The Corner

Noah Millman

asks me to name five books I liked enough as a teen or young adult to read again now. I can’t think of many books that fit the category: I can’t really go around recommending that adults read all 18 Piers Anthony series in their entirety, can I? Or Asimov’s Foundation books? X-men graphic novels? I’m not sure I could even recommend A Clockwork Orange. The things I wasted my time on! Little of interest, less of beauty. Some of the “kids’ books” that I would read today–Tolkien, for example–are out because I didn’t actually read them as a kid.

Among the books that I actually did read, I would, today, still read Borges’s Labyrinths and Updike’s Rabbit novels. I would definitely re-read The Magic Mountain–actually, I did re-read it, and understood more of it the second time around. The fact that I put it on my Amazon wish list proves that I would re-read Orson Scott Card’s Maps in a Mirror. I might also re-read Joseph Heller’s Picture This, if only to see why I liked it.

As you can see, I had to pad out the list. No doubt more interesting answers would be provided by Rich Lowry, John Derbyshire, and Reihan Salam. (And no, Reihan, urban-policy studies don’t count.)

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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