I own a lot of books. I've even read a bunch of them. Here are a few of my favorites1:
The Illuminatus! Trilogy - by Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson. A sexy nonlinear romp with anarchists and Discordians. Read this tome and you probably won't look at the world in the same way ever again.
Dune - by Frank Herbert. If you don't dream of becoming the Kwisatz Haderach after reading this book, there's something wrong with you. Or maybe there's something wrong with me....
Your Brain The Missing Manual - by Matthew MacDonald. I studied a bit of neuroscience as an undergrad and I found this short book to be a fairly accurate and understandable introduction for the layman.
The Prydain Chronicles - by Lloyd Alexander. Before The Hobbit eventually led me to visions of Valinor and long before (relatively speaking) Robert Jordan unveiled his tale of our improbable past, these five books were my gateway drug into the fantasy genre. There's also a documentary about Alexander in the works.
The Silmarillion - by J.R.R. Tolkien. Speaking of Tolkien, this is by far my favorite of his books and the one I think gets the shortest shrift. I remember the day (but not the date) when I first found a remaindered paperback copy of this on my dad's bookshelf. I'm pretty sure I've never been that excited to find a book in my life.
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