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October 13, 2009

a "short list" of the books that were recommended to me ::

click here to see the list compiled and looking pretty!

... when I asked for suggestions on twitter and facebook...this is about a third of the titles that I received back - maybe they will help you find a book too :: PLEASE add your recommendations for GREAT books in the comments :: click below ::

The Time Traveler's Wife
Naked lunch
Cadillac Desert by Marc Reisner
Black Swan Green by David Mitchell
Flaming Iguanas, Erika Lopez
"The Deluxe Transitive Vampire"
"Giraffes? Giraffes!"
The man who was Thursday, by GK Chesterton
Making Meaning
The Amazing Adventures of Cavalier and Clay,
House of Leaves,
Head Hunter
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
1959 The Year that Everything Changed
Callahan's Crosstime Saloon
Sacred Games by Vikram Chandra
Size of the World by Jeff Greenwald
Ghostwritten by David Mitchell
Purple cow
The Secret History, Donna Tartt
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
City of Thieves,
Devil in White City
Hopscotch by Julio Cortazar
East of Eden
The Once and Future King
Lolita" by Nabokov,
The Book Thief
The Book of Lost Things
The Enchantress of Florence
Big Sur by Jack Kerouac
The Brain that Changes Itself
Three cups of tea
Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff Christ's Childhood Pal
We Die Alone - Howarth
Ball Four" by Jim Bouton
Strong Motion by Jonathan Franzen
Pale Fire (Nabokov)
Master and Margarita (Bulgakov)
Nathanial Philbrick's "In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex
A Game of Thrones - George R. R. Martin
Pontypool Changes Everything by Tony Burgess
"Drood," by Dan Simmons
M.T. Anderson's Whales on Stilts
An Easy Thing by Paco Ignacio Taibo II
A Fine Balance By Rohinton Mistry
Harpo Speaks by Harpo Marx
The Lovely Bones
"Jitterbug Perfume" by Tom Robbins
"An Abundance of Katherine" by John Green
Man's Search for Meaning - Victor Frankl
brothers karamazov
Another Road Side Attraction" Tom Robbins
The Book Of Lost Things by John Connolly
"Mans search for meaning"
Oysters by Jon Biguenet
The Shack
The Feast of Love by Charles Baxter
the ishmael series by daniel quinn
a heartbreaking work of staggering genius
"The Art of Racing in the Rain" by Garth Stein
islam explained -tahar ben jelloun
the jungle - upton sinclair
what is the what - dave eggers
city of quartz / excavating the future in los angeles - mike davis
"The Devil's Advocate: A Short Polemic on How to Be Seriously Good in...
Max Blumenthal's,"Republican Gomorrah"
Chris Hedges, "Empire of Illusion"
Fahrenheit 451
Gilead by Marilyn Robinson
The Audacity of Hope
The Wanting Seed - Anthony Burgess
The Road by Cormac McCarthy
The Cold Six Thousand
invisible monsters - chuck palahniuk
Blood Meridian
The History of Our World Beyond the Wave, R.E. Klein
"The Cellist of Sarajevo"
"Little Bee"
For F*cks Sake by Robert Lasner
"The Dirt" by Neil Strauss and Motley Crue
Devil in the White City
the curious incident of the dog in the nighttime
"The Book of Joby"
Callahan's Crosstime Saloon
Piers Anthony "on a pale horse"
"Novice to Master: An ongoing lesson in the extent of my own stupidity"
Ishmael" by Daniel Quinn.
Netherland, by Joseph O'neill
"the ground beneath her feet" by salman rushdie
Bill Bryson's 'A Short History on Nearly Everything'
A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry
"Lord Vishnu's Love Handles: A Spy Novel (Sort Of)" by Will Clarke
The Alexandria Quartet
The Art of Racing in the Rain
Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson
Oryx and Crake"
"The Year of the Flood"
Integral Spirituality
"life after god
The Stone Raft.
The Diamond Age
The Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard
Riddley Walker
On the Shortness of Life (Penguin Great Ideas)
God's Debris/Religion War by Scott Adams
Scarecrow by Matthew Reilly
The Raw Shark Texts
Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami
Living Nowhere by John Burnside
The Count of Monte Cristo
jonathan strange & mr norrell
Sometimes a Great Notion by Ken Kesey
I Am a Strange Loop by Douglas Hofstadter
Confessions of a Dangerous Mind
The Death Ship
The Hunter
Empire of the Sun, by J.G.Ballard
The Shell Collector by Anthony Doerr
Out Stealing Horses
Wind-Up Bird Chronicle
Lost Illusions.
Everything you need to know about media
Born To Run - Christopher McDougall
Weetzie Bat, Francesca Lia Block
'Matter' by Iain M Banks
crooked little vein by warren ellis
"In A Sunburned Country."
Replay by Ken Grimwood
"Vincent" by Joey Goebel
"The Witch of Portobello" by Paulo Coelho
"Everything is illuminated" by J.S. Foer
"Rant" -Chuck Palahniuk.
The Third Policeman, by Flann O'Brien
"A Whole New Mind: Why right-brainers will rule the future" Daniel H. Pink
The Baroque Cycle by Neal Stephenson
Chabon's Kavalier & Clay.
"Gang Leader for a Day" by Sudhir Venkatesh
Crime and Punishment
'The Shadow of the Wind' by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
"My Father's Suitcase" Orhan Pamuk
the Discovery of Heaven written by Harry Mulish
The Big Orange Splot by Daniel M Pinkwater
Saturn's Children by Stross
Dancing After Hours
the men who stare at goats by jon ronson
"Generation Me" Jean Twenge
Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
The Fabric of Reality by David Deutsch
Anathem - Neal Stephenson
Light by M. John Harrison
Timbuktu by Paul Auster
'kokoro' by natsume soseki
'a thousand cranes' by yasunari kawabata
The Story of B by Daniel Quinn.
Overqualified by Joey Comeau

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Comments (108)

sweet. copied to text file for future reference.

Posted by: dan at October 13, 2009 9:02 PM

I don't think I could read these in another lifetime!

Posted by: marquisdejolie at October 13, 2009 9:04 PM

i didn't have time to tweet you back, but i suggest "a heartbreaking work of staggering genius" by dave eggers and "the dogs of babel" by caroline parkhurst

Posted by: lexine at October 13, 2009 9:07 PM

I just HAVE to say that the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (which is not on there) is a fantastic read, and great for a day off (I read it all at once :P it's pretty short). Sorry, I couldn't resist :)

Posted by: Abelle at October 13, 2009 9:08 PM

Ze, what do you do all day?

Posted by: bill at October 13, 2009 9:09 PM

Overjoyed to see someone recommended "Giraffes? Giraffes!"

I just so happened to be looking for a new book to read. Thanks for the list, Ze!

Posted by: Carrie at October 13, 2009 9:17 PM

Finished Reading another Paul Auster book Timbuktu add it to your list. Awesome!

Posted by: Jerry2665 at October 13, 2009 9:23 PM

Posionwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver or
The Bone People.

Posted by: susan at October 13, 2009 9:25 PM

Man, I consider myself a well read person, but I don't recognize MOST of these. Apparently my tastes run to classics of the pre-60's variety ;) I would have suggested Thomas Costain's Son of A Hundred Kings, and for the ladies- his "Below The Salt". Fine historical fiction.

Posted by: Jaide at October 13, 2009 9:29 PM

Looks like perfect fodder for a Cannonball Read.

That's right, a reading race.

Posted by: chadobryhim at October 13, 2009 9:32 PM

You missed my recommendation of "Wild Swans" by "Jung Chang" - it's not one to be overlooked

Posted by: jenUnderscore_ at October 13, 2009 9:38 PM

So, Ze. I notice the bookshelf behind you in the Time vids, but I can't read many titles. Would love to know: what do you recommend that we read? Hmmm?

Posted by: efemmeral at October 13, 2009 9:48 PM

This may tell you more about the group of people responding than anything else.

PS A Fine Balance is on there twice. Probably deserves to be.

PPS Two Barbaras: "The Bean Trees" Barabara Kingsolver
and "Nickled and Dimed" Barbara Ehrenreich

I hated Invisible Monsters. I'll GIVE you my copy. I can't find anyone I'm willing to inflict it on.

Posted by: blankedyblank at October 13, 2009 9:50 PM

Please note that FOUR books by Neal Stephenson were recommended. He is the best.

Posted by: Eli at October 13, 2009 9:56 PM

I love Lamb:the Gospel according to biff, and have read approximately 2% of those books. I just discovered audiobooks recently and libararies and online sources of these books will surely be lurking around somewhere...

Posted by: tytycoon at October 13, 2009 10:36 PM

Did he say the list in only "about a third"? The thought of the whole list does scares me as much I'm a bookworm.

Posted by: Felix Leong at October 13, 2009 10:59 PM

I've already read a surprisingly large number of these. That makes me feel like either a really cool chick or some kind of bookworm. LOL.

Posted by: Groovymarlin at October 13, 2009 11:08 PM

I just finished reading Light... Only book I've
ever bought Just because of the blurb on the cover (something to the extent of "easily my favorite sci fi book of the past 10 + years" by Neil Gaiman). It's such a good book... I'm amazed it's not better known.

Posted by: Ryan at October 14, 2009 1:18 AM

I just finished reading Light... Only book I've
ever bought just because of the blurb on the cover (something to the extent of "easily my favorite sci fi book of the past 10 + years" by Neil Gaiman). It's such a good book... I'm amazed it's not better known.

Posted by: Ryan at October 14, 2009 1:19 AM

What great timing. I was looking for a new book to read when I thought "Hey, I wonder if Ze Frank has any recommendations on his site" and lo and behold I find this. Thanks Ze!

Posted by: Thomas B. at October 14, 2009 1:33 AM

What's really weird is that the first book listed after "The Size of the World" is "Ghostwritten"... I wrote the first one, and just checked the second out of the library!

Posted by: Jeff Greenwald at October 14, 2009 3:18 AM

Actually, any book by Mark Reisner is a winner. I particularly liked "The Tetherballs of Bougainville" and "I Smell Esther Williams".

Posted by: ccd at October 14, 2009 6:32 AM

Just finished "Flight" by Sherman Alexie. Quick read that will both shred your heart and leave you feeling hopeful.

Posted by: Rosa at October 14, 2009 6:42 AM

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is really good. I would also add Master of Space and Time.

Posted by: Zach at October 14, 2009 9:23 AM

Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell. So amazing.

Posted by: backspace at October 14, 2009 9:29 AM

Ugh, please strike all Palahniuk from that list and get some David Foster Wallace, Junot Diaz or Zadie Smith to round out the contemporary literature.

Posted by: Travis at October 14, 2009 10:25 AM

The Terrror by Dan Simmons

Posted by: Karen Churchill at October 14, 2009 11:09 AM

any book by Rohl Dahl

Posted by: supergromph at October 14, 2009 11:50 AM

The Sot Weed Factor by John Barth

Posted by: Doug fir at October 14, 2009 11:53 AM

The Book by Alan Watts

Posted by: ilmari at October 14, 2009 1:07 PM

Blindness by Jose Saramago

Anything by Jose Saramago, actually.

Posted by: jeff f at October 14, 2009 1:32 PM

Sailor's Song by Ken Kesey - funny, clever, uplifting

Posted by: Vaslov at October 14, 2009 1:58 PM

This could easily turn into a viral note with people checking off how many they've read, favorites, or dislikes. Just a prediction ;-)

Posted by: Beylan at October 14, 2009 2:13 PM

1959 is the year that changed everything. I hope it was for the better, cause that's when I was born.

My recommendation is Twinkie, Deconstructed by Steve Ettlinger. Ettlinger goes through the ingredient list of a Twinkie, and visits each and every place where these ingredients come from and how they're processed, and why they're in the Twinkie in the first place.

This trip takes him from the flour mills on the Mid-Atlantic, to China, to a strip mine in Wyoming (where do you think Baking Powder comes from?), to a steel mini-mill where hydrochloric acid drenched rust is turned into the iron fortification that is found in all flour.

Not a polemic, but you'll certainly look at food quite differently after reading this book.

Posted by: qazwart at October 14, 2009 2:15 PM

The Long Walk (Slavomir Rawicz). Great for a little perspective on privation and hardship.

Posted by: dahwah at October 14, 2009 3:11 PM

more votes for Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortensen, Good Omens by Gaiman and Pratchett, The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly, Weetzie Bat by Francesca Lia Block, and Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson
also, not on the list but should be:
The Given Day, Dennis Lehane
The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint, Brady Udall
Empire Falls, Russo
Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress, Dai
the Kite Runner (but you would have read this, right?)
the Tortilla Curtain, TC Boyle

Posted by: Jean at October 14, 2009 4:01 PM

just finished Cloud Atlas. Bloody excellent book that.

Posted by: Tijs Teulings at October 14, 2009 4:05 PM

Before you start, check out 1001 Books You Must Read before You Die, from Universe, 2006. Great fun to read and you will never run out of books!

Posted by: Jean at October 14, 2009 4:18 PM

Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card

Best book EVER!

Posted by: David Deseran at October 14, 2009 4:21 PM

Wicked by Gregory Maguire
it's great and different from the musical

Posted by: Tayness at October 14, 2009 4:55 PM

"Atonement" and "The Child in Time" by Ian McEwan.

Posted by: Sara at October 14, 2009 5:11 PM

Winter's Tale by Mark Helprin

Posted by: Alexis at October 14, 2009 5:40 PM

The age of spiritual machines - Ray Kurzweil

Posted by: Bman at October 14, 2009 6:25 PM

This looks like a great list-
my two cents:
An Imaginary Life by David Malouf
The Brief Wondrous Life of Qscar Wao- Junot Diaz

not sure why my two recent favorites have 'life' in the title-coincidence or ...?

Posted by: R at October 14, 2009 6:33 PM

John Adams by David McCullough- very very good.

Also happy to see Lamb by christopher moore on there. I've bought the book several times, and keep lending it out to people, telling them to just pass it on.

Posted by: J at October 14, 2009 7:52 PM

Globalization and It's Discontents, Emotions Revealed, Hamlet (the origional)

Posted by: Jon at October 14, 2009 7:54 PM

Some suggestions:

"The Iliad" Homer
"Science Friction" Michael Shermer
"The Science Behind Good and Evil" Michael Shermer
"The Tipping Point" Malcolm Gladwell
"Blink" Malcolm Gladwell
"Outliers" Malcolm Gladwell
"An Anthropologist On Mars" Oliver Sacks
"The Divine Comedy" Dante
"The Aeneid" Virgl
'On the Good Life' Cisero
'The Nature of the Gods' Cisero
"Paradise Lost" John Milton
"Poetics" Aristotle
"Hippocratic Writing" Hippocrates
"The Canterbury Tales" Geoffrey Chauser
The Complete Works of Shakespeare
"The Republic" Plato
"The Symposium" Plato
The Complete Works of Charles Dickens
"Gulliver's Travels" Johnathan Swift
"Eichmann in Jerusalem" Hannah Arendt
"The Nature of Prejudice" Gordon Allport
"The True Believer" Eric Hoffer
"Crowds and Power" Elias Canetti
"Evil: Inside Cruelty and Violence" Roy Baumeister
"The Lucifer Principle" Howard Bloom
"Chasing Ghosts" Paul Rieckhoff
"Catcher in the Rye" J.D. Salinger

That's all I can think of off the top of my head.

Posted by: Drake Walker at October 14, 2009 8:54 PM

I thought you said: "a short list" :S

Posted by: Ariaan at October 15, 2009 5:02 AM

Toby Barlow's Sharp Teeth.

Posted by: Jon at October 15, 2009 6:39 AM

"The Name of the Wind" Patrick Rothfuss
"Good Omens" Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaimen

Posted by: Ryan at October 15, 2009 1:19 PM

House of Leaves is fantastic :)

Posted by: Sam at October 15, 2009 2:03 PM

Volkswagen Blues (Jacques Poulin)
Les Misérables (Victor Hugo)

Posted by: Marc C. at October 15, 2009 5:56 PM

The Shame of the Nation - Jonathan Kozol

Posted by: gifa at October 15, 2009 6:16 PM

The Line by Teri Hall :)

Posted by: Teri Hall at October 15, 2009 9:23 PM

On the Road missed the cut? Really? Probably more relevant today than it was in '51.

Posted by: DK at October 15, 2009 10:48 PM

*Confederacy of Dunces* John Kennedy O'Toole
*Like Water for Chocolate* (Como agua para chocolate) Laura Esquivel
*God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater* Kurt Vonnegut
*Walking the Dog* Walter Mosely

You may have already read some of these, but maybe others haven't.

Posted by: gypsy sister at October 16, 2009 12:56 AM

"Yellow Blue Tibia" by Adam Roberts.

Posted by: Ush at October 16, 2009 6:53 PM

"the queen's gambit"- walter tevis.

Posted by: murph at October 16, 2009 10:35 PM

guards! guards! by tery Pratchet... anything by terry pratchet

Posted by: madd man at October 17, 2009 1:31 PM

Fahrenheit 451-Ray Bradbury < Also did martian chronicles

The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection From the Living Dead- Max Brooks- isnt a serrious book at all but makes you think....

Alice in Wonderland
Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There- Lewis Carrol

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory & Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator-Roald Dahl

The Great Gatsby-Scott F. Fitzgerald

Bee Season- Maya Goldberg

Lord of the Flies-William Golding

Catch-22- Joseph Heller

Red Scarf Girl: A Memoir of the Cultural Revolution- Ji-li jiang

Flowers for Algernon- Daniel Keys

The Secret Life of Bees-Sue Monk Kidd

Freakonomics Revised and Expanded- Steven D. Levitt

Fight Club: A Novel-Chuck Palahnuik

We the Living- Ayn Rand

Where the Red Fern Grows- Wilson Rawls

All Quiet on the Western Front- Erich Maria Remarque

The Catcher in the Rye-J.D. Salinger

The Giving Tree
Where the Side Walk Ends- Shell Silverstein

Of Mice and Men- John Steinbeck

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream- Hunter S. Thompson

Cat's Cradle - Kurt Vonnegut

The War of the Worlds
The Time Machine
The invisible man- H.G. Wells

Posted by: Andrew G at October 17, 2009 7:14 PM

Sombrero Fallout by Richard Brautigan
Shadow of the Torturer (or, "The Book of the New Sun") by Gene Wolfe
Modern Life by Matthea Harvey
A Universe of Consciousness by Edelman and Tononi
Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud
Waltzing Matilda by Alice Notley
I Am a Strange Loop by Douglas Hofstadter
The Poetry and Prose of Gerard Manley Hopkins (the letters are the really fun part--same with John Keats)
32 Stories by Adrian Tomine

Posted by: Abi at October 17, 2009 9:57 PM

I didn't see the original call for recommendations, but if you are looking for a flat out fun, incredibly imaginative and smart book, my current favorite is The 13 1/2 Lives of Captain Bluebear by Walter Moers. His City of Dreaming Books is pretty great, too.

Posted by: Becky at October 18, 2009 2:00 PM

I didn't see the original call for recommendations, but if you are looking for a flat out fun, incredibly imaginative and smart book, my current favorite is The 13 1/2 Lives of Captain Bluebear by Walter Moers. His City of Dreaming Books is pretty great, too.

Posted by: Becky at October 18, 2009 2:01 PM

Holy smokes! Great list.

My contribution:
"The Corrections" by Jonathan Franzen
"The Life of Pi" by Yann Martel

Posted by: Fiona Wren at October 18, 2009 3:53 PM

Deathbird Stories by Harlan Ellison

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

Posted by: Michael Mayhew at October 18, 2009 11:49 PM

The Mezzanine by Nicholson Baker

Posted by: Ian at October 18, 2009 11:54 PM

Ascending Peculiarity: Edward Gorey on Edward Gorey

even a Daughter is better than Nothing - Mykel Board

No one belongs here more than you. - Miranda July

Jitterbug Perfume - Tom Robbins

Angela's Ashes- Frank McCourt

Tell No One - Harlan Coben

Duma Key - Stephen King

Posted by: Kim Kong at October 19, 2009 12:54 AM

Cat's Cradle, Catch-22, the Lucifer comic series.

I'm a little jealous of whoever said Good Omens first.

Posted by: Nick at October 19, 2009 2:21 AM

my oh my...cool long list!;-)

Posted by: Fate at October 19, 2009 4:44 AM

Some pretty good books there! However, you're missing out on two VITAL ones:
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
The Beach by Alex Garland

plus Drake Walker's suggestion of Catcher in the Rye is a rather good one.

Posted by: Jessie at October 20, 2009 12:50 PM

City of Thieves by David Benioff

Posted by: Bryan at October 20, 2009 7:35 PM

Dry - Augusten Burroughs

Posted by: megan at October 21, 2009 12:03 PM

American Gods by Neil Gaiman for fiction and The Unforgiving Minute for Non-Fiction

Posted by: deckroid at October 21, 2009 12:34 PM

C.S. Lewis says a quality book is read more than once. No matter what trash you might think it is, if someone is reading it again they obviously find some quality in it.

So sure I've read Dostoyevsky's 'Crime and Punishment' and thought it good - but have I re-read it? No.

So my question is - what books have you re-read the most. Here's mine.

1) Bible - best explanation of why I, we and the world are so messed up (and occasionly glorious)- and it has an achievable solution. Not bad.

2) 'Master and Commander' x 20. by Patrick O'Brien. That's right folks I am re-reading a 20 book series, and loving it. 20 books gives you the best character development ever. Naval historical fiction with a dash of spy sideline. Makes me want to have amnesia so I can read them for the first time again - and you can't pay a book a higher compliment than that.

3) Hitchhiker's guild to the Galaxy series.

4) Earlier Neal Stephenson books - there were 4 of his on the list. Multiple re-reads for me. Everything after 'Cryptonomicon' too long. Sure I enjoyed them but I'm just not drawn to read them again.

5) Shaun Tan's thought provoking picture books. 'The arrival' instead of telling you what it feels like to immigrate or be an outsider - he GIVES you the emotional experience through pictures. brilliant.

There's more but that's a taste. What do you re-read?

Posted by: Jonathan Peart at October 22, 2009 7:18 PM

Imperial Life in the Emerald City: the reality of (just) post-war Iraq

Posted by: Hugh Murphy at October 23, 2009 5:00 PM

Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace and The Way of Chuang Tzu by Thomas Merton. Wallace's commencement speech at Kenyon College, now published as This is Water. If this seems an unusual pair, read This is Water with Chuang Tzu. I think they dovetail nicely. Taoism with a quest for daily compassion in our present world.

Posted by: John Haddox at October 23, 2009 10:54 PM

Making History by Stephen Fry!!

Posted by: steph at October 24, 2009 11:58 AM

Lullabies for Little Criminals by Heather O'Neill
One of the most incredible and beautiful and heartbreaking books I've ever read.
Winner of Canada Reads 2007

Posted by: Limeshy at October 24, 2009 3:32 PM

Lullabies for Little Criminals by Heather O'Neil

One of the most stunning and beautiful and heartbreaking books I've ever read.

Winner of Canada Reads 2007

Posted by: Limeshy at October 24, 2009 3:34 PM

The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression (Andrew Solomon)

Posted by: River at October 24, 2009 4:55 PM

A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole and
Geek Love by Katherine Dunn

Posted by: goodhabits at October 25, 2009 6:52 PM

ghd hair
mulberry bags
ed hardy
christian louboutin

Posted by: melissa at October 26, 2009 9:48 AM

"Less Than Zero" by Bret Easton Ellis.
"His Dark Materials Trilogy" by Philip Pullman.

Posted by: Gordon at October 27, 2009 8:21 PM

Tristram Shandy - by Laurence Sterne

Posted by: Kris Mecholsky at October 28, 2009 1:08 AM

No one's mentioned the Dark Tower series by Steven King yet?! Surprising.

Posted by: LauraP at October 29, 2009 8:38 AM

The Art of Looking Sideways - Alan Fletcher
I've bought 4 copies now. Best gift ever, for self, or anyone curious.

Posted by: nick at October 29, 2009 5:31 PM

In addition to that list, several of which I love, I'll add a few favorites:
Erotikon by Susan Mitchell (Poetry)
Like Being Killed by Ellen Miller
Palimpsest by Catherynne Valente

Posted by: nicoLe is reading. at October 30, 2009 10:05 PM

Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace

Posted by: Jeannie at October 31, 2009 6:14 PM

Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond
When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick

Posted by: Jason Penckofer at November 2, 2009 1:10 AM

Life of Pi

Absolutely true autobiography of a part-time indian

As I lay dying

Posted by: midori at November 3, 2009 12:29 PM

Just finished a great book: Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann. Interwoven stories all centering around Philippe Petit's tightrope walk between the Twin Towers in 1974.

Posted by: Carole at November 4, 2009 9:36 PM

Lawerence of Arabia seven pillars ofg wqisdom)

Posted by: ssawyer@myself.com at November 5, 2009 7:06 PM

Lawerence of Arabia seven pillarsof wisdom)

Posted by: ssawyer@myself.com at November 5, 2009 7:09 PM

Foam of the Daze by Boris Vian.
and also by Vian: Red Grass.


Posted by: Jan Klug at November 9, 2009 7:08 PM

so.. clearly you're not going to read all of these since .. you have a job and.. probably are going to need to take bathroom breaks from now 'till you're 90.
so here's my suggestion - read every book suggested to you by someone whose name starts with the letter R or B.
just 'cause. and pretend its justified.

Posted by: Marina at November 18, 2009 6:12 PM

Just finished reading, 'The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner', by Alan Sillitoe. This is an absolutely incredible collection of short stories set in 1930's to 1950's era working-class Britain. The stories are grimly authentic, funny and in my opinion, devastating.

Cheers for your great list!

Posted by: canuck-she at December 8, 2009 8:33 PM

i like Travis' comment. so much david foster wallace that it bursts your heart and franzen and zadie smith. junot diaz was pretty cool. actually really cool. over christmas break i am going to have a first go at pynchon, woooo

i had kind of avoided holocaust lit til i happened to pick up the nonfic 'journal of helene berr.' she's described as the anne frank of france, which is apt i guess. i can't get this girl, this 22-year-old woman out of my head ever since i read it. all my plans changed the day i finished the book. which sounds melodramatic and i'm not trying to sound pushy but i'm young and wandering and this book means so much to me.

Posted by: anna at December 17, 2009 1:53 AM

Thirding "Cloud Atlas" by David Mitchell.

Posted by: Eric L at December 18, 2009 4:33 PM

Autobiography of a Face by Lucy Grealy

Posted by: Ash at January 11, 2010 4:47 PM

No one has suggested the Lord of the Rings trilogy yet? Can't believe it. Or maybe it's assumed you've already read those. Someone talked about re-readability. These are at the top. Also, any Nero Wolfe mystery by Rex Stout. When you can read a mystery 40+ times, you know it's good. Yes, you know who did it, but they are so well written I have to read them again and again. Read about a third of what's on this list, including all the Sci-Fi. Also recommend anything by Isaac Asimov, which covers every subject there is:)

Posted by: Major Tom at January 15, 2010 3:10 PM

Cloud Atlas is incredible. I give it a fourth.

Posted by: Hiram at January 16, 2010 11:56 AM

Race Against Time by Stephen Lewis - too important not to read! The former UN special envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa examines the UN's Millenium Development Goals. Read it. Seriously, do it. How can you *not* read a book described as "devastating and uplifting"?

Posted by: Sarah at January 16, 2010 5:27 PM

your my new hero. ok one of them \:)

Posted by: me at January 20, 2010 3:44 AM

My favourite:

"Gould's Book of Fish" by Richard Flannigan

Posted by: Josh Neufeld at August 3, 2010 3:30 PM

Cicero: On a Life Well Spent - Preface Benjamin Franklin

Norwegian folk tales Asbjornsen & Moe

Posted by: nader at August 4, 2010 4:12 AM

A Prayer for Owen Meany - John Irving

What a lovely list!

Posted by: DangerAmy at August 4, 2010 3:20 PM

It's not exactly a reading book as much as a visual avalanche and instructional writing book - no kidding- but Lynda Barry's "What It Is" is probably one of the most comforting and energizing books I own. It's simply gorgeous.

Where the heck have I been? How did I miss this post??

Posted by: Sarah at August 4, 2010 4:11 PM

The Moor's Last Sigh by Salman Rushdie

Posted by: Erica at August 10, 2010 8:19 PM

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