List owner: Jerry O'brien
Date submitted: 9/14/2007
Last Updated: 9/14/2007
The Amplified Bible 
Text Box: (carefully translated from Greek, Aramaic and Hebrew over many years by biblical scholars and offers multiple meanings to certain phrases). 
The bible should be read understanding that its first passages were penned up to 6,000 or more years ago; hey, this is the true birthplace of narrative story and allegory (not Homer) and it can be read for historical as well as spiritual well being. This book changed my life and gave me direction. It's a good friend and nothing else helps as much when you are in need.
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
Text Box: come on! When Huck's Pa got locked out of the cabin, drunk and screaming "It was da dad gummed gub-mint!" I mean, who among us Iowan's couldn't relate to those rants from our drunken elders when we were kids?
The Sun Also Rises - Ernest Hemingway
Text Box: Hem was 26 years old when he published this, simply unbelievable. I read this on an oil rig being tugged down to Chile in '83. After each page of description of Spanish mountains or French cafes I put the book on my chest and dreamed--it felt I was in the touring car--or I had been slighted by Brett Ashley. Plus, he defines all great writing in the dialogue he had while fishing the Irati: "Irony and pity" all great writing is either irony or pity (and this is true. To make it interesting you have to have irony - which can also include comedy - or pity - sadness.)
Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry 
Text Box: This should become the true new great American novel. Surely nothing in the last 75 years compares. When Gus goes in against the Kiowa's (50+ years old he was in the novel) with guns blazing to save the prostitute--lord a mercy--it was so damned American and so beautiful. You could taste the gunpowder in your mouth. And when Deets the black cowboy wondered about Comanche's on the moon…nothing better. McMurtry took you inside and he never let you lose these guys and gals - they are still my friends.
In Our Time - Ernest Hemingway
Text Box: Hemingway's best short story compilation --here are a list of them: Big Two-Hearted River, Ten Indians, Soldier's Home; The Battler, (maybe the best short story ever written--you feel the mental illness of the punch drunk boxer who wants to attack Nick Adams--Hem's alter ego).
With Malice Toward None by Stephen B. Oates 
Truman by David McCullough
Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr. by Ron Chernow  
Text Box: Abe Lincoln Bio - best bio I ever read though Truman was a close second and Titan (about John D Rockefeller) a close third -- Note--all three of these men  believed in God -- just as most of the greatest political and scientific geniuses of history have.
Robinson Crusoe - Daniel Defoe 
Text Box: Daniel Defoe - about a desert island and a man who believes in the grace of God and hope that comes from that belief.
We Thought We Heard The Angels Sing - about Eddie Rickenbacker
Text Box: (I read this auto biography in 4th grade - about Eddie Rickenbacker - great American WWI ace - who had several near death experiences -- and never forgot it and the experiences he described - then - 25 and 35 years later I had near death experiences (illness in Turkey and car wreck in Iowa) and everything came back to this book and it really saved my life--cause Eddie always cautioned that dying is the easiest thing in the world to do--and it feels really good to let go….but you have to fight to stay alive. I did and thank God I did. Don't tell me there aren't plans for us.
The Conservative Mind - from Burke to Eliot - by Russell Kirk 
Text Box: from Burke to Eliot - by Russell Kirk - what a book. This guy was the lowly son of a railroad worker and became the most influential political philosopher in American history. Influenced: Nixon, Eisenhower, Goldwater, Reagan and many others. He shows how America became great and why it became great and how conservative and liberal thought ebbs and flows through the ages.