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CRAIG JONES

craig@readersloft.com

Out of Print Specialist

With a library background puncuated by a parenting career, Craig comes to The Reader's Loft as the resident out-of-print specialist and researcher. He reads mostly literary fiction but keeps an eye on genre fiction, history and biography. When not at the store he's busy as a father, husband and musician.

My Favorites:

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
I return to Dickens when I'm in a reading slump, and he never disappoints.

Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio
Deep well of stories for, among many others, Shakespeare and Chaucer. Someday I'll read it in Italian.

Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick
Marked the invention of the "alternate present" sub-genre of scifi (along with If the South Had Won the Civil War by MacKinlay Kantor) and established Dick as a force in literature, not just pulps.

All the Names by Jose Saramago
He's the Borges of Portugal. His breakneck writing style is an acquired taste which I have acquired.

New York Trilogy by Paul Auster
I read this on vacation about nine years ago and I'm still thinking about it. I'll let you know when I come up with anything.

The Body Artist by Don DeLillo
See above. I admire DeLillo but I'm a bit intimidated by him. This novella hit me like a brick, and I still don't know why.

Oxford English Dictionary
All the words! Open anywhere! Can be read in any order!

King James Bible
Established a literary tradition for the English language. I'm told it's not a particularly accurate translation, but one can hardly understand literature in English without having read it.

Trout Fishing in America by Richard Brautigan
Taught me as a young man that a crazy person can have a legitimate literary career. Close second: In Watermelon Sugar .

Grendel by John Gardner
Beowulf from the monster's point of view. Spawned another sub-genre of novelists returning to classics for a fresh look at familiar stories.

Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson
Definitive fictionalized history of the invention of computer technology beginning in WWII, and includes a now web-famous lengthy manifesto on the proper way to eat Cap'n Crunch.

Metamorphoses by Ovid
An even earlier collection of motifs that have been mined by subsequent writers for centuries—actually, for millennia.

Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
Birth of an ecstatic tradition for American letters.

Dahlgren by Samuel Delany
A very early (1974) suggestion that our shiny technological future might not actually play out that way.

Lastly, three titles that may not be considered great literature but are clearly Darn Good Stories Well Told:

Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon; Lucia Graves, translator.
Gates of Fire by Steven Pressfield
Holes by Louis Sachar

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