martedì 12 febbraio 2008

The best books of my life (so far)

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.

I just wanna give you some reasons for my choice.

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.

Harper Lee, "To Kill a Mockingbird". A book about tolerance and equality, against all racial prejudices and injustices, addressed by the author with irony and satire. A must read for everybody.

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.

Italo Calvino, "Il visconte dimezzato". A metaphor of the contemporary man, his incompleteness and alienation, about good and evil and all the shadings between them; but also an incredibly enjoyable and amusing book. According to me, the best of the trilogy “i nostri antenati” (“our ancestors”).

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.

John Steinback, "The Grapes of Wrath". I read this book after I heard Bruce Springsteen’s “The ghost of Tom Joad”. It’s a touching, moving book, that really made me feel sick for all the misfortunes that hit the protagonists; and it has one of the best ending I’ve ever read.

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.

Luther Blisset, "Q". A truly fascinating historical novel about the Protestant Reformation and all events that changed Europe in the XVI century. It’s an adventure book, but also a spy story,and you won’t stop reading until the last page.

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.

Philip K. Dick, "The Man in the High Castle". The setting is an alternative 1962, fifteen years after the Axis Powers defeated the Allies in World War II and the U.S. surrendered to Nazi Germany and Japan. A complex book about what reality is, and what happens when it penetrates into a false reality. For everyone who thinks that science fiction is just “Star Wars”.

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.

And which are your favorite books?

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