These are all books I have read, and they are among my favorite reads. In these short books reviews I try to give you a sense of why they are worth reading.
Homage to Catalonia by George Orwell
A gripping first-person account of the Spanish Civil War. Orwell at his best. One of the best books about war ever.
The Life of Galileo by Bertolt Brecht
The Life of Galileo by Bertolt Brecht is entertaining, educational, and intelligent. One of the best books ever about Galileo. It’s a fascinating read; I learned a great deal about Galileo and the Catholic Church’s reacting to him. Brecht offers a nuanced view of Galileo’s life.
The Castle by Franz Kafka
One of Haruki Murakami’s, José Saramago’s, Roberto Bolaño’s, and Samuel Beckett’s favorite books. I love Kafka, who I share a birthday with. Kafka is one of most creative writer’s ever.
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. One of the best books about the run up to World War II.
Henry and June by Henry Miller
Anais Nin’s erotic memoir captures her year of sexual exploits and relationships, particularly the passion she shared with Henry Miller.
Chinatown & The Last Detail by Robert Towne
Chinatown is the greatest film script I’ve ever read. It’s so beautifully structured.
The Man Who Fell to Earth by Walter Tevis
The Man Who Fell to Earth is original, creative, and moving. It’s one of my favorite sci-fi books I’ve ever read. Walter Tevis is one of the most creative and diverse writers ever.
Do Android Dream of Electric Sheep by Philip K. Dick
Weird, confusing, brilliant, absorbing, creative = Philip K. Dick. Dick, of course, is one of the best sci-fi writers ever. Do Androids Sleep of Electric Sheep is one of the most creative books of all time, and so is the film, Bladerunner, inspired by it.
Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy
Great, but very dark. It’s also male oriented.
The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark
Miss Jean Brodie is in her prime for most of the book. This book is must read.
The French Lieutenant’s Woman by John Fowles
Read the book then watch the movie. You’ll see why Meryl Streep won an Academy Award for her performance. The French Lieutenant’s Woman is one of the most creative books and films of all time.
Oscar Wilde: Reminiscences by Andre Gide
I loved this short memoir. Andre Gide captured his experiences with Oscar Wilde and gave us a portrait of Wilde that is fascinating and intimate.
Dictionary of Subjects and Symbols in Art by James Hall
A wonderful reference to discover and learn. It is one of David Bowie’s favorite books.
Infinite City: A San Francisco Atlas by Rebecca Solnit
Like the city of San Francisco this atlas is unique, stunningly-creative, and a beautiful world all its own. If you love San Francisco this book is a must read. It’s one of the best books about San Francisco ever.
Fascinating overview of the deceptions, mistakes, and miscalculations by four administrations that gave us the Vietnam War disaster.
The Imitation of Christ by Thomas à Kempis
The Imitation of Christ is depressing and inspiring at the same time. Spirituality cuts deep in this classic.
The Most Dangerous Book: The Battle for James Joyce’s Ulysses by Kevin Birmingham
A fascinating and well-researched nugget about Jame’s Joyce’s creative and experimental book Ulysses and literary history.
The Trial of Henry Kissinger by Christopher Hitchens
Well researched and damning. Let’s say Christopher Hitchens was not a fan of Henry Kissinger.
NonZero: The Logic of Human Destiny by Robert Wright
Nonzero and zero game theories are two crucial concepts that everyone, particularly those in government, should understand. I loved this book for making those two concepts clear in my mind. One of the best and most creative books on the concept of Game Theory.
Short book reviews are a bit like speed dating, but sometimes it’s love at first sight.
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