Recommended Reading, Part 1

A handful of novels, poetry, and prose that I love.
  1. Sir Gawain and the Loathly Lady
    A classic tale as old as the legend of Arthur and Camelot. My mother introduced me to this as a child, but the morals and principals presented in the book are worth being reminded of, regardless of your age. Honor, loyalty, and the idea that you should never judge a book by it's cover. And most important: always let a woman make her own choice.
  2. American Gods, Neil Gaiman
    What if all the gods the various cultures of the earth have worshipped over time were actually real, but their power, and even existence, was completely based upon the belief and worship of us mere mortals? For those who only know of Neil Gaiman as a comic book guy, American Gods will open your eyes.
  3. I Am Legend, Richard Matheson
    It's been said a million times, but in the case of I Am Legend, the book really is superior to the movie (or movies, if you know Matheson's history). Breaking from the classic storyline of vampirism as myth, I Am Legend presents a post-apocalyptic world dominated by diseased humans, whose symptoms are eerily similar to vampirism, presenting the possibility that our own government could engineer such an epidemic.
  4. Hell House, Richard Matheson
    Quite possibly the scariest book I've ever read, but my overactive imagination had much to do with that. With most books, especially horror, you finish a chapter, mark it, and go to sleep. Not Hell House; every chapter ends with a cliffhanger, and some frightful ones at that. I would have to read partly into a chapter, and then bookmark. You know Matheson is worth reading when Stephen King calls him one of his biggest influences.
  5. The Stand, Stephen King
    Speaking of King, there are many books I could list here, but if you're going to read one Stephen King book, make it this. The Dark Tower series may be his epic, but The Stand is King's masterpiece. King takes the idea of an epidemic of government/military origin that Richard Matheson introduced in I Am Legend and makes it his own, in the process creating one of the greatest literary works of all time.
  6. Anything by Shel Silverstein
    Do I even have to explain why? If you can't find some joy in reading Silverstein's works, or even crack a smile, you're not taking the right drugs.
  7. The Complete Works of Edgar Allan Poe
    To think of Poe as only dark and depressing illustrates a lack of time spent reading some of his greatest works. From horror to satire, morose to love, mystery to mourning, Poe's work covered a myriad of topics and emotions.