7 Books That Shaped My 20s

istockphoto 1283362093 170667a
istockphoto 1283362093 170667a

For those of you who must have a list of books, because the world is always better with lists.

Here’s Macl Edge  the article for best books.

7 Books That Shaped My 20s :

1. Whatever You Think, Think The Opposite – George Carlin

This is a book that I was forced to read in a college class because my professor said it was ‘required reading for all English majors’. 

He was probably just trying to scare me, but it actually turned out to be one of the most important books I’ve ever read. 

Up until this point I was still clinging to the idea that authors and artists had some sort of authority over me as a person. 

George Carlin jokes about how weird it is that we’re raised to think that way, and he’s right. It’s very weird and ultimately unhelpful. 

For about three years after reading this book, I used the old skool methods of thinking that Carlin teaches to cover my insecurities about being a middle class white boy in America.

 It’s worth mentioning that in the year 2000 I wrote this exact same article for my college newspaper.

2. A Visit From The Goon Squad – Jennifer Egan

This is the first book I read when I moved to New York City in 2012. I had just finished high school and didn’t have much money, so when I went to my local library they gave me books that were one week behind schedule because they had less demand for them. 

A Visit From The Goon Squad was one of those books, and when I read it I immediately fell in love with the city.

 Not only did it make me want to be a writer by showing me how great living in New York City is, but it also taught me about the power of fiction and the importance of our own unique experiences.

3. A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole

I’ve never been able to write a whole lot about A Confederacy of Dunces in my writing because this book makes me very angry and is all over the internet in some form or another (which is not my personal favorite place for things to be).

 It’s honestly completely unnecessary, but I still feel the need to defend this book because it messes with my brain in a way that no other book has. Here’s a very interesting article on why A Confederacy of Dunces is a great book.

4. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn – Mark Twain

This book shaped me into an adult better than any other book I’ve ever read. It taught me that there was a whole world outside of my small town and it gave me hope for what was yet to come in my life. 

This is the only reason I could justify reading this during summer break from high school, which actually turned out to be a very smart choice considering the future adventures I went on while reading this. 

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is definitely my favorite book, but it’s one of thousands.

5. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius – Dave Eggers

This book was just perfect for me in many ways. It taught me that if you wanted something done right, you had better do it yourself. 

I’ve always considered myself to be an independent person, but this book really forced me to take matters into my own hands and make things happen for myself instead of expecting them to be given to me.

 That’s about the only way I can explain how I felt after reading this book. You can read more about why Dave Eggers is great here .

6. The Woman in the Dunes – Kobo Abe

I read this book in one sitting because I couldn’t stop.

 It’s a weird book that taught me a bit of history and also gave me a sense of hope by showing me what I could accomplish if I wanted something bad enough.

 It’s a very strange book, but a very good one.

7. A Stranger in My Own Land – Arlie Hochschild

This is one of the most important books written today about the state of modern America and how we’ve been seen through the lens of our consumer culture.

If you want to understand why the world worked the way it did during the last presidential election, this is the book for you.

 It’s very hard to read at times because it’s so unsettling, but that just makes it more important. 

This book teaches me that there are still good people in this world and that great things can happen even in these times if we’re willing to work for them.


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