Recommended Reads, Straight From The Horses’ Mouths

December 5, 2018

I’ve recently made it a point to read more books. As such, I’ve found myself Googling best-of lists. And, naturally, the returns on those searches have felt a tad too neutral, which doesn’t help with indecision.

What I really wanted was a personal, word-of-mouth recommendation. So I polled the readers here, and now give to you an unofficial list of books to consider, straight from the horses’ mouths.

They Can’t Kill Us Until They Kill Us – By Hanif Abdurraqib

This collection of essays proves that Abdurraqib is not only among the most interesting music writers of his generation, but also one of our most poignant cultural critics. His essays, which often shed a unique light on the African American experience in modern America, span everything from Carly Jae Repsen concerts, to Chance the Rapper’s unique optimism, to an incredible story that begins at Michael Brown’s memorial and ends at a Springsteen show.

Coach Wooden and Me: Our 50-Year Friendship On and Off the Court – By Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

I recently read Kareem Abdul Jabaar’s memoir about John Wooden, which I found quite moving. A lot of life lessons there. I ended up feeling great warmth toward both of them, in part because they had to learn about each other – two very different people from very different backgrounds – and it turned into quite a relationship. I dug it.

Thinking Fast and Slow – By Daniel Kahneman

This book is utterly fascinating. It’s dense, but clearly written. Kahneman explores the inner workings of the human brain and how those workings influences our judgement. You won’t regret reading it.

Crazy Rich Asians – By Kevin Kwan

Just pure, indulgent fun.

Good Omens – By Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman

It’s a hilariously narrated tale of the apocalypse, featuring a colorful cast of characters led by a demon and an angel who form an alliance of convenience. If you have a sense of humor about the heavy ideas of God and the Devil (hell, if you have a sense of humor at all), it’s a great weekend read.

The Best of Richard Matheson – By Richard Matheson

These stories aren’t “new,” but they’re in a newly published collection and all written by an often-overlooked 20th century master of the horror/suspense/sci-fi genre, whose influence permeates all kind of pop culture. In fact, Stephen King cites Matheson as his greatest influence, and Twilight Zone fans will recognize several stories that inspired iconic episodes of that show, too.