six more books. i'm on a roll

I read a few new books, and I added one at the beginning that I had originally left out.1. Maus, by Art Spiegelman is a two volume graphic novel (biography) about the author/illustrator’s father’s experience as a Jew in a Nazi concentration camp during World War II. It is incredible. I didn’t originally include it in this list because it is a graphic novel, but the books were amazing and so I am adding it in as the official first book I ever read. I’m counting them as one book.

40: The Natural: The Misunderstood Presidency of Bill Clinton, by Joe Klein. Since I basically work for Bill Clinton as the Clinton School’s chief photographer, and because I see him several times a year, I thought I should learn a little about who he was as a President. This book is very well written and surprisingly (to me) quite entertaining. I couldn’t put it down. Like him or not, Clinton was a game changer.

41. Midnight in the Garden of Good & Evil, by John Berendt. Honestly, this was one of the worst books I’ve ever finished, which isn’t entirely a bad thing. I’ve never finished a bad book. I generally get bored and give up if I’m not wildly entertained, so everything on this list gets my approval and recommendation to anyone out there looking for something to read. It just so happens that this book falls squarely at the end of the list of books I enjoyed the most. I’m surprised I trudged through the end of it at all, actually. It’s slow, and pointless, and has very little action. The main character of the book is undoubtedly the town of Savannah, Georgia, which is interesting, but serves as a poor protagonist. If you like books from/about the south though, you might like this one. I didn’t.

42. Sex on the Moon: The Amazing Story Behind the Most Audacious Heist in History, by Ben Mezrich. Once again, Mezrich serves up a gripping narrative of a smart kid doing something crazy. This book is about a kid who landed a gig at NASA and then proceeded to steal a safe full of moon rocks to try to sell to a buyer in Belgium. Crazy. Couldn’t put it down.

43. Ugly Americans: The True Story of the Ivy League Cowboys Who Raided the Asian Markets for Billions, by Ben Mezrich. Since I was back on a Mezrich kick after Sex on the Moon, I decided to read the only other non-fiction book by him I hadn’t yet read. This one was the worst. Which, again, isn’t all that bad. The story was just a little slow and I got the feeling he was reaching for something to fill the pages with. As I was reading I kept wondering why anyone found this story interesting enough to write a book about. It’s more of a magazine article I think. Regardless, the book was decent. I finished it.

44. We Die Alone: A World War II Epic of Escape and Endurance, by David Howarth. Folks: This is the best book I’ve ever read. Hands down. No contest. Game over. This book chronicles in amazing vivid detail the story of Jan Baalsrud, a Norwegian secret operative fighting for the British army during WWII. Right from the start, Baalsrud’s plans are foiled and he spends the rest of the book on the run from the Nazi’s in northern Norway, trying to make it to the Swedish border before the snow melts. It completely blew my mind. I read it in about 10 hours over two days. If you like true stories of survival, this is the best one ever. Insane.

Anyway, that should bring us up to speed. I’ve now read 44 books in my life. Here, again, is the complete list (with links to Amazon).

All the books I’ve ever read in my life:

  1. Maus - Art Spiegelman
  2. Superman: Doomsday & Beyond - Louise Simonson
  3. The Illustrated Man – Ray Bradbury
  4. The Catcher in the Rye – J.D. Salinger
  5. Wild at Heart – John Eldredge
  6. Waking the Dead – John Eldredge
  7. Dangerous Wonder – Michael Yacconelli
  8. Messy Spirituality – Michael Yacconelli
  9. Run Like an Antelope: On The Road With Phish – Sean Gibbon
  10. The Sun Also Rises – Ernest Hemingway
  11. Into Thin Air – Jon Krakauer
  12. Blue Like Jazz – Donald Miller
  13. Through Painted Deserts – Donald Miller
  14. Searching For God Knows What – Donald Miller
  15. Velvet Elvis – Rob Bell
  16. Rich Dad Poor Dad – Robert Kyosaki
  17. What Jesus Meant – Gary Wills
  18. No Shortcuts to the Top – Ed Viesturs
  19. Into The Wild – Jon Krakauer
  20. To Own a Dragon – Donald Miller
  21. No Compromise: The Life Story of Keith Green – Melody Green
  22. Eiger Dreams: Ventures Among Men & Mountains – Jon Krakauer
  23. Under The Banner of Heaven – Jon Krakauer
  24. Three Men in a Boat – Jerome K. Jerome
  25. Born on a Blue Day – Daniel Tammet
  26. The Survivors Club – Ben Sherwood
  27. The Road – Cormac McCarthy
  28. Bringing Down The House – Ben Mezrich
  29. Rigged – Ben Mezrich
  30. Busting Vegas – Ben Mezrich
  31. The Accidental Billionaires – Ben Mezrich
  32. Where Men Win Glory - Jon Krakauer
  33. A Million Miles In A Thousand Years - Donald Miller
  34. Zeitoun - Dave Eggers
  35. Love Wins - Rob Bell
  36. Three Cups of Deceit - Jon Krakauer
  37. Prophet’s Prey - Sam Brower
  38. The Great Divorce - C.S. Lewis
  39. No Angel - Jay Dobyns
  40. The Natural: The Misunderstood Presidency of Bill Clinton - Joe Klein
  41. Midnight in the Garden of Good & Evil - John Berendt
  42. Sex on the Moon - Ben Mezrich
  43. Ugly Americans - Ben Mezrich
  44. We Die Alone - David Howarth