10 books. Or literary works. Fragments, poems, whatever.
Briefly. And in random order.
• William Blake: The Complete and Annotated Works
You want dark? You want wise? You want magnificent, majestic, poetic, rebellious, literary, canonized? Or perhaps you just want a book like a brick? This one’s for you.
• Barry Gifford: American Falls
Ever been knocked out by a series of short punches? This collection will do that. Brilliant, intriguing, professional and minimalist, with that touch of the surreal/real that made David Lynch base a number of his movies on Gifford’s works.
• W.B. Yeats: Collected Prose and Poems
Ancient celtic myths revived and new ones in the making, hand in hand with the occult lore of the Golden Dawn. And that was just my view of one poem: this book holds tons more.
• Shakespeare: (Almost anything)
The Works of the Bard. Need I say more?
• J.R.R. Tolkien: Silmarillion
This is how you build a world, from Alpha to Omega. Requires patience, of course, and thorough attention. But the rewards are fantastic.
• P.K. Dick: The Man in the High Castle
I Ching, paranoia, and a thousand mirrors in which to observe our age and ourselves. There’s a chance your world will never be the same again.
• Raymond Carver: They’re not your husband
Off with the occult and esoteric whatnot, you say? Realism in brief, shocking, minimal takes, down to earth scenes of painfully believable people in crucial situations? Read this.
• Kurt Vonnegut: Mother Night
Politics. War. A very… creative person caught up in these. What words can achieve and what they cannot. What can be forgiven and forgotten, and what cannot. Makes one reconsider what it means to be human. It made me, at least. (Beware, this is not one of Vonnegut’s darkly funny books. It’s mostly just dark, without the funny.)
• Viktor Pelevin: The Helmet of Horror
You read this book, there’s a chance you’ll think you haven’t read this book, because there’s no you who could’ve read it. Read what? There’s no book either. Welcome to the world of true illusion.
• Michael Ende: The Neverending Story
Sure, it ended on the pages, but never in my head. It got me trapped in a land of divine fantasy – but I made it back. I guess.
(Yeah, I cheated here and there, with these collections. And most probably the list is temporary. ;))