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Recommended Reading

If you're looking for some good reads, I recommend any of the following. These are some of my absolute favorite books of all time and come with my highest recommendation...


All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque (1929)

This book is called "the greatest war novel of all time." I disagree. I think it is the greatest "anti-war novel" of all time. Anyone in any government should have to read this book before making the decision to send troops into combat or fire a missle, etc. You probably read this under duress in high school, but I highly encourage you to read it again as an adult. Even if the subject matter is serious, it's a very fast and easy read.

Set in the trenches of France during World War I, the novel is told in first person by Paul Baumer, a 19 year old German soldier. Almost the entire book takes place on the battlefield or in camp. The narrative is at times funny, at times gruesome, at times heart-rendingly tragic as you watch scenes of unimaginable carnage through the eyes of a young man barely out of high school. But at all times it is a clear, straight-forward, engaging book that is a profound statement on the loss of innocence that devastated an entire generation mentally and physically.


The Friends of Eddie Coyle by George V. Higgins (1972)

The Godfather of all crime novels. Written by a former district attorney who really, really knew his subject matter, this book takes place in the Boston underworld of the early 70s and specifically focuses on a group of gun smugglers who try to make a big deal go down.

The best thing about this book though is the crackling, fast-paced, dialogue-heavy style in which it's told. The likes of Quentin Tarantino and Elmore Leonard have praised this book as the all-time archetype of what a crime novel should be. I've heard Thomas Katz even patterned Zombie City after it. I myself read this book in under 24 hours and loved it so much that it completely changed my writing style and my approach to fiction. I still go back to it for inspiration once every six months or so.

If you have any taste for crime fiction, or even if you just like a good, fast-paced read, you need to pick up a copy of this legendary book immediately.