The original meme: Don’t take too long to think about it. Fifteen books you’ve read that will always stick with you. First fifteen you can recall in no more than 15 minutes.
In my variant I’m dividing the list into three parts. Five books I read from ages 10-19, then five I read from 20-29, and finally five I read from 30-39. It wouldn’t be fair to do one for the next decade since I’ve been 40 for less than two weeks and the only book I’ve read in that period is Halting State by Charles Stross. I enjoyed it once I got past the wall of tech babble Stross seems so fond of, but I don’t think it’ll stay with me forever (but Githyanki will, so you’re safe there, Charlie!). In any case, on to my list.
1. Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien.
2. The Forever War by Joe Haldeman.
3. Black Company by Glen Cook.
4. Living My Life by Emma Goldman.
5. 1988: The New Wave Punk Rock Explosion by Caroline Coon.
6. L’Morte d’Arthur by Sir Thomas Malory.
7. The Forgotten Soldier by Guy Sajer.
8. Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk by Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain.
9. God’s Chinese Son by Jonathan Spence.
10. Holy Blood, Holy Grail by Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh, and Henry Lincoln.
11. Stalingrad by Antony Beevor.
12. American Massacre: The Tragedy at Mountain Meadows, September 1857 by Sally Denton.
13. A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century by Barbara W. Tuchman.
14. Our Band Could Be Your Life by Michael Azerrad.
15. Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly by Anthony Bourdain.