Top 10 Novels Everybody Should Read, part 1

Whether you’re writing one or reading one, nothing beats a list. Writing one puts you on the road to get things done. And reading one inspires. This list will inspire you to get that promise you made to yourself to read more books done.

I’ve read a lot of books. From non-fiction to novels, I read at least one a week, and sometimes, up to three at a time. I’m a fast reader. The following is a list of novels, that is, pieces of fiction. If you read them, then great! If not, then you’re the reason I write this list! Read more books.

A word of warning: This is not a literary snob’s list. Though there will be a couple classics on here, reading should be enjoyable, not merely impressive.

campbell#10 Make Love the Bruce Campbell Way by Bruce Campbell

Yes, number ten is a book written by a campy “B” movie actor from Birmingham, Michigan. I placed this little beauty in my top 10 because it is one damn funny book. It’s an “autobiographical novel”, which just means that Campbell made it all up. Make Love is about Bruce Campbell getting a starring role in his first “A” list movie called Let’s Make Love, co-starring some big names. However, Campbell is just as inept as the “B” genre characters he usually plays for the silver screen, and his attempt to help with the production using all of his “B” movie tricks of the trade are thwarted by an evil studio exec, a super fan, and other crazy circumstances. It’s a laugh out loud book and a real page turner. Don’t like to turn pages? You’re in luck! There’s an audio book, too, and Bruce Campbell reads it! I read the book and listened to the audio book. They are both worth the time and money.

frankenstein#9 Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Despite the cover photo, this is not Universal’s version of the legendary Gothic horror novel by a teenage girl named Mary Shelley. This is the original story and much more enthralling. It’s a short read, well written, and tragically sad. Originally published anonymously in 1818, Frankenstein is insightful and brave. The story was a dream Shelley had and it is the story of a scientist who created a creature then was horrified by his own creation. The 1818 version is uncensored. Later versions were edited to make it more appealing to conservative readers. I recommend the original version.

salemslot#8 Salem’s Lot by Stephen King

Continuing the horror theme, this list would not be a true representation of my likes if I did not include the book that still frightens me to this day. Stephen King wrote this in the pit of hell with the Devil’s pitchfork. Okay, maybe not, but I wouldn’t put it past him. Let me break it down for you. A vampire moves to town and people start dying mysteriously until someone figures it out, but by then all hell has broken loose. You want to have nightmares about vampire babies and a cellar full of devil children, then pick up this book. I’m getting the heebie jeebies just writing about it!

remorse#7 Without Remorse by Tom Clancy

Why isn’t this a movie? It’s a blockbuster on a silver platter, for crying out loud. Clancy did all the heavy lifting. Without Remorse is Clancy’s best work, not too technical, for those that think his writing usually is, and not too political, same reason. This is a basic revenge book starring my favorite Clancy character John Kelley, a.k.a. Mr. Clark, a diabolical CIA assassin/spy/macho man. You think you’ve read every way to kill a man? Guess again. Without Remorse is written without remorse and you’ll not want it to end.

farewell#6 A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway

Much like Bruce Campbell’s Make Love the Bruce Campbell Way, A Farewell to Arms is an autobiographical novel. That’s all they have in common. I’m a huge fan of Hemingway, so it’s no surprise that one of his books is in my top 10. I could list all of them, but that list would suck. I will  list two, though. I’ll get to the other one later.

Set during World War I, this is the story of a young ambulance driver who was wounded then falls in love with a nurse. However, my favorite relationship in the whole book is the one between our ambulance driver and his friend Rinaldi. This would make a good buddy film if it wasn’t, you know, for the whole war and death thing going on all the way up to the very end. It’s an easy read and a quick one, even for the slowest of readers.

I’ll conclude the list, tomorrow. Until then, start fulfilling that promise to yourself and read more books!

3 thoughts on “Top 10 Novels Everybody Should Read, part 1

  1. Sad to say that I have only read one of your first five, but you are spot on with Clancy’s Without Remorse – also IMOP his best book. Looking forward to your next five.

  2. Pingback: Top 10 Novels Everybody Should Read, part 2 | Gary W. Allison

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