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Five books you think everyone should read

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1. The Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt

2. The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera

3. Candide by Voltaire

4. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

5. Naked Lunch by William Burroughs

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- Stardust - Neil Gaiman

- Neverwhere - Neil Gaiman

- Catch-22 - Joseph Heller

- Hard Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World - Haruki Murakami

- Fledgling - Octavia E. Butler

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1. American Psycho - Bret Easton Ellis

2. The Misfortunes of Virtue - Marquis de Sade

3. Dante's Inferno - Dante

4. Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

5. The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down - Anne Fadiman (Best medical story IMO.)

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The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen

Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

Animal Farm by George Orwell

The Orchid Thief by Susan Orlean (intriguing nonfiction; the movie Adaptation was based on this book)

What Color Is My Parachute by Richard Nelson Bolles

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maniac magee taught me about racial harmony

zombie survival guide taught me how to surive zombie apocalypse

communist manifesto taught me to stop buying so much fashiunz

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Junky - William Burroughs

Neuromancer - William Gibson

The Rum Diary - Hunter S Thompson

The Little Prince - Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Anything by Edward Gorey...

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The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas Kuhn

The Art of Loving by Erich Fromm

How Children Fail by John Holt

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Classics

1. The Prince - Machiavelli

2. The Divine Comedies - Dante

3. Iliad - Homer

4. Silence - Shusaku Endo

5. The Name of the Rose - Umberto Eco

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The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle - Haruki Murakami

Hardboiled Wonderland and the End of the World - Haruki Murakami

Catch-22 - Joseph Heller

A Farewell To Arms - Ernest Hemingway

Kangaroo Notebook - Kobo Abe

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As much as I enjoy reading Murakami, I'm a little surprised to see 'The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle' in so many top 5. It's like some book-beasting.

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i agree... i'm a big fan of murakami's work and i didnt even think Wind-Up Bird was that great.

Hardboiled Wonderland would be in my top 5 superlist though.

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Hardboiled Wonderland would be in my top 5 superlist though.

Like top 5 books of your life? No disrespect but I think you will change your mind when you get older or start reading a lot more.

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The alchemist - paulo coelho

The catcher in the rye - j.d. salinger

No Matter How Much You Promise to Cook or Pay the Rent You Blew It Cause Bill Bailey Ain't Never Coming Home Again: A Symphonic Novel - ed vega

Bodega Dreams-ernesto quinonez

Ulysses -james joyce

honorable mention- the old man and the sea -hemingway

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As much as I enjoy reading Murakami, I'm a little surprised to see 'The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle' in so many top 5. It's like some book-beasting.

It was the first Murakami book I read so I'm a little biased.

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the idiot- dostoevsky

crime and punishment- dostoevsky

the antichrist- nietzsche\\\\\\\ I seriously think it should replace 1984 or of mice and men, for standard school readsss.

beyond good and evil- nietzsche

atrocity exhibition- ballard

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Ugh, please don't take this to be concrete in any way, I'm pretty young so it changes all the time:

Finnegans Wake - James Joyce

On the Road - Jack Kerouac

Being and Nothingness - Jean-Paul Sartre

Never Let Me Go - Kazuo Ishiguro

Howl - Allen Ginsberg (well, a longish poem rather than a 'book' but it's something I feel inclined to include)

I also love Haruki Murakami but none of his books especially stand out to me? He's probably one of my favourite writers in a holistic sense - the impression left by all his books put together - and he's certainly been a huge inspiration to me but thus far no single book of his has really shaken me. I like the fact that his books are not just characterised by linear action but also gradual mood changes; although inspired heavily by Western literature his work still has distinctly Japanese stylistic elements like that which are really refreshing and original to a Western reader. I don't agree with that guy who was trying to say it was immature to rate him so highly at all though.

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1984

all quiet on the western front

if this is a man

the ragged trousered philanthropists

grapes or wrath

I like my books heavy.

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Death of A Supleme Salesman- WestSide

The Prince and the Pauper- diamonds

Around the World in 80 days Denim Edition- mizanation

Animal Farm - chicken

A Farwell to Arms - Milspex

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In no order.

Knut Hamsun - The Wanderer

Actually a collection of two short novels dealing with the same characters and themes. I posit that the best understanding of the begining of modern prose is achieved by reading Hamsun, and this is probably the best of his works. While Hunger may be a "better" book in its time, The Wanderer contains more that can be related to the modern condition. It captures Hamsun at the crossroads between his most mature and most passionate. The desperation and longing of "hunger" is combined with a well considered understanding of love and human relationships that showcases the near unparalleled lyricism of Hamsun's style.

Cormac McCarthy - Blood Meridian --- This book was hard to read. It's as dense as Pynchon and possesses a savagery and brutality that surpasses any modern horror writer. I've never been terrified of a character in a novel before meeting Judge Holden. This book has no redeeming characters, not the kid, not Holden, not the whole gang, not America. The treatment of themes that aren't generally explored on a grand scale in the microcosm consumed style of modern literature are trotted out here, and given the best possible voice. "The truth about the world, is that anything is possible".

James Joyce - Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

As relevant today as it was the day it was published. The genius of this book is that unlike the eminently likable, yet throuroughly non-real person, Holden Caulfield, Stephen Daedelus can be one of us. He exists firmly and with purpose in his world. More than just an indentifiable story, the book is a vehicle for Joyce's greatest love, the evolving life in ireland at the turn of the century. Rarely can a book exist so seamlessly on two planes.

Martin Amos - Time's Arrow

Yes, Martin Amos is a jackass. Yes this book relies on a gimmick that is so "oh little me" clever that it kind of drives you mad (then again, so is "the idiot" based). Still, I challenge anyone not to laugh at Amos's meta-fiction humour that occurs in several levels of depth, or not to be touched when the aware reader properly reflects on the implications and the naivette of the narrator ("We condensed them, people, out of the air, clothed their shivering bodies and filled their broken mouths with gold"). It is tough for an author who inserts such a presence in his story to keep a light touch with the things that matter most. It succeeds here.

Matt Ridley - Genome

Several years old, and still the most relevant and readable introduction to the science that I feel everyone needs to be aware of. Not a primer, or a guide to learning biology and molecular genetics, but an amazing story written in plain language that will instill in all readers the proper understanding of the scope of what it is we are now undertaking. The understanding of our very quantitative being, and the remaking of our world.

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Metamorphoses- sidneylo

A Confederacy of Dunces- red

Little Women -soepom

Gulliver's Travel- Cotton Duck

A Tale of Two Cities -djrajio

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infinite jest

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i cannot list 5 well ............. because i don't really read

but for the books that i have read

grapes of wrath by john steinbeck

the plague by albert camus

jungle book by kipling

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not reading norweigan wood is about as good as reading any five books listed above.

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a piece of cake

my bloody life

the richest man in babylon

heavier than heaven

scar tissue

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Negrepping people for saying they don't read. Negrepping for AWFUL taste.

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