T Nation

Recent Reads and Recommendations


Since pushmepullme mentioned books so much in the other hobbies thread and I love to read let's see what some of you are reading or would recommend.

I'm not telling what genre these books are but check them out.

Just finished GO-Go Girls of the Apocalypse by Victor Gischler. I know the title is weird but here is an excerpt
of what is on the back of a Jack Daniel's bottle in the near future:
Jack Daniel's: The Tradition Survives

Much blood has been spilled to preserve the smooth -sipping Tennessee whiskey you've enjoyed through good times and bad. Governments might rise and fall, but the recipe for your favorite adult beverage has remained unchanged even when the world as we know it has been through the wringer.

You can count on our seasoned and indestructible distillers to continue bringing you the finest whiskey in what's left of the known world.

A mere three months after the Fall, humanity quickly discovered that it do not want to endure the end of all civilization sober, so raiding parties at the Jack Daniel's distillery were frequent and disruptive.

The owners soon gathered the remaining distillery employees into a fighting militia known as the Jack Squad. With the help of some intrepid local NRA enthusiast, Fort Lynchburg was built and defended. The fort almost fell to a band of wild Civil War reenactors who had replaced their muzzle-loaders with army-surplus M1 rifles.

At last, General Ira "Stonewall" Weinstein surrendered his sword before being hung from a Kentucky Fried Chicken sign, where his bones still hang today as a reminder for those who'd fuck with the producers of the finest, smoothest liquor ever made by true Americans.

So challenges may come and go, but Jack Daniel's pledges to keep using only the best, purest ingredients available. Unlike those responsible for the short-lived resurgence of Sam Adams beer, Jack Daniel's promises to use pure spring water, free of radioactive or other toxic materials.

So whether you're fleeing violent rape gangs, remembering those lost loved ones, or daydreaming of a future where wild dogs no longer roam the streets, we hope you'll keep making Jack Daniel's your preferred beverage.

some other recommendations:

Musashi by Eiji Yoshikawa

Lord of the Barnyard: Killing the Fatted Calf and Arming the Aware in the Cornbelt by Tristan Egolf

March Upcountry by David Weber and John Ringo(#1 of a series)

Something From the Nightside by Simon R. Green(#1 of a series)

Gulag Archipelago by Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn

The Shaman Sings by James D. Doss(#1 of a series)

Chocolate: A Bittersweet Saga of Dark and Light by Mort Rosenblum

Wolfgang Gullich: A Life In the Vertical by Tillman Hepp

now give some recommendations


Right now I'm reading:

Inside Delta Force, Eric Haney - original Delta Force member describes training and early missions

Privilege and Scandal - a biography of Princess Di's random ancestor

Veil of Roses - Iranian girl illegally comes to US to try to find an Iranian boy to marry, ends up with an American boy.

The Devil in the White City - Erik Larson - history of the World's Fair and a serial killer, national book award finalist but I really thought it wasn't that great - a story about apples and oranges.

I generally read whatever is in the same room as me.


Crooked Little Vein - Warren Ellis ; Damn. Just read it. Godzilla Bukkake, is all I'm sayin'.

About to start on Book of Lies, connects the murder weapon Cain used on Abel to the killing of the father ofJerry Siegel - the co-creator of Superman.


The Gulag Archipelago is one hell of a book, great recommend!

Currently halfway through "The River Why" by David James Duncan- it has a really comedic witty style, and is basically a coming of age story reminiscent of Thoreau's Walden but all about fishing- both rod and fly. You don't have to fish to like it.

My favorites (that I can think of off the top of my head right now), in no particular order:

-The Count of Monte Cristo, Alexander Dumas-all time fave.
-The Great Escape, Paul Brickhill
-Stiff, Mary Roach
-The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Stephen Chbosky
-A Heartbreaking Work Of Staggering Genius, Dave Eggers
-Why We Lie, David Livingstone Smith
-Faust, Goethe
-Sleeping Beauty Trilogy, Anne Rice
-Freakonomics, Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner
-The Universe In A Nutshell, Stephen Hawking
-Why Beautiful People Have More Daughters, Alan S. Miller and Satoshi Kanazawa
-Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand
-A Song Of Ice And Fire series, George R. R. Martin

Anything by:
Milan Kundera
Kurt Vonnegut
Khaled Hosseini
Jon Krakauer
Chuck Palahniuk
Patrick McManus
Bill Bryson
Neil Gaiman
Robert Heinlein
Augusten Burroughs

Plenty more I can't think of right now. I would be poor if I didn't have a library card. Too many books, too little time!


"Blink", by Malcolm Gladwell. Talks about the importance and theory of split-second decision making and how we can apply it IRL.

"First Law Trilogy", by Joe Abercrombie. Features "The Blade Itself", "Before They Are Hanged" and "The Last Argument of Kings". Densely plotted and wickedly characterized action fantasy. Think George R.R. Martin meets Mickey Spillane.

Anything Andrew Vachss has ever written or will write.

"Big Guy and Rusty the Boy Robot", Geoff Darrow. Get the big edition if you can. Simply fantastic piece of comic art. Makes for a hell of a coffee table book.


Among my recent reads are:

Catch-22 by Joseph Heller (this a 3rd time reading this great book)

Captain Sir Richard Francis Burton - A Biography by Edward Rice

The Ugly American by William Lederer and Eugene Burdick

When Cultures Collide: Leading Across Cultures by Richard Lewis

The Gun Seller by Hugh Laurie (thats right House, MD wrote a book)

Keep up the recommendations, I am usually looking for something to add to my library.


King Dork- By Frank Portman

A book centered around an outcast high school kid who loves music. It isn't some Judy Blume bullshit though, it's a killer read...I read the opening paragraph and bought the book on spot.


The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove- Christopher Moore


Fluke- (or, I know why the winged whale sings) Christopher Moore

Both of these books were really imaginitive, just odd enough that I couldn't stop reading.

All of these books are pretty easy reads, with good humor, creativity and insight. They may not be classics of amazing depth, but they beat the shit out of reality TV.


Most recently read books are
The kite runner
Fight club

I loved them both in different ways, but i really have to recommmend reading the kite runner! It's a story from afghanistan by Khaled Hosseini.


One Man's Wilderness: An Alaskan Odyssey by Sam Keith. This is the story of Richard Proenneke, who in 1968 built a cabin in the remote Twin Lakes area of Alaska. He built the cabin with hand tools, lumber he felled himself, and stuff that he packed in on his back from where his friend had flown him in. The book details his building of the cabin and his life in the first year. His resourcefullness is amazing and the story is spellbinding. I've read it about six times and it never gets old.

Other favourites:

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez: A fascinating, magical story

The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner

A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving

The Hotel New Hampshire by John Irving

Andyyboy: If you enjoyed The Kite Runner you'll also like A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

The Great Santini by Pat Conroy

The Best and the Brightest by David Halberstam

North Toward Home by Willie Morris

My Dog Skip by Willie Morris

Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson

Black Boy by Richard Wright

Brother to a Dragonfly by Will Campbell

On The Road, The Original Scroll by Jack Kerouac. I'm a big Kerouac fan

Anything by Willie Morris, John Steinbeck, Walker Percy, and David Halberstam

I am currently reading Why Dogs Chase Cars by George Singleton and The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski

I could list dozens more and probably will as this thread undoubtedly gets a lot longer


Oooooh... this one is now next on my list! Thanks! :smiley:


Thank you WxHerk. I'll order it as soon as possible. The kite runner is the only book by him i've read, but i really loved it. I'm sure i'll love that one too :slight_smile:


Yeah, both of Hosseini's are great. I have to admit, I got pretty choked up reading them at certain points. You have to be in the right mood to read them. I look really forward to seeing what he comes up with next. :smiley:


I completely forgot about Kerouac! lol Have you ever picked up "Some of the Dharma" ? It's a perfect coffee table/nightstand/bathroom book, because you can just flip randomly to any page and find some amazing thought-provoking little clip to think about the rest of your day. It's basically like a journal or notebook of his thoughts regarding Buddhism (a major theme in his books), spirituality, writing, and life in general.

My other favorite random flipping-through coffee table/nightstand/bathroom book is "Journals" by Kurt Cobain.

Both very voyeuristic, in a way.


Actually these may be my favorite coffee table type books EVER. I know I'm gonna look like a freak here but who cares, I'm absolutely entranced by treehouses and plan to build my own one day. These 3 books are equally amazing and inspirational, and actually make great gifts for children (a lot of kids I've babysat absolutely love these and get as excited about them as I do and then we go build forts together, lol).

-Treehouses of the World by Pete Nelson and Radek Kurzaj

-The Treehouse Book by Peter Nelson, Judy Nelson, and David Larkin

-Treehouses: The Art and Craft of Living Out on a Limb by Peter Nelson and David Larkin

There are many other books out there that get more into the technical/design aspects of building treehouses- these are more for pictures and daydreaming. :smiley:


I just finished reading "Operation Wandering Womble".

I'd like to say it was to my kids.


Anathem by Neil Stephenson