T Nation

Looking For a Good Read

As most of you know, many T-maggers like to stimulate more than just muscle. I,along with many of you enjoy excersing the mind through reading. Looking for a good read over this holdiay break something that will make you think or a story worth reading. I just finished Surfacing by Margert Atwood and would recommend it to anyone who wants to think about the materalistic value of their life. Before that I devoured The Loop by Nicholas Evans simply put this a page turner you can’t put down.

I just finished Prey by Michael Crichton last night. Finished it in 3 days. Good stuff. I really liked Timeline (same author). Andromeda Strain left me a little empty.

I’d also highly recommend Mila 18 by Leon Uris (Polish Jews during the German occupation of WWII – though a fictional story, the setting and events are true. A very good read.)

The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis

One of the best books ever written in my opinion. It puts an interesting twist on temptation, and it can be read in about 2 or 3 days. This book definatley makes you see things in a new and refreshing way.

[quote]bamit wrote:
The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis

One of the best books ever written in my opinion. It puts an interesting twist on temptation, and it can be read in about 2 or 3 days. This book definatley makes you see things in a new and refreshing way.[/quote]

I concur, this is a good one. There is also an audio book version read by John Cleese. Very good.


I guess I’ll go the “story worth reading” route, as I can’t think of anything off the top of my head that would “make you think”… Perhaps these will in some way.

While I do believe that most of those “classics” written by those dead, old white guys are highly overrated, “Lord Jim” (in quotations because I can’t figure out how to italicize stuff) by Joseph Conrad is worth reading if you can stomach the full-page length sentences.

On the lighter side, there is “The Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” by the late Douglas Adams. This is an incredibly entertaining series, and is among, if not at the top of, the list of my favourite books.

Throwing another Sci-Fi title at you, I’ll recommend “The Mote in God’s Eye” by, err, ah, I think it is Jerry Pournelle and Larry Niven. I may be wrong on that one, but nevertheless, it is a story worth reading.


Godel, Escher, Bach, by Douglas Hofstadter is my favourite “make you think” book. Its main idea is consciousness through recursion and it looks at a range of topics in maths, computing, biology, music, art and philosophy. It’s also not as pretentious as it sounds! Very, very, very interesting if you’re at all interested in any of this stuff.

A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking. Steroids for the brain.

Dune by Frank Herbert

Anything by Hunter S. Thompson

Vachs for a cheesy crime novel.

Conti book on making $ thru Lease to own deals on houses

Jackson’s new book on Lakers last season.

I forget the author but I believe the title is “Gates Of Fire” which is about the small group of Spartans that held back the whole Persian army. Tres Macho.

Illiad by Homer

Willam Vollman’s “The Icelandic Sagas” cool stuff part travel book half stories about viking battles.

Anything by David Foster Wallace

Off the subject slightly. Does anyone know where I could get the following without spending a small fortune.

Poloquin Principles

Manly Weight Loss

both of the above by Charles Poloquin

Or could some PM me or let me know what issue of Muscle Media had a great article on goal setting from the book “Goals” by Brian Tracy. I had the issue and lost it in my move from Seattle to Vegas. If someone out in T land could forward me the article I would greatly appreciate it. This is for my own personal use so no copyright laws would be violated.

The Fountainhead/Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. Great books.

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenence by Robert Pirsig. (haven’t finished it yet but it’s quite good so far)

All three are classics and deservingly so.

I’m in the middle of reading Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson. So far, it’s very entertaining. His writing style feels similar to what Tarantino did with Pulp Fiction. Covers WWII, mathematics, cryptography, hackers, and how to eat Captain Crunch cereal without tearing the roof of your mouth to shreads.

Quote from the book:

“Let’s set the existence-of-god issue aside for a later volume, and just stipulate that in some way, self-replicating organisms came into existence on this planet and immediately began trying to get rid of each other, either by spamming their environments with rough copies of themselves, or by more direct means which hardly need to be belabored. Most of them failed, and their genetic legacy was erased from the universe forever, but a few found some way to survive and to propagate. After about three billion years of this sometimes zany, frequently tedious fugue of carnality and carnage, Godfrey Waterhouse IV was born, in Murdo, South Dakota, to Blanche, the wife of a Congregational preacher named Bunyan Waterhouse. Like every other creature on the face of the earth, Godfrey was, by birthright, a stupendous badass, albeit in the somewhat narrow technical sense that he could trace his ancestry back up a long line of slightly less highly evolved stupendous badasses to that first self-replicating gizmo - which, given the number and variety of its descendants, might justifiably be described as the most stupendous badass of all time. Everyone and everything that wasn’t a stupendous badass was dead.”


I’ll second Zen. Great book.

I agree that the Screwtape Letters is very good, but my favorite by C.S. Lewis is called Miracles. Read that one if you really want to stretch your mind. But if you want something that will make you think and laugh, read either Eat the Rich, or Parliament of Whores by P.J. O?Rourke. Those are two of my all time favorite books.

Ditto again on Screwtape Letters, but I am also a big fan of Lewis’s “The Great Divorce”. It’s not about marital divorce, but the divorce between Heaven and Hell and it is set as a story about how people in purgatory get a chance each year to go to Heaven and choose to do the right thing to get into Heaven. It’s fascinating because so many of them cannot bring themselves to admit their own flaws or wrongdoings (even when they are so painfully apparent). You read this book and you will then notice this kind of thing in every day life.

Phil Jackson’s book “Sacred Hoops” is another good one. It’s cool because the discussion of a Zen philosophy and meditation dovetail nicely with Lonnie Lowery’s “Meditation for Muscle” article that just was posted at http://www.t-nation.com/readTopic.do;jsessionid=D5F0B3765B1C8896C62929B7D1483CDE.titan?id=525379.

Anything by Philip K, Dick. He wrote the book “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” which became the movie “Blade Runner” He has been my favorite read for the past year.

If you like historical fiction I would suggest you to read:
“Spartan” and/or “The last legion” by Valerio Massimo Manfredi.
I’ve checked that you can find them in www.amazon.com.

[quote]Squeak wrote:
The Fountainhead/Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. Great books.


Philosophy: Republic - Plato.
Literature: Benito Cereno - Melville.

Anthem by Ayn Rand (good short that gets you into her stuff before you tackel the big ones)

Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer

Delta of Venius by Anias Nin

Animal Farm by Orwell

Sidhartha by Hermin Hesse

Solipsism by Henry Rollins

and the list goes on


Prey, Timeline, and Andromeda were among Crichton’s worst, IMO. Airframe and Congo, on the other hand…

A few favorites:

The Godfather

The Good Earth

I, Robot


Anything of Isac Asimov, His Foundation series is absolutely great.

Robert Heinlein. I don’t have words that can describe his books.

Michael Moorcook. “Behold the man” gives a different picture of Jesus and Christianity. A very good/ thought-provoking read.