Monday, September 09, 2013

Brenda Wineapple's 6 favorite books

Brenda Wineapple's new book is Ecstatic Nation: Confidence, Crisis, and Compromise, 1848-1877.

She named her six favorite books for The Week magazine. One title to make the grade:
Moby-Dick by Herman Melville

This is the quintessential American novel — deep, encyclopedic, brash. Though it was derided in its own time (some people thought the author must have gone crazy), no one tells the story of idealism and absolutism run amok, of expansionism, of the limits of knowledge, and of doubt and belief, better than Melville. I've read this book countless times and keep learning from it.
Read about another novel on the list.

Moby-Dick also appears among Scott Greenstone's top seven allegorical novels, Paul Wilson's top ten books about disability, Lynn Shepherd's ten top fictional drownings, Peter Murphy's top ten literary preachers, Penn Jillette's six favorite books, Peter F. Stevens's top ten nautical books, Katharine Quarmby's top ten disability stories, Jonathan Evison's six favorite books, Bella Bathurst's top 10 books on the sea, John Mullan's lists of ten of the best nightmares in literature and ten of the best tattoos in literature, Susan Cheever's five best books about obsession, Christopher Buckley's best books, Jane Yolen's five most important books, Chris Dodd's best books, Augusten Burroughs' five most important books, Norman Mailer's top ten works of literature, David Wroblewski's five most important books, Russell Banks' five most important books, and Philip Hoare's top ten books about whales.

--Marshal Zeringue