I haven’t written about books for a bit, so here’s something to take your mind off the horror of seeing me with my arm up a cow’s ass.

Apparently there is a meme thingy going around that asks you to name your 10 favorite books. I was stumped by this for a while, because while 4 immediately popped into mind, the rest required a bit more thought.

My three immediate choices were:

My family and other animals, by Gerry Durell. A comic tale of a childhood that we all would have loved.

Ex Libris, by Anne Fadiman. I LOVE this book. Anyone who is a compulsive reader will find many “ah ha!” moments in these stories.

The Decline and Fall of Practically Everybody, by Will Cuppy. History has never been so funny.

Primer of Population Ecology, E.O. Wilson and W. H. Bossart. The first time I really “got” population ecology. This book turned me from a mathphobe into a lover of calculus, and helped shape much of my later research in a quantitative way. (Ok, “love” is too strong a word. But I don’t run screaming from it anymore.)

After those books, it got tougher.

Doomsday Book, by Connie Willis. While I’ve read lots and lots of books about the bubonic plague, this was the one that really made me feel the devastation. It took me several days to get over this book.

Good Omens, and the early Diskworld Pratchett books, are places I return to again and again when the world is just too distressing.

P.G. Wodehouse is also a fun distraction, if you want to go far away from what is happing now.

Truck by Michael Perry. I’ll throw this in because of the gardening stories, plus tales of rural life.

The Florence King Reader. Hate her politics, love her writing. The woman is damn funny, and from North Carolina, too.

If I had to pick just one, Lamb, by Christopher Moore, is one of my favorites. But I like all his books, and The Stupidest Angel is a close runner up.  I mean, zombie santas? What’s not to like?

I’ll also throw in pretty much anything by Douglas Adams, who is sorely missed.

I think you can see pretty clearly that I’m primarily an escapist reader. And that I can’t count to 10.

Any that you want to contribute?

Posted by Gwen Pearson

Writer. Nerd. Insect Evangelist. Have you heard the good news? BUGS!


  1. I also liked Lamb. But Island of the Sequined Love Nun is my favorite by Moore.

  2. I dunno, my favorite Moore is The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove!

  3. Actually, it’s more the first ten I thought of. I have lots more to add. Maybe another post….

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