainly no digital devices. What’s a post-apocalyptic booklover going to do for entertainment, apart from spending the day trying not to die a horrible bloody death? Answer: READ. (Right? Right.)
With that in mind, we asked our bibliomaniacs: What’s the one book you could quote chapter by chapter, the one that’s lost its cover from so many reads, the one you’d risk saving from your burning house — or in less hyperbolic terms: What’s the one book you could read again and again? So here it is: Classics, SciFi, Children’s, Mystery, horror, political humor and general fiction. Something for everyone, this side of the apocalypse or the other.
Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury; The Fellowship of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien; Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, by J.K Rowling; Grendel, by John Gardner; Cat’s Cradle, by Kurt Vonnegut; Watership Down, by Richard Adams; Lonesome Dove, by Larry McMurtry; The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien; The Master and Margarita, by Mikhail Bulgakov; Siddhartha, by Hermann Hesse; Rebecca, by Daphne du Maurier; The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, by C.S. Lewis; Outlander, by Diana Gabaldon; Booked to Die, by John Dunning; Winnie the Pooh, by A.A. Milne; Slaughterhouse Five, by Kurt Vonnegut; The Count of Monte Cristo, by Alexandre Dumas; Danny the Champion of the World, by Roald Dahl; The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
Lamb, by Christopher Moore; The Left Hand of Darkness, by Ursula Le Guin; Decline and Fall, by Evelyn Waugh; Tropic of Capricorn, by Henry Miller; Imagined London, by Anna Quindlen; A Child’s Christmas in Wales, by Dylan Thomas; Flowers in the Attic, by V.C. Andrews; Mr. Perfect, by Linda Howard; The Giver, by Lois Lowry; Ferdinand the Bull by Munro Leaf; Eyes of the Dragon, by Stephen King; The Polar Express, by Chris Van Allsburg; Someday Angeline, by Louis Sachar; Me Talk Pretty One Day, by David Sedaris; The Eyre Affair, by Jasper Fforde; Anne of Green Gables, by L.M. Montgomery; The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald; Les Miserables, by Victor Hugo; Mists of Avalon, by Marion Zummer Bradley; Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card; Parliament of Whores, by P.J. O’Rourke