Don't let the title or the setting fool you, this is not a "sci-fi" genre book. This is a wry humored, fast-paced, edge-of-your-seat, stay-up-all-night, survival epic! How in the heck is an astronaut abandoned on Mars with minimal equipment supposed to survive? Is it even possible for him to survive?! Reading this book is the only way to find out...
The Book of Strange New Things
This book was recommended to me with little more than a "just trust me." Trust, I did, and was rewarded with one of the best books I've read in a very long time and some of the most believable characters I've ever encountered. Completely unlike anything else I've read before: atmospheric and emotionally intricate, yet smooth and grounded in a beautiful simplicity. An impressive meditation on the limits of bravery, trust, friendship, and, most of all, love. No matter what your usual fare is, this one is worth a read. Just trust me.
The Sisters Brothers
Sure, they're sadistic, they're crude, they're murderers even. But you can't help falling in love with the infamous Sisters Brothers, or one of them at least, as you follow them on their "last job" and watch their plans go awry at nearly every turn. Dark humor, western vernacular, six-shooters, gold digging, one man's rather late discovery of brushing his teeth, and a whole lot more all add up to make an instantly classic western.
The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet
You might think that a novel set in early eighteenth century feudal Japan about a young uptight Dutch accountant would be less than compelling. You would be right, too, if the author weren't David Mitchell. But he once again flexes his authorial muscle and crafts a historical thriller complete with evil monks, sacrificial love, and even a ninja raid!
The River of Doubt
A kind of true life Heart of Darkness, Millard's account of Roosevelt's journey down the uncharted Amazonian 'River of Doubt' is not only a great adventure story featuring some of the best explorers of the era, but it is also a detailed look at how remarkable a man Theodore Roosevelt was. Illustrating how the group faced everything from native attacks to starvation and everything in between, The River of Doubt is a fascinating book about even more fascinating people.
The Name of the Wind
Kote is nothing more than a harmless innkeeper who likes to keep to himself. But in another not-too-long-ago life he was Kvothe, a man of legendary status, feared in all the four corners of civilization. This book is his story told in his own words, from his early childhood in a travelling troupe, to his days as a streen urchin, to his time spent at the University. A refreshing take on a sometimes too-familiar formula, this is one of the best fantasy sagas around.
Author of the award winning book Blackwater, Scahill has made a reputation as a no-BS journalist and Dirty Wars is no exception. Not quite on the paranoid conspiracy theory level and more on the don't take everything you see and hear at face value level, this book will take you through the inner workings of our government over the last few decades and reveal the secret wars that the US has waged behind the backs of its citizens.
City of Thieves
Taking place in besieged World War II Leningrad, City of Thieves is the story of two unlikely companions who are tasked with securing a dozen eggs for a Soviet colonel. This would be easy; however the city is cut off from all outside supplies and its citizens are starving. City of Thieves is a page turner that balances both humor and tragedy in a way that few stories are able. Its only flaw is that it isn't any longer.
The Winter of Our Discontent
Many of Steinbeck's novels deal with the struggle to maintain one's morals during uncertain times. However, none are so relateable as the story of Ethan Hawley. The Hawley name is one that used to demand respect in town, but Ethan watched his father lose their fortune and status. Now Ethan feels the pressure of his neighbors, friends, wife, and even children to reclaim the status of the Hawley name. In order to do so, Ethan will have to compromise his morals in ways that he had not considered before. Winter of Our Discontent is one of those 'required reading' books that gives you plenty to chew on days and even weeks after finishing it.
As long as you don't always take yourself (and your reading) too seriously, then this book is worth a shot. Crazy entertaining, quick, & a pretty awesome cameo from some Star Wars
Galaxy A-listers! And I mean....it's a book about
STAR WARS & ZOMBIES
What more could you possibly want?
A Game of Thrones
George R.R. Martin
Written by a man that many are calling "the American Tolkien," A Game of Thrones is the first installment of a sweeping tale of a once great kindom slipping into turmoil and threatened by forces outside its borders that few of its citizens understand. Following many characters both major and minor, including noble lords, corrupt kings, fierce warriors, and a witty dwarf (not the Tolkien kind), this is a story of suspense, corruption, honor, survival, humor, and romance that is near impossible to put down.
The Brothers Karamazov
Dostoevsky's final novel, The Brothers Karamazov, is set against the backdrop of 19th century Russia. Chock full of philisophical musings like free will and morality, The Brothers Karamazov is a novel that has influenced many of history's greatest minds. Why wouldn't you want to read what Freud called "the most magnificent novel ever written" and share in all that is has to offer?
World War Z
Written as a collection of interviews with a handful of survivors of the zombie pandemic, otherwise known as World War Z, this novel is an interesting take on zombie literature. Written as realistically as possible, World War Z explores both the global and local events of the 'war', giving a sense of scale to a genre of horror that is often typified by boarded up farmhouses. Definitely worth the read if you are a zombie fan!
One of the best novels to come out of the 20th century, Catch-22 is one of those books that everyone has to read at least once. Everyone can find someway to relate to the hero/anti-hero Yossarian as he navigates his way through countless 'damned-if-you-do-damned-if-you-don't' situations. And his supporting cast of characters is unlike any other. A fun, darkly humorous and also thoughtful look at both military and civilian life.