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August 13, 2008


brother john

My list would have included Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand.
Funny story about The Grapes of Wrath: Decades after the depression the Soviets were showing the film as a real life depiction of life in the United States. It backfired on them because the people came away marveling that even the poor in America had cars.


I wonder why The Bible isn't on the list?

me again

The DANGEROUS Book for Boys!! by Conn & Hal Iggulden

Remember when boys could be boys? I love this book and my son does too!


1. "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas"

2. "Dianetics"


I have read 17 of those books, and am reading one on the list right now. I am past 30, but I can do it! I wad going to add Fountainhead by Ayn Rand, but I love Atlas, too.


'Everybody Poops' was pretty good


A Short History of Nearly Everything- by Bill Bryson. This is a general science book that explains the science behind our complicated universe in a storytelling manner that only Bill Bryson could write.


I also wrote this on their blog as well but I would also like to ad a few more books to the list.
Brave New World
Farenheit 451
Animal Farm
and In Cold Blood

Great stories!

oooh i just thought of another one
Of Mice and Men (or would this book be offensive to the Special Olympic-commitee since it has a "retard" in the book!?)

cathy g

i did read 100 years of solitude because oprah suggested it, and it is by far one of my fave books of all time...

since i am a chick i think a great book is eat, pray, love by elizabeth gilbert, and i actually read it BEFORE oprah suggested it!!

Steve V

Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. A very silly sci-fi series, with a definite British tone of the absurd. Best lesson of the book is that the purpose of the president it to draw attention away from the real authority.

Sandy Weaver Carman

Ok, it looks like I'm not the only one who thinks they blew it by including no Ayn Rand work. For those daunted by Atlas Shrugged or The Fountainhead, the distillation of her theory is found in a tiny, wonderful book that gets re-read often around here...Anthem.

Great list, Bean...thank you for finding it, linking to it and blogging it!

Vic Rattler

4 for 30, less than 2 years to go. Little reading time, still have a book I started last October. Fail.

Wasn't planning on adding a book, but after two Ayn Rand mentions, I'll off the top of my head recommend Vincent Bugliosi's The Betrayal of America and The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder. Also a related idea;
"In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; In practice, there is."

It's sad when that difference is measured in deaths, sadder still the deaths aren't of those practicing their theories but good innocent people.

Although, if soldiers focused more on their own self-interests instead of selflessly volunteering to defend others, they wouldn't be in this position to begin with. So I guess it's their fault, F 'em then. Right Ayn?

I'm sitting pretty at 4 books read off this list. =\

In my defense, 1 of these books is really 3 (long) books, and it's super boring (I started the first book, got 1/3 of the way through, and couldn't stand it any more). 1 of these books was incomprehensible to me and I had to stop after chapter 2, because I had no idea what was going on. Also, I would have read a few more of these books in school, but my classes skipped some of these books.

All in all, here's what I think: 1. lot of philosophy books. 2. Some science books 3. Lots of omissions with potential to rival the books on this list. Ultimately, the list is decent, but fairly non-authorative in the sense that I don't think most people would agree that every book on this list (or rather, I think there may be some books on this list where most people would say it's not that important of a read)

Edmund F

I've read 11 of these books before 30.

Additional Books.

1. A Child Called "It"
Feel good laugh riot.

2. Brave New World
Been mentioned

3. Green Mile
Great book, originally done as a serial.

4. Treason by Orson Scott Card
Might be out of print, but great book

5. Enders Game by Orson Scott Card
Great book

Several Children/Adolesence that are worth a look as an adult.

1. Dear Mr. Henshaw

2. Anything from Maurice Sendek
That guy is F'd up

3. Julie of the Wolves

Anyway in conclusion Ayn Rand should have stayed preggers and in the kitchen. How'd she get a typewriter?



The only thing I remember about The Catcher in the Rye was that my English teacher in 11th grade compared me to Holden Caulfield. I'm going to read it again and find out if I should be offended (or flattered).

Everybody needs a good laugh. I think America: The Book is pretty close to deserving a spot on this list. Not essential, but the funniest book i've ever read is The Bad Driver's Handbook by Arnstein. Anything by The Onion as well.


glyph by percival everett
the rebel angels by robertson davies
the intuitionist by colson whitehead
our nig by harriet wilson

read these books BEAN!


Douglas Coupland should be on that list. After all he coined the term Generation X with the same-named book. "Life After God" I think is one of his better ones.


I've read about half of them, one of the side effects of being an American Studies major with concentrations in political theory and working-class labor history. (That and fifty cents will get me on the Big Blue Bus.)

Some books I keep going back to:

"The Crying of Lot 49" by Thomas Pynchon - at about 200 pages, it's the Pynchon book you don't need a concordance to get through.
"Them: Adventures with Extremists" by Jon Ronson
"Never Let Me Go" by Kazuo Ishiguro - if Huxley were writing "Brave New World" now, it might be like this
"Misfortune" by Wesley Stace - a.k.a. the musician John Wesley Harding (disclosure: I know the guy, but I'd recommend it anyway)
"Wrecking Crew: The Really Bad News Griffith Park Pirates" by John Albert - baseball, drugs and rock 'n' roll!
"Alan Mendelsohn, the Boy from Mars" by Daniel Pinkwater
"The Partly Cloudy Patriot" by Sarah Vowell
Anything by Jasper Fforde.
And "World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War" by Max Brooks - 'cause, y'know, zombies.

Sunny Days

"The Chosen" by Chaim Potok is one of the best books I've ever read. It's the only book that made me cry when I read it.


I will never, EVER read Lord of the Rings. I thought it was crap when I was 15 and couldn't make it through even 20 pages and I don't think it got any better since then.


Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris is one of my absolute favs. It's not often that I read a book and feel that it was written exclusivly for me!


Stranger In A Strange Land by Heinlein would be a nice addition.


I'm ashamed to admit that I've only completed four of the books on the list, and every single one of them was because it was required for my high school English classes. I was assigned more of them (and even started some), but I relied heavily on Cliff's Notes and didn't finish them (and still managed to squeak out A's).

I'm surprised there's no Shakespeare on the list. I wouldn't have agreed with it if any of his works had made it to the top 30, but I'm still surprised.

I'm also surprised that the Bible didn't make the cut.


I have three favorite books that I usually re-read at least once a year. I,Claudius and Claudius the God by Robert Graves. These are about the lives of the Roman Emperor Claudius and his HIGHLY disfunctional family before and after he became emperor. A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving is possibly one of the most beautiful books ever written, it's laugh out loud funny and heartbreakingly sad.

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