Which of my books would I prioritize regaining if they were lost?
It’s a difficult question, and to my own surprise I found an unintentional theme while attempting to answer it. I feel perfectly comfortable with never again owning most of my fiction and poetry titles, knowing they can always be revisited via library. This is probably due to the fact that I’m now more interested in writing my own fiction than ingesting others’, and it’s rare that I need fictional works as a reference, whereas having major works of history and philosophy at hand are indispensable.
So, while I would never recommend anyone neglect fiction or poetry, it would be disingenuous to include such titles here. And, more often than not, I would simply recommend classics of the “no, duh” variety in those genres, whereas a few of my nonfiction selections manage to avoid the status of household names.
Theodore Draper’s A Struggle for Power
Tocqueville’s Democracy in America
Davis’ Three Roads to the Alamo
Carl Sandburg’s Lincoln (Prairie & War Years)
Shelby Foote’s Civil War
The Landmark Herodotus, Thucydides, Xenophon, Arrian, Julius Caesar
Gibbon’s Decline and Fall
Graves’ Greek Myths and White Goddess
Hall’s Secret Teachings of All Ages
Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations
Lin Yutang’s The Wisdom of China and India
Watson’s Grand Historians of China
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
Le Morte D’arthur
Mishima’s Sun and Steel
Clason’s Richest Man in Babylon