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5 Books submitted 2011.10.29 03:51 PM by Willis viewed 1853 times


In read an interview with poet Jim Harrison. He said that as a young man he put his five favorite books, along with clothes and a typewriter, in a cardboard box. He then boarded a bus for New York with this box. He was traveling to the city to become a writer.

He left with Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury, Joyce's Finnegan's Wake, Rimbaud's Illuminations and Dostoevski's Notes from Underground. He also added a copy of the Bible.

Although considered masterpieces, I find these books unbearable. I attempted all five and never finished any of them. I refuse to spend a minute on bad books any longer. I don't care how ground breaking they are lauded to be.

In this interview, perhaps, Jimmy was merely pissing out his ass.

So I made a list of 5 books I would have taken with me: Jack Kerouac's Dharma Bums, Hemingway's Complete Short Stories, Whitman's Leaves of Grass, Hesse's Siddhartha and Brautigan's Trout Fishing in America.

There may be one masterpiece in my list but I don't think so. They are all great books that I've reread over the years. Five books that come to mind when I think great read. Five books I could live on a desert island with.

If you had boarded that bus, what five books would you have taken?




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