Guest Post: What's On William J. Barry's Bookshelf
My bookshelf is a strange and eclectic place. It’s located in a side room, so most guests don’t get a chance to see it (that’s probably for the better). My wife’s bookshelf would gain much more approval. I like to visit it on occasion. I consider my shelf more of a collage of randomness, but I guess that says something about me. A lot of random things amuse me.
If I started on the top shelf I would find Edgar Allan Poe (my favorite author), Stephen King, and a couple of Kurt Vonnegut Jr. novels. This is right next to a number of Neil Gaiman’s works, Harry Potter and the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. There is also a book called Journey of the Revolutionary Soul by my good friend, Jenna Fontaine.
I am a really big fan of the Griffin and Sabine series by Nick Bantock. I have all six of the books associated with it. I love the artwork and enjoy the feeling that you are reading intimate conversations between two people. Next to those you will find some other fun books - Wicked Nursery Rhymes by Gris Grimly and The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy & Other Stories by Tim Burton. I think Tim Burton is a brilliant director. I also have his book, Burton on Burton. That row continues into the V for Vendetta Graphic Novel, all of the Far Side Galleries and the Bunny Suicide cartoon books. There is also a children’s book hanging out that is sentimental to me called Bunnicula. It is a tale about a vampire bunny.
I then have a number of books featuring my two favorite painters, Vincent Van Gogh and Salvador Dali. Both of them I love for their painting, pre-1940 Dali is also a bit of a personal hero to me. I have a number of books showing and talking about their paintings. There is also a large hardback set of the complete letters of Vincent Van Gogh.
There is some randomness that starts to happen on the shelf and things get out of control. There are a couple books about owls and breeds of cats, a couple about the history of pirates, and one about candy making. Yes, I make candy and other baked goods once in a while (usually cakes, hard candy or taffy). There is also a book called Sleepwatchers about lucid dreaming.
The shelf then takes a bit of a serious turn that I should address. The Philosophy of Nietzsche, The Ethics of Spinoza, and the Introductory Lectures on Psycho-Analysis by Sigmund Freud all make an appearance. I like to flip through them on occasion, but I will probably never find the time to get through them from cover to cover. There is also Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Immortality, and Sophie’s World which I might actually get to eventually.
The lower section of my bookshelf has become home to all of my old psychology textbooks from college. There are a bunch of them...that was my major. They were just too interesting to part with. I also have books from forensic anthropology and Greek mythology classes.
The bottom of the shelf is filled with a number of books about filmmaking and writing screenplays...and the screenplay to the movie American Beauty (an excellent film).
Well, that is the randomness that abides on my bookshelf. My own books would be on there if they didn’t already have VIP status on the fireplace mantle. I hope you enjoyed the tour.
William j Barry
I want to thank William J. Barry for being with us here on Ali's Bookshelf today!