Books Everyone Should Read

The Interior Circuit by Francesco Goldman

Suspended Sentences by Patrick Modiano

Modiano captures each narrator’s confusion, solitariness, and memory in three subtle mysteries. Although little actually happens in each novella, I found myself drawn so close to these characters that a strange power haunted my own sense of being. I understand why he won the Nobel Prize in Literature.

Interior Circuit by Francisco Goldman

This is an extraordinary memoir. I particularly loved the way he weaved the loss of his wife throughout the book that made his loss even more poignant. Goldman’s insight into Mexico’s politics was riveting. I now understand how difficult it is for the country to get its act together when one of the parties, the Right, is so corrupt.

Cover by Peter Mendelsund

How Mendelsund, with little design experience, was hired by Knopf is one of the most amazing stories I’ve ever read. Cover is more than a book about design; it’s a meditation on the creative process and the love of books by a genius designer. A must for book lovers!

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

I thought Angelina Jolie did a good job making this into a movie, but, as they say, the book is better. An extraordinary story that tests the limits of human suffering, endurance and courage. This is a book that grips you from the beginning to the end.

Homage to Catalonia by George Orwell

Homage to Catalonia is perhaps George Orwell’s most important work. It’s one of Bill Clinton’s favorite books. This is how Orwell became, in my view, the most important writer of the 20th century.

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A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf

A brilliant essay brimming with intellect as it explores women and writing and sexism in her generation. Every lover of literature and books should read this.

The Berlin Stories by Christopher Isherwood

Isherwood’s insightful and poignant stories give us a peak into German attitudes as Hitler and the Nazi party come to power.

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

This memoir blew me away. I half expected to return it. A profound and powerful polemic on the black experience, past and present.

Chronicles: Volume One by Bob Dylan

By turns revealing, poetical, passionate and witty, Chronicles : Volume One is a mesmerizing window on Bob Dylan’s influences.” I’m reading this now, and it really gets behind the facade. A real joy and insightful into Dylan’s inner thoughts.

NonZero by Robert Wright

Nonzero and zero game theories are two crucial concepts that everyone, particularly those in government, should always consider. Loved this book for making those two concepts clear in my mind.

The Life of Galileo by Bertolt Brecht

The great German writer who fought fascim and the lies of Hitler’s Germany’s exposes the Catholic Church’s lives in an entertaining, educational, and intelligent play.

Fascism A Warning by Madedleine Albright

A Fascist, observes Madeleine Albright, “is someone who claims to speak for a whole nation or group, is utterly unconcerned with the rights of others, and is willing to use violence and whatever other means are necessary to achieve the goals he or she might have.”

Where to buy: AlibrisAmazonAudibleBetterWorldBooksPowells

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Joseph Raffetto

Joseph Raffetto earned a B.A. in Comparative Literature from San Diego State University. He can be found online @noovella on Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, and Goodreads. His books are available on all online booksellers.

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