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Books for the Journey
July 9, 2009 — 5:44 pm

I think I’ve worked out a list of books I’ll be taking with me to Afghanistan. They are currently piled up on my bed, waiting to be bundled/packed/shipped. I kept the number down to ten, to be somewhat manageable. Out of the ten, there is only one I’ve read before, but it was in my mid-teens. Surprisingly, there are only three works of non-fiction (to include one book of poetry).

Anyway, here they are.

Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman. I’ve never been disappointing by a Neil Gaiman novel, and I expect great things from this one.

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. This is one of those “I should really get around to reading that” books. It’s been sitting on my shelf for nearly a decade, but something else always seemed to come up first.

The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius. Another book I’ve been meaning to read these past few years.

Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi. How can I resist? It has the title of my absolute favorite book in its title. Plus, I’ve heard good things about it.

The Forever War by Joe Haldeman. Everyone who knows their Science Fiction insists this is one of the best books written in the genre. Who am I to argue?

The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway. Not only have I never read this particular book, I’ve never read anything by Ernest Hemingway, save for a few of his short stories. Again, I don’t know why. I just never got around to it.

The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks. This is the one I read as a teenager. I’ve been meaning to read it again to see if it stands up to my memory of it.

Random Acts of Senseless Violence by Jack Womack. This one was recommended by a friend who raved about it. We’ll see…

Desolation Road by Ian McDonald. Another one of those classic Science Fiction books that I hear is highly praised.

The Mentor Book of Major American Poets edited by Oscar Williams. Books of poetry are always appreciated.

And, here is a list of books I hope to have read by the time I leave in late August:

The Yiddish Policeman’s Union by Michael Chabon. I’m half way through it and am thoroughly enjoying the story. So far, it’s lived up to its hype.

The Neddiad by Daniel Pinkwater. Daniel Pinkwater writes the smartest kids books I have ever read. Have you ever read The Phantom Tollbooth? He’s on that level of greatness.

The Taliban by Ahmed Rashid.

The Great War for Civilisation by Robert Fisk. At over one thousand pages, this book is quite literally a tome. I’m not sure if I’ll make much headway into it before I leave, but its subject matter is important.

— Justin M. StoddardComments (5)

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5 Comments
  1. You are missing, Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore. Really Justin, I’m not kidding, you need this book. It is imperative that you obtain a copy of this book before you depart for Afghanistan. Please, I’m begging you, heed my warning!

    Nah, really, I think you’re going to need some good laughs while you are there and CM is guaranteed to provide.

    Comment by Katie — July 9, 2009 @ 5:55 pm

  2. Speaking of science fiction, I just met both of the Neils.

    L. Neil really likes my netbook…

    Comment by Eric D. Dixon — July 9, 2009 @ 6:35 pm

  3. Sweet! Did you get an autograph?

    Comment by Justin M. Stoddard — July 9, 2009 @ 7:08 pm

  4. Poetry is fiction. Mostly.

    Comment by twv — July 28, 2009 @ 10:53 pm

  5. Hey Justin! Check out this music video. You’d like this I think. It’s hysterical.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sCFJ3LURCtc

    Comment by Brian McCall — October 22, 2009 @ 2:16 pm

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