Last Five Books

Inspired by this post, Literary Rapture will consider the following hypothetical question: If you could only read five books for the rest of your life, which three books would you choose?

1) Moby Dick by Herman Melville. Aside from the ridiculously high page count and the large amount of content that goes along with that, Moby Dick explores the depths of human emotion, hope, and despair like no other book I’ve read. The book also dabbles in astronomy, anatomy, biology, history, religion, and sociology, among others. This book offers an outstanding page-value ratio.

2) Die Blechtrommel by Guenter Grass. This is the one German masterpiece that I want to read in the original language. The challenge here would be two-fold. The book is complicated in general, so even a translation is tough to understand. On top of that, I would have to master the German language. It presents a large and interesting enough challenge to last the rest of my life.

3) The largest German-English Dictionary I could find. See above.

4) Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf. I fell in love with this book years ago and the shine never wears off. Woolf is able to extract the most poignant emotions and connections out of a single ordinary moment, and that never ceases to amaze me.

5) The BFG by Roald Dahl. Sometimes you need a little silliness in your life. Snozzcumbers and whizpoppers are just the ticket. And who doesn’t like the idea that someone out there is making sure you don’t have nightmares?


Author: Hannah Johnson

When I first came to New York City, I almost ran over Liza Minelli with my suitcase. Then I got a job in book publishing.

One thought on “Last Five Books”

  1. 5 books for a desert island:1. The I Ching…gotta figure out how to be okay about being on a desert island2. Getting Even, by Woody Allen…probably still funny on a desert island3. Prayer for Owen Meany, by John Irving…just because I like it4. Don Quixote…heck, on the bright side, it’s a great opportunity to actually read the whole thing5. The Little Prince, by Antoine de Saint Exupéry…this great fable provides perspective and drawing lessons

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