S.G. Browne

G is for Great, Geek, and Ghost

We’re here just past the quarter way point through the alphabet and we hit the best collection of titles to date, including one of my favorite literary reads of all time and another book that I see on the Employee’s Favorites shelf at a number of bookstores.

Titles like Great Expectations, The Grapes of Wrath, and The Green Mile didn’t make the cut, while I’ve never read Gone With the Wind, The Godfather, or The Golden Compass. I did have to leave Good Omens off the list, but since I’m limiting this to the top three reads, sometimes I have to make some tough calls.

Though to be honest, the first two on this list were never in question. And the third was a seminal read in the early stages of my writing. So no real contest there, either.

On to the selections of my Favorite Books that Begin with the Letter G:

Numero uno:
The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald
One of my favorite books of all time, Gatsby is often on the list of most over-rated novels of all time, but I loved the story and the characters and the eloquent, descriptive writing. A marked contrast to Hemingway’s stark prose, but a style I much prefer. If I ever find myself in the midst of reading uninspiring novels or stuck in my own writing, I will always pick this up and read through a few chapters to remind myself what good writing is supposed to look like.

Sloppy seconds:
Geek Love, Katherine Dunn
The Binewskis are a married carny couple who set out, with the help of amphetamines, arsenic, and radioisotopes, to breed their own exhibit of human oddities in order to save their traveling carnival. Narrated by one of the children, this is the most unique dysfunctional family you’ll ever meet. Dark, perverse, and imaginative.

And baby makes three:
Ghost Story, Peter Straub
As I mentioned, this was one of the novels I read in the mid-eighties that inspired me to travel down the path that eventually led me here. My favorite novel by Straub, Ghost Story is one of those rare novels that is both chilling and beautiful.

Favorite monosyllabic book:
Green Eggs and Ham, Dr. Seuss
Actually, only 49 of the 50 words used in Green Eggs and Ham are single syllable, with “anywhere” being the anomalous offender. I wish I still had the copy I owned as a kid.

And as always, if you have your own favorites, feel free to share them.

Filed under: Movies and Books — Tags: , , — S.G. Browne @ 2:52 pm