Recommendations

Have a book you would like to suggest? Leave a comment here and I’ll check it out!

  1. January 1st, 2009 at 18:13 | #1

    I suggest The Death and Life of Great American Cities by Jane Jacobs:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Death_and_Life_of_Great_American_Cities

  2. Brian Utley
    January 1st, 2009 at 18:34 | #2

    Thanks Joe, I’ll check that out right now. I’ve ordered “A People’s History of the United States: 1492 to Present” by Richard Zinn. It’s fairly large, but I think I can tackle it in a week. Your recommendation would most likely be a great follow-up to something like that.

  3. RJ
    January 3rd, 2009 at 17:48 | #3

    Hello. Saw your comment on Unclutterer…
    when you need something lighter to read, check this one out: a fun read about a guy on a quest similar to yours…
    The Know-It-All: One Man’s Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World by A. J. Jacobs

  4. Brian
    January 3rd, 2009 at 20:03 | #4

    Nice! He had a good TedTalk about trying to live biblically that was really interesting so I’ll definitely have to check that out. Thanks!

  5. Brian
    January 3rd, 2009 at 20:04 | #5
  6. January 8th, 2009 at 11:32 | #6

    Hi,
    While floating in the deep blue sea…. I read a book called Bonds of Affection, by Matthew Holland, for a course. But it had some really good stuff, brilliant stuff on charity and purpose of government – I can get you a copy.

    Meredith and I read a book called “The Underneath” – we really liked that one. We like “The Benedict Society” series, there are 2 so far, Sky would probably also love it. We are reading “Savvy”, right now, and our next book will be “The name of this book is secrets” – that one looks very promising. We really liked the underneath, and Savvy is good also. Grace has enjoyed — well that is a long list, I’ll get it to you. Maybe we should set up a family kids/teens site !! That would be a lovely addition, and augment your site nicely. I can get you authors if you can’t find the books with just the titles. Loves

  7. Brian
    January 9th, 2009 at 18:11 | #7

    Thanks sis!

    Is that James’ Matthew Holland?

  8. Sarah
    January 14th, 2009 at 15:03 | #8

    Hey B-
    I have some authors in my family if you wanna check them out:
    “The True Meaning of Smekday” by Adam Rex
    “The Color Of Love: A Romance In Black And White” by Vickie Adamson

    Also for a totally haunting read on the Warren Jeffs Clan read “Escape” by Caroyln Jessop
    sc

  9. Brian
    January 14th, 2009 at 15:08 | #9

    Cool! Thanks Sarah!

  10. marko
    January 15th, 2009 at 04:57 | #10

    Are You looking only for ‘real’ books or also considering comics?

    If you also are considering comics, here are some suggestions for multilayered comics with a more earnest tone:

    – Art Spiegelmann: The Complete Maus (or the two volumes seperatly)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maus
    – Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell: From Hell (also available in seperate volumes or one complete book with > 500 pages)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/From_Hell
    – Alison Bechdel: Fun Home
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fun_Home

  11. January 15th, 2009 at 19:02 | #11

    Zinn’s book is outstanding…OUTSTANDING.

    ENJOY IT!
    @Brian Utley

  12. January 15th, 2009 at 23:35 | #12

    I’m just finishing up “Learning to Breathe” by Alison Wright. She’s a professional photographer (National Geographic, Yoga Journal, etc.) who was in near death accident. She survives and talks about her struggle to get her life back and still do photography. Really great book. I happened to step in during a reading she was doing in San Francisco. Really inspiring that it makes me want to go out and do photography. Quick read so you could totally do it in a week.

  13. Ericka Andersen
    January 16th, 2009 at 18:50 | #13

    Fiction….? Okay, really and truly not my genre, but I highly recommend The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini, it starts with Eragon. Dragons, Dragon Riders, Fairies, creatures of all kind! Awesome (REALLY awesome when you consider he started writing them at 15). Also, I’m not even finished, but LOVING–The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson. It is a murder mystery with more of a modern feel including hackers, finincial twists, great stuff like that. It’s written so intelligently, I love it.
    Happy reading. I wish I could join your quest. 52 books in 52 weeks sounds like heaven!
    Ericka

  14. January 17th, 2009 at 11:31 | #14

    Here are a few of really good business books:

    Tribes, Seth Godin
    Purple Cow, Seth Godin
    Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything, Don Tapscott

  15. marko
    January 18th, 2009 at 11:15 | #15

    I had made a comment here, whether you are also interessant in recommendations for ‘serious’ comics, but the comment never showed up!?

    Was it eaten by a spam grue, because I had added three Wikipedia links along with the recommendations?

  16. Brian Utley
    January 20th, 2009 at 19:02 | #16

    @Phil Wright
    Hey Phil!

    Great suggestions. I’ve read Wikinomics, but not Seth Godin books. Although, I’ve watched a few of his lectures. Tribes is one that will eventually appear on here for sure.

    Thanks pal!

  17. Caitlin McNany
    March 4th, 2009 at 05:23 | #17

    saw this link on twitter… i just read The Road by Cormac McCarthy and would recommend it for a quick read.

    another book i would suggest would be A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole. living in new orleans gives me a special appreciation for this story but it’s truly one of the funniest novels i’ve ever read.

  18. Christopher Kienle
    March 4th, 2009 at 08:12 | #18

    I recommend Dave Eggers “A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius” — the story is as good as the title suggests. One of my favorite books of all times.

  19. Liz
    March 4th, 2009 at 19:40 | #19

    I just finished “The Tenderness of Wolves” by Stef Penney and it was WONDERFUL!!!!
    Also excellent was, “In the Woods” and “The Likeness” by Tana French. The Likeness pretty much
    held me hostage!! was up VERY late a couple nights finishing it!!
    Love both of these writers, vivid but frugal writing, intelligent and extremely captivating.

  20. March 5th, 2009 at 23:42 | #20

    I just read Russian novelist, Victor Pelevin’s The Sacred Book of the Werewolf. If you like Haruki Murakami, you may like Pelevin, as his subject matter is quite offbeat. It’s an erotic post modern fairy tale of sorts (well…not exactly)

    Publisher’s Weekly:
    Russian novelist Pelevin’s chaotic latest examines contemporary Russia as viewed through the eyes of A. Hu-li, a 2,000-year-old werefox who is able to transform into a beautiful nymphet. The opening chapter is both an introduction to werefoxes as well as an account of how werefoxes, working as prostitutes, utilize their stunning looks to absorb a man’s life energy. Hu-li’s experiences are standard for an ancient werefox until she meets Alexander, an attractive Russian intelligence officer who happens to be a werewolf…

  21. Jasper Focker
    March 20th, 2009 at 19:55 | #21

    Read the 4 John Updike ‘Rabbit’ books, about Harry ‘Rabbit’ Angstrom: Rabbit Run — Rabbit Redux — Rabbit is Rich — Rabbit at Rest; plus there’s a 150-page Life After Rabbit in a book of novellas.

    Rabbit Angstrom is a character in a Tom Waits song.

  22. Nikki
    March 24th, 2009 at 10:22 | #22

    Two of my favorites are:

    “My Name Is Red” by Orhan Pamuk. Beautiful!

    “Candide” by Voltaire. I was surpirsed at how hilarious this book was. I think I’ll read it again, actually.

    Okay, one more.

    “Narcissus and Goldmund” by Herman Hesse.

  23. March 24th, 2009 at 13:21 | #23

    @Caitlin McNany I second A Confederacy of Dunces! It is ridiculously funny and tragic.

  24. NJS
    April 2nd, 2009 at 14:38 | #24

    “OUTLIERS” by MALCOLM GLADWELL

  25. MiPiAi
    April 7th, 2009 at 20:17 | #25

    Eureka Street by Robert McLiam Wilson. “The weekend opened out to me like a menu in a cheap cafe. There was nothing I wanted there.” Set in 1990s Belfast, one of the best books I’ve read in a while, witty and insightful, brimming with post-modern pub fights (p. 184), giant dildo refunds (p. 78), and where every character has a story, some of which are shortened by bombs (an occurrence also known as “a confident editorial decision” – p. 231).

  26. May 10th, 2009 at 14:51 | #26

    Found your blog via @tomwaits Twitter account (I’m @katrinamckay on Twitter). For a quick fun read, check out “Fear and Trembling” by Amelie Nothomb.

    I’m very inspired by your book/week idea. Brilliant.

    Do you plan to read any of the classics this year? I’m working my way through Dostoyevsky (which will take me some time – definitely longer than a year).

  27. LitAgent
    May 28th, 2009 at 15:02 | #27

    A few favorites that everyone ought to check out:
    “The History of Love” by Nicole Krauss
    “Middlesex” by Jeffrey Eugenides
    “Let’s Talk About Love” by Carl Wilson

  28. Brian Utley
    May 28th, 2009 at 15:14 | #28

    Nice, thanks. I’ve been thinking about “Middlesex” for a while. I may pic that one up.

  29. May 28th, 2009 at 20:38 | #29

    Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies by Jared Diamond

    Excellent review of human history, nothing that you haven’t heard before but this man has a tremendous hability to make it into one straight story. In my opinion it’s mostly arguing against racism, but in a very scientific-historic way… Check it out it’s a must!

  30. May 28th, 2009 at 20:46 | #30

    @Nikki
    My Name is Red is GREAT

  31. Irene Gorelik
    June 1st, 2009 at 13:36 | #31

    The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell.

    Think “Catholic Church ran out of places to discover on Earth, so the next logical step is to the Cosmos.”

    This is on my top ten list.

  32. June 5th, 2009 at 10:26 | #32

    I was going to suggest Middlesex and was glad to see it’s already been recommended. So lets see –

    One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez (a rather obvious choice, but right up there on my list – it’s a tough nut to crack, but once you build momentum and begin to like you’ll be done in no time)

    Prep – Curtis Sittenfeld (for something more contemporary, preppy boarding school, loner kid from Indiana, good stuff)

    Rebecca by DAphne Du Maurier

    and lastly a thin one, Breakfast at Tiffanys (Truman Capote)

    Also, Reading Lolita in Tehran – Azar Nafisi and while I’m not suggesting this because it’s over a thousand pages long, A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth

    Oh and might as well throw in the last book I read, Shantaram – Gregory David Roberts

  33. June 9th, 2009 at 08:07 | #33

    Public Enemies by Byran Burrough – it’s about the Crime Wave of the 1930s and how the FBI came to be

    My Boring Ass Life by Kevin Smith journal style, but entertaining.

    Wonderboys by Michael Chabon

    A Model World and Other Stories by Michael Chabon

    Wake Up, Sir! by Jonathan Ames

    Chabon and Ames are entertaining. Anything by Hunter S. Thompson. His fiction is fantastic and entertaining.

  34. July 13th, 2009 at 11:07 | #34

    -“Twilight of the Superheroes” by Deborah Eisenberg
    -“Pilgrim at Tinker Creek” by Annie Dillard
    -“Falling Man” by Don DeLillo

    Good luck with your resolution, Brian!

  35. July 29th, 2009 at 16:15 | #35

    You already have Man’s Search for Meaning, which is amazing.

    As a writer, I recommend “Story” by Robert McKee. Yeah, it’s explicitly about writing, but his philosophical principles are fascinating for everyone. But, you’re a writer, so either way, you should dig it:)

    “Creators on Creating”. Each chapter is an article from well-known amazing artists and creatives, talking about their creative process.

    “Mastery” by George Leonard. One the best books I’ve ever read on what true mastery is (of anything) and what it takes.

    “Immunity to Change” by Robert Kegan. Best book on making tough changes in life. I’ve read TONS of personal development books and have a MSEd in counseling, so this is big recommendation for that:)

    “Never Eat Alone”. Wonderful book on networking that emphasizes real relationships, giving, and not manipulating, yet also gives practical advice for the entrepreneur.

    I have more, but I’ll just throw those out:)

  36. August 10th, 2009 at 06:22 | #36

    Wow. I love that you’re doing this. Quite ambitious and impressive, I must say. I’ve got several books to recommend, but I should probably stick to the ones which lack density…fun, quick reads with depth. Since that’s the case, I would definitely suggest:

    “My Year of Meats” by Ruth Ozeki
    “Persepolis” by Marjane Satrapi
    “Maus I” and “Maus II” by Art Spiegelman
    If you’re a cat lover, “A Cat Who Went to Paris” by Peter Gethers (if not a cat lover, might not appeal to you)

    I just started reading this great book…”We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will be Killed With Our Families: Stories from Rwanda” by Phillip Gourevitch

    I’ve got many more…most of which are graphic novels. (I sort of have a big thing for those); however, I’m sure you’ve got plenty on your plate.

    Happy Reading!

    gk

  37. August 13th, 2009 at 13:33 | #37

    what an amazing idea! I’ve been stepping up my reading this summer as well-this inspires me to do even more.

    I have two really great suggestions

    “Crossing to Safety” by Wallace Stegner. Stegner is an amazing writer and this particular book is a beautiful story about the friendship between two married couples over the course of their lives. So real, so well written, it’s one of my all time favorites.

    “Friday Night Lights” by H.G. Bissinger. Finally got around to reading this after slobbering over the TV show for the last three years. I’m sure it was a a great read even when it came out but all the context he gives on the Texas oil bust feels like eerily like something Wall Street should have paid attention to five or ten years ago. A fantastic portrait of middle america.

  38. August 13th, 2009 at 13:49 | #38

    Hi Katie,

    Perfect. I’ve been meaning to read Stegner. Thanks!

  39. August 18th, 2009 at 19:55 | #39

    required reading:

    bill bryson: a short history of nearly everything
    jonah lehrer: proust was neuroscientist
    charles bukowski: ham on rye

    regards/ JH GOERTEL

  40. August 21st, 2009 at 14:16 | #40

    definitely read: “the dark side” by jane mayer; “netherland” by joe oneill; “the emperor’s children” by claire messud; “will in the world” by stephen greenblatt. the last 4 books i read, and all awesome.

  41. August 24th, 2009 at 10:28 | #41

    Accidental Billionaires is pretty good so far…. If you like your latest read maybe you would enjoy Atlas Shrugged

  42. September 2nd, 2009 at 09:22 | #42

    I suggest the following books:

    Illusions by Richard Bach
    The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
    Animal Farm by Orwell
    A Scanner Darkly by Philip K Dick
    Watership Down by Richard Adams

  43. Paul
    September 13th, 2009 at 17:55 | #43

    A Personal Matter – Kenzubro Oe

  44. Chris
    September 13th, 2009 at 18:52 | #44

    I always recommend Richard Powers (Plowing the Darkness, but whatever’s good) or Pale Fire by Nabakov.

  45. David
    September 18th, 2009 at 22:43 | #45

    I highly recommend The Road by Cormac McCarthy. It is only fairly short but it reaches out and grabs you.

  46. Cat
    November 14th, 2009 at 22:31 | #46

    Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller

  47. November 15th, 2009 at 13:48 | #47

    Excellent Rec! I’ll check that one out.

  48. December 1st, 2009 at 17:43 | #48

    Vry interesante leerlo: P: D

  49. January 8th, 2011 at 01:09 | #49

    Great site. I like the way you explain everything without using complicated terms.

  50. Shraddha
    June 16th, 2011 at 15:41 | #50

    The Curious incident of the dog in the night time. It is a small read,a day or two maybe. Try it for a busy week. :)

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