Friday, March 26, 2010

Inluential Books (and Writers)

Rod Dreher has a post on "Ten Most Influential Books. I responded after thinking hard and coming up with entries that surprised me a bit, in more or less chronological order:

Kipling's Jungle Books-- first read to me by my mother-- gave me a lifelong love of the underrated author, and England.

Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. See above. And I still love thrillers.

The Once and Future King-- best book I read as a kid. I collect White 1st eds and did a foreword for one of his reprints (The Goshawk).

Hemingway-- weirdly my first on my own was Islands in the Stream. First modern "lit" that clicked.

Heart of Darkness: EVIL.

Waugh: Brideshead. 1st "Catholic" novel.

In Patagonia (Bruce Chatwin)-- travel writing that influenced me, and 92 in the Shade (Thomas McGuane), novel ditto, by near predecessors.

Patrick Leigh Fermor Between the Woods and the Water: ULTIMATE travel writing. And everything he has written and (I hope) will write.

E O Wilson Biophilia: explained that phenomenon.

Patrick O'Brian: BEST historical series.

Ted Hughes poetry: first living poet to knock me out.

Yeah, more than ten. And I have a hundred more favorites. But we are talking INFLUENCE.

By all means feel free to list your own.

UPDATE: be sure to see Peculiar's list at his blog. And as I said in comments, "how did I forget Out of Africa", the biggest influence on Querencia- the- book ?!"

UPDATE II: and how did I forget Vicki Hearne? Margory Cohen reminded me in comments; as I said there "her Bandit may have more to do with how I articulate animal issues than any other book!"


Phillip Grayson said...

That's an awesome list and a cool thing to do. Mainly just reinforced how unwell- and narrowly read I am, which is always good. One strange thing I noticed is that I don't even actually know the names of a few books that changed my life. Literature sometimes just insinuates your mind like that, and without going off on a tangent, I love it.
So, roughly chronologically:
1. A book about a dinosaurish thing that starts out spotted and can change the patterns on its skin at will. This is the book I learned to read with. My sister actually memorized it and would pretend to read by reciting the words she knew went along with the pictures. I was no big fan of this.
2. Something about Teddy Ruxpin.
Speaking of her, this was the first book I read from start to finish in one sitting. I read it aloud to my sister. It was sunny when I started and dark when I finished, and this is one of my favorite memories.
3. The Giver. Basically my first encounter with non-humorous surrealism, which is still a friend to this day.
4. The Ear, the Eye, and the Arm. Another children's book, this one so slowly, gradually leads to its in-retrospect-inevitable climax that it changed everything I thought I knew about books. Ie, despite not knowing it at the time, this was the first time I recognized artisty in literature.
5. Finnegans Wake. I read about this in an encyclopedia of literature shortly after A Portrait of the Artist, around 16, just starting to really really love books, ordered it and immediately started imagining that reading it would put me on a different level of consciousness, up there with Joyce. I carried it everywhere with me when I got it. It was a talisman to me, like an artifact from a whole different way of being alive, and I did read it, more than once, or, as I say when people ask me, I looked at every single word, in order. I didn't get me to Joyce's level, but it did show me that there is that level. It also ruined everything I wrote for about five years, sometimes including things like history essays.
6. A James Bond book. Not written by Ian Fleming, I read this at summer camp, then watched all the movies and read all the other books. I still have passages memorized. It's prolly not an authentically great book, but man, I loved it hard.
7. The Supermale. When I was in college a professor told me that I should read everything by Faulkner, then read everything by Hemmingway to flush the Faulkner out of my system. I didn't, but reading Jarry dissuaded me of the hegemony of Joyce. This was another world-changer, and to this day I'll call Jarry my favorite writer. Along with his other great book, _The Exploits and Opinions of Dr Faustroll, Pataphysician_ this one defines the two possibilities for a kind of scientific absurdism that has defined my ontological outlook.
8. V.. By way of Tim O'Brien I came to Pynchon, and read this beast on a plane and at the beach outside my sister's house in Hawaii. The rage I felt at seeing someone do exactly what I wanted to do with literature better than I could ever hope was overwhelmed by the fact that this is the most perfect book imaginable, impeccable and loose and thrilling and brilliant on and on and on. Gracity's Rainbow is actually somehow even better, but this is the one I've read so many times I can't count, I keep it with me whenever I travel, and I've gone through four covers (the book's original and three that I duct-taped to it then wore out in turn) and filled the whole thing with notes, and I've considered writing a will only because I want to ensure it's taken care of. Also, it ruined everything I wrote for five years or so.
9. Tom Jones. I avoided this book for a while because of the singer, no kidding. Read it in school along with _Tristam Shandy_ and Alexander Pope and was amazed at the modernity of 'em. Free-wheeling intricacy, the way books should be, in my humble little opinion.

Phillip Grayson said...

10. The Letters of Peter Abelard and Heloise. I had read the Pope poem, but found these actually though _A Cartoon History of the Universe_. Somehow the story I'm trying to write about a werewolf is actually about them. A life I wouldn't necessarily want, but which is unbelievable gorgeous as an entity.

Sorry for the long comment, but I don't know if I could name ten people as important to and beloved by me. There's no poetry or non-fiction here, but in the top twenty there would be. Also, I remember my mom typing up a book for someone, and realizing for the first time that books are written, don't just appear. Having an authentic writer exist in reality, alive and there to be looked at, was prolly the first step along the path I've chosen for my life, and for which I'm infinitely grateful.

Steve Bodio said...

Phil, I'd be HONORED to see your top 20-- I would make them all a post. All quite wonderful.

The writer your mother used to type for was ME (;-))

Matt Mullenix said...

Earliest influential books for me:

1) My mother's dictionary. I used to climb up to the top of my dresser and sit with it in my lap and look up words. Mostly, I looked up words like ass and breast. But thankfullly other themes also caught my attention.

2) CS Lewis' Narnia series. Let's say LW&W unless I run out then I'll name another.

3) The Phantom Tollbooth. I've been leaping to conclusions ever since.

4) The Witchery of Archery. For a lot of reasons but most memorably for the vision of an unmade Florida with wolves and Indian hunting guides.

5) Steve Bodio's Rage for Falcons. Not my first falconry book but the first one that made me realize it was still OK to write about falconry; it had not all been said already.

Other key falconry books that were also general influences:

6) Glasier's As the Falcon Her Bells. About a life with falconry, in which the falconry was central but not exclusive of the life.

7) McElroy's Desert Hakwing II: my first serious how-to on falconry and a great template for later attempts to write my own.

8) Bodio again: On the Edge of the Wild. For the idea and example of falconry as a subject for serious essays. For the idea of writing about place and food unrelated to falconry but with the sport (and the birds) in the mind's eye. Essentially: that it was alright to write like I think.

9) Wendell Berry (there are lots more and they are all influential to me): The book of essays, Sex, Economy, Freedom & Community. The first WB I read. It begins, "This is a book about sales resistence."

10) Milton's Paradise Lost. Western civ in a nutshell.

Steve Bodio said...

Great list Matt. But I'm blushing!

mdmnm said...

"Influential" is tough, harder than "most read" or "favorites". So, trying not to think about it too hard:

"Swiss Family Robinson" by Johan Wyss, the unabridged Penguin edition-first book I read that was supposed to be outside of my reading level or abilities. Good adventure and convinced me I could read anything.

Jim Kjelgaard- probably "Big Red" or "Stormy". Dogs, outdoor adventure and the whole world of writing about both.

Robert Heinlein- "Starship Troopers" followed pretty closely by "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress". Heinlein is mostly responsible for my lifelong enthusiasm for science fiction and the Heinleinian competent man was a pretty influential figure to me. It probably helped that I've known a couple of real life examples.

Patrick McManus- "A Fine and Pleasant Misery". I loved McManus' storytelling growing up and the wide range of adventures he recounted, as a child and adult, both affected my storytelling voice a bit and reinforced the idea of the outdoors as the primary source of fun.

Hemingway- "The Snows of Kilimanjaro and Other Stories". "The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber" is the best short story I've read. The whole collection is fine, a great example of effective use of language that set the bar really high for short stories.

Faulkner- "As I Lay Dying". I was really surprised at the pathos conveyed by the book and it made me a fan of Faulkner's language. More being sometimes better.

Robert Ruark- primarily "The Honey Badger". Bitter, hopeful underneath, despairing but not letting that get in the way of living and having something of a good time.

George McDonald Fraser- "Flashman" and, really, all the rest of that series. I knew the Victorian era was pretty amazing, but Fraser's incredible endnotes have given me years of history to follow up on, almost all of it more amazing than other writers' fiction.

William Manchester- "The Glory and the Dream". A "narrative history" of the United States from 1930 to 1972, Manchester includes lots of bits about issues of the various past days as well as demographic information about the country. Along with reading inspired by Fraser, just above, this book showed me just how much of what is portrayed in news stories as new or shocking really isn't. Manchester's memoir of his part in the Pacific campaign in WWII ("Goodbye Darkness") is also very good.

Thomas Paine "Collected Essays"/Alexis de Tocqueville "Democracy in America"- Paine's unrepentant, firebrand radicalism and de Tocqueville's portrait of the young republic, which I read at different times, then read again in proximity, pretty much formed my ideas of what "originalism" means, in terms of the American form of government.

As a provisional tenth/eleventh, I'll note that Pollan's "Omnivore's Dilemma" has changed the way I talk about hunting and fishing to folks who don't engage in either, although I can't say that it has changed the way I eat or even think about food.

Henry Chappell said...

In no particular order:

Goodbye to a River by John Graves

A Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold

Go Down Moses by William Faulkner

Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy

The Complete Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway

For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway.

Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry

The Long-Legged House by Wendell Berry

What are People For? by Wendell Berry

Desert Solitaire by Edward Abbey

I could go on and on...

Steve Bodio said...

Damn! Missed both Ed Abbey in the middle of the list and Pollan at the end...

Peculiar said...

I've got a response up over at my place. Short version:

J.R.R. Tolkein, Lord of the Rings
Hergé, The Tintin oeuvre
Edward Abbey, The Monkey Wrench Gang
Aldous Huxley, Brave New World
The Kalevala
David Quammen, Song of the Dodo
Isak Dinesen, Out of Africa
Patrick O'Brian, The Aubrey-Maturin Novels
Camille Paglia, Sexual Personae
Mozart, The Magic Flute

Apologia at the original post.

Steve Bodio said...

How did I ever forget Out of Africa, biggest literary influence on Querencia- the- book?!

I am sending folks to your blog for the excellent "apologia."

Cat Urbigkit said...

Since I'm a children's book author, it should come as no surprise most of my list are for young readers, and illustrations were fairly important:

The story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf and illustrated by Robert Lawson;

Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls;

The Yearling by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, with illustrations by N.C. Wyeth;

Blaze series with illustration by C.W. Anderson;

Bible stories for children (with golden illustrations, read at night to us three little girls as we curled up on our mother's bed);

Golden Shadows, Flying Hooves by George B. Schaller (which I read and was addicted to when I was about 12 even if it was written for adults).

As I've moved into adulthood (not really sure I can claim to be maturing) the list includes:

Larry McMurtry's Lonesome Dove;

Peace Like a River by Leif Engler;

The Elements of Style by Shrunk and White (instruction with wit); and

On Writing Well by Stephen King (strangely inspirational to me).

This was a fun exercise and it brought back many fond memories for me. It was hard to leave off some of my favorite writers because I was reading their articles and stories, not books. I actually dreamed about Ben Lilly last night, and spent some time yesterday fondly recalling Corey Ford's The Road to Tinkhamtown, which I read every few years, and cry every time. Thanks for the memories.

Anonymous said...

Wow, Cat, you listed several of my childhood favorites too(although MY "The Yearling" had the original woodcut illustrations)--I assume this list should include mostly chilhood readings, and my influences were extensive, if all similar in subject. I read Kipling's "Jungle Books" very early, and soon followed them up with all the "Tarzan" novels. Jack London's "Call Of The Wild" and "White Fang" were reread kuhzillions of times, and Jim Kjelgaard was an ENORMOUS influence on me, as were real behaviour studies like Jane Goodall(who I grew up to get to work with eventually--childhood dreams CAN come true!), George Schaller, Ian Douglas Hamilton, and both the Adamsons("Born Free", etc.)--and I loved anything Roger Caras and Allan W. Eckert wrote about animals. My first "real" Native American book was "Ishi, Last Of His Tribe" by Theodora Kroeber,followed quickly by Mari Sandoz("Cheyenne Autumn", "Crazy Horse") and John G. Neihardt("Black Elk Speaks"), and I was very early transformed into an unreconstructable "savage". I regularly reread all these books--I have been accused of going into my second childhood(now at 50 yrs. old)--but that is absolutely incorrect! One has to have left one's FIRST childhood to be able to have a second, and I never completely did that!....L.B.

Anonymous said...

....And HOW could I have left out Ernest Thompson Seton? Enormous influence!....L.B.

Anonymous said...

....a lot of these childhood favorites could be quite gruesome and graphic involving violence in Nature--predator vs. prey vs. man--and WOULD NOT be acceptable reading for youngsters nowadays! More's the pity for them! Perhaps why many kids today have a very unrealistically rosy view of the world, and are so easily traumatized by the slightest things?(at least in modern, overly civilized, western societies)....L.B.

Anonymous said...

I would like to propose support for ;

Voltaire - Candide,


Thomas Hardy - Far from the Madding Crowd,

as being pivotal influences in my political, social and philosophical development !

Johnny UK

Reid Farmer said...

Ernest Hemingway – do I have to pick just one?

William Faulkner – “Go Down Moses” Actually just “The Bear” out of this collection – the best EVER

Robert Heinlein – “Starship Troopers” (and some of the Lazarus Long stuff)

Herman Wouk – “The World at War” & “War and Remembrance” (maybe “The Caine Mutiny” too) Sometimes I feel like this is a weakness.

Rudyard Kipling- “Kim”

Patrick O’Brian – The Aubrey & Maturin Series

Larry McMurtry – “Lonesome Dove”

Anton Myrer – “Once an Eagle”

Vance Bourjaily – “Brill Among the Ruins”

George MacDonald Fraser – The Flashman Series

Cormac McCarthy – “All the Pretty Horses”

James Warner Bellah – “Irregular Gentleman” and some magazine pieces

Robert Ruark – “The Old Man and the Boy”, “The Old Man’s Boy Grows Older” , and “Horn of the Hunter”

Steve Bodio – “Querencia” and that’s not a suck-up

And yes, that's more than ten

Reid Farmer said...

After posting my comment, I went back to read the other comments and am astonished (should I be?) at the amount of overlap in authors and titles.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Reid Farmer, I think we is a tribe! I (being from N. C.) loved Ruark's "Old Man And The Boy"--although it takes place in coastal N. C.--I am a mountain/piedmont boy--and this is HIGHLY recommended to all you hunters who grew up "wild" out there! And Johnny UK--God how I love "Candide"!(and Voltaire!)--although I did not read that until adulthood(?)--I am always quipping to people with rose-colored glasses on "well, in the best of all possible worlds, Dr. Pangloss!" and "just tend your garden!", and who can beat, for a character, the old woman with one buttock? The amazing thing is that the three-hundred year-old political satire still pertains to what people are just like today! And one of my favorite quotes is from Voltaire, "It is dangerous to be right when the accepted authorities are wrong!"....L.B.

AARM said...

Yep, it looks like I’m from another planet. Guess that’s one of the reasons I enjoy reading you all so much!

ARON Journal (Association of Operating Room Nurses). Okay, not a book but when you are reading about conjoined twins, infectious diseases (with photos!), and new techniques and instruments for ...umm... unmentionable reconstructive surgeries (don’t want to drive that kind of reader your way), you can learn a lot about life and nature that no one will tell you when you are 10.

Georgette Heyer wrote the first romance novel I read (title lost). I would sneak it out of my mom’s lingerie drawer when she wasn’t home; I was 9 or 10. This helped me build a healthy skepticism early on; not a fan of the genre.

The Gourmet Cookbook, Vol. 1 & 2. (1970). A fancy hardbound collection of Gourmet recipes we bought for my dad. It’s my first recollection of reading a cookbook for fun, the beginning of a lifelong habit.

Boston Women’s Health Book Collective (1975 or so). Our Bodies, Ourselves. At the time, it talked about things people just didn’t; enlightening.

Uris, Leon. QBVII. This British court drama greatly influenced my ideas about the relationship of justice to the law.

Zimmer Bradley, Marion. The Mists of Avalon. I read it at the beginning of every spring for ~ 10 years as part of my morning coffee, sun and garden time. Pure escapism yet strangely evocative; marked the changing of seasons for me.

Babbie, Earl. The Practice of Social Science Research. Yeah yeah, quiet in the peanut gallery! For years it was my favorite ‘crib’ book when teaching methods & statistics classes. Of course, Huff & Geis’s “How to Lie with Statistics” was required reading. Wonder if they’ve updated the ‘average Yale man’ examples…

Tannen, Deborah. You Just Don’t Understand, Women and Men in Conversation. Insightful; another way to listen to people.

Pollan, Michael. The Omnivore’s Dilemma. An inspiring example of research presented for mass consumption & advocacy. I see he has a version for kids, too. Cool!

Page & Dornenburg, The Flavor Bible. Since we’re talking about influential…this is a go-to book in our kitchen and continues to educate my brain and palate.

Steve Bodio said...

I love it! Have only read the Bradley and the Pollan (which is of course one you have in common with many of us). Must check out
The Flavor Bible.

margory said...

Me, too, I’m in – and thrilled (deliberate word) to see also especially The Yearling also listed here –Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings – don’t you love that book! Ah!
Anyway, some of mine repeat from some others (which is perhaps no small coincidence of who turns up reading here at this Querencia). These names and titles are what floods in and to whom I return, time and time again.
Hemingway – (all of this work)(at the same time, Fitzgerald and all the Paris ex-pats – but it always comes back to Hemingway, to that technique).
Somerset Maugham– forever, Of Human Bondage
Emily Bronte – Wuthering Heights.
Herman Mellville (images from Bartleby the Scrivener have been with me since ‘when.’)
John Gunther – Death be not Proud
Isak Dinensen. All of it. Everything.
Jane Austen.
David Morrell.
Philip Klass (writing as William Tenn)
Vicki Hearne. (I miss her beyond words.)
Bodio – Querencia
For all of mine, it’s not only the work, it’s because I also remember the reading of the work and how I felt and what it was like the first time or the most recent re-reading, and whether I fell in love too or cried and mourned or gained or lost or couldn’t breathe from the suspense –
I can think of other really good books and remarkable work. This is my foundation, I think, though, what compel me to keep my pens close by. (Mind you, I am already thinking about other titles that others have posted so I will expand my reading - I am open to new --

Steve Bodio said...

Margory-- my favorite Rawlings is Cross Creek-- I have a 1st ed with dj I bought in Deland FL.

And how could I have forgotten Vicki- her Bandit may have more to do with how I articulate animal issues than any other book!

Matt Mullenix said...

I think we may need to start another post of "Books and Authors I Forgot to Mention as Important Influences."

I didn't list Hemingway but could and should have. Of course he is an influence on my attempts at writing well---and forgive me but also on my continuing efforts to be a good man. Hemingway's sometimes lampooned persona is not a joke to those who read him. It's ironic to me that many of the same themes and even same passages presented as examples of ridiculous machismo, I read as true and honest and complex. But then, you may say, I would.

In high school, when to be fair, lots of young writers write lyric poetry, Shakespeare (the sonnets) and Wordsworth were cherished and still are.

Two favorites:
Sonnet 116

...Tintern Abbey

Jerry said...

I won't repeat the great books already listed (but a special shout out to Reid for including Myrer's Once an Eagle).

Some books have influenced me because they convey a deep participation in or stewardship of special places.

Steve's books on Magdalena

O'Brien's Equinox and Buffalo for the Broken Heart

Galvin's The Meadow

Guy de la Valdene's For a Handfull of Feathers

and of course A Sand County Almanac

Moro Rogers said...

I'll try to make this (sort of) in order-

1- McElligot's Pool and various other Dr. Seuss books

2- The first Babar book. Besides being very charming and interesting, it contained a drawing which traumatized me more than any number of R-rated movies- When Babar returns from his trip to Paris, he learns that the old elephant king has eaten a poison mushroom and died. In the illustration, the old king has turned bright green and has collapsed like a mass of rubber. It was rather shocking.

3- Various books by my dad. Having a writer for a dad, I always understood that writing was a real job.

4- Watership Down. I actually saw the movie several years before I read the book (or rather, had it read to me by my mom.) Both are really good, the book is better, as usual, but the movie was pretty important because I never grew up thinking animation had to be pleasant and childish.

5- The Wonders of Life on Earth- A big old Time-Life coffee table book with a bunch of articles about things Darwin would have run into on his Beagle voyages. It used to belong to my dad as a kid and wasn't in the best of shape when I got it, and I read and re-read it until the covers fell off. There were these wonderful foldout spreads of Amazon jungle scenes, and I used to think that if you actually visited the Amazon, it would look like those illustrations, with about a hundred different animals in plain sight, in every direction.

6- The Chronicles of Narnia, particularly The Last Battle.

7- a book about the films of Willis O'Brien and Ray Harryhausen, called From the Land Beyond Beyond. Mostly I just looked at the stills, but it helped get me interested in animation and VFX.

8- The Sword in the Stone section of OAFK, which is where I learned people could hunt with trained hawks.^^ (Eventually I read the other three sections, but didn't like them much.)

9- My Side of the Mountain. A story about a boy who decides to go live off the land in the Catskills(?) The book makes it sound like a lot of fun (and easy! Our hero even has a trained falcon, natch.) At the time, I was desperate to try it out myself, although now I realize it may not be such a hot idea.

10- 1984 and a Brave New World...I think 1984 is the better book, although sometimes I feel BNW seems more plausible, because I suspect it's what a lot of people really want.=p

Anonymous said...

Ha! Ha! Moro Rogers--your George Orwell influence reminded me of MY childhood George Orwell influence--although I'm not sure it's wise to blurt it to the world(oh, what the heck!)--I read "Animal Farm" at a very early age(Elementary school--I think it was a present from someone who had no idea what it was about, and assumed it was just an animal story)--I LOVED that book! I had no idea it was a satire about communist take-overs. I had a neato little toy farm set, and after reading this book, I began staging my own animal revolutions, with the pigs leading! Four-legs-good! Two-legs-bad! I did some sadistically brutal things to the plastic farm hands, I'm afraid(in fact, I kept having to buy new ones; my plastic farm animals never lost, of course!). Years later, when I realized what "Animal Farm" was REALLY about, I had to laugh at my literal childhood interpretation of it--there I was as an elementary school kid supporting(and acting out) the notion of communist rebellion!....L.B.

M.L. Miller said...

Great post. There are so many great picks here.

My abbreviated list:
Jim Kjelgaard books (I actually love some of the more obscure titles more than the famous ones...Desert Dog, Swamp Cat, A Nose for Trouble, etc)

Alive, Piers Paul Reed - I don't know how I'd react to it as an adult, but as a child it ranks as one of the first, and most memorable, "adult" books I read. I still remember large parts of it.

A Sporting Chance, Daniel Mannix and A.R. Harding sporting books - not great writing, but I credit them with my life-long fascination for weird sporting pursuits and books about them.

Death in the Long Grass, Peter Capstick - OK, I hate to admit this one, but very influential book as a kid. I just loved it. Now, not so much.

The Bear, Faulkner - possibly the finest words about hunting ever written

The Sun Also Rises, Hemingway - Just about Hemingway could be on this list, but this is the one that affected me the most. After finishing it the first time, I went back and read it again.

Long Day's Journey Into Night, Eugene O'Neill - I just loved the language of this in college

This Boy's Life, Tobiass Wolff - another one that really affected me

Sand County Almanac, Leopold - Maybe too obvious but still the best writing on conservation

The Way of the Hunter, Thomas McIntyre. As a kid, I'd save McIntyre columns and read them over and over. Few write better about hunting.

Bloodties: Nature, Culture and the Hunt. Shaped my own thoughts on hunting.

A Rough-Shooting Dog, Chuck Fergus. A great book about what was then my hunting grounds.

Song of the Dodo, David Quammen - I just love this book

African Game Trails, Theodore Roosevelt

Galapagos, Kurt Vonnegut

The Killer Angels, Michael Shaara

And of course: Querencia. I've been a Bodio fan since the first piece I read by him (review column in Gray's Sporting Journal) 20+ years ago.

Matt Mullenix said...

Some great titles there! Manix's book gave me the same thrill; and I've bought copies for others. Impossible to publish that book today I would guess.

From The Bear I'll never forget the little hound who knew she would have to be brave at least once in order to keep calling herself a dog. What truth!

But for my money, Green Hills of Africa is the best hunting story ever written.

Matt Mullenix said...

Or maybe I should say "the best hunting story about men writing."

(See Lyle Lovett, "This is a cheatin' song about Mexican food.")