30th Birthday Book Recommendations


Yesterday was my 30th birthday, and I put up a Facebook post requesting book recommendations as a present on my birthday. I’ve done it the last couple years, and got a lot of very interesting suggestions.

I read every day and try to go through 50+ books a year. One, because I’m curious about the world, and two, because it gives me a chance to take a pause from the rush of daily life and to simply think quietly.

The following is a selection from the recommendations I received, specifically books that I have not read and that look interesting. There were of course a lot of excellent suggestion for books I’ve already read like Master and Margarita, The Sound and Fury, Catch 22, The God Delusion, Immortality, Augustine’s Confession, etc.

Title (and Amazon Link)RecommenderComment
Present Shock: When Everything Happens NowDavid D
Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden BraidLiz and David JAmazing but definitely not light beach reading.
AnathemBarryIt is one of the best SF books written in the modern era ( that does not sound like high praise considering the crap coming out today, but it is excellent).
The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at WorkJosh MIncredible book.
The Long Walk: The True Story of a Trek to Freedom: Movie Tie-In
Anthony GInspirational.
The Experience of Insight: A Simple and Direct Guide to Buddhist Meditation (Shambhala Dragon Editions)
Josh VI'm reading this right now, excellent, clear and no bullshit. Lots of great insight.
Absurdistan: A Novel
The Great Shark Hunt: Strange Tales from a Strange TimeAndy
Bobos In Paradise: The New Upper Class and How They Got ThereLisa LThis would be the beginning of my required reading list on a sociological survey of contemporary American problems.
Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010Lisa L
The End of Men: And the Rise of WomenLisa L
By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept: A Novel of ForgivenessTina
Manuscript Found in Accra
Matt B
Tao Te Ching: A New English Version (Perennial Classics)
Steven S
Gravity's Rainbow (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition)Dylan Royce
The Terror: A Novel
Dylan Royce
The Beautiful Mrs. Seidenman: A Novel (Andrze Szczypiorski)
Simulacra and Simulation (The Body, In Theory: Histories of Cultural Materialism)
Ali M
The First 20 Hours: How to Learn Anything . . . Fast!JulianSomething a little different for you.
Leap into Darkness: Seven Years on the Run in Wartime EuropeEric Z
Pimp: The Story of My Life
Tim C
Mo' Meta Blues: The World According to Questlove
Scott M
The Unexpected Universe
The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow Them and People Will Follow You (10th Anniversary Edition)
Phil N
The Right StuffJooyoungA really breezy, funny, and well researched non-fictional account of the US space race with Russia!
How to Be Good
Matt C
Incognito: The Secret Lives of the BrainSteve PFun read.
The Art of Love (Modern Library Classics)Nick S
Heroes of History: A Brief History of Civilization from Ancient Times to the Dawn of the Modern AgeAdam
Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each OtherNick M
The Last SamuraiMatt S
Home (Vintage International)
Liar's PokerEric S
Nobody Walks: Bringing My Brother's Killers to JusticePhil S

I look forward to exploring these in the months to come.

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