“For the intimate revelations of young men, or at least the terms in which they express them, are usually plagiaristic and marred by obvious suppressions.” 

– The Great Gatsby

My Top Reads

What I’ve Read: 2019

  • Matterhorn by Karl Marlantes – The best Vietnam War novel that I’ve read next to The Things They Carried
  • Touching the Void by Joe Simpson – The most intense survival story I’ve read. A broken leg at the top of a peak in the Andes…
  • The Death of Ivan Ilych by Leo Tolstoy – Dostoevsky might have been a master of the mind, but Tolstoy was a master of society
  • 1984 by George Orwell – You’ve probably read it. If you haven’t, READ IT!
  • The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson – A personal look at life in North Korea. Won a Pulitzer. Absolutely worth a read.
  • Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut – Vonnegut’s most famous. Absolutely brilliant and insightful. So it goes…
  • Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut – My favorite Vonnegut. His creation of the religion of Bokononism is hilarious.
  • Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut – Laugh out loud funny. Follow Unk and the martian army as they invade earth. Very clever.
  • Fugitive Pieces by Anne Michaels – A haunting holocaust read. Beautifully written.
  • All The Lights We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr – Another Pulitzer winner. Beautiful imagery in this WWII-set novel.
  • Freakonomics by Steven Levitt & Stephen Dubner – Found it too simplistic.
  • Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell – Very readable theory about success. He beats the argument to death. Read the first 25% and move on.
  • Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck – Oh Steinbeck, you’re second to only Cormac in making me want to take up a life of farming.
  • Zero to One by Peter Thiel – A good read if you want to start a company. Full of clichés that will get you up and going.
  • Sapiens by Yuval Harari – Seems everyone loves it or hates it. I loved the part about the evolution of money.
  • Handmaiden’s Tale by Margaret Atwood – Well written and compelling. A little too politically charged for me though.
  • A Brave New World by Aldous Huxley – One of my favorites. Guy’s a genius. Great video exploring 1984 v. Brave New World and why Huxley was the closer in his predictions.
  • Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy – Jesus the guy is good. My favorite writer, our best contemporary writer. Blood Meridian is one of his most challenging. The musings of The Judge still haunt me.
  • The Border Trilogy by Cormac McCarthy – All the Pretty Horses, The Crossing, and Cities of the Plain. Please read the first two! Some of the best I’ve ever read. Cities of the Plain…HOW DID YOU MESS THAT ONE UP CORMAC?!
  • The Road by Cormac McCarthy – Yeah, one of the most twisted novels I’ve ever read. But also one of the most magnificent.
  • A Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez – Fantastic South American literature! A glorious magical novel. Loved it.
  • Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl – An absolute must-read. A psychiatrist’s perspective on his time in Auschwitz and man’s ability to endure suffering.
  • The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis – Witty, meaningful, and hilarious. It will change how you look at the world.
  • Capitalism and Freedom by Milton Friedman
  • The Road to Serfdom by Fredrick Hayek 
  • On Liberty by J.S. Mills – These three books will fundamentally challenge your views on politics and society.
  • The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald – In my opinion, Fitzgerald’s imagery is second only to Cormac McCarthy’s.
  • The True Believer by Eric Hoffer
  • Escape from Freedom by Erich Fromm – Hoffer and Fromm both provide extraordinary looks at what drives people to radicalism.
  • The Ides of March by Thorton Wilder – A great historical fiction account of the assassination of Caesar.
  • The Plague by Albert Camus – Camus uses a coastal French town infected with the black plague to explore his themes of death and meaning.

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