My Top 10 Books

This is a list of some of my favourite books, but it should be titled “shitty cult classics that everybody knows”. I don’t take a lot of risks with novels, I tend to read what I know I’ll like. But I did try to do a different author for each pick (the exception being Welsh) and maybe someday I’ll read something that isn’t by a hack.

  • “Trainspotting” by Irvine Welsh- If you love dialogue written in a Scottish accent, heavy drug use, and some of the darkest humor imaginable, Irvine Welsh is your dude. The way he distinguishes the different speak patterns and builds tone with the characters creates an almost instant notoriety (i.e. a character starts saying “likesay” and you instantly know that it’s Spud).  Harsh imagery, unlikable characters, dark humor: Hits all of my marks for a good book.

    2.”The Southern Reach Series” by Jeff Vandermeer- This trilogy (in order of “Annihilation”, “Authority”, and “Acceptance”) is a sci-fi, horror, mystery, I don’t even know what and it’s fucking GOOD. The books are all based around an organization whose main goal is to investigate a piece of land shrouded in mystery called “Area X”. Vandermeer does such a good job at building suspense and weaving settings that for a week after reading the series, I was afraid of both the woods and the dark.

    3.”Beautiful You” by Chuck Palahniuk- Clinically erotic is the only way I can describe this book. It starts out as a “love” story between a young woman and a reserved, rich tycoon, parodying countless erotic novels, but as the book goes on, it begins to reveal C. Linus Maxwell’s true intent. Really funny and the uncomfortable sex scenes are great. Palahniuk nailed it.

    4.”Breakfast of Champions” by Kurt Vonnegut Jr.- Ah, what can I say about Vonnegut? I love the guy. His casual attitude when writing about extraordinary things still gets me every time I read one of his novels. His writing style is so cursory and the perfect contrast to bizarre subject matter.

    5.”Ham on Rye” by Charles Bukowski- Semi-autobiographical, Ham on Rye is an agonizing story about a man living his consistently shitty life and realizing that the American Dream is a myth. Really good, depressing as all hell.

    6.”Valley of the Dolls” by Jacqueline Susann- The book follows the path of several women in New York City circa 1945, as they go through their lives living many highs and lows on the path of love and careers. Very compelling read.

    7.”Good Omens” by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman-  An absolutely hilarious book about an anti-Christ who was born in neutrality, and the battle between heaven and hell to guide him onto their respective sides. Such a good book, Pratchett and Gaiman are both incredibly witty, so it’s not a shocker this book is so funny.

    8.”The God Delusion” by Richard Dawkins- I love Dawkins. He’s kind of a grumpy old dickhead, but he’s so eloquent in his writing and his is (at least in my opinion) the definitive opinion on atheism. He doesn’t try and sugarcoat anything with a “yeah, but not ALL religions are evil”, he just flat out says that religion shouldn’t exist and then gives a detailed explanation of why he feels so. I have great respect for him and his thoughts.

    9. “The Sex Lives of Siamese Twins” by Irvine Welsh- Another one of my favourites from Welsh, is the story of two women and their obsessions. One of my most reread books because it’s got that patented Welsh dark humour.

    10. “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen- I realize the “young woman who reads Austen” is a ridiculous cliche, but I have to put it on the list because its one of my favourites. Elizabeth is kind of a cold bitch, and I can relate to the fact that she’s so stubborn that she refuses to change her opinion even when she’s realized she’s wrong.


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