Neil Peart's Favorite Books of All Time

Vistalite Black

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Have you ever discovered a soul mate through a shared appreciation of an obscure or movie?

Looking through Neil Peart's List of His Favorite Books, I feel an incredible affinity with the sadly departed drummer. Obviously, we're both literate people -- and in my case, highly educated at a public university so prestigious that I have a tattoo inspired by it.

So, I expected some crossover since I've actively pretended to have read Ayn Rand in the past and definitely read most of "Tom Sawyer" (and definitely read "Huck Finn") and have seen at least two movie depictions of both.

Oh, and Nick Hornby, I've read nearly all of his stuff or have seen the film with Hugh Grant showing off his signature mix of confusion, stuttering and British charm.

Hemingway, forget about it: I read most of "Islands in the Stream" in Key West... I also saw the ancestor cats of Hemingway's actual cats at his home there.

Oh, and David Foster Wallace, I saw that movie about him ... That counts the same as reading the 1,451-page "Infinite Jest."

The list goes on and on ... Joseph Conrad ... I was assigned that one, too. Couldn't get into it, but "Apocalypse Now" is my favorite movie.

It's also possible that Peart and I read the book by the Semisonic "Closing Time" drummer at the same time ... shortly after it was released as a paperback... It's called "So You Wanna Be a Rock & Roll Star: How I Machine-Gunned a Roomful Of Record Executives and Other True Tales from a Drummer's Life."

In all, I've read (or watched) a minimum 15 of the 172 (actually, it may be 142. I didn't want to count a third time) books Peart himself listed on the blog called "Bubba's Book Club" that I wish I'd known about a decade or more ago when he and I were stacking the same books on our night stand.

That doesn't count the other books by the same authors I've read (or seen the movie version of)... there's probably another half-dozen of those.

I sincerely doubt anyone else on this forum has read the same 15 books as the Professor enjoyed enough to have Far Our Magazine of England's list of "Neil Peart's Favorite Books of All Time." It's not like I've had huge chunks of free time of late to sit around and read actual books ... That's not my reality show, if you know what I mean.

With all of that said, here is a partial list of Neil Peart's Favorite Books (more than a tenth of which Visitalite has read or watched).


  • The Man With the Golden Arm, by Nelson Algren
  • Inés of My Soul, by Isabel Allende
  • Scattered Suns, by Kevin J. Anderson
  • Metal Swarm, by Kevin J. Anderson
  • Resurrection Inc, by Kevin J. Anderson
  • The Beautiful Ones Are Not Yet Born, by Ayi Kwei Armah
  • Deer Hunting with Jesus: Dispatches from America’s Class War, by Joe Bageant
  • The Book of Ten Nights and a Night, by John Barth
  • Every Third Thought: A Novel in Five Seasons, by John Barth
  • More Die of Heartbreak, by Saul Bellow
  • Henderson the Rain King, by Saul Bellow
  • The Adventures of Augie March, by Saul Bellow
  • Humboldt’s Gift, by Saul Bellow
  • The Inner Circle, by T.C. Boyle
  • Drop City, by T.C. Boyle
  • Louis Riel, by Chester Brown
  • Bill Bruford: The Autobiography, by Bill Bruford
  • A Short History of Nearly Everything, by Bill Bryson
  • A Salty Piece of Land, by Jimmy Buffett
  • The Art of Travel, by Alain de Botton
  • The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, by Michael Chabon
  • The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, by Michael Chabon
  • Manhood for Amateurs: The Pleasures and Regrets of A Husband, Father, and Son, by Michael Chabon
  • Telegraph Avenue, by Michael Chabon
  • The Republic of Nothing, by Lesley Choyce
  • The Antagonist, by Lynn Coady
  • The Secret Agent, by Joseph Conrad
  • Lord Jim, by Joseph Conrad
  • Heart of Darkness, by Joseph Conrad
The full list is here: https://faroutmagazine.co.uk/neil-peart-favourite-books-of-all-time/
 
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robthetimekeeper

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Ok, so I read the post again, clicked on the link and counted from the full list. I have read 18 including 6 from Cormac McCarthy and 4 from Hemingway.
Key West being my hometown, I am very familiar with Hemingway, his home, and his cats.
 

Deafmoon

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That’s a too casual a mention of Ayn Rand in the article as far as I remember. Neil went into her writings so deep that he adopted her philosophy for his life. I read a couple of her books decades ago and her philosophy was not for me.
 
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Vicey

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I looked at the full list: there are some things that didn't surprise me at all, such as Peart liking Hemingway and McCarthy. Some were slightly odd, such as Hemingway's short work listed but none of the stereotypically major novels. But the most pleasant surprise for me was his including George Eliot, who is a world away from the Hemingway/McCarthy school of macho minimalism. Middlemarch is one of the most successfully ambitious novels in English, but in a very quiet, intense way. Peart and I clearly had very different tastes in literature, but I somehow find it comforting that we both would put Middlemarch up there with Ulysses.
 

BennyK

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Solzhenitsyn had a searing moral authourity I'd be disappointed to find Peart wasn't aware of .
 
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flatwins

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Though it comes as no surprise to myself, I just rediscovered how completely shallow I am. I haven’t read enough books to but together a list of favorites. I mean I do have some favorite YouTube videos if that counts… Dashcam Lessons is pretty danged funny.

I’ll show myself out.
 

Polska

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12 for me. I also own a few on that list that I haven't read and at this point may never.
 

Squirrel Man

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That’s a too casual a mention of Ayn Rand in the article as far as I remember. Neil went into her writings so deep that he adopted her philosophy for his life. I read a couple of her books decades ago and her philosophy was not for me.
I recently saw an earlier interview of him (maybe from a link on DFO) where he said that Rand's philosophy influenced him greatly earlier on but he somewhat moved away from that philosophy stating that he was now more of a left leaning libertarian.

Not getting political or anything, just citing something I saw.
 

Mayan

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I recently saw an earlier interview of him (maybe from a link on DFO) where he said that Rand's philosophy influenced him greatly earlier on but he somewhat moved away from that philosophy stating that he was now more of a left leaning libertarian.

Not getting political or anything, just citing something I saw.
I must have seen the same interview. I remember him saying left-leaning libertarian as well.
 

hsosdrum

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Though it comes as no surprise to myself, I just rediscovered how completely shallow I am. I haven’t read enough books to but together a list of favorites. I mean I do have some favorite YouTube videos if that counts… Dashcam Lessons is pretty danged funny.

I’ll show myself out.
I've never been a big reader of literature either. When I was a kid if I wanted to read something I would pull out a volume from the encyclopedia and read various articles in it. I've always read lots and lots of technical material, but I probably could count the number of novels I've read in my life on both hands.
 

GrandfatherOdin

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I recently saw an earlier interview of him (maybe from a link on DFO) where he said that Rand's philosophy influenced him greatly earlier on but he somewhat moved away from that philosophy stating that he was now more of a left leaning libertarian.

Not getting political or anything, just citing something I saw.
Glad to hear, Rand's philosophy is terribly selfish and gives zero remorse for anyone but the self. She essentially believes that you should never lift a finger for anyone but you, that anyone who needs any support is "subnormal", and that making lots of money and enjoying yourself is the ultimate meaning of life. She thinks altruism is evil for christ's sake...
 

Vistalite Black

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Glad to hear, Rand's philosophy is terribly selfish and gives zero remorse for anyone but the self. She essentially believes that you should never lift a finger for anyone but you, that anyone who needs any support is "subnormal", and that making lots of money and enjoying yourself is the ultimate meaning of life. She thinks altruism is evil for christ's sake...
Anthem

... Live for yourself, there's no one else
More worth living for
Begging hands and bleeding hearts
Will only cry out for more ...
 

Houndog

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Anthem

... Live for yourself, there's no one else
More worth living for
Begging hands and bleeding hearts
Will only cry out for more ...
This shows that he evolved greatly in his thinking . He became a giving person from what I’ve read .
I know I have sure evolved more than I could have imagined …..
 

BennyK

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Neil Peart net worth 42 million

Ayn Rand net worth 1.5- 5million

If you can believe what you find on the internet , then Peart made a wise decision to distance himself from this woman's ideas .
 

Pat A Flafla

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I'm a semi-avid reader (on again, off again), and I tried to force myself through two different heavy Rand novels (Anthem being a kids' dystopian pastiche) but making myself read that stuff was like kicking my own nuts. The dialogue's sub-bland, the tempo's glacial, and I disliked all the characters even more than those in Dos Passos' U.S.A., which I was mildly surprised to find excluded from the list. I wanted to fully enjoy both authors. At least Dos Passos presented his crummy characters and uninteresting plot with an abundance of formal grace. Rand offered me nothing. Her politics don't offend me; her lack of talent does.
 
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Vicey

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I'm a semi-avid reader (on again, off again), and I tried to force myself through two different heavy Rand novels (Anthem being a kids' dystopian pastiche) but making myself read that stuff was like kicking my own nuts. The dialogue's sub-bland, the tempo's glacial, and I disliked all the characters even more than those in Dos Passos' U.S.A., which I was mildly surprised to find excluded from the list. I wanted to fully enjoy both authors. At least Dos Passos presented his crummy characters and uninteresting plot with an abundance of formal grace. Rand offered me nothing. Her politics don't offend me; her lack of talent does.
Politics aside, Rand's chops as a novelist are atrocious. She wrote fiction to promote her theories, so traditional skills such as characterization, description, dialogue, etc. all have to serve the thesis and nothing else. Her novels are popular only with those who like her message. And, as Pat A Flafla says, it's possible to dislike her prose even if you are not appalled by its argument.
 


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