Any of The Travis McGee Mysteries
John D. MacDonald
"Travis McGee is my favorite continuing character of all time. He’s a boat bum, philosopher, veteran, and “salvage expert” who specializes in helping people who have been conned or ripped off in every way imaginable. McDonald proves better than anyone that pulp fiction can also be really great literature. They’re twenty-some titles in this series. Each references a color. Start with The Deep Blue Good by. Read them in order."
A Prayer for Owen Meany
"Twenty years ago, I found a dogeared copy that someone had left behind at LAX. I picked it up and started to read it on a flight to Peru. It was the fastest sixteen hours I’ve ever spent on a plane. Great writing, great story, unforgettable character. A few months later, I put it back where I found it. I hope someone else picked it up and did the same."
George MacDonald Frasier
"The Flashman Chronicles are a series of adventures that involve a soldier who serves in the British Army during the Victorian era. With the exception of the titular character, the books are historically accurate, but outrageously fun because Flashman - who narrates all the adventures - is a shameless coward who somehow winds up getting promoted through the ranks because he’s constantly getting and taking the credit for things he didn’t actually do. There’s no more entertaining or politically incorrect way to learn history than through the eyes of Harry Flashman."
Me Talk Pretty One Day
"The funniest essays by the funniest writer I know of."
"I normally avoid the whole techno-geek, sci-fi genre, especially when it comes in 900 pages, but this book absolutely blew me away. Nazis, code-breaking, computers, bit-coin, data-havens, U-Boats, war heroes, and some very dangerous dentists. It’s a big bite, but if you’re not afraid of a commitment, dig in. It’s a lot of fun."
"Skippy Dies Paul Murray Skippy, our main character, dies on page 6 of this novel, and the rest of the book spans the hilarious/tragic moments in a Catholic boarding school leading up to his death. In a plot that’s half Dead Poet’s Society half The Sandlot, a group of libido-driven, insult-spewing, catholic school boys experiment with drugs, girls, and time travel."
"The inspiration for movies like Fist Full of Dollars and Yojimbo and Last Man Standing, this is a noir about a detective pinning all the gangs in one town against each other. This is a badass book, and it’s written in a perfect noir voice that has since been parodied/copied by everyone."
Why Does The World Exist?
"This book seeks to answer the question posed in its title. The author decides by page 30 that the question is not a scientific nor purely religious one, but something that must be considered through the lens of philosophy. It sounds difficult (and, at times, it is) but Holt carries you through the complicated math and philosophy with a kind of nerdy excitement that’s contagious."
Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar
"Cheryl Strayed became famous for her book Wild, about a hike along the Pacific Crest Trail following a divorce and the death of her mother, but after all that living she spent time as an anonymous advice columnist for a website called The Rumpus. BEFORE you judge me: this is not a “gushy” book. Open it up, and see for yourself Strayed’s no-bullshit approach to helping people out."
Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons
"Maybe you’re reading too many novels and think comic books aren’t “smart” literature. Or maybe you’ve read too many issues of Spiderman without picking this book up. In any case, this Graphic Novel about semi-retired superheroes is a near-perfect piece of art. Moral quandaries! Meta-comics within a comic! Lessons about grief and loss! Plus: murder and suspense."
I love to read in bed with my cat snuggled next to me.
As a Driven Leaf
"I love historical fiction. This book takes place around the time Jesus lived and focuses on the politics of religion and secular society."
To Be Sung Underwater
"The plotline might sound like this is a book about a woman longing for a love affair but it’s actually a very male-heavy story about lost opportunities."
Geek Love: A Novel
"This is an incredible novel about a group of circus performers and “sideshow freaks”. It is really bizarre but really fantastic."
The Secret History
"I love this book because it focuses on a group of college students who find themselves committing a horrendous crime. They all have to figure out how to cover it up and it’s a really interesting portrait of a really exceptional situation."
One Hundred Years of Solitude
Gabriel Garcia Marquez
"This is a very long book about one family’s history, set over a hundred years. It’s written in the style of magical realism, which literally means anything can and does happen."
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