Over last weekend I was surfing the internet looking for the recipe for the perfect martini. I found that there are several opinions on this (and don’t get me started on the whole gin vs. vodka thing) but I found a good recipe on the website The Art of Manliness.
I used that recipe, and started exploring the page. They had a page on the 100 books every man should read. While I’ve never worried about my status as a man, I’m a sucker for booklists. I even have booklist of my own. So how did I do?
Well, of the 100 books they list, I’ve read (or at least started) 25 of them. Here are the books they recommend that I’ve read:
- The Great Gatsby by F.Scott Fitzgerald. I read this a few years ago.
- Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut. I read this in 1977 at the end of my junior year in High School.
- 1984 by George Orwell. I read this in high school, and was frankly more impressed with his novel Keep the Aspidistra Flying.
- The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck. I read this in 9th grade. The book is excellent but you should also watch the movie.
- Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. I read this in High School after reading 1984. It didn’t scare me as much as it was supposed to.
- The Odyssey by Homer. I can only claim half credit because the web page lists both the Odyssey and the The Illiad, also by Homer. I read only the Odyssey in my 2nd year of college.
- Walden by Henry David Thoreau. I ready this in my junior year in High School
- Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. This has become a political football. I can only claim half credit as I stopped 2/3 of the way through the book as I found Ayn annoying. I still believe I am my brother’s keeper.
- Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer. I didn’t like this book, but most of those who read it liked it. I’m happy for them.
- The Divine Comedy by Dante Aligheri. I read this in college.
- The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. It was my gateway to the rest of his stuff, and also to C.S. Lewis.
- The Boy Scout Handbook by the Boy Scouts of America. For a very brief time I was a Cub Scout in the late 1960s. They lured me in on the pretense of camping but I soon found out it was all about medals (that I couldn’t have cared less about). On the other hand, this is where I learned to tie a tie.
- Animal Farm by George Orwell. I read this in high school before 1984.
- The Federalist Papers by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay. I can only claim half credit as I haven’t read all of them, but I’ve enjoyed what I have read.
- Moby Dick, or The Whale by Herman Melville. I’ve seen both versions of the movie, and started the book. Someday I’ll finish it. Give me half credit.
- Hamlet by William Shakespeare. I took a course in 12th grade on Shakespeare’s tragedies. I’m actually happy about a book I was assigned to read in high school
- The Boys of Summer by Roger Kahn. Nancy is a big Dodger’s fan so it was inevitable we’d read this. It was a few years ago.
- The Stranger by Albert Camus. I read this as a senior in high school in 5th year French. Do I get extra credit for reading it in the original French?
- On the Road by Jack Kerouac. I “read” this as an audiobook a few years ago. I agree with Truman Capote: “That’s not writing, it’s typing.”
- Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer. If this doesn’t dissuade you from climbing Mt. Everest, you shouldn’t have children
- All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque. I read this in English class in high school; the course was called “War Literature.” It may have started my fascination with World War I.
- The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane. I also read this in the “War Literature” course; I was already fascinated by the Civil War. Thanks Mr. Brady.
- The Bible. This is really a collection of books, but in the course of several years of seminary, I’m sure I’ve read all of it.
- Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry. I read this a few years after the mini-series came out. Still not a fan of westerns.
- To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. I read this in 9th grade English in a course called “Family Literature.” Thanks Mrs. Peterson. It’s a rare event where the book and the movie are equally brilliant. I still refer to a house in my neighborhood as the “Boo Radley House.”
If you want to see the other 75 you’ll have to go on the web page. I don’t want to publish it here as I’m not eager to have people email me with your shock that I haven’t read your favorite book.