The stories that have stuck with me since I read them in grade school, though, are All Summer in a Day and The Pedestrian. They are both short tales but both of them constantly arise in my memory...whenever it's been too rainy for too long, I quote from All Summer in a Day. Whenever I feel too isolated and think we are all amusing ourselves to death, I think of The Pedestrian. But there are so many classics... The Veldt. There Will Come Soft Rains. All of the Martian Chronicles. His novels: Fahrenheit 451. Something Wicked. Dandelion Wine. His nonfiction book on writing: Zen in the Art of Writing. (loved it)
Here's a representative quote that I think shows his writing mettle:
You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.... And what, you ask, does writing teach us? First and foremost, it reminds us that we are alive and that it is a gift and a privilege, not a right.And as for his well-known support for public libraries:
I spent three days a week for 10 years educating myself in the public library, and it's better than college. People should educate themselves - you can get a complete education for no money. At the end of 10 years, I had read every book in the library and I'd written a thousand stories.
In honour of all he's written and shaped, here is an hour-long lecture he gave in 2001 all about his writing life. I just watched it last week, enjoying his curmudgeonly individuality. I hope you will find it equally informative and engaging.