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Christmas and second semester reading list

December 20, 2008
David Foster Wallace at the lectern

David Foster Wallace at the lectern

So I just finished Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace, a 981-page monolith not even including its 96 pages of 388 “Endnotes and Errata.” Simply put, it was a beast, and I’ll be trying to dissect the work over the next few weeks through the help of Google and whatever else I can find. But in the end, the book was worth the effort, as it’s definitely one of the most unapologetic, humorous and illuminating novels I’ve ever read. But it leads me to a crossroads and a quesiton: “What should I read over the next few months of my life?”

Below are the books that are already on my reading list, but I’m looking for any and all suggestions (large/small, sincere/joking), so hit up the comments to let me know. You can call it a Choose Your Own Adventure reading list.

1. The Four-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss. This comes highly recommended both by EJ (whose thoughts on DFW can be found here) and by Garr over at PresentationZen. It’s all about a commitment to trim down, to cut the fat if you will, in your life so you can concentrate on what you want to do and what you’re good at doing. I’ve already ordered it from Amazon, so it will probably be the very next on the agenda.

2. Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality, by Donald Miller. Again, this comes highly recommended, but by so many people that I can’t recount them here. It’s been lurking on my mental reading list for a very long time, but I’m gonna finally actually read it next semester. I promise.

3. Consider the Lobster: And Other Essays, by David Foster Wallace. Yes, this is the same author as Infinite Jest. But this work is supposed to be more “accessible.” It’s almost 350 pgs of random questions and probably more random answers. I’m intrigued, and it’ll give a little more insight into the mind of DFW.

4. This is where y’all come in. I don’t know what to put here. I’m open to anything, any genre, any length, any subject material. Fire away.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. December 20, 2008 11:18 pm

    Influence: Science and Practice by Cialdini (any edition is fine)

  2. matthewsuber permalink
    December 22, 2008 1:35 pm

    A Grief Observed by C.S. Lewis
    Season of Life by Jeffrey Marx
    Life of Pi by Yann Martel

  3. brittany thoms permalink
    December 22, 2008 1:51 pm

    In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day by Mark Batterson. GREAT read. Ask Andy – it’s a must!

  4. December 22, 2008 9:14 pm

    The Rise Of Theodore Roosevelt by Edmund Morris is the best biography I’ve ever read. Reads like an adventure novel.

  5. Andrew Hayes permalink
    December 22, 2008 11:47 pm

    Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
    The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
    Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

    All three of these are phenomenal books, especially the last one.

  6. bamadog permalink*
    December 23, 2008 12:01 am

    Thanks for the suggestions, everyone! I’ve put all of them on my reading list wishlist to keep them organized.

    And Andrew, I totally agree about all 3 of those books…they’re 3 of my all-time favorites already. And if I could add to that, Ender’s Shadow could be better than Ender’s Game. Check it out, if you haven’t already!

  7. December 25, 2008 7:41 pm

    Most university libraries have Cialdini’s Influence book, because it can be used as a textbook (I’m reading MSU’s copy right now). But it’s not written like a textbook: it’s not too long and it’s easy reading (at least in my opinion).

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