I Read, and Make Up For The Past With Works Of Timeless Wisdom

I reviewed only one book last time. To make up for it, I’m reviewing three books of timeless wisdom, one of which is 700+ pages (no, it’s not the Dictionary).

I’ll review them in size-order, from smallest to largest. To even things out a bit, the smallest one will have a ridiculously long quote, while the largest one will feature a ridiculously puny quote.

1. F. Scott Fitzgerald on Writing by Ernest Heming-F. Scott Fitzgerald, of course

“The history of my life is the history of the struggle between an overwhelming urge to write and a combination of circumstances bent on keeping me from it.

When I lived in St. Paul and was about twelve I wrote all through every class in school in the back of my geography book and first year Latin and on the margins of themes and declensions and mathematics problems. Two years later a family congress decided that the only way to force me to study was to send me to boarding school. This was a mistake. It took my mind off my writing [….]

But in school I went off on a new tack. I saw a musical comedy called The Quaker Girl, and from that day forth my desk bulged with Gilbert & Sullivan librettos and dozens of notebooks containing the germs of dozens of musical comedies.

Near the end of my last year at school I came across a new musical-comedy score lying on top of the piano [….] and the title furnished the information that it had been presented by the Triangle Club of Princeton University.

That was enough for me. From then on the university question was settled. I was bound for Princeton.

I spent my entire Freshman year writing an operetta for the Triangle Club. To do this I failed in algebra, trigonometry, coordinate geometry and hygiene. But the Triangle Club accepted my show, and by tutoring all through a stuffy August I managed to come back a Sophomore and act in it as a chorus girl. A little after this came a hiatus. My health broke down [….] Almost my final memory before I left was of writing a last lyric on that year’s Triangle production while in bed in the infirmary with a high fever.

The next year, 1916—17, found me back in college, but by this time I had decided that poetry was the only thing worth while, so […] I spent the spring doing sonnets, ballads and rondels into the small hours. I had read somewhere that every great poet had written great poetry before he was twenty-one. I had only a year and, besides, war was impending. I must publish a book of startling verse before I was engulfed.

By autumn I was in an infantry officers’ training camp at Fort Leavenworth, with poetry in the discard and a brand-new ambition—I was writing an immortal novel. Every evening, concealing my pad behind Small Problems for Infantry, I wrote paragraph after paragraph on a somewhat edited history of me and my imagination. The outline of twenty-two chapters, four of them in verse, was made, two chapters were completed; and then I was detected and the game was up. I could write no more during study period.

This was a distinct complication. I had only three months to live—in those days all infantry officers thought they had only three months to live—and I had left no mark on the world. But such consuming ambition was not to be thwarted by a mere war. Every Saturday at one o’clock when the week’s work was over I hurried to the Officers’ Club, and there, in a corner of a roomful of smoke, conversation and rattling newspapers, I wrote a one-hundred-and-twenty-thousand-word novel on the consecutive week-ends of three months. There was no revising; there was no time for it. As I finished each chapter I sent it to a typist in Princeton.

Meanwhile I lived in its smeary pencil pages. The drills, marches and Small Problems for Infantry were a shadowy dream. My whole heart was concentrated upon my book.

I went to my regiment happy. I had written a novel. The war could now go on [….] and then the publishers wrote me that though The Romantic Egotist was the most original manuscript they had received for years they couldn’t publish it. It was crude and reached no conclusion [….]

I was absolutely unfitted to be a reporter.

Instead I became an advertising man at ninety dollars a month, writing the slogans that while away the weary hours in rural trolley cars. After hours I wrote stories—from March to June. There were nineteen altogether; the quickest written in an hour and a half, the slowest in three days. No one bought them, no one sent personal letters. I had one hundred and twenty-two rejection slips pinned in a frieze about my room. I wrote movies. I wrote song lyrics. I wrote complicated advertising schemes. I wrote poems. I wrote sketches. I wrote jokes. Near the end of June I sold one story for thirty dollars.

On the Fourth of July, utterly disgusted with myself and all the editors, I went home to St. Paul and informed family and friends that I had given up my position and had come home to write a novel. They nodded politely, changed the subject and spoke of me very gently. But this time I knew what I was doing. I had a novel to write at last, and all through two hot months I wrote and revised and compiled and boiled down. On September fifteen This Side of Paradise was accepted by special delivery.

In the next two months I wrote eight stories and sold nine. The ninth was accepted by the same magazine that had rejected it four months before [….] Then my novel came out. Then I got married. Now I spend my time wondering how it all happened.

In the words of the immortal Julius Caesar: ‘That’s all there is; there isn’t any more.’ “

I hope you enjoyed this ridiculously-long excerpt from this ridiculously-short book.

That’s what this book is–excerpts from Fitz’s letters, memoirs, etc. about how he became a writer, as well as his thoughts on writing. I just quoted the best part of the book up there for you, but the rest of it is pretty good, too. Also, apparently there’s a series of these books– I once read Ernest Hemingway on Writing, for instance.

I think these books are cool. Instead of spending months ferreting out wisdom from old musty archives, here you have a readily consumable sampling of essential wisdom.

2. A Hand to Guide Me: Legends and Leaders Celebrate The People Who Shaped Their Lives Compiled by Denzel Washington

“These days our streets are a hundred times more dangerous than they were when I was growing up in Mount Vernon, New York, in the 1960s. And our worries don’t end on the streets. Today’s children are assaulted with such a constant barrage of negative influences it’s a wonder anyone amounts to anything. But we do, don’t we? We manage. We redouble our efforts and refocus our priorities and find a way to light a positive path for our children. We rise above the world we’ve inherited, and we aim to go our parents, our teachers, our coaches, our role models one better. And our aim is true because we keep hitting our marks, time and time again.”

Although this book features stories from people like Muhammad Ali and Toni Morrison, I found the most valuable wisdom came from people who were not such household names. For instance, Antwone Fisher, a screenwriter who grew up in Cleveland Ohio, talked about how every day he’d walk through a mall that contained plaques with the names of famous people who grew up in that part of Ohio, such as that of Jesse Owens. “If they can make it big, so can I,” Fisher thought every time he walked through the mall. And he did, when he wrote the screenplay for “Antwone Fisher.”

I love the idea that anybody can become amazing if they have the determination to reach their maximum potential.

Other stories tell of people who have been inspired by their parents, their teachers, or their coaches. Bob Woodward didn’t think he would ever get to the bottom of the Watergate affair until he expressed his doubt to the owner of the Washington Post who replied, “Never? Don’t tell me never!” Then he did, and helped change history.

In sum, this heartwarming book is a good read for anybody, whether you’re a parent, a teacher, a coach, or even a student. Maybe you’ll be inspired to become amazing, too.

3. Telling Stories Compiled by Joyce Carol Oates

“In the end, we can depend only upon our own judgment and self-definition guided by our intuition in writing as in our lives.”

Disclaimer: Oates is my professor and I read this book for class, so I have to hope that my review is not biased.

Now, to business.

The book is over 700 pages long. I read it in 3 days. It basically taught me the difference between good fiction and great fiction.

There are 121-ish stories in this book and only four or so are great. The rest are really good. This is my opinion, of course. I doubt anybody else reading it would have the same thoughts.

Highlights for me included Ernest Hemingway’s “Indian Camp” (great), William Faulkner’s “That Evening Sun” (great), Richard Ford’s “Communist” (great), William Carlos Williams’ “The Use of Force” (great), Tom Wayman’s “Violence” (great), Pinckney Benedict’s “The Sutton Pie Safe” (really good), Robert Taylor Junior’s “Mourning” (really good), and Russell Banks’s “Just Don’t Touch Anything” (really good).

Anyway, the great stories tend to produce a definite effect on the reader (Faulkner, Wayman) or contain fascinating depths (Hemingway, Williams, Ford). The really good stories seem like they will for sure do this, but then may not necessarily follow through all the way. That’s just my highly-subjective opinion. The greatest thing about this book (even greater than Faulkner or Hemingway, etc.) is that there are so many stories, you’re bound to find some that speak to you as being “great.”

I hope you enjoyed my reviews. I’ll be back soon with more thoughts and reviews. One thing I’ve learned from consuming all this wisdom: it’s awfully fun to read many books at once.

What We Talk About When We Talk About Fiction

Let me start by being overly-simplistic and saying that writing fiction isn’t that demanding. All you need to do is tell a story.

You can write the prettiest description of a landscape ever, but it’s much more interesting if you write about the struggles of the people (or animals) in that landscape.

Which sounds more interesting? A description of the Alaskan wilderness, or a tale about a domesticated dog named Buck who is sold to Alaskan traders, escapes, and becomes king of the aforementioned wilderness? Likely, the latter is more interesting, partially because it’s written by Jack London, but mostly because it tells a story.

It also has a character readers can root for in the form of Buck, who undergoes trials and tribulations in the form of escaping captivity, and ultimately grows because of the journey he has taken.

A good story takes readers on a journey.

Don’t be afraid to use description in your piece, but make sure that it’s used to serve the overall story. For instance, Jack London does include a description of the Alaskan wilderness, but he does this so that non-Alaskan readers could get a sense of the peril that Buck would have to face when drawing the traders’ sled through the snow. In London’s case, description helps make readers invested in Buck’s journey, and thus, in the story itself.
When you write your own fiction, consider how the protagonist changes from the events in your story. Take your readers on a journey.

Tell us a story.

After Midterms, I Review Only One, Not Two, Not Three, Only One Book

I am only one, only one, only one. Only one being, one at the same time, and being only one, I have read only one book while I was supposed to be studying for my midterms. Not two, not three, only one.

Okay. Midterms are over, so I’ll stop satirizing Gertrude Stein for now.

I really enjoyed reading my one book. I’ll make sure to write a really enjoyable review of it, even though joy is in the experience of the beholder.

At the end, I’ll also give you a sneak peek of other books I’m in the middle of. But now…

Fathers and Sons, by Ivan Turgenev

Favorite Quote: “‘But there is no need whatsoever for them to understand our conversation,’ observed Bazarov. ‘Whom do you mean?’ put in Yevdoxia. ‘Pretty women.’ ‘What? Do you then share the ideas of Proudhon?’ Bazarov drew himself up haughtily. ‘I share no one’s ideas: I have my own.’ ‘Damn all authorities!’ shouted Sitnikov, delighted to have an opportunity of expressing himself boldly in front of the man he slavishly admired. ‘But even Macaulay…’ Madame Kukshin was beginning. ‘Damn Macaulay!’ thundered Sitnikov. ‘Are you going to stand up for those silly females?’ ‘Not for silly females, but for the rights of women which I have sworn to defend to the last drop of my blood.’ ‘Down with…’ but here Sitnikov stopped. ‘But I don’t deny you that,’ he said.”

I had seriously flawed preconceptions when embarking upon this novel because I had once attempted to read it before in eighth grade and had given up on it. It had seemed stuffy and decrepit.

I guess this book is like a fine wine. I loved it at the dinosaur-ish age of 18.

It’s set in Russia during the mid-1800s. It’s about fathers and sons. More specifically, it’s about two friends, Arkady and Bazarov, who visit first Arkady’s father, then some women, then Bazarov’s family. There’s more after that but I don’t want to spoil it. However, I will tell you that there’s an uncle of Arkady’s who hates Bazarov’s guts. Bazarov is a nihilist, and Arkady’s uncle despises nihilists. Intergenerational conflict ensues.

As you can see, the plot seems semi-interesting. However, the characterization more than makes up for it. Turgenev conveys great details that enable the reader to engage with the characters (Bazarov calls a formal aristocratically-styled servant, “Old bushy-beard” for instance). Fathers and Sons reminded me a bit of Tennessee Williams’ play, “A Streetcar Named Desire” because both gained vitality from their great characterization.

Also, Turgenev doesn’t seem to be overly-invested in how the reader interprets his characters, which makes it even more enjoyable. If reading his book is like browsing a market-stand, Turgenev wouldn’t be the merchant who hawks at you to buy his wares until you get so overwhelmed that you stumble away empty-handed. He’d let you make up your own mind about what to buy, while occasionally giving details that reveal the true value of his wares. Basically, his prose had poise. I really appreciated that.

At the begining of Fathers and Sons, everything seems to be building up to something else. Then the book introduces subplots (romance) and an extended denouement (interesting but seemingly irrelevant to what came before). In the end, while this book is amazing at characterization throughout, its plot winds up making it less enjoyable than it could have been.

In its time, Fathers and Sons was probably seen as amazing because of its realistic style, interesting protagonist, and the ideas it explored. It questioned society, and it was published during a time (pre-Russian Revolution) when nearly everybody was questioning society.

In the end, Fathers and Sons was definitely worth reading. I got it for one dollar. One dollar, only one dollar, not two, not three, but one dollar. Only one book for one dollar…

And what a book it was.

As promised, here are a few other books I’m working on:

Madame Bovary

Look Homeward: A Life of Thomas Wolfe

H is for Hawk

A Hand to Guide Me


The Red and the Black

Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman

I hope you enjoyed my review. I’d love to hear your thoughts and book recommendations.

After Columbus Day, I Ponder the Phenomenon of Super-Descriptive Prose

Beautiful prose does not make for a great story on its own. This is a personal stance of mine that I have recently been thinking a lot about.

You can see this argument elaborated on in this old-ish article from the Atlantic.

I wanted to further examine the reason why many books have very descriptive passages.

Perhaps it is because of MFA programs. A lot of professors may like the same thing and thus their students seek to emulate what their professors like without considering what effect they are going for. These writings go on to get published. Other readers read them and then go on to imitate their writing styles.

Or perhaps it is the critics’ fault. BR Meyers makes a good point about this in the article linked above:

“[Annie Proulx’s] writing, like that of so many other novelists today, is touted as ‘evocative” and “compelling.’ The reason these vague attributes have become the literary catchwords of our time, even more popular than ‘raw’ and ‘angry’ were in the 1950s, is that they allow critics to praise a writer’s prose without considering its effect on the reader. It is easier to call writing like Proulx’s lyrically evocative or poetically compelling than to figure out what it evokes, or what it compels the reader to think and feel.

If all of your prose has the same beautiful quality, there is no variety in tone, and readers may be unable to fully reckon with what you intend for them to feel. Readers may include critics, who, overwhelmed by the prose, label it “striking” without analyzing what true effect it produces, if any. Thus, writers get lauded by critics and their books sell and win prizes, and everyone is (seemingly) happy.

Another reason for the proliferation of imagery may be the proliferation of technology. Writers now have to compete with TV and videogames. Perhaps the use of consistently vivid imagery is an attempt to keep the reader off his or her phone.

I am not saying that imagery is bad. I love imagery (one of my favorite books is Thomas Wolfe’s imagery-laden Look Homeward, Angel) but not if it’s the defining feature of a book. I personally believe books should prioritize their stories. Maybe if we writers were to implement this idea in our own prose, our stories will be empowered by beautiful language, instead of merely defined by it.

This is a very interesting subject for me, so I would love to hear your thoughts. Also, due to midterms next week, I will not post again for a short while. I will miss you all!

I Read, and Review my Homework on Rosh Hashana

Hello world! And happy Rosh Hashana! It’s been pretty hectic moving into college, but I’m back with another batch of books. They are all from my homework.

I promise next week will be more interesting, as I’m almost done with a few books I’ve started on for fun. However, because of my huge workload, I’ll probably alternate between writing advice and book reviews every week after next.

Anyway, let’s get down to business:

Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne

Favorite Quote: “‘When you wake up in the morning, Pooh,’ said Piglet at last, ‘what’s the first thing you say to yourself?’ ‘What’s for breakfast?’ said Pooh. ‘What do you say, Piglet?’ ‘I say, I wonder what’s going to happen exciting today?’ said Piglet. Pooh nodded thoughtfully. ‘It’s the same thing,’ he said.”

I had to read this for a class on the meaning of life. What can a Pooh-bear have to say about the meaning of life? Lots, if he’s named Winnie. Although this book doesn’t feature Tigger, it does feature lessons on life. It’s always better to have friends. Sometimes, we arrive at where we want to go through serendipity rather than through effort. Our minds can create our own fears. I would recommend this book purely for the delightful way it conveys all these meaningful ideas. Also, even though it was my homework, you don’t need to analyze it too deeply to be satisfied.

The Nature Principle: Reconnecting With Life in a Virtual Age by Richard Louv

Favorite Quote: “He spoke often and wrote about the transcendant childhood experience that served as a touchstone for his future life and work. ‘It was an early afternoon in May when I first looked down over the scene and saw the meadow,’ he wrote. ‘A magic moment, this experience gave to my life something, I know not what, that seems to explain my life at a more profound level than almost any other experience I can remember.'”

Do you like nature? Do you like it more than your phone? Richard Louv argues that you should. His book describes the joys to be had in nature, how it improves us as people, and how it can be used in our lives. I didn’t find the book to be the most interesting one out there, but it certainly got me thinking about nature. Also, it was a quick read, and I actually liked it more than my phone.

Alone Together by Sherry Turkle

Favorite Quote: “For example, there used to be a point for an urban child, an important moment when there was a first time to navigate the city alone. It was a rite of passage that communicated to children that they were on their own and responsible. If they were frightened, they had to experience those feelings. The cell phone buffers this moment.”

This was another book that I read for class. It was much more interesting than Louv’s book. It read like a Nova science documentary in book form. Also, whereas Louv’s writing is somewhat redundant (he cites the same statistic three or so times as if it were new each time), this author’s concision enables her to not only discuss harmful effects of technology, but also the potential for robots to replace humans as companions. Turkle even makes an important observation that parents may spend more time with their phones than with their children. The child thus grows up to become narcissistic, to overcompensate for the neglect they faced as a youth.

I hope you have enjoyed my reviews. I prefer fiction to nonfiction, but in the interest of my grades, most of what I have read has been nonfiction. However, I expect to be reviewing some fiction sometime in the future. Stay tuned!

I Read, and Refuse to Consume Liver and Cabbage for Dinner

I have read three more books, and I have reviewed them below. One of them involves liver and cabbage, and I will leave it up to you to find out which one that is…

Native Son by Richard Wright

Favorite Quote: “He was too weak to stand any longer. He sat again on the edge of the cot. How could he find out if this feeling of his was true, if others had it? How could one find out about life when one was about to die? Slowly he lifted his hands in the darkness and held them in mid-air, the fingers spread weakly open. If he reached out with his hands, and if his hands were electric wires, and if his heart were a battery giving life and fire to those hands, and if he reached out with his hands and touched other people, reached out through these stone walls and felt other hands connected with other hearts—if he did that, would there be a reply, a shock? Not that he wanted those hearts to turn their warmth to him; he was not wanting that much. But just to know that they were there and warm! Just that, and no more; and it would have been enough, more than enough. And in that touch, response of recognition, there would be union, identity; there would be a supporting oneness, a wholeness which had been denied him all his life.”

This book is so great that it beat out all the other books on my top ten list aside from Shakespeare’s “Hamlet.”

This book is about an African-American named Bigger Thomas who commits a crime in Chicago, and winds up confronting racism and the law.

This summary doesn’t really do the book justice. The reason Native Son is so good is because it unites emotion and ideas with this exciting plot. Also, whereas some authors make their books good just in the beginning, Native Son is uniformly excellent all throughout. It does not wimp out on any aspect of its premise and it forces its characters to deal with the harsh consequences of their actions. It does not shy away from itself, and is brutally honest, both in its situational outcomes and its portrayal of life.

It is not to be missed.

Farewell Summer by Ray Bradbury

Favorite Quote: Every time you take a step, even when you don’t want to. . . . When it hurts, when it means you rub chins with death, or even if it means dying, that’s good. Anything that moves ahead, wins. No chess game was ever won by the player who sat for a lifetime thinking over his next move.”

Bradbury wrote this as a sequel to his book, Dandelion Wine, about a kid named Doug who experiences the wonders of summer. In Farewell Summer, Doug encounters old age and metaphorically goes to war with mortality. The book was okay, but you’d be much better off reading Dandelion Wine first. You get more invested in the characters and their story that way. Also, in the afterword of Farewell Summer, Bradbury even admits that this book is just a compilation of scenes and metaphors, while Dandelion Wine had more of a story. So, if you prefer more story, read Dandelion Wine, but if you prefer super-vivid imagery, try Farewell Summer.

“Brighton Beach Memoirs” by Neil Simon

Favorite Quote: “EUGENE: Oh, God! As if things weren’t bad enough…and now this! The ultimate tragedy…liver and cabbage for dinner! A Jewish medieval torture!… My friend Marty Gregorio, an A student in science, told me that cooked cabbage can be smelled farther than sound traveling for seven minutes. If these memoirs are never finished, you’ll know it’s because I gagged to death one night in the middle of summer.”

As you can see, this is a funny play. It takes place during the Great Depression and focuses on various plot lines in the family of a kid named Eugene Jerome. For instance, Eugene’s cousin wants to dance on Broadway, and his brother may lose his job because he stood up to his boss. The version I read contained pictures from the film with captions saying that Eugene “had matured from a boy into a man” but I didn’t really pick up on that so-called maturation from my reading. Perhaps he did mature. Perhaps you should read it and see for yourself.

I hope you enjoyed my book reviews. Also, as it is summer, I am taking a hiatus to catch up with the real world. I will be back in September with more book reviews and writing advice. Stay tuned!

Top Ten Books I Read in High School

Today is my last day of high school ever. I’ve reviewed many books on this site. In celebration and commemoration of this rite of passage, here’s a countdown of the top ten books I’ve read in high school:

10: Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

I read this in 10th grade. This sci-fi classic is great because of its writing style, which remains consistently engaging and impactful throughout the book. Also, Bradbury’s book oozes with bibliophilic sentiment. What’s not to love?

9: “The Great Highway” by August Strindberg

I read this in 12th grade. I loved the ending to this play. It has to do with living up to one’s ideals, which I related to immensely. Also, it’s Strindberg’s last-ever play, so it doesn’t get much better than this.

8: All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque

I read this in 9th grade. This book was amazing at bringing humanity to war, in a way that showed war’s futility. In other words, it juxtaposed the humanity of the soldiers with the inhumanity of war–in the face of humanity, Remarque made war seem absolutely stupid.

7: A Hero of Our Time by Mikhail Lermontov

I read this in 12th grade. I loved the anti-hero in it. He was so irreverent, and served as the prototype for the Byronic hero, and many other anti-heroes throughout history.

6: The Three Musketeers by Alexander Dumas

I read this in 10th grade. It’s great. I planted three trees in my backyard. I named them Athos, Porthos, and Aramis after the characters in this funny swashbuckler. That should give you an idea of how impactful this book has been on my life.

5: Confessions by Jean- Jacques Rousseau

I read this in the beginning of 11th grade, and found a kindred spirit in Rousseau. Both of us loved life and didn’t feign apathy towards it. It makes me really wish I’d known Rousseau in person, but really glad I read this book.

4: Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

I read this in 11th grade. I liked the book’s development and its complexity. Instead of glorifying war, it glorified the best of humanity. Books like that are rare, and well-done books like that are even rarer. Here’s to you, Anna Karenina!

3: Look Homeward, Angel by Thomas Wolfe

I read this in 11th grade. It showed me that writers can write for full orchestra. Here is my review of it.

2: Native Son by Richard Wright

I literally just finished reading it and it is amazingly well-executed. As promised, here’s the link to my full review.

1: “Hamlet” by William Shakespeare

I read it in 9th grade and then reread it in 10th grade and then again in 12th grade. Because this book can be interpreted any way you want it to be interpreted, everyone can find something within that is relatable. Also, it has amazing imagery. Read it, and you won’t be disappointed.

Honorable Mentions

These books were really good, and would definitely be in my top 30:

Martin Eden (Jack London)

“Long Day’s Journey into Night” (Eugene O’Neill)

Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)

Seabiscuit: An American Legend (Laura Hillenbrand)

“Death of a Salesman” (Arthur Miller)

Man’s Fate (Andre Malraux)

The Tartar Steppe (Dino Buzzati)

Jonathan Livingston, Seagull (Richard Bach)

The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck)

The Natural (Bernard Malamud)

The Once and Future King (T.H. White)

“The Night Thoreau Spent In Jail” (Robert E. Lee and Jerome Lawrence)

4 Plays of Chekhov (Anton Chekhov)

The Man Who Laughs (Victor Hugo)

The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand)

The Children of Hurin (J.R.R. Tolkien)

“Cyrano de Bergerac” (Edmund Rostand)

Catch-22 (Joseph Heller)

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (Ken Kesey)

Bullfinch’s Mythology (Thomas Bullfinch)

“The Condemned of Altona” (Jean-Paul Sartre)

The Lay of the Nibelung

This Boy’s Life (Tobias Wolff)

Ender’s Game (Orson Scott Card)

Mortality (Christopher Hitchens)

I hope you’ve enjoyed my books. If you’ve read any books on these lists, feel free to comment below about them.