TOP 100 Books Collected by a Dragon

Welcome to Dragons Den’s 100th post!

To celebrate this monumental occasion, I have collected a list of my top 100 books. Each book on the list is a book that 1) I own, 2) has had a positive impact on my life, and 3) belongs in everyone’s den of books. This list is broken down into categories and is by no means the whole of my personal library. You can check out most of these books at your local bookstore or from the author’s websites.





Misc. (I.E. I wanted to include these just because I love them so.)

Fourth of July Poetry

Tomorrow marks another milestone in Dragon’s Den’s history. As many in the US know, tomorrow is the Independence Day — the day each year we celebrate the signing of the Declaration of Independence and the beginning of the US Revolution. Given such an important day in this nation’s history, many writers have tossed their own thoughts into the air amid the fireworks and music. For this dragon writer, who loves fireworks in any shape and form, this tomorrow also marks the first Fourth of July in Washington. To celebrate this milestone, I present to you dear readers the top 10 poems for the Fourth.

I Hear America Singing by Walt Whitman

The New Colossus by Emma Lazarus

America by Claude McKay


Good Night by Carl Sandburg

Many ways to say good night.

Fireworks at a pier on the Fourth of July
spell it with red wheels and yellow spokes.
They fizz in the air, touch the water and quit.
Rockets make a trajectory of gold-and-blue
and then go out.

Railroad trains at night spell with a smokestack mushrooming a white pillar.

Steamboats turn a curve in the Mississippi crying a baritone that crosses lowland
cottonfields to razorback hill.

It is easy to spell good night.
Many ways to spell good night.

America by Allen Ginsberg


Canada Anemone by Fleda Brown


The Fourth of July Parade by Fran Haraway


waiting on the mayflower by Evie Shockley



Monuments by Myra Sklarew


Of History and Hope by Miller Williams


Memorial Weekend Reading

Today begins the Memorial Day Weekend, here in the United States. Memorial Day is a day of remembrance for those who have died in service of the United States of America. Traditionally, it was also a day where families would visit national grave sites and decorate each fallen heroes last resting place.

As writers, it is always important to remember those who have come before us. They inspire us, give our work meaning and depth, and often provide us with clarity in a very unclear world.

Given this, I have compiled a top 10 books to read this weekend while honoring our fallen soldiers. Each image links to the Amazon page or Goodreads page and most can be found at your local library. Happy reading!

1. Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five


2. Ernest Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms


3. Norman Mailer’s The Naked and the Dead


4. Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace


5. Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief


6. Homer’s The Iliad


7. Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With the Wind


8. Charles Dickens’s A Tale of Two Cities


9. Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables


10. Joseph Heller’s Catch-22


A Friend In Need


This is a Bunny-Toad. Bunny-Toad came out of the mind of one Vencenza Surprise. I’ve know this woman for over 12 years, which means I’ve known her over-half my life. She is a wonderful artist and a courageous person. Yet, like everyone, life happened to her last year. Early 2012, Ven got pertussis. The doctors caught it very late, so late that it damaged her lungs and to this day she has problems breathing. Due to this illness, she was unable to continue her studies at an Atelier in SF, known as the Safehouse. Ever the fighter, Ven got better but she had to quit the Safehouse for her health. After letting herself heal, she now feels strong enough to attend again. Yet, life likes to pull nasty punches. Medical Bills. Family Emergencies. Flooding. You can’t make up half of what she’s been through.

And still she keeps going. By March, she still hopes to go to school and eventually apply as a concept artist to gaming companies.

I’m writing this post to ask all my readers, who can and are willing to, to please help get this artist back to her paintings and fund her education.

Click on Bunny-Toad and give as much as you can.


Thank you.

God bless.

Artist in the Spotlight

Hello there Cyber-readers!

This is a new feature for Dragon’s Lair, where we find new, emerging artists and give them free-ad space … **cough** I mean some time in the spotlight.

Today’s guest is Sean Shaefer, a dear friend of mine from high school. Sean is currently a student at Ex’pression College for Digital Arts. He is an inspiring animation and visual artist whose hometown is little old Pinole (Pinole is that town on your way to Vallejo with the Trader’s Joe).

For more on Sean and his latest artistic creations, please click here:

Peace, love, and Pancakes!