I have just added to the blog the list of my favorite books (you can find it on the left side, just beneath my links). I am sure that I have forgotten a lot of other books that I have read and I love, but this can be a good point to start from.
Ernest Hemingway, "The Old Man and the Sea". It’s not just a story of an old fisherman that fights to get an enormously large fish, succeeds in catching it but, in the end, loses it. There’s much more in this short but perfectly written book that I’ll never forget.
Isaac Asimov, "The foundation trilogy". When I was a boy, these books made me fall in love with science fiction and, in particular, with Asimov’s books. It’s a book about story, politics, society, psychology, on future events that involve the whole galaxy. Really inspired.
J. R. R. Tolkien, "Lord of the Rings". I know that everybody knows it because of the movies, but the book is completely different and, somehow, better. It’s an epic novel about the eternal battle between good and evil, about honor, and about peace, and how sometimes you have to fight to achieve it.
Luigi Pirandello, "Il fu Mattia Pascal". The story of a Mattia Pascal as a metaphor of the condition of all men that are prisoners of the roles that they have to play in our society, and of the laws, duties and habits that they have to follow. A masterpiece.
Mordecai Richler, "Barney’s Version". Absolutely funny, irreverent, sometimes bitter and touching, with a brilliant ending. The protagonist is completely different from me (he’s hard-drinking, hard-smoking, foul-mouthed, hedonistic), but he’s irresistible.
Ray Bradbury, "Fahrenheit 451". Fahrenheit 451 is the temperature at which paper burns; and burning books is the job of the protagonist, that is a “fireman” of a future in which all books are restricted (and therefore burned) and critical thought is suppressed. Against all kinds of tyrannies.