Saturday, September 27, 2014

Ten books

As a facebook challenge I was asked to list ten books that have made an impression on me. Here's my list. For today. It might change tomorrow.
Sveve over vatna by Ragnar Hovland. A Norwegian novel by my favourite Norwegian writer.

Pet Sematary by Stephen King. In my late teens and early 20s Stephen King was my favourite writer. His books peaked with this one, I feel, and then it started going downhill. I gave up halfways in The Tommyknockers and haven't read anything by King after that.

Post Office by Charles Bukowski. I believe this was the first book I read by Bukowski. It left its marks.
The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway. Good old Hem, hard to avoid. This one, A Farewell to Arms and his short stories haven't lost any of their power.

The Cider House Rules by John Irving. Garp was the first book I read by Irving, then Hotel New Hampshire. Rules is still my favourite. After A Prayer for Owen Meany his books have been more uneven.

Moon Palace by Paul Auster. The first book I read by Auster. The rule that co├»ncidences happen in real life but not in books? Paul Auster doesn't give a damn about that rule.
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck. East of Eden is also a masterpiece, but I think I would still place this a bit higher.

The Stories of Raymond Carver. The first book I read by Carver was Fires. Then I went back to the bookshop and bought this one that collects Will You Please Be Quiet, Please?, What We Talk About When We Talk About Love and Cathedral. Short stories at their best.

Dreams of Leaving by Rupert Thomson. Maybe not his best book, but his first one and the first one of his I read. His later books have so far not disappointed.
Jesus' Son by Denis Johnson. A fairly recent discovery. I read Nobody Move first, then this one and Angels and became a big fan. Haven't been able to get through the whole Tree of Smoke yet, though...

Some books that were on the list but then fell off: Froth on the Daydream by Boris Vian, Pick-up by Charles Willeford, Down There by David Goodis, Anagrams by Lorrie Moore and Ask The Dust by John Fante.


  1. Dear Jason:
    Train Dreams - By Denis Johnson

  2. Train Dreams is a great novel! The books by Johnson that I haven't read yet is Fiskadoro, Already Dead and Tree of Smoke.