Today, the baton was passed to me… No, this is not about the Ice Bucket Challenge that is fashionable this season – we already have enough cold water in our lives, there is no feat here. I got a book relay race – to write about the 10 most-most literary works in my life.
By the way, not so long ago he shared his recommendations (10 best historical books, 10 best detective stories, etc.) in his blog Akunin. So we’re on trend, gentlemen. We are working!
As soon as I sat down to compile my top 10, I quickly realized that books are of much greater value not in the form of a “spherical horse in a vacuum”, but with reference to memories, to a certain stage of life. Therefore, it was decided not to select the 10 best works in my opinion today, but to dig deeper and draw up some kind of chronology of interests.
1. Crocodile Magazine
My first great success in society is associated with this humorous magazine. In the spring of 1986, when Chernobyl banged (it banged, it’s more correct), I was sent from Kyiv with a bunch of other preschoolers to the village to distant relatives. From entertainment there were only neighbor’s cats, two rusty bicycle wheels and a pile of waste paper in the barn. It turned out that in the adult “Crocodile” there are quite tolerable comics (Soviet children knew about them from “Funny Pictures”). I began to read them to the rest of the little ones and immediately gained popularity :)
2. Jules Verne “Children of Captain Grant” + “Mysterious Island”
I read it for the first time, probably in the second grade. After that, almost every academic year began with a re-immersion in the world of travel. And how did you not get bored? The funny thing is that in parallel with this, quite children’s books such as Carlson, Moomintrolls and gloomy German tales of Gauf were read.
3. Journal “Foreign Military Review”.
In the “middle” classes, I was sick of technology. Against this background, many magazines were read – “Technology of Youth”, “Model Designer”, “Science and Life”, etc. I wasted a ton of paper drawing endless drawings of bathyscaphes and paddle steamers. Once I confiscated a thick file of the Foreign Military Review from a friend (it seems that I never returned it) and began to persistently read through the dry army reports on the performance characteristics of enemy tanks and the history of improvements in nuclear submarines. I do not think that this hobby was based on teenage aggressiveness or some kind of thanatos. Rather, it is a continuation of the love for steampunk from point #2.
4. Oscar Wilde “The Picture of Dorian Gray”
We were asked to read “Portrait” in the tenth grade. And it was a real revelation. For the first time in my life, I voluntarily sat and copied a couple of paragraph-long quotes into a notebook, so that the next day, at the lyceum, at a break, I could arrange an admiring discussion with my classmate friend, who was just as “shocked” by this book.
5. Carlos Castaneda “Journey to Ixtlan”
Unfortunately, I can’t remember who advised me to read this book – apparently someone peeped it at the institute. Nevertheless, it was with Castaneda that my passion for esotericism and the conscious formation of an alternative, mystical picture of the world began. Of what I read later, Daniil Andreev’s Rose of the World hooked me the most.
6. Yuri Moroz “Business, a manual for the feeble-minded”
The idea to quit my job in the bank and start my own business “wandered” and matured inside me for a whole year. And in the implementation of this direction, first of all, it was not practical guides (such as “How to write a business plan”) that helped, but purely motivational books that loosen stereotypes, tear patterns and pump up self-confidence. Recently, I even re-read “A manual for the feeble-minded” to slightly recharge the energy that the body badly needs in times of crisis.
7. Viktor Pelevin “The Life of Insects”
The joy of recognizing (oneself and familiar thoughts and problems) is the greatest source of literary buzz. In this regard, Pelevin, as an author, suits me remarkably. I constantly recognize something familiar, understand metaphors and of course I’m terribly proud of it. When I first read “Insects” (together with Omon-Ra and the Prince), the flu that plagued me instantly won out for joy. Well, how not to love such a useful writer?
8. Andrey Zubov “Lectures on the History of Religion”
Titanic work where there was a place not only for the well-known “world” religions, but also for primitive people. And it was the history of relationships with God among all kinds of Neanderthals and Cro-Magnons that impressed me the most. I didn’t remember much from this cycle of lectures (it took more than half a year to read), but it left a pleasant aftertaste (man is not only an animal) and a very clear answer to the question “why do we need God?”
9. S. Vititsky (pseudonym of B. Strugatsky) “The search for destiny, or the Twenty-seventh theorem of ethics.”
I have long noticed an extremely wary attitude towards pop music (in literature, music, etc.). And this tendency to extravagance and some show off sometimes terribly interferes, you have to overcome it with great difficulty. So I allowed myself to read the Strugatskys (the same pop song to me) only after I accidentally swallowed the story “The Tale of Destiny” disguised by a pseudonym. A severe internal struggle and many years of reflection preceded the reading of Akunin (from cover to cover, of course). Therefore, it is not surprising that the same Harry Potter is too fresh for me and therefore sits in quarantine for the time being, ripens. But rather aged Russian classics in the last couple of years went with a bang. The worst dream of any schoolboy – “War and Peace”, this summer was swallowed with great pleasure.
10. The vacancy is open.
It would be sad to know that all the most “delicious” in this life has already been eaten and all that awaits me is just a forced consumption of slops. Therefore, I really hope that the storehouse of plots will never dry up, and the best of the world’s books will always be ahead.
By the way, what do you recommend? Pick up the baton 10 books ?