If you really want to totally lose my respect and interest, tell me that you never read.  Several people — not just men — have bragged to me about the fact that they’ve never opened a book.  They’ve never been in a book store.  What amazes me is that 1) they’re proud of this and 2) they can’t understand why I’m never impressed by their ignorance.  What they fail to take into account is that I’ve been a reader my entire life.  I’m happiest when I’m in a used book store.  I’m not sure how they could fail to take that into account.  It probably has something to do with the whole ignorance thing.

For a while now, I’ve been meaning to make a list of my 2o favorite books.  However, I’ve found it very difficult to narrow it down to just 20.  On top of that, my all-time favorite book changes from day-to-day depending on my mood. 

So, don’t think of the list below as being of my 20 favorite books of all time.

Instead, think of it as being a list of my 20 favorite books that just happened to pop into my head at this particular moment.

1) The Millenium Trilogy (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played With Fire, and The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest) by Stieg Larrson

2) The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King) by J.R.R. Tolkien

3) The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon

4) The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton

5) The Awakening by Kate Chopin

6) The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera

7) Double Indemnity by James Cain

8 ) To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

9) Blonde by Joyce Carol Oates

10) Story of O by Pauline Reage

11) Lolita by Vladimer Nabakov

12) Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert

13) The Stranger by Albert Camus

14) The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger

15) The Illuminatus Trilogy by Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Shea

16) A Scanner Darkly by Philip K. Dick

17) The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

18) The Women’s Room by Marilyn French

19) The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty

20) The American Tabloid Trilogy (American Tabloid, The Cold 6,000, and Blood’s a Rover) by James Ellroy