Stuff I Like
My Favorite Authors & Books (or: Most of My Friends Are Dead)
These are listed in mostly alphabetical order. In the case that the author is still alive, I’ve provided a link to their website.
"Forty-two,” said Deep Thought, with infinite majesty and calm. (The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy)
Author and friend Frederic S. Durbin cried after reading Watership Down because he knew he’d never again read a book that good.
William Browning Spencer →
Please read Zod Wallop. The ralewings and swamp grendels are waiting--not to mention the Gore Lord!
Peter S. Beagle →
“The Unicorn lived in the lilac wood, and she lived all alone. “ (The Last Unicorn)
Cixin Liu →
Damn, I love hard Sci-Fi with zero character development. Read The Three Body Problem and The Dark Forest.
G. K. Chesterton
Want to feel confused, convicted, and profoundly out of your depth? Pick up Orthodoxy. I dare you.
The architecture of his mind is the most beautiful I have ever encountered. My favorite for some reason is Purgatorio.
Annie Dillard →
She’s from Pittsburgh too! I’m partial to Holy the Firm.
One of my favorite theologians said that the best critics of Christianity are themselves Christian. (The Brothers Karamazov)
Frederic S. Durbin →
Everything he writes is golden, but I really love Dragonfly. Make sure to read it in October.
T. S. Eliot
Did you know answers to everything in life are in his Four Quartets? Everything?!
David Foster Wallace
DFW has a reputation for being a bro. He is not. He is compassionate, hilarious, and I love Infinite Jest.
“Summer–summer–summer! The soundless footsteps on the grass!” (Indian Summer of a Forsyte)
Neil Gaiman →
“Some of us are just so sharp we could just cut ourselves.” (Neverwhere)
You must read Wind in the Willows and meet Mr. Toad.
“Merricat, said Connie, would you like a cup of tea? Oh no, said Merricat, you’ll poison me.” (We Have Always Lived in the Castle)
Julian of Norwich
"And all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.” (Showings)
“The Black Bull of Norroway” is my favorite fairytale. (The Blue Fairy Book)
“A Wrinkle in Time” made me think differently about the world—in deep and permanent ways. And isn't that why we read?
C. S. Lewis
A fellow Votary of the Blue Flower. Read Surprised by Joy to find out what that is.
Do you long to get swept away and lost in Faerie? Get yourself a copy of Phantastes.
Anthony Marra →
The Tsar of Love and Techno—in case you want to ugly cry.
A Canticle for Leibowitz should be mandatory reading for everyone at least once a year. This year, twice.
Lud-in-the-Mist. Be careful.
“Lingering becomes so lonely/When one lingers on one's own.” (The Gormenghast Trilogy)
Tim Powers →
“O Fish, are you constant to the old covenant? Return, and we return; keep faith, and so will we.” (Declare)
Alastair Reynolds →
More hard Sci-Fi written by a physicist. His Revelation Space series is insanely clever.
Marilynne Robinson →
Housekeeping had a weird arc for me—I hated it, I liked it, and then I psychotically adored it.
Robert Louis Stevenson
The “Flight through the Heather” chapter of Kidnapped is the best adventure I’ve been on.
There are an awful lot of answers in Gaudy Night.
J. R. R. Tolkien
The only writing I don’t really like of his is nothing whatsoever.
"Marooooooooooned!" Oh, poor Mundo Cani! As for Chanticleer, he's in for a nasty surprise. (The Book of the Dun Cow)
Just wait til you find out what happens to Princess Arjumand! (To Say Nothing of the Dog.)
No Clock in the Forest is a weird and funny fantasy book that my siblings and I loved when we were teenagers. It has marmots.