One of my new friends asked me what my favorite books are. Here goes. Fifteen of them, but one or two at a time.

My all time favorite? The Sacred Fire: The Story of Sex In Religion.
Just kidding. Well, not really. I developed a life long interest in religion beginning when I was in crib and my Quaker Grandmother cooed to me "Jesus, Jesus" before I learned Da Da or Ma Ma.
I was put off sex when I was abused at age 11, but those chemical factories known as ... well, you know ... fired up an interest at age 15 and I can't tell you how relived I was to discover The Sacred Fire: The Story of Sex in Religion.
That became my bedtime reading for a number of years. For cause. The Quaker told me s-e-x was dirty (she could never say the word) and author B.Z. Goldberg told me it wasn't. He was a Jew who influenced a goyim (non-Jew) growing up, and I'm indebted to him.
Here's his thesis: "The sacred fire of life, the elan vital, the very dynamic of human existence, is the sex impulse which, properly controlled and directed, and partly sublimated, will give new vigor to old an decadent religions. Religions must recognize its debt to sex in origin and early development, and restore it to a place of dignity within religion, instead of despising and condemning it." That's from the Introduction.
Let me assure you I'm one of you. I too have wrestled with the following: the elan vital, impulse, control, direction and sublimation. It's been a tight-wire act, but I ain't done nobody harm and I've lived a decent life.
Next book: Charles Dickens Pickwick Papers.
Herr Professor at 80 and too busy to die.

One of my favorite books is Charles Dickens' Pickwick Papers.
"Why you ask?" Humor. Read on.
"Advertisement. From the Athenaeum, March 26, 1836. 'On the 31st of March will be published, to be continued monthly, price One Shilling, the First Number of the Posthumous Paper of the Pickwick Club; containing a faithful record of the perambulations, perils, travels, adventurers, and sporting transactions of the corresponding members'."
Nuff said about Dickens being a good one to learn about comic invention?
Dickens creates the bumbling Pickwickians as warm and generous folk, and since I've been there bumbling and done that bumbling I find the book entertaining and comforting. It's great for building self-image. 
Too Busy to Die