A couple of days ago I posted my third decree of "If I were King of the Library" which you can read here, or just scroll your way down. Briefly it decreed that each library worker gets to pick five items for all time, copies of which are kept in circulation forever in a special library within a library. There is more detail if you'll venture to that post, but I bring it up here only to say that I have picked my five choices. I may refine it a bit before it's all finalized and locked in, but this is my list. It's numbered because I really like numbering things, but it's not in any order or anything. And remember, it won't be a list of my most recommended items, rather one of slightly more obscured or downright vulnerable recommended items. And yes, I love them all.
King of the Schnorrers by Israel Zangwill
I practically created this whole decree so I could choose this book about a master beggar. I consider it foundational to all of modern comedy. Super entertaining too. And it is on the edge of disappearing.
On the Beach (a CD) by Neil Young
It's a little odd to me because Neil Young is not remotely in danger of being forgotten. But this album strangely seems to fall so far into the lower ranks of his canon that it feels half lost. It is my absolute favorite of all his albums. I'm not sure there is any guitar playing I have liked better anywhere and it is all fantastically depressing, ferocious, and lovely.
Fishwhistle by Daniel Pinkwater
I strongly considered here his The Snarkout Boys and the Avocado of Death, but my feeling is that Fishwhistle was gravely under appreciated from the start, and is more particular and more on the cultural precipice. These are some of my very favorite short, comic memoir essays ever.
Summerhill, A Radical Approach to Child Rearing by A. S. Neill
Here is everything I needed to know about freedom. Summerhill is still the only kind of school I really believe in and the philosophy of my Library Kingship owes much to Summerhill. Is it disappearing? We don't have it, and I would throw every single book in our whole system related to education under the bus for three copies of Summerhill. I might even like doing it.
The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley
I struggled mightily with my fifth choice, but now that I have chosen I feel even more solid about it than many of the other choices. For one, I really needed a woman author. Really. Seriously. Two, I needed a romance because romance saved my life, plus, awww, love. And three, I just so unreservedly and uncomplicatedly love it. It's just purely a joy to me to read.
What would you choose? Now is the time to comment. C'mon, at least just give me one. We have a library to fill!