Monday, February 20, 2006

57 excellent books that you may have neglected

Not listing the indispensible books from freshman lit classes (e.g., Dante, Gatsby) or books and writers currently popular with my demographic (e.g., Zadie Smith, The Human Stain).

Russell Banks, Cloudsplitter
Russell Banks, Rule of the Bone
John Barth, The Sot-Weed Factor
Robert Caro, The Power Broker
Robert Caro, Master of the Senate
Raymond Carver, What We Talk About When We Talk About Love
Don DeLillo, End Zone
Mike Davis, City of Quartz
Mike Davis, Ecology of Fear
Richard Dawkins, The Selfish Gene
Bob Dylan, Chronicles Vol. 1
Umberto Eco, The Name of the Rose
James Ellroy, American Tabloid
James Ellroy, L.A. Confidential
Frederick Exley, A Fan's Notes
Thomas Frank, the conquest of cool
Chris Hedges, War is a Force That Gives Us Meaning
Richard Hofstadter, The Paranoid Style in American Politics
Harry V. Jaffa, Crisis of the House Divided
Stephen King, The Shining
Stephen King, The Stand
Malcolm Lowry, Under the Volcano
Cormac McCarthy, All the Pretty Horses
Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian
Jimmy McDonough, Shakey
Larry McMurtry, Texasville
Joseph Mitchell, Up in the Old Hotel
Toni Morrison, The Song of Solomon
Haruki Murakami, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicles
Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the shore
Flannery O'Connor, Wise Blood
Rick Pearlstein, Before the Storm
Anthony Powell, A Dance to the Music of Time*
Richard Powers, Galatea 2.2
Matt Ridley, The Red Queen
Matt Ridley, The Origins of Virtue
Alex Robinson, Box Office Poison
Theodore Roszak, Flicker
Philip Roth, The Counterlife
Philip Roth, Operation Shylock
Warren St. John, Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer
Marjane Satrapi, Persepolis
Allan Seager, A Frieze of Girls
Hubert Selby Jr., Last Exist to Brooklyn
Robert Sullivan, Rats
Donna Tartt, The Secret History
Jim Thompson, Pop. 1280
John Kennedy Toole, A Confederacy of Dunces
Gore Vidal, Burr
Gore Vidal, Lincoln
Robert Penn Warren, All the King's Men
Jonathan Weiner, Time Love Memory
Colson Whitehead, John Henry Days
Tom Wolfe, The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test
Robert Wright, The Human Animal
Robert Wright, Nonzero
Fareed Zakaria, The Future of Freedom

*I've only read the first two volumes. It's big time investment, and not to everyone's taste. If you get through the first volume, though, you're hooked.

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