Reading is one of my passions or perhaps obsessions. Here are a few books that I'd recommend. They are not in any particular order, but I have tried to categorize them
a bit. They are not all necessarily great works of literature, but they are, at the very least, thought provoking and entertaining.


Blood Meridian
- Cormac McCarthy
Some of the most violent, disturbing, and well written material you may ever read.

The Crossing
-Cormac McCarthy
This is one of a trilogy (including All the Pretty Horses and Cities of the Plain.It's worth reading the entire trilogy but I think The Crossing is the best of the three.

Cormac McCarthy
Make plans to be singularly depressed for a while.

A Prayer for Owen Meany
-John Irving

Love in the Time of Cholera
-Gabriel Garcia Marquez

One Hundred Years of Solitude
-Gabriel Garcia Marquez

The Poisonwood Bible
Barbara Kingsolver

The Brave Cowboy
-Edward Abbey
Tragic figure is a metaphore for the end of an era.Set in the Duke City (Albuquerque, New Mexico)

The Light in the Forest
Conrade Richter
White captive grows up in native american culture.Life gets complicated.

The Old Man and the Sea
-Ernest Hemingway

The Complete Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway:The Finca Vigia Edition.
-Ernest Hemingway
Nobody can write a short story like Ernest Hemingway.

Collected Stories
-William Faulkner

The Sound and the Fury
-William Faulkner
Of course.

-J. M. Coetzee
A South African academic deals with professional and personal calamity.Events are violent and singularly South African.

The Life and Times of Michael K.
-J.M. Coetzee

Far Tortuga
-Peter Matthiessen

Journey to Ixtlan:The Lessons of Don Juan
-Carlos Castenada

A Separate Reality:Further Conversations with Don Juan
-Carlos Castenada
Controversial books about the supposed teachings of a Native American shaman.Most critics doubt seriously if Don Juan ever existed outside of Castenada's imagination.
Very interesting reading nonetheless.

One Day of Life
-Manlio Argueta

Bastard out of Carolina
-Dorothy Allison

The Remembered Earth: An Anthology of Contemporary Native American Literature
Edited by Geary Hobson


Cien Sonetos de Amor
-Pablo Neruda

New Poems (1968-1970)
-Pablo Neruda

Man With a Bull-Tongue Plow
-Jesse Stuart

New Selected Poems
-Ted Hughes

Spell of the Yukon
-Robert Service


Darwin:The Life of a Tormented Evolutionist
-Adrian Desmond and James Moore
Incredibly well researched and documented portrait of the Father of modern biology. Engaging and insightful.

Brother to a Dragonfly

-Will Campbell
A unique and thought provoking look at the civil rights movement in Mississippi.It could well change the way you view the world.

Long Walk to Freedom
-Nelson Mandela

Mandela:The Authorized Biography
-Anthony Sampson
This biography is a more engaging read than Mandela's own "Long Walk to Freedom".Of course, both are powerful.

Lawerence and the Arabs
-Robert Graves
-Not great literature nor a great history but a fantastic story.

Living to Tell the Tale
-Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Reads very much like one of his novels

Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight
-Alexandra Fuller
Growing up white in Africa with eccentric parents.


The Guns of August
-Barbara Tuchman
The personal and political intrigues surrounding the buildup to the great war and the first few months of unprecedented slaughter.

The Boer War
-Thomas Pakenham

A Brief History of Central America
-Hector Perez-Brignoli

Guerrillas and Revolution in Latin America
-Timothy P. Wickham-Crowley
Insightful comparitive analysis of revolutionary movements in various latin countries.

Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee
Dee Alexander Brown
Popular history of several groups of Native Americans.Tragic, tragic, tragic.

Indian Country
-Peter Matthiassen
Gives a brief history of several Native American groups and then a follow up with journalistic exposition on modern issues facing each group.

With the Old Breed:Peleliu and Okinawa
-Eugene B. Sledge
Eugene Sledge was the only marine of his battalion to survive both battles.He later became a biology professor.This book is of historical significance in that it gives a first hand account of these terrible battles from the perspective of the individual on the ground.

Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies
-Jared Diamond

Cartoon History of the Universe Volumes I, II, and III
-Larry Gonick
Wide ranging and highly entertaining.

Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your History Textbook Got Wrong
-James W. Loewen

A People's History of the United States
-Howard Zinn

Historical Fiction

The Hornet's Nest
-Jimmy Carter
Revolutionary war era story set in the Carolina's and Georgia


The Demon Haunted World:Science as a Candle in the Dark
-Carl Sagan

Endurance:Shackleton's Incredible Voyage
-Alfred Lansing

Confederates in the Attic
-Tony Horwitz

Iron and Silk
-Mark Salzman
An American's experience in China.


A Sand County Almanac
-Aldo Leopold

The River of the Mother of God
-Aldo Leopold

First Along the River: A brief History of the U.S. Environmental Movement
-Benjamin Kline

The Myth of Wild Africa
-Johathan S. Adams and Thomas O. McShane

Desert Solitaire
-Edward Abbey