Visions of Paradise

Saturday, October 07, 2006


I have always loved lists of books and cds, and enjoy sharing them with other people. Here is a list published by Michael Bishop in a Book of Days published by the Quality Paperback Book Club a half dozen years ago. This was when “best of the 20th century” lists were rampant, and Bishop was asked to produce his own list. He wrote a long introduction disclaiming any “best of” intent in the list, instead naming them 104 Really Cool Works of 20th Century Fiction. I have only read 20 of the works, but generally agree with Bishop’s assessment of them, so I am anticipating some more great reading someday...

The Malacia Tapestry / Brian W. Aldiss
The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven /Sherman Alexie
Bastard out of Carolina / Dorothy Allison
Empire of the Sun / J. G. Ballard
Continental Drift / Russell Banks
Timescape / Gregory Benford
Brazzaville Beach / William Boyd
A Medicine for Melancholy / Ray Bradbury
Rubyfruit Jungle / Rita Mae Brown
The Book of Bebb / Frederick Buechner
Jujitsu for Christ / Jack Butler
Wild Seed / Octavia Butler
A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain / Robert Olen Butler
Possession / A. S. Byatt
Saints and Strangers / Angela Carter
Where I’m Calling From / Raymond Carver
The Lady in the Lake / Raymond Chandler
Crazy in Alabama / Mark Childress
Childhood’s End / Arthur C. Clarke
Shogun / James Clavell
Crazy Heart / Thomas Cobb
The Public Burning / Robert Coover
Little, Big / John Crowley
Atlantis: Three Tales / Samuel R. Delany
Blackburn / Bradley Denton
Paris Trout / Pete Dexter
The Man in the High Castle / Philip K. Dick
334 / Thomas M. Disch
Geek Love / Katherine Dunn
The Floatplane Notebooks / Clyde Edgerton
Deathbird Stories / Harlan Ellison
The Black Dahlia / James Ellroy
A Fan’s Notes / Frederick Exley
The Siege of Krishnapur / J. G. Ferrell
The Sportswriter / Richard Ford
Sarah Canary / Karen Joy Fowler
Cold Mountain / Charles Frazier
Bad Behavior / Mary Gaitskill
In the Land of Dreamy Dreams / Ellen Gilchrist
Snow Falling on Cedars / David Guterson
Atticus / Ron Hansen
The Silence of the Lambs / Thomas Harris
A Winter’s Tale / Mark Helprin
The Child Buyer John Hershey
The Swimming Pool Library / Alan Hillinghurst
Angels / Denis Johnson
Gaff Topsails / Patrick Kavanagh
Nine Hundred Grandmothers / R.A. Lafferty
Hard Laughter / Anne Lamott
The Left Hand of Darkness / Ursula K. Le Guin
Out of the Silent Planet / C.S. Lewis
Winter Count / Barry Holstun Lopez
Hard Trade / Arthur Lyons
The Drowning Pool / Ross Macdonald
At Play in the Fields of the Lord / Richard Matthiessen
Time Will Darken It / William Maxwell
Boy’s Life / Robert R. McCammon
All The Pretty Horses / Cormac McCarthy
All My Friends Are Going to Be Strangers / Larry McMurtry
Such a Long Journey / Rohinton Mistry
Towing Jehovah / James Morrow
Rats in the Trees / Jess Mowry
The Progress of Love / Alice Munro
Unassigned Territory / Kern Nunn
The Things they Carried / Tim O’Brien
The Gospel of Corax / Paul Park
The Dog of the South / Charles Portis
Edisto / Padgett Powell
Kate Vaiden / Reynolds Price
The Shipping News / E. Annie Proulx
V / Thomas Pynchon
Even Cowgirls Get the Blues / Tom Robbins
Call it Sleep / Henry Roth
The Female Man / Joanna Russ
The Sparrow / Mary Doria Russell
Was / Geoff Ryman
What Makes Sammy Run? / Budd Schulberg
The Golden Gate / Vikram Seth
The Jaguar Hunter / Lucius Shepard
Glimpses / Lewis Shiner
The Female of the Species / Lionel Shriver
Dying Inside / Robert Silverberg
Lives of the Dead / Charlie Smith
Stone City / Mitchell Smith
The Man Who Loved Children / Christina Stead
A Flag for Sunrise / Robert Stone
Waterland / Graham Swift
The Old Forest and Other Stories / Peter Taylor
The White Hotel / D. M. Thomas
Pop. 1280 / Jim Thompson
Imagining Argentina / Lawrence Thornton
My Life and Hard Times / James Thurber
Her Smoke Went Up Forever / James Tiptree, Jr.
A Confederacy of Dunces / John Kennedy Toole
The Embedding / Ian Watson
Fields of Fire / James Webb
Fools Crow / James Welch
John Dollar / Marianne Wiggins
Modern Baptists / James Wilcox
Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang / Kate Wilhelm
Peace / Gene Wolfe
The Barracks Thief / Tobias Wolff
War and Remembrance / Herman Wouk
Eleven Kinds of Loneliness / Richard Yates