Tell Me Something I Don't Know

I believe that I reached a new level of anal retentiveness today. Which, trust me, is saying a lot.

I love making lists, as I believe I've mentioned before.

I also love to read, and go to the library fairly regularly. However, I never know what to get, so I always grab a few random books. Sometimes this turns out well, but sometimes the books are complete crap. I tend to get generic thrillers and memoirs.

So while I was stuck at work Sunday, alone all day, I started browsing books at Amazon, going through people's Listmania lists of favorite books. Some of the lists were bizarre, such as "Soul Nourishment- Contemporary Women Farmers and Ranchers Memoirs" . Some didn't much relate to me, such as "Recommended Reading for Gay/Bi Men of Color"

But still, I searched list after list, stopping to read reviews and summaries. I wrote down the books I wanted to read, and after hours (and I mean literally hours) of browsing, I had more than three pages worth of books. So now I have more than enough books to look for at the library, and they range from memoirs to science fiction to classics to non-fiction and history. I typically read 2-3 books a week, but I'm not taking any classes this summer, so I should be able to squeeze in a few more.

I want to add to the list, with your recommendations. What do you like to read? Who are your favorite authors? I promise to at least attempt to read all the books you all comment on here. So come on, what should I read?


shiny said...

I just happened to be up at this hour, so I'll give you three that have been my go-to "recommend" books:

(1) Douglas Coupland - Microserfs. Coupland is one of my favorite fiction authors, someone who focuses a lot on character development and family and group dynamics. "Microserfs," written in the mid-90s, is a fictional story about a mid-level programmer at Microsoft and his friends who decide to start a new adventure forming a startup company. The main character deals with family and relationship issues and, of course, geeks off quite a bit.

It's amazing how much this entire book reads like a blog -- even though the phenomenon didn't hit until years later.

(2) Stephen Dubner and Steven Levitt - Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything. I'm not usually a business/economics or statistics kind of guy, but this book was fascinating. The authors discuss correlations in such unique ways. The book was quite controversial when it came out several years back because of a chapter which discussed the legalization of abortion in the USA as a correlative factor to the crime drop in the early 1990s. You can get more of a taste on the Freakonomics blog at

(3) A. J. Jacobs - The Year of Living Biblically. Jacobs is a columnist for Esquire and a funny one at that. (His now-abandoned blog is at A self-proclaimed agnostic who grew up culturally Jewish, he went on a quest to understand the Judeo-Christian world a little better by spending a year living according to the literal passages of the Bible. This included some of the more profound yet hard-to-follow laws (such as abstaining from lying) to some of the more obscure ones (such as stoning those who violate the Sabbath). He chronicles his year in a witty but meaningful way.

There you go. Please let me know if you have any questions. Happy reading!

Mr. Fabulous said...

1. Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane

2. Church of Dead Girls by Stephen Dobyns

3. Carrion Comfort by Dan Simmons

4. American Tabloid by James Elroy

5. In the Electric Mist with Confederate Dead by James Lee Burke

Robin said...

My need for lists works well with iRead on Facebook but I don't think I have you on there. I have a huge list of books on there I would recommend.

Avitable said...

Have you heard of

I'd recommend finding the first Jack Reacher novel by Lee Child and reading that.

Anything by Robert B. Parker.
Dean Koontz's early stuff, and his Odd Thomas series.
Harlan Coben hasn't written a bad one yet.
Robert Crais is another gem.

Sarcastica said...

Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series is awesome. Check it out!

Amanda said...

Shiny- I have The Year Of Living Biblically on hold at the library as we speak, thank you. I've read Freakonomics already, but Microserfs is now on my list.

Mr Fab- All on the list now, thank you!

Robin- I'll take a look.

Avitable- Harlan Coben's one of my favorite authors, I'll look into the others- Thank you

Sarcastica- I've read them, they're some of my favorite books- I can't wait until August! I'm currently reading The Host by her- It's kind of odd.