Everyone says they “want to read more”, so quit talking and start doing. Breaking Bad’s finished and reading week is upon us so it’s the perfect time to start a book. The classics are great, Gatsby, Moby Dick, War & Peace, they should all be read. But if you read regularly you know the best finds are the unknown, the ones you stumble upon and start with no preconceptions.
The books below can’t be found on a GCSE reading list and they’re probably not on your mum’s bookshelf. Each of them are remarkable in their own right so take a chance and pick just one, it will give you a reason to spend less time on Facebook:
Fight Club – Chuck Palahniuk
“There was a book?” Yes there was a book, and guess what, it’s 100 times better than the film. If you’ve ever worked a job you hate, (everyone) you need to read this. If you’re stupid and you struggle reading twitter feeds, this book is a good starting point, it’s accessible and it contains clear, powerful messages about how to live your life.
Ask The Dust – John Fante
If you study anything creative, reading this should be a priority. It’s centred on the life of a writer who suffers delusions of grandeur, throughout the story he misses every opportunity he comes across because he’s too busy trying to convince himself what a fabulous ‘artist’ he is. This is a wakeup call for any creative’s who think they’re destined for greatness but are objectively shit. Extremely funny and honestly brutal, Fante pulls no punches.
The Tiger – John Vaillant
This book is mind-blowing. Written by a National Geographic journalist, it documents the true story of a man eating Siberian tiger systematically hunting poachers before devouring them. In response to this threat, the Russian Government sends the equivalent of the SAS to track and kill the predator, and a bloody chase ensues. This unbelievable story is true, it occurred in 1990. The gripping hunt of the hunter is only one part though; throughout the book Vaillant draws upon fascinating scientific enquiries into the consciousness of animals, conservation and mans relationship to the wild. If you have an affinity for animals you will appreciate this book.
Invisible Man – Ralph Ellison
For anyone who reads regularly, this novel is a masterpiece. A Bildungsroman, the story follows a black boy growing up in the American South, based on Ellison’s own experiences, he seamlessly weaves striking thoughts on identity, philosophy and the brutal reality of the world; all into an emotive work of fiction. If you don’t regularly read, come back to this.
Titan – Ron Chernow
A monumental biography of the richest man who ever lived, John D. Rockefeller, SR. This book provides incredible insight into the life of a controversial business revolutionary and a formative period of American history. From brutally crushing competitors to becoming the first modern philanthropist, Chernow details every part of Rockefeller’s contradictory life. If you enjoy biographies, this is the Holy Grail; it contains troves of life lessons and is definitely worth your time.
If you’re still thinking you “want to read more”, but doubt you’re ever going to get round to it, understand that reading is a skill that can become a habit. Start with something easy (Fight Club) and begin from there. One page at a time.
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