Per aspera ad astra

better than oprah

November 1st, 2006

The following are some of my favorite books of all time that I recommend wholeheartedly for people who consider Austen or Kafka beach reading material.
MasterThe Master and Margarita- Mikhail Bulgakov. Don’t even try it in Russian, but it’s a wonderfully written book.
Brave New World Brave New World- Aldous Huxley. Has its faults, but it’s a quality dystopian novel (better than 1984, imho)
Clockwork OrangeA Clockwork Orange- Anthony Burgess. So *maybe* I have a thing for it because the slang words are derived from Russian, but it’s still quality.

america America- Jon Stewart. This man/book is just funny as hell.
Owen Meany A Prayer for Owen Meany- John Irving. As much as I’m not one for required high school reading, the story is solid and I like Irving’s writing style.
SmashedSmashed- Koren Zailckas. I would recommend this book to just about any female college student, honestly.

GG The Great Gatsby- There are a number of reasons why I like this book, even though most high school students have to push themselves through it. I have a thing for symbolism, what can I say?

Soviet Ex The Soviet Experiment- Ronald Suny. I know I’m a sucker for most things Russian, but this is an incredibly well-detailed overview of the history (events, people, and ideas) of the Soviet Union.
FFN Fast Food Nation- Eric Schlosser. Awesome, awesome investigative book about the entire fast food industry. Written in a very personal journalistic style that I love.
PnP Pride and Prejudice- Jane Austen. I have no shame; I’ll freely admit that I’m no better than most English literature-types out there.
Anatomy Anatomy of Anorexia- Steven Levenkron. This is an excellent book if you know anyone with anorexia or if you just want to learn something about a misunderstood disease.

Breakfast The Breakfast of Champions- Kurt Vonnegut. Skip Slaughterhouse-Five and go straight for this one, it’s much more fun and Vonnegut-ish.

Dubliners Dubliners- James Joyce. Collection of short stories; I hated it in high school, but I gave it another chance.
Foundation Foundation Series- Isaac Asimov. Yes, I too have my geeky sci-fi side. But at least I have taste.

My Discovery My Discovery of America- Vladimir Mayakovsky. One of my favorite Russian writers tells about his adventures in America.
Jane Eyre Jane Eyre- Charlotte Bronte. *shrug* What can I say? I have a thing for independent heroines.
Ender's Game Ender’s Game- Orson Scott Card. Even if you loathe science fiction with a passion, read this book immediately.
Wicked Wicked- Gregory Maguire. Amazing musical, amazing book.

Amerika Amerika- Franz Kafka. If you’re looking for a lighter Kafka book, Amerika’s for you.

Edward Edward II- Christopher Marlowe. I’ll admit, I might like Marlowe more than Shakespeare, if only because he was such a badass. I wrote my final paper in college on this play and it’s probably one of the things I’m most proud of.

Catch 22 Catch-22- Joseph Heller. You don’t hate this book until you read it, but if you read it you can’t hate it.

Hitchhiker The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy- Douglas Adams. Nobody doesn’t like this book.

Poisonwood Bible The Poisonwood Bible- Barbara Kingsolver. Probably the only book Oprah and I agree on. I read it at a monastery in Iowa and genuinely enjoyed it.

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