Monday, November 19, 2012

Penn Jillette's six favorite books

Penn Jillette is an author and magician. His latest book is Every Day Is an Atheist Holiday.

One of his six favorite books, as told to The Week magazine:
Moby-Dick by Herman Melville

My favorite book; I'm always reading it. As soon as I finish it, I start it again. Consider this line: “So ignorant are most landsmen of some of the plainest and most palpable wonders of the world, that without some hints touching the plain facts, historical and otherwise, of the fishery, they might scout at Moby Dick as a monstrous fable, or still worse and more detestable, a hideous and intolerable allegory.” To me that means the white whale is God, and Ahab is wasting his life chasing God.
Read about the other books on the list.

Moby-Dick also appears among 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