New Lyfe's Top Ten Books

Posted on 17 December 2013

Contrary to popular belief, reading is awesome. It's pretty simple, reading makes you smart. There is nothing sexier than being really really smart. There is no question any of us could ever have, that hasn't been written about in a book somewhere.

I'm hesitant to write this because of a recent blog post about how stupid this online fad of lists are, but I will swallow my pride for the sake of the greater good. 

10. Feed - M.T. Anderson

I read this book in Germany. I could not put it down. It is about a futuristic world in which society is connected by the feednet, which is a computer network that connects about 75% of people through their brains. Dialogue is no longer necessary, and we no longer need to think critically. 

The main character Titus spends his spring break on the moon. He meets a girl named Violet. Violets feed gets messed up and she loses connection to feednet. She raises questions about being tapped into the feednet, and she tries to retrieve her humanity. You see the real hardships she has while being disconnected, and we see how the feednet deters all of our humanity.

This book was written before smartphones, it is creepy how much of the premise of this book came true.

9. Lord of the Flies - William Golding

One of the iconic books of the last 3 generations. If you don't know what this book is about you either live under a rock or your parents don't love you enough to teach you about this amazing story.

This book gives true insight to the laws of man, and what society becomes when we break it down to its bare minimums. Man, is by nature, a survivalist species. We also have a natural inclination for power. Lord of the Flies accentuates these concepts better than any book ever written.

8. The Jungle - Upton Sinclair

The main character Jurgis, is an immigrant in Chicago during the industrial revolution. He comes to America chasing the American dream, and he quickly learns the hard lessons of capitalism. He gets a job in the meat packing industry and lives his life working ungodly hours in ungodly conditions. 

This is before there were any unions or laws were written about worker conditions. The Jungle gives you a real life glimpse on how America was made, and the workers who built this country on their backs for no money.

It really leaves you thinking about these huge cities and factories that have been built, and makes you second guess our world fueled by production. We often forget that our clothes, our dinners, our furniture, is all made by actual people somewhere out there in the world.

7. A Brief History of Time - Stephen Hawking

Who doesn't look up at the stars in wonder? This book will change your entire perspective on everything. Life, God, space, time. It will make you feel so small. It will give you an understanding as to why things are the way they are, and at the same time will leave you scratching your head with questions.

Stephen Hawking is the only man who can write this book because he takes such complex concepts such as space-time and explains them is conversational easy to understand English. 

This book gave me an understanding of a Higher Power.

6. Think and Grow Rich - Napolean Hill

This is the original and best self help book. Napolean Hill studied at length many successful men and women. He puts together a practical and step by step guide to achieving success, but this book is more than that.

First off, Hill does not define success by financial gains. The term "rich" is used openly for you to fill your own meaning into it. Within every chapter, there is an underlying theme. 

I could tell you what it is, but Hill purposefully leaves it a mystery, so the reader can find out for his or herself what it takes to achieve their dreams. The power of thought, it seems, trumps all skill sets and knowledge load.

5. Guess How Much I Love You - Sam McBratney and Anita Jeram

Just the happiest book you will ever read. My Mom would read this to book my sister and I almost every night when we were kids. It is about a father and son pair of bunnies. The entire book is them going back and forth about how much they love each other.

Always remember kids... I love you to the moon and back.

4. The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerland

This masterpiece is arguably the greatest novel ever written. The story is filled with classic themes such as hubris, love, betrayal and greed. The symbolism and fore shadowing in this book is so brilliant, especially because of its simplicity.

The story is so compelling, that it will be permanently embedded in your memory for the rest of your days.

The real triumph in this book however lies within the actual writing of Fitzgerald. The sentences are comprised with such precision, poetry and beauty that you will find yourself reading paragraphs over and over again, simply to sit in the tranquility of Fitzgerald's words.

It's truly beautiful.

3. The Art of War - Sun Tzu

Very little is actually known about the origins of this book. We do know that Sun Tzu was a military mastermind who lived during the Chinese Zhou dynasty in the 500 BC century. This book combines his philosophy, strategy, outlooks on leadership and mechanisms of gathering information into a fool proof guide of winning battles.

This book is frequently used by strategists of all kinds. Sports, law, warfare, debates. Any one in any form of competition needs to read this book. 

Through all of Sun Tzu's laws, one message screams loud as day. The man who out thinks the other man, is the one who wins. 

2 - Watchmen - Alan Moore

The plot line for this iconic graphic novel is so complex, it is impossible to fit into a few sentences. Simply put, the story is about a group of former superheroes in the Nixon era, who struggle with their identity now that they are no longer crime fighting super heroes.

This book touches on many aspects of morality, and where the line is between right and wrong. The subplots between all the characters intertwine perfectly. It's hard to fathom how Moore actually thought it all up.

The lines between right and wrong and good and evil become very blurred and you lose track of what your own moral beliefs are. You will not be able to stop reading. "Justice is coming for us all, no matter what we do."

1. Fight Club - Chuck Palahniuk 

Everyone knows the first rule of Fight Club. For all the quirks and innuendos this book has, there is an underlying message that is very clear.

In this soft, fluffy and pretty world we all obsess over, we often forget what it means to be alive. We often forget what its like to feel excited, and to feel rage and sorrow and fear and joy and pain. Fight Club reminds us that our world is obsessed with safety and fairness a politically correct thinking.

What scares you? What excites you? What pisses you off? Fight Club reminds us that we are all humans built with these emotions that we hardly ever use. More over, most of us are afraid of these emotions. We look to find the straight route to happiness, and many times we forget to feel whole.

Fight Club makes you take a look at who you are, and what you believe in. Fight Club reminds us to be a part of the world.

“You are not your job, you're not how much money you have in the bank. You are not the car you drive. You're not the contents of your wallet. You are not your fucking khakis. You are all singing, all dancing crap of the world.”

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