This Sunday, November 11th, formerly known in the U.S. as Armistice Day , would have been my favorite writer, Kurt Vonnegut ’s 90th birthday. In Charles J. Shields’ 2011 biography of Vonnegut, And So It Goes: Kurt Vonnegut: A Life , he wrote that Vonnegut “was quite proud of being born on a day associated with peace.” A noted and well-known Humanist , that’s the kind of fellow that Kurt Vonnegut struck me as: a peacekeeper.
Vonnegut is best known for his novel Slaughterhouse-Five , the semi-autobiographical story of Billy Pilgrim, who becomes “unstuck in time”, and which reflects the post-traumatic stress of Vonnegut’s personal experience of the bombing of Dresden. But Vonnegut did not just write novels: he was also an essayist, a playwright, and a writer of short stories. His bibliography is quite extensive, and still expanding , and well worth your time, though some works are perhaps more worthwhile than others.
As someone who has made his way through the majority (though not all) of Vonnegut’s work, I have taken it upon myself to curate a list of some of my favorite Vonnegut books that we have here at HCPL in hopes that it will serve as something of a primer and inspiration for those interested in diving deeper into the Vonneverse.
Short Stories & Essays:
Welcome to the Monkey House 
Look at the Birdie 
While Mortals Sleep 
A Man Without a Country 
Armageddon in Retrospect 
We Are What We Pretend to Be: First and Last Works  (Released 10/9)
Have I left out some of your favorites? Have I inspired you to read? Sound off in the comments.