T Nation

Need A Book To Read


Anybody have a good idea for some books to read. I read just about anything except romance novels, and I really enjoy science, history, and crazy stuff.

Thanks for any suggestions that you can make. If you can't think of any good books to suggest you should be driving to a book store right now to find one.


Just a few off the top of my head:

John Adams biography by David McCollough

Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett (one of my all-time favorite books, but it is huuuuuge)

Black Hawk Down by Mark Bowden

Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke


Try "Founding Brother" by J. Ellis. It's about the founding fathers. Very interesting.


In fiction:

Stephen Kings latest, "Cell", was pretty good, some interesting ideas in it.

The "Frankenstein" series by Dean Koontz, books 1 and 2 are out, also good reads.


You didn't mention in your thread that you enjoyed economics but as I am an economics professor so it's pretty much all I read so here's what I recommend. None of these are scholarly works, which means that you can actually understand them.

  1. Economics in One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt.

  2. How Capitalism Saved America by Thomas Dilorenzo.

  3. Free to Choose by Milton Friedman.

These books are about economics, but they discuss history and philosophy as well. One thing is for sure, there is no romance in them at all!


"The Alienist" and "Angle of Darkness" by Caleb Carr. Warped stories wrapped up in a decent historical background.


My favorite history book of all time:

"A Bridge too Far", Cornelius Ryan. Some crazy ass stuff in there. Tells the story of the ill-fated Market Garden airborne assault in WW2.


If you like science, try
The Dancing Wu Li Masters by Gary Zukav.
An outstanding translation of Quantum Mechanics into layman's terms and a very interesting perspective on how modern physics and ancient eastern religions are finding common ground.


I'm not a fan of Zukav... he unnecessarily links quantum physics with new-agey zen-ish stuff. And it just doesn't give you a good enough idea of what you're reading about.

Want a disturbing book? The Painted Bird, Jerzy Kosinski.


Gates of Fire - Stephen Pressfield - about the Spartans and the Battle of Thermopylae

Sun and Steel - Yukio Mishima - this shit is cool a meditation on training - I'll have to read this one 4-5 time to really get it, I think.

The War with Hannibal - Livy - one of the most badass generals of all time, almost single handedly took down the Romans. Livy's account of the Second Punic War

reading all three right now.


For history, I liked "Flyboys: A True Story of Courage" by James Bradley.

Tells the story of 9 airmen that were shot down on a Japanese island. (one of them was rescued. His name is George Bush)

Good read.


Very disturbing. But the fact that he killed himself after it came out that it was mostly fiction kind of colors it.

Second OARSMAN on reading about Hannibal and the Punic Wars. I'd recommend a book called Cannae, by a British historian, Adrian Goldsworthy, quick read about Hannibal's greatest victory, great look at hand-to-hand combat in the ancient world, lavish illustrations, even if the battle diagrams are kind of shitty.

Robert Kaplan's Balkan Ghosts is good, read that recently.


anything by Hunter S Thompson is preety crazy. I also just finished "Romo" by Bill Romonasoki, That book definetly changed my outlook on some things, Mainly the fact that 99.9% of men besides romo are pussies. Including me.


One of my all-time favorites: The Red Lion, by Orsi. All about alchemy, with nice historical details, in a page-turner fiction format.

Oryx and Crake by Atwood is an interesting piece of post-apocalyptica with gene-tampering as its dark seed of destruction.

Thanks for the book thread! Always looking for a good book myself.


I like Charles Bukowski, Ham on Rye is his best, but it was the second of his books that I'd read and it kind of tainted them, because Ham on Rye was so good. Post Office, Women and Pulp are great too.

I also like A Confederacy of Dunces, won a Pulitzer -- off-color book.

And a million little pieces, too bad it's bullshit, but still a good read -- James Frey has a cool writing style.


I didn't realize it was ever purported to be non-fictional. I think Kosinski was a deeply troubled individual, and his suicide was probably unrelated to his exchange with the Village Voice.


I just finished reading freakonomics. I thought it was pretty good. I would certainly like to get a better understanding of economics after reading it.



If you're into History, you might check out 'Team of Rivals' by Doris Kearns Goodwin. It's about Abraham Lincoln and his cabinet.

This book trumps ZMA for a good night's sleep (JK).

Other recent books to recommend would be 'Europe Central' by William T. Vollman or maybe if you liked 'The Davinci Code' I'd recommend Dan Brown's 'Angels and Demons' which I thought was better than 'Davinci'.

If you're down with History, I would say go with a book about the Ultimate T-Man.....I'm not talking about Romo, although his book was pretty interesting. I'm talking about T. Roosevelt - 'The River of Doubt' - it was on top of my Christmas book list and nobody got it for me - looks really good. Kind of like a 'Heart of Darkness' type of recollection of one of Roosevelt's adventures.

That's my two cents.



I'd also recommend 'Fahrenheit 451' by Ray Bradbury, 'Suttree' by Cormac MacCarthy, and 'Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven' by Sherman Alexie.

All good reads.



I can see a lot of us like the same books. Gates of fire, black hawk down, and a bridge too far are all excellent books. Because of "gates of fire" I went on to read the history of peloponnesian war by thucydides which is also very good. I can also reccomend "a bear goes over the mountain" a book about the soviet invasion of afghanistan. "on killing" by david grossman. and finally 'Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!' (Adventures of a Curious Character)

And thanks to everyone for all of the suggestions so far. Please keep them coming!