Recommended books and media

Here is a list of the books and media I’ve read over the years that I have either (a) enjoyed the most or (b) learned the most from.

Within each category, authors are listed alphabetically. Where more than one book is listed for an author, I’ve listed the books in order of preference.

Fiction/Literature/Literary Nonfiction:

Dante Alighieri, Inferno

Ray Bradbury, Dandelion Wine; Fahrenheit 451
Willa Cather, O Pioneers!My Antonia Albert Camus, The Stranger John Cheever, Collected Stories Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby Anne Frank, Diary of a Young Girl
Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet
Goethe, The Sorrows of Young Werther William Golding, Lord of the Flies John Grisham, The Client; The Runaway Jury; The Firm Knut Hamsun, Growth of the Soil; Pan; Victoria; Dreamers Jim Harrison, Returning to Earth and True North Hebrew Bible / Old Testament: Ecclesiastes, Job, Genesis, Song of Songs, Exodus, Hebrews Joseph Heller, Catch-22 Ernest Hemingway, For Whom the Bell Tolls; The Old Man and the Sea Herman Hesse, Steppenwolf; Siddhartha Homer, Iliad, Odyssey Victor Hugo, Les Miserables Henrik Ibsen, A Doll’s House James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man; Dubliners Jack Kerouac, On the RoadThe Dharma Bums Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild Halldor Laxness, Independent People Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird Thomas Mann, The Magic Mountain George R.R. Martin, A Song of Ice and Fire (series) Gabriel Garcia Marquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude; Chronicle of a Death Foretold Norman Maclean, A River Runs Through It Herman Melville, Moby Dick, Billy Budd Arthur Miller, The Crucible Yukio Mishima, The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea; Confessions of a Mask Czeslaw Milosz, Native Realm The New Testament: John, Luke, Revelations, James Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged; We the Living; The Fountainhead; Anthem William Shakespeare, King Lear; Hamlet; Othello; Julius Caesar; Macbeth; Richard II Natsume Soseki, Kokoro John Steinbeck, East of Eden; Travels with Charley; The Grapes of Wrath; The Pearl; The Red Pony; Junius Maltby J.R.R. Tolkier, The Lord of the Rings; The Hobbit Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace; Anna Karenina; The Death of Ivan Ilyich Virgil, Aeneid Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-5 Elie Wiesel, Night


Anna Akhmatova

Yehuda Amichai
W.H. Auden
Elizabeth Bishop
William Blake
Billy Collins
T.S. Eliot
Thomas Hardy
Randall Jarrell
D.H. Lawrence
Robert Lowell
Czeslaw Milosz
Sylvia Plath
Ezra Pound
Rainer Maria Rilke
Poetry anthologies:
The Columbia Book of Modern Korean Poetry
The Norton Anthology of Modern and Contemporary Poetry
The Vintage Book of Contemporary American Poetry
“Children’s” Literature (great for all ages):

Beverly Cleary, Dear Mr. Henshaw Roald Dahl, Matilda; James and the Giant Peach; Charlie and the Chocolate Factory; The BFG Louise Fitzhugh, Harriet the Spy Brian Jacques, Redwall (series) C.S. Lewis, The Chronicles of Narnia (series) Lois Lowry, The Giver Katherine Paterson, The Bridge to Terabithia Philip Pullman, His Dark Materials (trilogy)

J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter series
Louis Sachar, Sideways Stories from Wayside School (trilogy)
Shel Silverstein, The Giving Tree; The Missing Piece; Where the Sidewalk Ends; A Light in the Attic
Jerry Spinelli, Maniac Magee
E.B. White, Charlotte’s Web
Politics, History, and Social Sciences:

Stephen Arons, Compelling Belief: The Culture of American Schooling Robert Axelrod, The Evolution of Cooperation David Baldwin, Neorealism and Neoliberalism: The Contemporary Debate Randy Barnett, The Structure of Liberty W.M. Theodore de Bary, Sources of Chinese Tradition; Sources of Japanese Tradition; Sources of Korean Tradition Jacques Barzun, From Dawn to Decadence; Begin Here: The Forgotten Conditions of Teaching and Learning Frederic Bastiat, The Law Allan Bloom, The Closing of the American Mind Jacob Burckhardt, The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy Bruce Cumings, Korea’s Place in the Sun Norman Davies, Europe: A History William O. Douglas, The Douglas Letters W.E.B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk Victor Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning Sigmund Freud, Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego Francis Fukuyama, America at the Crossroads J.K. Galbraith, The Good Society Robert Gilpin, War and Change in World Politics; The Meaning of the Nuclear Revolution; Global Political Economy Jonathan Glover, Humanity: A Moral History of the Twentieth Century Friedrich Hayek, The Road to Serfdom Chris Hedges, War is a Force that Gives Us Meaning E.D. Hirsch, The Knowledge Deficit Robert Maynard Hutchins, Education for Freedom Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide Doug Lemov, Teach Like a Champion John Locke, A Letter Concerning Toleration; 2nd Treatise on Civil Government John J. Mearsheimer, The Tragedy of Great Power Politics John Stuart Mill, On Liberty; Autobiography Ludwig Von Mises, Human Action Barack Obama, Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance Murray N. Rothbard, Man, Economy, and State; For a New Liberty; What Has Government Done to Our Money? Snell and Gail Putney, The Adjusted American: Normal Neurosis in the Individual and Society Jean-Jacques Rousseau, On the Social Contract Scott Sagan and Kenneth Waltz, The Spread of Nuclear Weapons: A Debate Renewed Carl Schmitt, The Concept of the Political Harvey Silverglate, FIRE’s Guide to First-Year Orientation and Thought Control; FIRE’s Guide to Free Speech on Campus Voltaire, Political Writings Kenneth Waltz, Theory of International Politics; Man, the State, and War Michael Walzer, Just and Unjust Wars Jack Welch, Winning

Charles Wheelan, Naked Economics
Howard Zinn, A People’s History of the United States; A Power Governments Cannot Suppress

Philosophy, Religion, and the Humanities:

Augustine, Confessions Aristotle, Nichomachean Ethics; Poetics Julian Baggini, Atheism: A Very Short Introduction Derrick Bell, Ethical Ambition Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Letters and Papers from Prison

Wendy Doniger, The Implied Spider: Politics and Theology in Myth
Ralph Waldo Emerson, Essays
David Hume, Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding; Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals
Soren Kierkegaard, Fear and Trembling; The Sickness Unto Death
C.S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man
Martin Marty, Luther
Montaigne, Essais
Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra; On the Geneaology of Morals Blaise Pascal, Pensees
Josef Pieper, A Brief Reader on the Virtues of the Human Heart; The Four Cardinal Virtues
Plato, Symposium; Phaedrus; Apology; Republic
Joseph Ratzinger, Introduction to Christianity
Bertrand Russell, The Problems of Philosophy; Why I Am Not a Christian
Friedrich Schopenhauer, Essays and Aphorisms
Paul Tillich, The Eternal Now; The Courage to Be; Systematic Theology; On the Boundary
Magazines, Websites, and Columnists:

Becker-Posner Blog Cato Institute
The Economist Education Next Future of Capitalism The Freeman Cafe Hayek Frederick Hess Hoover Institution Lifehacker The Marginal Revolution Mises Daily The New Yorker The New York Times NPR Poetry Political Wire Reason SCOTUSBlog
The Volokh Conspiracy
The Wall Street Journal
The Writer’s Alamanac with Garrison Keillor George F. Will

Ryan McCarl
Attorney | Writer | Educator