Book Recommendations

A very brief, incomplete list of books I’ve enjoyed, in no particular order, updated occasionally.  Click a title for more info. If you’d like to share your thoughts about any of these books with Paul, simply contact him. And happy reading!

First, a link to my favorite Portland bookstore: Annie Bloom’s

Spartina, by John Casey: Guy builds a fishing boat and battles self, town and big-assed storm. (fiction)

Unbroken, by Laura Hillenbrand: WWII tough American guy battles sharks and Japanese. (biography)

The Empathic Civilization, by Jeremy Rifkin: Cheer Up! We’re evolving toward niceness! (nonfiction)

Angela’s Ashes, by Frank McCourt: And you think your childhood was tough? (memoir)

The Omnivoure’s Dilemma, by Michael Pollen: Eat well and change the world, you foodies! (nonfiction)

Guns, Germs and Steel, by Jared Diamond: Want your world-view paradigm shifted? (nonfiction)

The Blind Watchmaker, by Richard Dawkins: Creationists beware! You are evolved! (nonfiction)

Poems to Read, edited by Robert Pinsky: Auden to Yeats, anthology meant to be read aloud. (poetry)

Hunger, by Knut Hamsun: People don’t love alike or starve alike. (fiction)

Independent People, by Halldor Laxness: Halldor won the Noble Prize (1955).  ‘Nough said. (fiction)

Out Stealing Horses, by Per Petterson: Old Norwegian guy recalls stealing horses in his youth. (fiction)

The Corrections, by Jonathan Franzen: Old-fashioned virtue and sexual inhibition collide with modernity. (fiction)

Ishmael, by Daniel Quinn: This gorilla will greatly expand your world-view paradigm. Go ape! (philosophical fiction)

The Other, by David Guterson: Two guys take different paths, and it makes all the difference. (fiction)

The Man Who Fell in Love with the Moon, by Tom Spanbauer: Orphan Indian boy seeks identity. (fiction)

The River Why, by David Duncan: Gus fishes for a sane way to live, and finds it. (fiction)

Kafka on the Shore, by Haruki Murakami: Kafka flees Oedipal prophecy and meets PTSD old guy, etc. (fiction)

Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley: Guy makes monster and lives to regret it very, very much. (fiction)

Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck: Seeking the American Dream (with rabbits) during Depression. (fiction)

The World According to Garp, by John Irvine: In Garp’s world, everyone is terminal. A funny story. (fiction)

Trout Kill, by Paul Dage: Thought I’d sneak this one in! (fiction)

Oryx and Crake, by Margaret Atwood: A post-apocalyptic world with girl and sardonic genius guy. (fiction)

The Known World, by Edward P. Jones: 2004 Pulitzer Prize winner. ‘Nough said. (fiction)

State of Wonder, by Ann Patchett: Lady pharmaceutical researcher goes to the Amazon. (fiction)

The Stranger, by Albert Camus: Guy faces existential guillotine. (fiction)

The Lacuna, by Barbara Kingsolver: A gritty portrait of the artists Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo. (fiction)

Hamlet, by Bill Shakespeare: Ghost stirs melancholy Dane to seek revenge against uncle/father. (tragic play)

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, by Tom Stoppard: Absurdly funny. Read Hamlet first, though. (absurd play)

The Bird Artist, by Howard Norman: Guy paints birds and, by the way, he is a murderer. (fiction

The Gulag Archipelago, by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn: Siberian prison makes you shiver, appreciate US of A. (fiction)

The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald: Green light at end of dock and foul dust of American Dream. (fiction)

Crime and Punishment, by Fyodor Dostoevsky: Murderer thinks he’s a Nietzschean Superman. (fiction)

Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley: The future scares the crap out of you! (science fiction)

House of Sand and Fog, by Andre Dubus III: An Iranian family’s pursuit of the American Dream becomes a nightmare. (fiction)

The Kite Runner, by Kahled Hosseini: Guilt haunts an Afgani boy … with tragic consequences. (fiction)

The Poisonwood Bible, by Barbara Kingsolver: Four daughters tell of their missionary lives in the Congo. (fiction)

Beloved, by Toni Morrison: The ghosts of slavery’s past continue to haunt.1988 Pulitzer Prize. (fiction)

The Things They Carried, by Tim O’Brien: Stories of an American platoon during the Vietnam War. (fiction/memoir)

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, by Ken Kesey: Faking crazy drives the establishment nuts. (fiction)

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain: A white boy’s adventures on the Mississippi River with his black friend Jim. (fiction)

The Brothers K, by David James Duncan: The difference between religion and church, as seen through baseball and the Vietnam War. (fiction)

To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee: Rape and racism told with warmth and humor. 1961 Pulitzer Prize winner. Fiction

1 thought on “Book Recommendations

  1. Pingback: Trust Your Prose | Paul Dage ... novelist, etc.

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