Thursday, November 13, 2008

The 75 Books Every Man Should Read

I've died and gone to heaven.

If you've been wasting your time reading this blog same as I've been wasting time writing it, you should already know how much I love the silly "Best of..." "Top 10..." lists.

This time I have a doozy -- The 75 Books Every Man Should Read, as compiled by my favorite magazine, Esquire. If you're a woman, tough -- go find your own list. This one is ours.

It's gratifying to see that I have already read many of these books (exactly six). And though I would have liked to see other favorite books on this list, I can't disagree with the inclusion of those I've already read. So this must be a pretty damned good list.

When I include books from this list that my wife, BalticTiger, has read, AND books that my eldest son, VonEldest, has read, well, then I begin to almost feel good about Our Well-Read Family. Plus, my youngest son, GoganTheDrummer, is currently reading one of these books as part of a high school journalism class assignment (#59, which is a primo example of "New Journalism".)

I'm gonna wade into this list myself since the library should have most of them. The library is about five blocks away from our home, and my architecture firm is running a bit slow right now owing to Great Depression II that most of us are currently enjoying.

Anyway, here's the list. How many have YOU read? (No Cheating! -- and movies don't count...)
  1. What We Talk About When We Talk About Love, by Raymond Carver
  2. Collected Stories of John Cheever
  3. Deliverance, by James Dickey
  4. The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck
  5. Blood Meridian, by Cormac McCarthy
  6. The Brothers Karamazov, by Fyodor Dostoevsky
  7. The Known World, by Edward P. Jones
  8. The Good War, by Studs Terkel
  9. American Pastoral, by Philip Roth
  10. A Good Man Is Hard to Find and Other Stories, by Flannery O'Connor
  11. The Things They Carried, by Tim O'Brien
  12. A Sport and a Pastime, by James Salter
  13. The Call of the Wild, by Jack London
  14. Time's Arrow, by Martin Amis
  15. A Sense of Where You Are, by John McPhee
  16. Hell's Angels, by Hunter S. Thompson
  17. Invisible Man, by Ralph Ellison
  18. Dubliners, by James Joyce
  19. Rabbit, Run, by John Updike
  20. The Postman Always Rings Twice, by James M. Cain
  21. Dog Soldiers, by Robert Stone
  22. Winter's Bone, by Daniel Woodrell
  23. Legends of the Fall, by Jim Harrison
  24. Under the Volcano, by Malcolm Lowry
  25. The Naked and the Dead, by Norman Mailer
  26. The Professional, by W.C. Heinz
  27. For Whom the Bell Tolls, by Ernest Hemingway
  28. Dispatches, by Michael Herr
  29. Tropic of Cancer, by Henry Miller
  30. Revolutionary Road, by Richard Yates
  31. As I Lay Dying, by William Faulkner
  32. The Killer Angels, by Michael Shaara
  33. Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut
  34. All the King's Men, by Robert Penn Warren
  35. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, by Ken Kesey
  36. Sophie's Choice, by William Styron
  37. A Fan's Notes, by Frederick Exley
  38. Lucky Jim, by Kingsley Amis
  39. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, by Haruki Murakami
  40. Master and Commander, by Patrick O'Brian
  41. Plainsong, by Kent Haruf
  42. A Confederacy of Dunces, by John Kennedy Toole
  43. Affliction, by Russell Banks
  44. This Boy's Life, by Tobias Wolff
  45. Winter's Tale, by Mark Helprin
  46. The Adventures of Augie March, by Saul Bellow
  47. Women, by Charles Bukowski
  48. Going Native, by Stephen Wright
  49. Heart of Darkness, by Joseph Conrad
  50. The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, by John LeCarré
  51. The Crack-Up, by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  52. CivilWarLand in Bad Decline, by George Saunders
  53. War and Peace, by Leo Tolstoy
  54. The Shining, by Stephen King
  55. Winesburg, Ohio, by Sherwood Anderson
  56. Moby Dick, by Herman Melville
  57. Midnight's Children, by Salman Rushdie
  58. Labyrinths, by Jorge Luis Borges
  59. The Right Stuff, by Tom Wolfe
  60. The Sportswriter, by Richard Ford
  61. American Tabloid, by James Ellroy
  62. The Autobiography of Malcolm X, by Alex Haley
  63. What It Takes, by Richard Ben Cramer
  64. The Continental Op, by Dashiell Hammett
  65. The Power and the Glory, by Graham Greene
  66. So Long, See You Tomorrow, by William Maxwell
  67. Native Son, by Richard Wright
  68. Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, by James Agee and Walker Evans
  69. Angle of Repose, by Wallace Stegner
  70. The Great Bridge, by David McCullough
  71. The Dharma Bums, by Jack Kerouac
  72. Lonesome Dove, by Larry McMurtry
  73. Lolita, by Vladimir Nabokov
  74. Underworld, by Don DeLillo
  75. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain


Blogger WheelDancer said...

Nice list! I have read eight so far and several have been on my list forever (how can I have made it to my 50's without having read Huck Finn?).

7:27 PM, November 13, 2008  
Blogger culimerc said...

I'm in at 10. Tho I'm a little surprised at "The Crack Up" by F Scott Fitzgerald over "The Great Gatsby"

8:11 AM, November 14, 2008  
Blogger Howard said...

Yeah, The Crack-Up DID seem a bit suspicious. So I looked up what Esquire had to say about it:

"Because Fitzgerald knew Lindsay, Britney and the Olsens better than we do. (And because it was first published in Esquire.)"

Ah ha!

I have to add that if I could count movies made from these 75 books, I've seen 20 of them on the big screen. But again, movies don't count.

9:54 AM, November 14, 2008  
Blogger Pansy Palmetto said...


OMG. I cannot believe this. I have read:

14 (that is FOURTEEN)

of these books! I do not know how many movies I have seen because I really don't "do" movies. I definitely have not seen most of these 14 books' movie versions.

I am in shock. Better go shave my back for awhile. I am SUCH a man! hahahaha!

10:51 AM, November 14, 2008  
Blogger Crosstrain said...

I remember reading 18 of these, but I am an old guy and don't cycle as much as you. Will be in that fabulous blue state of yours the next two weekends (eg through Thanksgiving)....if there are any Hypoxian rides let me know.....also got in the MS150 again this year...HoustonXtrain

11:50 AM, November 15, 2008  
Blogger Howard said...

Yeah, sure, every new comment just keeps listing higher and higher numbers. By next week, we'll have posters claiming to have read all 75... multiple times! Damned old people!

Actually, I made it over to the branch library near our home this morning with a list of 15 of the most promising books. The library had exactly.... TWO! So I grabbed them -- The Sportswriter by Richard Ford and The Naked and the Dead by Norman Mailer.

The weekend before Thanksgiving, I'll be down in Tucson for the el Tour de Tucson. However, there ARE plans for a Club Hypoxia ride on Friday after Thanksgiving. I think I have your email (at least I SHOULD!), and I'll let you know the details when I hear them (or make them up) myself.

5:37 PM, November 15, 2008  

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