99 Books Recommended by Bill Gates

Discussion in 'TMB Book Club' started by The Blackfish, Jun 8, 2018.

  1. The Blackfish

    The Blackfish The Fish in Black
    Staff Donor TMB OG
    Alabama Crimson TideIndianapolis Colts

    Political history and biography
    • A Full Life: Reflections at Ninety, by Jimmy Carter
    • Being Nixon: A Man Divided, by Evan Thomas
    • The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt and the Golden Age of Journalism, by Doris Kearns Goodwin
    • Deng Xiaoping and the Transformation of China, by Ezra Vogel
    • A Nation of Wusses: How America’s Leaders Lost the Guts to Make Us Great, by Ed Rendell
    • Titan II: A History of a Cold War Missile Program, by David K. Stumpf
    Human evolution and civilization
    • Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow, by Yuval Noah Harari
    • Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, by Yuval Noah Harari
    • The Vital Question: Energy, Evolution, and the Origins of Complex Life, by Nick Lane
    • Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, by Steven Pinker
    • The Better Angels of Our Nature, by Steven Pinker
    • The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History, by Elizabeth Kolbert
    • The World Until Yesterday: What Can We Learn from Traditional Societies?, by Jared Diamond
    • Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed, by Jared Diamond
    • Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies, by Jared Diamond
    • Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think, by Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler
    • Big History: From the Big Bang to the Present, by Cynthia Brown
    • Origin Story: A Big History of Everything, by David Christian
    • Limits to Growth: The 30-Year Update, by Donella Meadows, Jorgen Randers, and Dennis Meadows
    Big technology and invention
    • The Grid: The Fraying Wires Between Americans and our Energy Future, by Gretchen Bakke
    • Sustainable Materials with both Eyes Open, by Julian M. Allwood and Jonathan M. Cullen
    • The Most Powerful Idea in the World: A Story of Steam, Industry and Invention, by William Rosen
    • The Grid: A Journey Through the Heart of our Electrified World, by Phillip F. Schewe
    • The Path Between the Seas: The Creation of the Panama Canal, 1870-1914, by David McCullough
    • The Box: How the Shipping Container Made the World Smaller and the World Economy Bigger, by Marc Levinson
    Math and science thinking
    • How Not to Be Wrong: The Power of Mathematical Thinking, by Jordan Ellenberg
    • The Magic of Reality: How We Know What’s really True, by Richard Dawkins
    • What If? Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions, by Randall Munroe
    • How to Lie With Statistics, by Darrell Huff
    • Thing Explainer: Complicated Stuff in Simple Words, by Randall Munroe
    • 13 Things that Don’t Make Sense, by Michael Brooks
    • Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About the World—and Why Things Are Better than You Think, by Hans Rosling, Anna Rosling Rönnlund, and Ola Rosling
    • The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail—but Some Don’t, by Nate Silver
    Business
    • Business Adventures: Twelve Classic Tales from the World of Wall Street, by John Brooks
    • Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike, by Phil Knight
    • Tap Dancing to Work: Warren Buffett on Practically Everything, by Carol J. Loomis
    • Poor Charlie’s Almanack, by Peter D. Kaufman and Ed Wexler
    • Hit Refresh: The Quest to Rediscover Microsoft’s Soul and Imagine a Better Future for Everyone, by Satya Nadella
    • Science Business: The Promise, the Reality, and the Future of Biotech, by Gary P. Pisano
    Biography
    • Einstein, by Walter Isaacson
    • Broken Genius, by Joel Shurkin
    • Leonardo da Vinci, by Walter Isaacson
    • Steve Jobs, by Walter Isaacson
    Memoir
    • Born a Crime, by Trevor Noah
    • The Best We Could Do, by Thi Bui
    • Believe Me, by Eddie Izzard
    • Hyperbole and a Half, by Allie Brosh
    • On Immunity: An Inoculation, by Eula Biss
    • When Breath Becomes Air, by Paul Kalanithi
    • Everything Happens for a Reason and other Lies I’ve Loved, by Kate Bowler
    • The Cost of Hope, by Amanda Bennett
    Fiction
    • The Heart, by Maylis de Kerangal
    • The Sympathizer, by Viet Thanh Nguyen
    • Seveneves, by Neal Stephenson
    • The Rosie Effect, by Graeme Simsion
    • The Rosie Project, by Graeme Simsion
    • Patriot and Assassin, by Robert Cook
    • Turtles All the Way Down, by John Green
    • The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins
    • The Cat’s Table, by Michael Ondaatje
    • The Catcher in the Rye, by J. D. Salinger
    • A Separate Peace, by John Knowles
    • Lincoln in the Bardo, by George Saunders
    Books by Vaclav Smil
    • Energy and Civilization: A History, by Vaclav Smil
    • Should We Eat Meat?, by Vaclav Smil
    • Making the Modern World: Materials and Dematerialization, by Vaclav Smil
    • Harvesting the Biosphere, by Vaclav Smil
    • Energy Myths and Realities, by Vaclav Smil
    • Japan’s Dietary Transition and Its Impacts, by Vaclav Smil and Kazuhiko Kobayashi
    • Made in the USA: The Rise and Retreat of American Manufacturing, by Vaclav Smil
    • Prime Movers of Globalization, by Vaclav Smil
    • The Earth’s Biosphere, by Vaclav Smil
    • Energy at the Crossroads, by Vaclav Smil
    • Energies: An Illustrated Guide to the Biosphere and Civilization, by Vaclav Smil
    • Global Catastrophes and Trends, by Vaclav Smil
    • Enriching the Earth, by Vaclav Smil
    • Why America is Not a New Rome, by Vaclav Smil
    • Transforming the Twentieth Century, by Vaclav Smil
    • Energy Transitions: History, Requirements, Prospects, by Vaclav Smil
    • Creating the Twentieth Century, by Vaclav Smil
    Development and foreign aid
    • Poor Numbers: How We are Misled by African Development Statistics and What to Do About it, by Morten Jerven
    • Getting Better: Why Global Development is Succeeding—and How We Can Improve the World Even More, by Charles Kenny
    • Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity, by Katherine Boo
    • The Man Who Fed the World: Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Norman Borlaug and His Battle to End World Hunger, by Leon Hesser
    • The Last Hunger Season: A Year in an African Farm Community on the Brink of Change, by Roger Thurow
    • However Long the Night: Molly Melching’s Journey to Help Millions of African Women and Girls Triumph, by Aimee Molloy
    • In the Company of the Poor, by Paul Farmer and Gustavo Gutierrez
    • Mighty be Our Powers: How Sisterhood, Prayer, and Sex Changed a Nation at War, by Leymah Gbowee
    • One Billion Hungry: Can We Feed the World?, by Gordon Conway
    • Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way to Fight Global Poverty , by Abhijit Vinayak Banerjee and Esther Duflo
    • How to Spend $50 Billion to Make the World a Better Place, by Bjørn Lomborg
    • The Foundation: How Private Wealth Is Changing the World, by Joel L. Fleishman
    • Give Smart: Philanthropy that Gets Results, by Thomas J. Tierney and Joel L. Fleishman
    • Jim Grant—UNICEF Visionary, by Richard Jolly (Ed.)
    • Tomorrow’s Table: Organic Farming, Genetics, and the Future of Food, by Pamela Ronald and Raoul Adamchak
    • The Great Escape: Health, Wealth, and the Origins of Inequality, by Angus Deaton
    • The Idealist: Jeffrey Sachs and the Quest to End Poverty, by Nina Munk
    • Interventions: A Life in War and Peace, by Kofi Annan
    Education
    • Why Does College Cost So Much?, by Robert B. Archibald and David H. Feldman
    • A World-Class Education: Learning from International Models of Excellence and Innovation, by Vivien Stewart
    • Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses, by Richard Arum and Joshipa Roksa
    • Why Don’t Students Like School? A Cognitive Scientist Answers Questions about how the Mind Works and What It Means for the Classroom, by Dan T. Willingham
    • Change.edu: Rebooting for the New Talent Economy, by Andrew Rosen
    • Unlocking the Gates, by Taylor Walsh
    • Class Warfare: Inside the Fight to Fix America’s Schools, by Steven Brill
    • Who’s Teaching your Children?, by Vivian Troen and Katherine C. Boles
    • Stretching the School Dollar: How Schools and Districts Can Save Money while Serving Students Best, by Frederick M. Hess and Eric Osberg (Eds.)
    • Where Do School Funds Go?, by Marguerite Roza
    • Liberating Learning: Technology, Politics, and the Future of American Education, by Terry M. Moe and John E. Chubb
    • Work Hard. Be Nice: How Two Inspired Teachers Created the Most Promising Schools in America, by Jay Mathews
    • Value-Added Measures in Education: What Every Educator Needs to Know, by Douglas N. Harris
    Science
    • The Gene: An Intimate History, by Siddhartha Mukherjee
    • For the Love of Physics: From the End of the Rainbow to the Edge of Time, a Journey through the Wonders of Physics, by Walter Lewin
    • Feynman Lectures on Physics, Vol. 1: Mainly Mechanics, Radiation, and Heat, by Richard P. Feynman, Robert B. Leighton, and Matthew Sands
    • Feynman Lectures on Physics, Vol 2: Mainly Electromagnetism and Matter, by Richard P. Feynman, Robert B. Leighton, and Matthew Sands
    • Feynman Lectures on Physics, Vol 3: Quantum Mechanics, by Richard P. Feynman, Robert B. Leighton, and Matthew Sands
    • The New Science of Strong Materials, by J.E. Gordon
    • The Hair of the Dog and Other Scientific Surprises, by Karl Sabbagh
    • 13 Things that Don’t Make Sense: The Most Baffling Scientific Mysteries of our Time, by Michael Brooks
    • Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking, by Nathan Myhrvold
    • The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer, by Siddhartha Mukherjee
    • I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes within Us and a Grander View of Life, by Ed Yong
    • Stuff Matters: Exploring the Marvelous Materials that Shape our Man-Made World, by Mark Miodownik
    Climate change and energy
    • The Quest: Energy, Security, and the Remaking of the Modern World, by Daniel Yergin
    • Sustainable Energy—without the Hot Air, by David J.C. MacKay
    • Unlocking Energy Innovation, by Richard K. Lester and David M. Hart
    • World on the Edge: How to Prevent Environmental and Economic Collapse, by Lester R. Brown
    • Global Warming: The Complete Briefing, by John Houghton
    • Beyond Smoke and Mirrors: Climate Change and Energy in the 21st Century, by Burton Richter
    • Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution—and How it Can Renew America, by Thomas Friedman
    • Reinventing Fire: Bold Business Solutions for the New Energy Era, by Amory B. Lovins and Rocky Mountain Institute
    Economics and wealth inequality
    • Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis, by J.D. Vance
    • Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City, by Matthew Desmond
    • The Power to Compete: An Economist and an Entrepreneur on Revitalizing Japan in the Global Economy, by Hiroshi Mikitani and Ryoichi Mikitani
    • The Rise and Fall of American Growth: The U.S. Standard of Living since the Civil War, by Robert Gordon
    • How Asia Works: Success and Failure in the World’s Most Dynamic Region, by Joe Studwell
    • Capital in the Twenty-First Century, by Thomas Piketty
    • Stress Test: Reflections on Financial Crises, by Timothy F. Geithner
    • The Bet: Paul Ehrlich, Julian Simon, and our Gamble over Earth’s Future, by Paul Sabin
    • The Price of Inequality: How Today’s Divided Society Endangers our Future, by Joseph E. Stiglitz
    • Why Nations Fail, by Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson
    • This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly, by Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff
    • Beyond the Crash: Overcoming the First Crisis of Globalization, by Gordon Brown
    • Too Big to Fail, by Andrew Ross Sorkin
    • The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century, by Thomas Friedman
    • That Used to Be Us: How America Fell Behind in the World it Invented and How We Can Come Back, by Thomas Friedman and Michael Mandelbaum
    • The End of Poverty, by Jeffrey Sachs
    • In Fed We Trust: Ben Bernanke’s War on the Great Panic, by David Wessel
    • SuperFreakonomics: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes, and Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance, by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner
    • The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves, by Matt Ridley
    Disease and public health
    • Eradication: Ridding the World of Diseases Forever?, by Nancy Leys Stepan
    • The Fever: How Malaria Has Ruled Humankind for 500,000 Years, by Sonia Shah
    • House on Fire: The Fight to Eradicate Smallpox, by William H. Foege
    • Smallpox: The Death of a Disease, by D.A. Henderson
    • Infections and Inequalities: The Modern Plagues, by Paul Farmer
    • Reinventing American Health Care: How the Affordable Care Act Will Improve our Terribly Complex, Blatantly Unjust, Outrageously Expensive, Grossly Inefficient, Error Prone System, by Ezekiel Emanuel
    • The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right, by Atul Gawande
    • Global Health: An Introductory Textbook, by A. Lindstrand, et al.
    • Health Care Will Not Reform Itself, by George Halvorson
    • Dirt and Disease: Polio before FDR, by Naomi Rogers
    • The Making of a Tropical Disease: A Short History of Malaria, by Randall M. Packard
    • Priorities in Health, by Dean T. Jamison and Joel G. Breman
    • Vaccine: The Controversial Story of Medicine’s Greatest Lifesaver, by Arthur Allen
    • Tropical Infectious Diseases, by Richard L. Guerrant and David H. Walker
    • Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man who Would Cure the World, by Tracy Kidder
    • Polio: An American Story, by David Oshinsky
    • Epic Measures: One Doctor. Seven Billion Patients, by Jeremy Smith
    Leadership and management
    • The Myth of the Strong Leader, by Archie Brown
    • Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, by Carol Dweck
    • How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character, by Paul Tough
    • The Art of Being Unreasonable: Lessons in Unconventional Thinking, by Eli Broad
    • Measure What Matters: How Google, Bono, and the Gates Foundation Rock the World With OKRs, by John Doerr
    • Change by Design: How Design Thinking Transforms Organizations and Inspires Innovation, by Tim Brown
    Happiness, psychology, and purpose
    • The Road to Character, by David Brooks
    • Where Good Ideas Come from, by Steven Johnson
    • Awakening Joy, by James Baraz and Shoshana Alexander
    • Whistling Vivaldi: How Stereotypes Affect Us and What We Can Do, by Claude Steele
    • Outliers, by Malcolm Gladwell
    • Showing up for Life, by Bill Gates Sr.
    • Life Is What You Make It, by Peter Buffett
    Tennis
    • String Theory, by David Foster Wallace
    • A Champion’s Mind, by Pete Sampras
    • Open, by Andre Agassi
    Misc
    • Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything, by Joshua Foer
    • The City that Became Safe: New York’s Lessons for Urban Crime and Its Control, by Franklin Zimring
    • Frank Stewart’s Bridge Club, by Frank Stewart
     
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  2. Tangman

    Tangman Well-Known Member
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    Not to hijack the thread, but in the same vein, here are the 86 books Obama recommended during his presidency:

    1. The Naked and the Dead, Norman Mailer

    2. One Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel García Márquez

    3. The Golden Notebook, Doris Lessing

    4. The Woman Warrior, Maxine Hong Kingston

    5. Brown Girl Dreaming, Jacqueline Woodson

    6. Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad

    7. Nora Webster, Colm Toibin

    8. The Laughing Monsters, Denis Johnson

    9. Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth and Faith in the New China, Evan Osnos

    10. Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End, Dr. Atul Gawande

    11. Cartwheeling in Thunderstorms, Katherine Rundell

    12. The Narrow Road to the Deep North, Richard Flanagan

    13. Redwall series, Brian Jacques

    14. Junie B. Jones series, Barbara Park

    15. Nuts To You, Lynn Rae Perkins

    16. Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life, William Finnegan

    17. H Is for Hawk, Helen Macdonald

    18. The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins

    19. Seveneves, Neal Stephenson

    20. The Underground Railroad, Colson Whitehead

    21. All That Is, James Salter

    22. The Sixth Extinction, Elizabeth Kolbert

    23. The Lowland, Jhumpa Lahiri

    24. Between the World and Me, Ta-Nehisi Coates

    25. Washington: A Life, Ron Chernow

    26. All the Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr

    27. Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stevenson

    28. Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck

    29. The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald

    30. Where the Wild Things Are, Maurice Sendak

    31. Moby Dick, Herman Melville

    32. Self-Reliance, Ralph Waldo Emerson

    33. Song Of Solomon, Toni Morrison

    34. Parting The Waters, Taylor Branch

    35. Gilead, Marylinne Robinson

    36. Best and the Brightest, David Halberstam

    37. The Federalist, Alexander Hamilton

    38. Souls of Black Folk, W.E.B. Du Bois

    39. The Power and the Glory, Graham Greene

    40. The Quiet American, Graham Greene

    41. Cancer Ward, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    42. Gandhi’s autobiography

    43. Working, Studs Terkel

    44. Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith

    45. Theory of Moral Sentiments, Adam Smith

    46. All the King’s Men, Robert Penn Warren

    47. Cutting for Stone, Abraham Verghese

    48. To the End of the Land, David Grossman

    49. Purity, Jonathan Franzen

    50. A Bend in the River, V. S. Naipau

    51. Fates and Furies, Lauren Groff

    52. Lush Life, Richard Price

    53. Netherland, Joseph O’Neill

    54. Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights, Salman Rushdie

    55. Redeployment, Phil Klay

    56. Invisible Man, Ralph Ellison

    57. Plainsong, Kent Haruf

    58. The Way Home, George Pelecanos

    59. What Is the What, Dave Eggers

    60. Philosophy & Literature, Peter S. Thompson

    61. Collected Poems, Derek Walcott

    62. In Dubious Battle, John Steinbeck

    63. Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn

    64. The Three-Body Problem, Liu Cixin

    65. Harry Potter series, J.K. Rowling

    66. The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt, Edmund Morris

    67. John Adams, David McCullough

    68. Lincoln: The Biography of a Writer, Fred Kaplan

    69. Defining Moment: FDR’s Hundred Days and the Triumph of Hope, Jonathan Alte

    70. FDR, Jean Edward Smith

    71. Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln, Doris Kearns Goodwin

    72. The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln

    73. Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution and How It Can Renew America, Thomas L. Friedman

    74. Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and Bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001, Steve Coll

    75. Unequal Democracy: The Political Economy of the New Gilded Age, Larry Bartels

    76. The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York, Robert A. Caro

    77. Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Evan Osnos

    78. Thinking, Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman

    79. Moral Man And Immoral Society, Reinhold Niebuhr

    80. A Kind And Just Parent, William Ayers

    81. The Post-American World, Fareed Zakaria

    82. Lessons in Disaster, Gordon Goldstein

    83. Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, Yuval Noah Harari

    84. The Fire Next Time, James Baldwin

    85. Andy Grove: The Life and Times of an American, Richard S. Tedlow

    86. Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity, Katherine Boo
     
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  3. RonBurgundy

    RonBurgundy Well-Known Member

    Gates has bad taste in fiction but great taste in nearly everything else
     
  4. TC

    TC Nice fucking jeans dude
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    More lists to make your already too long lists longer:

    Another spot I like to get ideas from is lists of Pulitzer winners. General Nonfiction is my favorite

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pulitzer_Prize_for_General_Nonfiction
    1960s[edit]
    1970s[edit]
    1980s[edit]
    The finalists are indented, ordinarily two each year.

    1990s[edit]
    2000s[edit]
    2010s[edit]

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pulitzer_Prize_for_Biography_or_Autobiography
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pulitzer_Prize_for_Fiction
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pulitzer_Prize_for_History
     
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  5. TC

    TC Nice fucking jeans dude
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    Another good list o' books. I want to read all of these

    https://www.theguardian.com/books/2...st-nonfiction-books-of-all-time-the-full-list
    1. The Sixth Extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert (2014)
    An engrossing account of the looming catastrophe caused by ecology’s “neighbours from hell” – mankind.

    2. The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion (2005)
    This steely and devastating examination of the author’s grief following the sudden death of her husband changed the nature of writing about bereavement.

    3. No Logo by Naomi Klein (1999)
    Naomi Klein’s timely anti-branding bible combined a fresh approach to corporate hegemony with potent reportage from the dark side of capitalism.

    4. Birthday Letters by Ted Hughes (1998)
    These passionate, audacious poems addressed to Hughes’s late wife, Sylvia Plath, contribute to the couple’s mythology and are a landmark in English poetry.

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    5. Dreams from My Father by Barack Obama (1995)
    This remarkably candid memoir revealed not only a literary talent, but a force that would change the face of US politics for ever.

    6. A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking (1988)
    The theoretical physicist’s mega-selling account of the origins of the universe is a masterpiece of scientific inquiry that has influenced the minds of a generation.

    7. The Right Stuff by Tom Wolfe (1979)
    Tom Wolfe raised reportage to dazzling new levels in his quest to discover what makes a man fly to the moon.

    8. Orientalism by Edward Said (1978)
    This polemical masterpiece challenging western attitudes to the east is as topical today as it was on publication.

    9. Dispatches by Michael Herr (1977)
    A compelling sense of urgency and a unique voice make Herr’s Vietnam memoir the definitive account of war in our time.

    10. The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins (1976)
    An intoxicating renewal of evolutionary theory that coined the idea of the meme and paved the way for Professor Dawkins’s later, more polemical works.

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    Tom Wolfe in 2012. Photograph: Mark Seliger/AP
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    11. North by Seamus Heaney (1975)
    This raw, tender, unguarded collection transcends politics, reflecting Heaney’s desire to move “like a double agent among the big concepts”.

    12. Awakenings by Oliver Sacks (1973)
    Sacks’s moving account of how, as a doctor in the late 1960s, he revived patients who had been neurologically “frozen” by sleeping sickness reverberates to this day.

    13. The Female Eunuch by Germaine Greer (1970)
    The Australian feminist’s famous polemic remains a masterpiece of passionate free expression in which she challenges a woman’s role in society.

    14. Awopbopaloobop Alopbamboom by Nik Cohn (1969)
    This passionate account of how rock’n’roll changed the world was written with the wild energy of its subject matter.

    15. The Double Helix by James D Watson (1968)
    An astonishingly personal and accessible account of how Cambridge scientists Watson and Francis Crick unlocked the secrets of DNA and transformed our understanding of life.

    16. Against Interpretation by Susan Sontag (1966)
    The American novelist’s early essays provide the quintessential commentary on the 1960s.

    17. Ariel by Sylvia Plath (1965)
    The groundbreaking collection, revolving around the poet’s fascination with her own death, established Plath as one of the last century’s most original and gifted poets.

    18. The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan (1963)
    The book that ignited second-wave feminism captured the frustration of a generation of middle-class American housewives by daring to ask: “Is this all?”

    19. The Making of the English Working Class by EP Thompson (1963)
    This influential, painstakingly compiled masterpiece reads as an anatomy of pre-industrial Britain – and a description of the lost experience of the common man.

    20. Silent Spring by Rachel Carson (1962)
    This classic of American advocacy sparked a nationwide outcry against the use of pesticides, inspired legislation that would endeavour to control pollution, and launched the modern environmental movement in the US.

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    Susan Sontag, pictured in 1975. Photograph: © The Peter Hujar Archive; courtesy Pace MacGill Gallery
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    21. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas S Kuhn (1962)
    The American physicist and philosopher of science coined the phrase “paradigm shift” in a book that is seen as a milestone in scientific theory.

    22. A Grief Observed by CS Lewis (1961)
    This powerful study of loss asks: “Where is God?” and explores the feeling of solitude and sense of betrayal that even non-believers will recognise.

    23. The Elements of Style by William Strunk and EB White (1959)
    Dorothy Parker and Stephen King have both urged aspiring writers towards this crisp guide to the English language where brevity is key.

    24. The Affluent Society by John Kenneth Galbraith (1958)
    An optimistic bestseller, in which JFK’s favoured economist promotes investment in both the public and private sectors.

    25. The Uses of Literacy: Aspects of Working-Class Life by Richard Hoggart (1957) This influential cultural study of postwar Britain offers pertinent truths on mass communication and the interaction between ordinary people and the elites.

    26. Notes of a Native Son by James Baldwin (1955)
    Baldwin’s landmark collection of essays explores, in telling language, what it means to be a black man in modern America.

    27. The Nude: A Study of Ideal Art by Kenneth Clark (1956)
    Clark’s survey of the nude from the Greeks to Picasso foreshadows the critic’s towering claims for humanity in his later seminal work, Civilisation.

    28. The Hedgehog and the Fox by Isaiah Berlin (1953)
    The great historian of ideas starts with an animal parable and ends, via a dissection of Tolstoy’s work, in an existential system of thought.

    29. Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett (1952/53)
    A bleakly hilarious, enigmatic watershed that changed the language of theatre and still sparks debate six decades on. An absurdist masterpiece.

    30. A Book of Mediterranean Food by Elizabeth David (1950)
    This landmark recipe book, a horrified reaction to postwar rationing, introduced cooks to the food of southern Europe and readers to the art of food writing.

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    American novelist, writer, playwright, poet, essayist and civil rights activist James Baldwin in 1979. Photograph: Ralph Gatti/AFP/Getty Images
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    31. The Great Tradition by FR Leavis (1948)
    The controversial critic’s statement on English literature is an entertaining, often shocking, dissection of the novel, whose effects are still felt to this day.

    32. The Last Days of Hitler by Hugh Trevor-Roper (1947)
    The historian’s vivid, terrifying account of the Führer’s demise, based on his postwar work for British intelligence, remains unsurpassed.

    33. The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care by Dr Benjamin Spock (1946)
    The groundbreaking manual urged parents to trust themselves, but was also accused of being the source of postwar “permissiveness”.

    34. Hiroshima by John Hersey (1946)
    Hersey’s extraordinary, gripping book tells the personal stories of six people who endured the 1945 atom bomb attack.

    35. The Open Society and Its Enemies by Karl Popper (1945)
    The Austrian-born philosopher’s postwar rallying cry for western liberal democracy was hugely influential in the 1960s.

    36. Black Boy: A Record of Childhood and Youth by Richard Wright (1945)
    This influential memoir of a rebellious southern boyhood vividly evokes the struggle for African American identity in the decades before civil rights.

    37. How to Cook a Wolf by MFK Fisher (1942)
    The American culinary icon was one of the first writers to use food as a cultural metaphor, describing the sensual pleasures of the table with elegance and passion.

    38. Enemies of Promise by Cyril Connolly (1938)
    Connolly’s dissection of the art of writing and the perils of the literary life transformed the contemporary English scene.

    39. The Road to Wigan Pier by George Orwell (1937)
    Orwell’s unflinchingly honest account of three northern towns during the Great Depression was a milestone in the writer’s political development.

    40. The Road to Oxiana by Robert Byron (1937)
    Much admired by Graham Greene and Evelyn Waugh, Byron’s dazzling, timeless account of a journey to Afghanistan is perhaps the greatest travel book of the 20th century.

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    41. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie (1936)
    The original self-help manual on American life – with its influence stretching from the Great Depression to Donald Trump – has a lot to answer for.

    42. Testament of Youth by Vera Brittain (1933)
    Brittain’s study of her experience of the first world war as a nurse and then victim of loss remains a powerful anti-war and feminist statement.

    43. My Early Life: A Roving Commission by Winston Churchill (1930)
    Churchill delights with candid tales of childhood and boy’s own adventures in the Boer war that made him a tabloid hero.

    44. Goodbye to All That by Robert Graves (1929)
    Graves’s account of his experiences in the trenches of the first world war is a subversive tour de force.

    45. A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf (1929)
    Woolf’s essay on women’s struggle for independence and creative opportunity is a landmark of feminist thought.

    46. The Waste Land by TS Eliot (1922)
    Eliot’s long poem, written in extremis, came to embody the spirit of the years following the first world war.

    47. Ten Days That Shook the World by John Reed (1919)
    The American socialist’s romantic account of the Russian revolution is a masterpiece of reportage.

    48. The Economic Consequences of the Peace by John Maynard Keynes (1919)
    The great economist’s account of what went wrong at the Versailles conference after the first world war was polemical, passionate and prescient.

    49. The American Language by HL Mencken (1919)
    This declaration of linguistic independence by the renowned US journalist and commentator marked a crucial new chapter in American prose

    50. Eminent Victorians by Lytton Strachey (1918)
    Strachey’s partisan, often inaccurate but brilliant demolitions of four great 19th-century Britons illustrates life in the Victorian period from different perspectives.

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    51. The Souls of Black Folk by WEB Du Bois (1903)
    The great social activist’s collection of essays on the African American experience became a founding text of the civil rights movement.

    52. De Profundis by Oscar Wilde (1905)
    There is a thrilling majesty to Oscar Wilde’s tormented tour de force written as he prepared for release from Reading jail.

    53. The Varieties of Religious Experience by William James (1902)
    This revolutionary work written by Henry James’s less famous brother brought a democratising impulse to the realm of religious belief.

    54. Brief Lives by John Aubrey, edited by Andrew Clark (1898)
    Truly ahead of his time, the 17th-century historian and gossip John Aubrey is rightly credited as the man who invented biography.

    55. Personal Memoirs by Ulysses S Grant (1885)
    The civil war general turned president was a reluctant author, but set the gold standard for presidential memoirs, outlining his journey from boyhood onwards.

    56. Life on the Mississippi by Mark Twain (1883)
    This memoir of Samuel Clemens’s time as a steamboat pilot provides insight into his best-known characters, as well as the writer he would become.

    57. Travels With a Donkey in the Cévennes by Robert Louis Stevenson (1879)
    The Scottish writer’s hike in the French mountains with a donkey is a pioneering classic in outdoor literature – and as influential as his fiction.

    58. Nonsense Songs by Edward Lear (1871)
    The Victorians loved wordplay, and few could rival this compendium of verbal delirium by Britain’s “laureate of nonsense”.

    59. Culture and Anarchy by Matthew Arnold (1869)
    Arnold caught the public mood with this high-minded but entertaining critique of Victorian society posing questions about the art of civilised living that still perplex us.

    60. On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin (1859)
    Darwin’s revolutionary, humane and highly readable introduction to his theory of evolution is arguably the most important book of the Victorian era.

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    61. On Liberty by John Stuart Mill (1859)
    This fine, lucid writer captured the mood of the time with this spirited assertion of the English individual’s rights.

    62. The Wonderful Adventures of Mrs Seacole in Many Lands by Mary Seacole (1857)
    A gloriously entertaining autobiography by the widely revered Victorian sometimes described as “the black Florence Nightingale”.

    63. The Life of Charlotte Brontë by Elizabeth Gaskell (1857)
    Possibly Gaskell’s finest work – a bold portrait of a brilliant woman worn down by her father’s eccentricities and the death of her siblings.

    64. Walden by Henry David Thoreau (1854)
    This account of one man’s rejection of American society has influenced generations of free thinkers.

    65. Thesaurus by Dr Peter Mark Roget (1852)
    Born of a Victorian desire for order and harmony among nations, this guide to the English language is as unique as it is indispensable.

    66. London Labour and the London Poor by Henry Mayhew (1851)
    The influence of the Victorian journalist’s detailed, dispassionate descriptions of London lower-class life is clear, right up to the present day.

    67. Household Education by Harriet Martineau (1848)
    This protest at the lack of women’s education was as pioneering as its author was in Victorian literary circles.

    68. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave by Frederick Douglass (1845)
    This vivid memoir was influential in the abolition of slavery, and its author would become one of the most influential African Americans of the 19th century.

    69. Essays by RW Emerson (1841)
    New England’s inventor of “transcendentalism” is still revered for his high-minded thoughts on individuality, freedom and nature expressed in 12 essays.

    70. Domestic Manners of the Americans by Frances Trollope (1832)
    Rich in detail and Old World snobbery, Trollope’s classic travelogue identifies aspects of America’s national character still visible today.

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    71. An American Dictionary of the English Language by Noah Webster (1828)Though a lexicographical landmark to stand alongside Dr Johnson’s achievement, the original sold only 2,500 copies and left its author in debt.

    72. Confessions of an English Opium-Eater by Thomas De Quincey (1822)
    An addiction memoir, by the celebrated and supremely talented contemporary of Coleridge and Wordsworth, outlining his life hooked on the the drug.

    73. Tales from Shakespeare by Charles and Mary Lamb (1807)
    A troubled brother-and-sister team produced one of the 19th century’s bestselling volumes and simplified the complexity of Shakespeare’s plays for younger audiences.

    74. Travels in the Interior Districts of Africa by Mungo Park (1799)
    The Scottish explorer’s account of his heroic one-man search for the river Niger was a contemporary bestseller and a huge influence on Conrad, Melville and Hemingway.

    75. The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin by Benjamin Franklin (1793)
    The US founding father’s life, drawn from four different manuscripts, combines the affairs of revolutionary America with his private struggles.

    76. A Vindication of the Rights of Woman by Mary Wollstonecraft (1792)
    This radical text attacked the dominant male thinkers of the age and laid the foundations of feminism.

    77. The Life of Samuel Johnson LLD by James Boswell (1791)
    This huge work is one of the greatest of all English biographies and a testament to one of the great literary friendships.

    78. Reflections on the Revolution in France by Edmund Burke (1790)
    Motivated by the revolution across the Channel, this passionate defence of the aristocratic system is a landmark in conservative thinking.

    79. The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano by Olaudah Equiano (1789)
    The most famous slave memoir of the 18th century is a powerful and terrifying read, and established Equiano as a founding figure in black literary tradition.

    80. The Natural History and Antiquities of Selborne by Gilbert White (1789)
    This curate’s beautiful and lucid observations on the wildlife of a Hampshire village inspired generations of naturalists.

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    81. The Federalist Papers by ‘Publius’ (1788)
    These wise essays clarified the aims of the American republic and rank alongside the Declaration of Independence as a cornerstone of US democracy.

    82. The Diary of Fanny Burney (1778)
    Burney’s acutely observed memoirs open a window on the literary and courtly circles of late 18th-century England.

    83. The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon (1776-1788)
    Perhaps the greatest and certainly one of the most influential history books in the English language, in which Gibbon unfolds the narrative from the height of the Roman empire to the fall of Byzantium.

    84. The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith (1776)
    Blending history, philosophy, psychology and sociology, the Scottish intellectual single-handedly invented modern political economy.

    85. Common Sense by Tom Paine (1776)
    This little book helped ignite revolutionary America against the British under George III.

    86. A Dictionary of the English Language by Samuel Johnson (1755)
    Dr Johnson’s decade-long endeavour framed the English language for the coming centuries with clarity, intelligence and extraordinary wit.

    87. A Treatise of Human Nature by David Hume (1739)
    This is widely seen as the philosopher’s most important work, but its first publication was a disaster.

    88. A Modest Proposal by Jonathan Swift (1729)
    The satirist’s jaw-dropping solution to the plight of the Irish poor is among the most powerful tracts in the English language.

    89. A Tour Through the Whole Island of Great Britain by Daniel Defoe (1727)Readable, reliable, full of surprise and charm, Defoe’s Tour is an outstanding literary travel guide.

    90. An Essay Concerning Human Understanding by John Locke (1689)
    Eloquent and influential, the Enlightenment philosopher’s most celebrated work embodies the English spirit and retains an enduring relevance.

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    91. The Book of Common Prayer by Thomas Cranmer (1662)
    Cranmer’s book of vernacular English prayer is possibly the most widely read book in the English literary tradition.

    92. The Diary of Samuel Pepys by Samuel Pepys (1660)
    A portrait of an extraordinary Englishman, whose scintillating firsthand accounts of Restoration England are recorded alongside his rampant sexual exploits.

    93. Hydriotaphia, Urn Burial, or A Brief Discourse of the Sepulchral Urns Lately Found in Norfolk by Sir Thomas Browne (1658)
    Browne earned his reputation as a “writer’s writer” with this dazzling short essay on burial customs.

    94. Leviathan by Thomas Hobbes (1651)
    Hobbes’s essay on the social contract is both a founding text of western thought and a masterpiece of wit and imagination.

    95. Areopagitica by John Milton (1644)
    Today, Milton is remembered as a great poet. But this fiery attack on censorship and call for a free press reveals a brilliant English radical.

    96. Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions by John Donne (1624)
    The poet’s intense meditation on the meaning of life and death is a dazzling work that contains some of his most memorable writing.

    97. The First Folio by William Shakespeare (1623)
    The first edition of his plays established the playwright for all time in a trove of 36 plays with an assembled cast of immortal characters.

    98. The Anatomy of Melancholy by Robert Burton (1621)
    Burton’s garrulous, repetitive masterpiece is a compendious study of melancholia, a sublime literary doorstop that explores humanity in all its aspects.

    99. The History of the World by Walter Raleigh (1614)
    Raleigh’s most important prose work, close to 1m words in total, used ancient history as a sly commentary on present-day issues.

    100. King James Bible: The Authorised Version (1611)
    It is impossible to imagine the English-speaking world celebrated in this series without the King James Bible, which is as universal and influential as Shakespeare.

    • This article was amended on 9 April 2018. An earlier version said that Tom Paine’s book Common Sense helped ignite revolutionary America against the British under George II. This has been corrected to say George III.
     
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  6. The Blackfish

    The Blackfish The Fish in Black
    Staff Donor TMB OG
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    Well this is going to be a lot added to my already insurmountable to be read list. Thanks a lot asshole
     
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  7. CBH

    CBH Well-Known Member
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    Yeah I’ve only read a couple of those books, there could be a couple good book club recommendations for there
     
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  8. Tangman

    Tangman Well-Known Member
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  9. TC

    TC Nice fucking jeans dude
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  10. TC

    TC Nice fucking jeans dude
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    Bingo -- I definitely want to read this. How to be human in the age of machines is like one of the essential questions I'm trying to figure out.

    Also added the opium war and the gene splicing one to my list
     
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  11. TC

    TC Nice fucking jeans dude
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  12. Tangman

    Tangman Well-Known Member
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