Smashwords Author Interview #5: What are your five favorite books, and why?

Smashwords: What are your five favorite books, and why?

It is impossible for me to answer this. So I’ll just list the first five that come to mind that have had a significant impact.

1, Intimations of Immortality by William Wordsworth. I love Wordsworth above all other poets of all times–even more than Shakespeare and Milton. This lengthy Ode encapsulates him for me, and links him to my favorite philosopher, Plato. It has had a profound influence as the first among my beloved Romantic poems.

2. Bleak House by Charles Dickens. “If that is the law, the law is a ass.” What more need I say? (A case that drags out for generations until the last farthing is spent and then is finally resolved. That’s not fiction. That’s an ETERNAL TRUTH! And yet I still went to law school. Maybe I should list Freud next.)
3. Plato’s Republic. (And the Socratic Dialogues.) There is Plato’s idealism, Aristotle’s realism and the rest is largely a historical footnote.
4. Shakespeare’s complete works. The comedies. The tragedies. The sonnets. The inferiority complex for the rest of us who dare write anything at all after reading him.
5. Roger Zelazny’s Amber series. I know, I know. It’s absurd to list it here but it is still my favorite fantasy series of books from one of my favorite writers. I’ve read thousands upon thousands of pages in favorite fantasy series, including every word in the trillion page (it seems) absurdly long “Sword of Truth” series of books by Terry Goodkind (whom I love). At times I literally screamed in frustration at the repetitiveness GET TO THE F*^%$*#G POINT! George RR Martin (another favorite writer) in his lengthy Game of Thrones series of books (all eagerly digested–likewise the HBO series) also made me squirm and/or skip ahead from time to time lest I tear out the few remaining hairs on my head. I will buy the next long-overdue installment as soon as it is available, though. Likewise many other favorite authors like Stephen King (I almost died of boredom on my way to the Dark Tower on many occasions) — and on very, very rare occasion even Dean Koontz whom were I pagan I would worship as a demigod. But Zelazny never had that effect on me, especially in his Amber series. Not a single skipped word. Not a single needless, redundant description. Were it not nearly 2:00 a.m. and need I not get up in less than six hours to attend Commencement ceremonies I’d probably rummage through my library for my Book Club two-volume Chronicles of Amber right now.
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