T Nation

Recommended Reading for Summer

This thread was inspired by Xen Nova’s “Social Experiment”.

Like him I’ve realised I waste FAR too much time online, time which would be much better served reading or learning new skills. Since I’m a competitive powerlifter I generally don’t have a lot of energy for other physical activities, so for the summer (while I’m not worrying about my studying!) I want to get thru as many books as possible and was hoping some of the more well-read T-Nation’ers could recommend some.

Right now I’ve got Crime and Punishment and For Whom The Bells Tolls sitting on my bookshelf waiting to be read… Which should I go with first…? (I’ve read other Hemmingway stuff and I’m a big fan of his direct writing stlye)

Also, what other books should I set about acquiring?

Keep in mind I’m looking to read books on pretty much everything, business, bios, history, fiction, training and weight related stuff etc etc…

Hopefully others will benefit from this too!!

There’s a tonne to suggest.

But seriously, if you’re up for a challenging read

Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace.

1000+ pages of sheer genius.
(in my opinion that is).

Reading it right now for about the 30th time.

“King” magazine

Comic books

“Muscle and Fitness” magazine

That’s all I can think of at the moment.

Don’t read For Whom the Bell Tolls, Hemingway was a dupe of the communists in Spain. Check out Orwell’s Spanish Civil War memoir, Homage to Catalonia, instead.

As I said on Xen’s thread, do yourself a favor and read A Prayer for Owen Meany and The Road. You’ll thank me later.

And you can never go wrong with Mark Twain.

“The Stranger” and “The Plague” by Albert Camus. Changed my life (or at least my view of God/religion)

Here are a few, by category:

FUN/ENTERTAINMENT (i.e., no practical application):

A Brief History of Time (Hawking)

The Selfish Gene (Dawkins)

Darwin’s Dangerous Idea (Dennett)

Think (Blackwell)

Being Good (same)

PEOPLE SKILLS/PERSUASION

How to Argue and Win Everytime (Spence)

How to Talk to Anyone, Anyplace, Anytime (King)

PSYCHOLOGY/PHISIOLOGY

Battle for the Mind: A Physiology of Conversion and Brainwashing (Sargant)

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion (Cialdini)

If you were to only read one, I’d suggest Influence. You can read it offensively or defensively (or both). It teaches you how to trick people into doing shit they wouldn’t otherwise do; and teaches you how others will trick you into doing shit you wouldn’t otherwise do.

If you’re interested in reading some recent fiction, definitely start with the two recently deceased giants: Vonnegut and Thompson.

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas will blow your mind away and is incredibly engaging.

With Vonnegut, I recommend starting with Slaughterhouse 5 but I am hardly an expert in his lit. I liked it quite a bit.

[quote]GDollars37 wrote:
Don’t read For Whom the Bell Tolls, Hemingway was a dupe of the communists in Spain. …[/quote]

He is right but read it anyway. It is enjoyable.

[quote]jedidiah wrote:
If you’re interested in reading some recent fiction, definitely start with the two recently deceased giants: Vonnegut and Thompson.

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas will blow your mind away and is incredibly engaging.

With Vonnegut, I recommend starting with Slaughterhouse 5 but I am hardly an expert in his lit. I liked it quite a bit.

[/quote]

Vonnegut is awesome. I am reading Hocus Pocus right now.

Fear and Loathing is great fun. I am reading Hey Rube next.

Reading is a lifetime thing much like lifting. Take your time and read everything.

Catch 22 is a great read.

[quote]smorr wrote:
Catch 22 is a great read.[/quote]

That is a classic. I need to reread it. Haven’t read it since a teenager/20years ago.

[quote]Hanley wrote:
Right now I’ve got Crime and Punishment and For Whom The Bells Tolls sitting on my bookshelf waiting to be read… Which should I go with first…? (I’ve read other Hemmingway stuff and I’m a big fan of his direct writing stlye)
[/quote]

I haven’t read For whom the bells toll, but i have read crime and punishment. Actually 2 times and i consider it to be a must read.
And like others have already said, Catch 22 is awesome.

[quote]Irish Muscle wrote:
i cant believe no one suggested TC’s book yet. atomic dog is a great book. i just got my copy a week ago and first night i opend it i read 40 pages.

[/quote]

Thanks to everyone so much for the suggestions thus far. I’ll stick up a post in a while with everything I’ve just ordered on Amazon.

To be honest, I’m not THAT much of a fan of the Atomic Dog stories. I don’t know if that makes me a heretic around these parts…?

One book I did buy after reading about it on this site was Rust and Bone by Craig Davidson. Y’all should have a search for the interview with Craig on this site.

Check out

The God Delusion (Dawkins)

Black Mass
Gates of Fire
God Delusion
Atomic Dog
Blackhawk Down

Are all books I have read or am in the process of reading as well as comic books the daily paper and assorted periodicals

[quote]Andrew Dixon wrote:
Check out

The God Delusion (Dawkins)
[/quote]

I’m sorry, but Dawkins is a hack philosopher. I understand there are a shit-load of problems with religion but someone like Hume is way more illuminating about such things.

[quote]jedidiah wrote:
Andrew Dixon wrote:
Check out

The God Delusion (Dawkins)

I’m sorry, but Dawkins is a hack philosopher. I understand there are a shit-load of problems with religion but someone like Hume is way more illuminating about such things.[/quote]

So you read it and thought it was rubbish.? I think it’s spot on.

Eric van Lustbader ‘The Ninja’

only kidding

The Bible
Winnie the Pooh

Anything by Haruki Murakami.
“Please Don’t Come Back From the Moon” by Dean Bakopoulos
“Perfume” by Patrick Suskind
“Blood-letting and Other Miraculous Cures” by Vincent Lam.

Not necessarily all time classics, but well worth a look.

[quote]jedidiah wrote:
If you’re interested in reading some recent fiction, definitely start with the two recently deceased giants: Vonnegut and Thompson.

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas will blow your mind away and is incredibly engaging.

With Vonnegut, I recommend starting with Slaughterhouse 5 but I am hardly an expert in his lit. I liked it quite a bit.

[/quote]

I would not recommend starting with Slaughterhouse 5. It is, in my opinion his greatest novel, and I would say read a few of his other books first, and save the best for last. They are all quick reads and totally enjoyable. Fear and loathing in Las Vegas was one of the funniest books I have ever read.

I would highly recommend From Dawn to Decadence, by Jacques Barzun. It shows how politics and culture tend to follow generational cycles of action and reaction. Rather thick, but an excellent read.

I would also recommend the book of Chuang Tzu, Three Soldiers by John Dos Passos (a better writer and story teller than Hemmingway) and any thing by Haruki Murakami, except The Wind-up Bird Chronicle. Again, that’s his best novel, so start with one of his collections of short stories like After the Quake. “Super Frog Saves Tokyo” is one of the best short stories ever in my opinion.