Steve Zeck's Favorite books

What can I say? I love books... I've been reading ever since I was old enough to read on my own, and I haven't stopped. I remember when I was about 7 or 8, books were the only entertainment available. I relied on C.S. Lewis, Tolkien and Asimov to let me glimpse the exciting worlds and possibilities they wrote about. Later on, I became interested in philosophy, psychology and books that talked about how other people think and act. I thought I'd pick out a few of my favorite books and talk about why I like them...

The Dragonlance Saga (up to 5th Age)
An excellent fantasy series of books, set in TSR's 'Dragonlance' books. It started out well with two trilogies of books ('Chronicles' and 'Legends') by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman, widely regarded now as two of the finest authors in the fantasy genre. Starting in 1989, it continued for more than 7 years and over 60 books by various authors before TSR decided to brutally mangle the entire world with the new "5th Age". Up until then, it had its moments, but tended to keep up a fairly high standard of writing.

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
A great book by contemporary philosopher Robert Pirsig. While having little to do with either Zen or Motorcycle Maintenance, it does cover a lot of the author's thoughts about the mind and provides an interesting new way to look at things.

Lila (Sequel to 'Zen...', also by Robert Pirsig)
Just as good as the first book, possibly better. While the first book explored the Classical/Romantic (Structure/Form) split, this second book goes into the Static/Dynamic split. Both books are good for understanding minds.

The Illuminatus! Trilogy
A cult classic book - for a reason. Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson produced a great tour through every paranoid and not-so-paranoid concept of the last few centuries. It's funny, it's sexy, it's spooky... It can be downright dangerous to read... Not something for everyone, but great if you want to expand your mind...

Snow Crash
Did you like Neuromancer? This book presents a cyberpunk view of the universe that's equally entertaining. Making stops at philosophy, psychology, post-disaster cybernetics, sumerian history and a virtual reality interface to programming and the internet. Written in 1992 by Neal Stephenson.

The Spiral Dance
If you already know what this book is, it doesn't need an explanation. If you don't already know... it's a guidebook for getting to know one of the oldest religions without all the crap hollywood and opposing belief systems try to layer on top of it...

My favorite of all of William Shakespeare's plays. I've read it over a dozen times for fun, watched the movie with Patrick Stewart (as the king), the other moview with Mel Gibson as Hamlet (Wasn't that bad, either!). I mean, what more can you ask for in a story? Action, Romance, Witty sexual innuendo, an Intelligent lead surrounded by idiots, sarcasm, humor and betrayal? I can't think of that many other contenders for the best written story of all time...

Stranger in a Strange Land
My favorite of Robert Heinlein's books. It suggests some... interesting lifestyles. Provides tons of great insights into the way people think and the way our world is structured...

Catch 22
I almost died laughing. It's great stuff, a really sharp jab at WWII and filled with lots of satirical attacks on beurocracy in general. Like '1984', this book is referenced by hordes of hack writers who have never actually read it, but refer to it to make themselves look well-read.

Other authors...
Dr. Seuss - Ironically, I didn't like his books when I was younger, but I enjoy them a lot more now.

Peter David - Writes some good Star Trek: Next Generation sci-fi.

Ursula LeGuin - Wrote the beautiful Wizard of Earthsea fantasy trilogy.

Douglas Adams - Wrote the Hithiker's Guide to the Universe series as well as "Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency" and "The Long, dark tea-time of the soul". They're *ALL* good. I've read each one at least 15 times and still can't stop laughing.

George Orwell - Perfect. Great satire, haunting and spooky. '1984' and 'Animal Farm' are both cited by tons of idiots who have never actually read them. Read it, and challenge them next time they bring it up.

... There's others, but those were probably the most fun. If you're one of those people who like to say "OOh! Ooh! Didja like the part where..." you can send me mail about it. If you think you can see a trend in my favorite books, go ahead and recommend another one.