T Nation

Great Book to Read (About Anything)

What kind of books do you guys like? I’m personally a history buff and enjoy historical fiction. My favorite book is one im actually still reading. Gates of Fire by Steven Pressfield. The book is about the spartans and the battle at Thermopylae but the majority of the book (battle is at the end) is about Xeo, a spartan slave and squire and his life growing up. The book is really great and personally I feel it does justice to the spartan way of life and their warrior mentality, its not a book version of 300 but rather an in depth look into the spartan mind and really drags you in.

That book sounds cool, I might pick it up.

Anyways, I’d recommend…

Starship Troopers - This is nothing like that shitty movie. It’s quick and dirty, and it touches on the warrior mentality.

For You specifically: The Sharpe Series. Set during the Napoleonic Wars. I think the first book in the series is Sharpe’s Battle.

48 Laws of Power, Robert Greene

Ender’s Game - One of my favorite books ever. No description needed, just buy it. Never met anyone who didn’t like it.

Lifting Books:

5/3/1 Manual, Starting Strength, Never Let Go (Dan John), Strong Enough? (Rippetoe)

[quote]johnconkle wrote:
That book sounds cool, I might pick it up.

Anyways, I’d recommend…

Starship Troopers - This is nothing like that shitty movie. It’s quick and dirty, and it touches on the warrior mentality.


second for Ender’s Game hence my username

Hard Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World - a book with two opposing stories set in juxtaposition to each other. In one reality you have a guy search for answers to silence and his own existence. In the other you have a guy trapped inside himself trying to get out.

One Hundred Years of Solitude - Not quite sure where to begin describing it. Its magical but not in a farfetched way. Its not really a fantasy book but it is fantastic? I suppose much like many critics the best to describe it is a Modern Epic. Comparable to The Book of Genesis, The Odyssey, Mahabharata (also great to read), etc…

One Hundred Years of Solitude is from a genre of literature called “magical realism”. Apparently it’s OK to write about flying carpets, big-dicked pedophiles and every cousin having the same name; but science fiction is “not literary”.

Now, if you enjoy historical novels, the Masters of Rome series by Colleen McCullough will be a treat.

To switch the topic to non-fiction, but keeping with an historical genre, check out Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond. Awesome read that explores how different societies evolved at different speeds. It also also puts a little writing on the wall about our current society and the way our “adaptations” may influence our future.

Also Empire, by Niall Ferguson is an interesting read.

I will check out some of the recommendations above - I read fiction far too infrequently, and I used to love it.

Cool thread. Keep 'em coming.

Just finished The Third Reich At War by Robert Evans. It can be rather dry but it’s a sobering read.

World War Z is probably the closest literally experience we will ever get to a Zombie Invasion. Its insanely realistic.

the Dexter series is pretty entertaining.

I read that Gates of Fire book, it was good and I would recommend it. It is a fiction, but written by a historian who tries to accurately replicate the way it would have been.

One I would recommend is “Sailing Alone Around the World” by Joshua Slocum. Its the story of a guy who builds his own sailboat, I mean cuts down the trees, builds the planks, seals them w/ whatever they used; seriously handcrafted stuff and this was back about a century ago. He then takes off and sails it by himself around the world.

Its part his journal of the trip, and he recounts that while alone in the middle of the ocean on his hand-crafted vessel, a pirate ghost appeared to the man, said he admired the guy’s spirit and would sail the boat for the guy while he slept. Theres a bunch of other stuff in there about storms, run ins w/ natives in the caribbean while getting water, etc.

It makes me feel like such a pussy.

Just finishing “Who’s Your Caddy?”, humorous golf book. Going to read Agassi’s autobio next. Best book I’ve ever read would have to be “Atlas Shrugged.”

I read Gates of Fire, but that was damn near 10 years ago. My all time favorite book is “There are no children here”. Go ask Alice and Fall River Dreams are damn good books too. Now when I read it’s almost never fiction. Just read a book on serial killers a few months ago that was pretty good.

“You Can’t Win”, by Jack Black. Turn of the century thief, conman and opium addict writes about his life on the road, in stir and the hobo philosophy. One of the most fascinating books ever written about life in America at the end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth. One of William S. Burrough’s favorite books. A must-read.

“The Good War”, Studs Terkel. An oral history of WWII by those who lived it, civilian and military.

I love Gates of Fire so much I’ve read it several times. In fact, I’m a Steven Pressfield junkie & have read all his stuff.

You might try Brotherhood of Warriors by Aaron Cohen. I got nothing done for a couple of days because I just couldn’t put it down. Non-fiction.

Lincoln by Gore Vidal is a good historical fiction selection.

Another vote for Gates of Fire.

Another vote for Guns, Germs, and Steel.

Dennis Learys “Why We Suck” was funny as hell.

Jim Bouton, Ball Four. If you like baseball you should love this one.

Any David Gemmell for campy band of good guys vs bad guys swinging swords shit. Waylander series or Druss the Legend would be a good start.

Matthew Reilly for insanely fast paced military action.

Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry

If you like fantasy try A Game of Thrones.

The last really entertaining sci fi book was called Tomorrow and Tomorrow, its about a guy whos wife has a terminal disease, so he freezes her and himself and thaws 500 years in the future, only to find there is still no cure. so he goes back into cryo again and keeps moving forward in time through the ages. It gets really wild and the timespans become insane.

I’m a huge fan of Steven King’s Dark tower series. It’s a fairly long series, 7 books, but I think it’s worth reading. It’s like a cross between King Arthur and a western.