Good books to read for Summer 2009?

I’ve decided what I want to do for August: read 15 books in 30 days. I read three books this weekend:

The Accidental Billionaires, by Ben Mezrich.
Gang Leader for a Day, by Sudhir Venkatesh.
World War Z, by Max Brooks.

I enjoyed all three. Now I need your help. What books would you recommend that I read in August?

262 Responses to Good books to read for Summer 2009? (Leave a comment)

  1. Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less, by Jeffrey Archer

  2. The Eight, by Katherine Neville

  3. The Gold Coast, by Nelson DeMille

  4. Kristine Schachinger

    Kite Runner … 🙂

  5. Prometheus Rising by Robert Anton Wilson

    and / or the illuminatus triology – also by Wilson and Robert Shea

    or else Kafka (if you find a decent english translation)

    and one special insiders’ tip: Stefano Benni, the short stories are great, but there dont seem to be many english translations

  6. I would recommend that you read either of Kevin Mitnick’s books.

    ‘The Art of Deception’ and ‘The Art of Intrusion’ are both excellent reads that I am sure you would be interested in.

  7. Outliers, by Malcolm Gladwell (Best Seller)

  8. Anything by Peter F. Hamilton. Science Fiction; by far my favourite author (beating even Asimov, and I don’t say that lightly).

  9. Patrik Johansson

    Anything by Paul Auster. Kafka on the shore by Haruki Murakami. Let the right one in by John Ajvide Lindqvist. Well, some tips there anyway!

  10. Liar’s Poker, by Michael Lewis.

  11. Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card, Unlimited Power by Anthony Robbins

  12. three fantastic books: (each is quite different from the others)

    100 Years of Solitude (
    Cryptonomicon (
    Slaughterhouse-Five (

  13. Six Thinking Hats by Edward de Bono

  14. Read Indian Best sellers Like five-point Someone, one night @call center by chetan bhagat U will really like
    The God of Small Things by Arundhati roy

  15. You may have told us this already Matt, but do you have a list off books you’ve recently read, so we can cross-reference before recommending??

  16. The Princess Bride. The book is far better than the movie (cliche, but ridiculously true in this case).

  17. 1. Good to great – Jim Collins (you might have read it before)
    2. My Autobiography – Charlie Chaplin (brilliant read)
    3. The Search – John Battelle!! (Kiddin..!)

  18. Matt
    I loved “The billionaire who wasn’t, The Chuck Feeney story

  19. The Android’s Dream – John Scalzi (@scalzi or

  20. The Book Thief by marcus zusak. Truly original.

  21. Accidental Empires by Robert X Cringely. About the early years and competition between Microsoft and Apple.

  22. Read Hamlet.

  23. “Good to Great” by Jim Collins is a great book for people interested in making organizations or businesses become…well great. I see that Ankur has already recommended it so I guess I’ll just second his suggestion.

  24. Maybe – One Night @ the Call Center – ?

  25. Mads Vangkilde

    What I Talk About When I Talk About Running – by Haruki Murakami
    Simulacra and Simulations – by Jean Baudrillard

  26. Magico Martinez

    “The picture of Dorian Gray” by Oscar Wilde.
    Or alternatively, “Short Stories” by Oscar Wilde.

  27. 1. A short history of nearly everything (Bill Bryson)
    2. Outliers (and/or Blink and/or Tipping Point) (Malcolm Gladwell)
    3. Science, A History (John Gribbin)

  28. Oscar Franklin

    51 Documents: Zionist Collaboration with the Nazis – by Lenni Brenner

  29. if you like ancient Greece and Italy, any book from Valerio Massimo Manfredi will do it. He is a professor in ancient history at the Rome University: great mix of true events and romance!

  30. A few good ‘uns that spring to mind…

    A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
    The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
    Death and the Penguin by Andrey Kurkov
    History of the World by JM Roberts (try reading this one in a day!)
    Anything by George Orwell

  31. Ann Finnie, it’s like you’ve been picking stuff off my bookshelf!!

    I’d recommend anything by Nelson DeMille, though if I had to pick three, I’d agree with Gold Coast and add By The Rivers of Babylon, Cathedral and Lion’s Game. That’s four, actually. that’s how good they are.

    And The Eight by Katherine Neville is still one of the best books I’ve ever read. Absolutely brilliant. I may just have to go pick it up again now.

  32. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak / The Thirtheent Tale by Diane Setterfield

  33. All Quiet on the Orient Express by Magnus Mills

    It’s a great book, and easy reading, which is important given you’re going to be reading a book every couple of days.

  34. The curious incident of the dog in the night-time – mark haddon
    The end of my y – scarlett thomas
    dracula – bram stoker

  35. It’s already on here but just to emphasise, read Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell. I can’t put it down!

  36. You like them zombies? Read THE WALKING DEAD (Collected) by Bob Kirkman and Charlie Adlard. It’s my favorite comic! Steve & I had a brush with greatness when we co-published a DIFFERENT book Charlie did with writer Larry Young, a friend of ours who is the creative force behind ASTRONAUTS IN TROUBLE comics, but that was about 10 years ago in a past life. BTW when is YOUR book coming out? You have enough material in the blog, dude.

  37. Check out Edmund Morris’ biographies on Theodore Roosevelt. They’re both incredibly well written and entertaining. The first one about his life leading up to presidency won the Pulitzer Prize. Theodore Rex is the next one, and also very good.

  38. Here’s a few of my favourite picks this month

    Emergency – Neil Strauss – Absolute cracker from the author of The Game

    Appetite for Self-Destruction: The Rise and Fall of the Record Industry in the Digital Age – Steve Knopper – How the music industry self destructed

    Breath – Tim Winton – Australia’s most gifted writers multi-award winning novel –

  39. “La vita quotidiana a Bologna al tempo di Vasco” – great book about Bologna, Italy

  40. For fun speedy reading and good laughs, you can’t beat P G Wodehouse. Good examples are from the Jeeves & Wooster series:

    Not Now Jeeves
    Very Good Jeeves
    The Code of the Woosters

  41. – Out of Control by Kevin Kelly – This is one of my all-time favorite books, and got me interested in emergence
    – Everything and More by David Foster Wallace – A great summary of the history of the mathematical concept of infinity by the legendary DFW
    – Welcome to the Monkeyhouse by Kurt Vonnegut – Almost all Vonnegut books are great, but this one is the best in my opinion.
    – How Breakthroughs Happen by Andrew Hargadon – A great book on the process of innovation and how to construct an environment that encourages it. Here’s my thoughts on it.

  42. The Book with no Name by Anonymous seriously it’s an awesome book, detective horror story with plenty of action too 🙂

  43. Infinite Jest, by David Foster Wallace.

  44. Big Babies by Michael Bywater

  45. I’m assuming you’ve read every single book by Terry Pratchett, the Hitchhiker’s series and Dirk Gently books by Douglas Adams, and Neverwhere, American Gods and Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman. If not, read what you haven’t.

    Other than that, in no particular order –

    1. Missing, Presumed Undead by Jeremy Davies (hard to find but available on Sony Ebook store, if you have their Reader)
    2. Phule Series by Robert Asprin
    3. Expecting Someone Taller by Tom Holt
    4. Thursday Next Series by Jasper Fforde
    5. Nursery Crime Series by Jasper Fforde
    6. Night’s Dawn Trilogy by Peter Hamilton (only read this if you are okay with reading a single serious story around 4000 pages long.)
    7. Foundation Series by Isaac Asimov
    8. Bartimaeus Trilogy by Jonathan Stroud (I think it’s improperly targeted at young adults)
    9. Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer (for young adults, but really light and fun)
    10. Dark Materials Trilogy by Philip Pullman
    11. The White Mercedes by Philip Pullman (only book on this list that’s not SFF. It’s amazing.)
    12. Wicked and Son of a Witch by Gregory Maguire

  46. “The Unincorporated Man” by Dani Kollin & Eytan Kollin

    Its a story about a man who is “rescued” from his cryogenic chamber after his civilization is gone. In his new society, everyone is incorporated from birth and spends most of their life trying to gain a majority share of themselves.

    It is an amazing looks at alternative economics, politics and freedom, not to mention how someone from our time might react. Oh .. And its a great SciFi yarn.

  47. The Book of the New Sun by Gene Wolf technically 4 books but they are all gems.

  48. Knut Hamsun’s Hunger is very good.
    For something more light I really recommend anything by Jasper Fforde or the excellent
    Radio Tanganyika –

  49. Never mind… LOL … Saw you that already read and reviewed it. I guess I should read your posts backwards when I haven’t been here for a while.

  50. Autobiography of a Super Tramp – WH Davies

  51. I’d highly recommend “The Last Kingdom” by Bernard Cornwell. It’s the first in a four-part series (fifth soon to be released) about a young Saxon who gets kidnapped by the Vikings and raised as one, but is torn between his loyalties to his adopted Viking family and his Saxon blood line.

  52. I really enjoyed
    – Black Swan
    – Global Brain: The Evolution of Mass Mind from the Big Bang to the 21st Century

  53. Howard Trickey

    The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary – by Simon Winchester

    I’ll second the recommendation of “The Last Kingdom” or any of the other Bernard Cornwell series.

  54. I’ll give another vote for Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card.

    I’d also recommend Snowcrash by Neal Stephenson.

  55. I strongly recommend “One hundred years of solitude” by Gabriel García Márquez. If you enjoy magical realism, you´ll love this one!

  56. i, Woz – Steve Wozniak

    Very inspiring. Did you know he invented the programmable remote control ?

  57. It has noting educational like most of the books here, but I can really recommend “Not withoud my daugther” from Betty Mahmoody.

    And Freakonomics by S. Levitt & S. Dubner still is really good!

  58. The Sky Below by Stacey D’erasmo

  59. In a Sunburned Country – Bill Bryson
    The Devil in the White City – Erik Larson
    Join LibraryThing 🙂

  60. Marilyn L Rice

    Try mine, I’d appreciate comments. Look After Each Other available at

    or try, No Regrets, Stay in Touch or Time &Tide, all still available on Amazon or bookshops and libraries in UK

  61. Steppenwolf by Hermann Hesse

  62. “read 15 books in 30 days”
    If I just can do that, I may rank first in this final year in my medical school !!

    I am interested in “The Accidental Billionaires” : The Founding of Facebook A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius and Betrayal

  63. “Talent is Overrated”

    by Geoff Colvin

    (Also available in audio)

  64. No jokers here suggesting things like Les Miserables, War and Peace, volume “A” of the encyclopedia, etc.?

  65. Why Work Sucks & How To Fix It (By Carrie Ressler & Jody Thompson)

  66. Night by Elie Wiesel, quick read–powerful and moving.

  67. Anything by Christopher Moore though I highly recommend “Lamb”.

  68. “Jpod” and “Microserfs” by Douglas Coupland are obvious recommendations for anyone in popular technology (I recommend his other books with the admission that they’re of a somewhat different style that not everyone will enjoy)

    I’m about to read “Unbearable Lightness of Being” and “Surely you’re joking, Mr. Feynman” once I find copies.

  69. Some neuro-themed ideas:

    In the unlikely event you haven’t read it… “Blink” by Malcolm Gladwell.

    Stuff that will make you smarter and/or keep you from losing it: “Think Smart” by prolific neuroscientist & writer Richard Restak (new). Along the same lines, “Brain Rules” by John Medina.

    Why most people suck at investing: “Your Money & Your Brain” by Jason Zweig.

    People are funny, at least to behavioral scientists: “Predictably Irrational” by Dan Ariely.


  70. A Killing Smile by Christopher G. Moore, aka Thailand’s Hemingway.

  71. The Dark Tower series by Stephen King.

  72. Maus I & II
    Art Spiegelman

    A holocaust survivor’s tale in graphic novel format. Extremely moving and in my opinion a masterpiece in storytelling and visual medium.

  73. “My Brain Is Open: The Mathematical Journeys of Paul Erdos” by Bruce Schechter

  74. The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey


    Fab Five by Mitch Albom

  75. “It Doesn’t Take a Hero : The Autobiography of General H. Norman Schwarzkopf ” by Norman Schwarzkopf

  76. The Tufte books if you haven’t read them
    Sources of Power, by Gary Klein – it’s Blink with more depth
    Innovator’s Dilemma, by Clayton Christensen (how does a company avoid being trapped by its own success – apropos for Google, I think)

  77. If you’re interested in a fun and entertaining summer read, try out Knickles and Dimes by Jillian Hewitt. It’s my newest release!

    Find it at
    or online on Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

    Happy Reading!

  78. The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch

  79. These are books I read in 1-2 days (that are also really good):

    The Road – Cormac McCarthy
    Ender’s Game – Orson Scott Card
    The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
    American Gods – Neil Gaiman
    2001: A Space Odyssey (the whole series took about 3 days to finish) Arther C. Clarke
    High Fidelity – Nick Hornby
    Anthem – Ayn Rand
    Pretty much anything by Vonnegut

    I adore a lot of the books already mentioned, but in the interest of saving time I stuck with the quick reads. 🙂

  80. You have to read The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. First in a trilogy by the late author, Stieg Larsson.

    The first 40 pages are a bit slow, but you’ll read the rest in a day.

    Part two, The Girl Who Played With Fire, just came out.

  81. In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto by Michael Pollan. Very quotable!

  82. Probably too long for your 15 in 30 goal, but one of my favorites is Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson (

    From Wikipedia: “It concurrently follows both the exploits of World War II-era Allied codebreakers and tactical-deception operatives affiliated with the Government Code and Cypher School at Bletchley Park as well as their present day descendants’ efforts to employ cryptologic, telecom and computer technology to build an underground data haven in the Sultanate of Kinakuta to facilitate anonymous Internet banking using electronic money and (later) digital gold currency, with a longer range objective to distribute Holocaust Education and Avoidance Pod (HEAP) media for instructing genocide-target populations on defensive warfare.”

  83. Thanks for the suggestions, everyone–keep them coming. 🙂 Some of the other books that I’m considering reading:

    The White Tiger, by Aravind Adiga.
    The Shadow Factory, by James Bamford.
    The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, by Stieg Larsson.
    The Last Lecture, by Randy Pausch.
    Free, by Chris Anderson.
    Rogue Male, by Geoffrey Household.

  84. Vellum by Hal Duncan – an interesting read for the author’s first book

  85. “Shantaram” by Gregory David Roberts

  86. The Hidden Dimension by Edward Hall –

    Very interesting book that gives a nice introduction to proxemics.

  87. 1984 – George Orwell (Although I’ll be massively surprised if you haven’t read it already…)
    The Undercover Economist – Tim Harford
    anything by Lee Child / Lisa Gardner or Tess Gerritsen (To break up the intellectual stuff!)

  88. The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

  89. Matt, here are a few suggestions with links to the reviews:

    The Magicians by Lev Grossman
    www:wake by Robert Sawyer (He mentions his trip to Google in the intro.)
    23 Hours by David Wellington

    Good luck achieving your goal!

  90. level 7 – Mordecai Roshwald
    any thing by Michael Criton

  91. I recommend you read “The Road to Jerusalem: Book One of the Crusades Trilogy” by a Swedish author called “Jan Guillou”. It’s a historic novel, well worth the read. Moreover, it’s not too long, about 400 pages or so. ISBN-13: 978-0061688539, in stock at Amazon for $17.15

  92. One more vote for American Gods by Neil Gaiman. If you’re into unrequited love, I also suggest Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy is also a good read.

    After reading Ender’s Game, continue with Ender’s Shadow also by Orson Scott Card.

  93. Party of One: The Loners’ Manifesto – Great book about how the world views the loner type, who in turn just may be responsible for everything they love

  94. Graham Ruddick

    Another vote for Peter Hamilton – Try ‘A Quantum Murder’.

    If you haven’t read ‘Rogue Male’ you should a classic.

    I’d add ‘A Player of Games’ by Iain M Banks

    You might also have a look at the darkly brilliant Christopher Brookmyre.

  95. “the third policeman” by flann o’brien

  96. Where the Red Fern Grows – Wilson Rawls
    Ender’s Game – Orson Scott Card
    Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas – Hunter Thompson
    The Elements of San Joaquin – Gary Soto
    A Brave New World – Adolphus Huxley
    1984 – George Orwell
    Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl
    Selected Poems of William Matthews – William Matthews
    Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail 72′ – Hunter Thompson
    Hamlet – William Shakespeare
    Freakonomics – Stephen Dubner and Steven Levit
    The Prince – Niccolò Machiavelli
    A People’s History of the United States – Howard Zinn
    Manufacturing Consent – Noam Chomsky
    The Carrier of Ladders – W.S. Merwin
    The Things They Carried – Tim O’Brien

  97. The Black Dog of Fate by Peter Balakian

  98. Dance Dance Dance by Haruki Murakami

    White Teeth – Zadie Smith

    Both made me laugh out loud, although white teeth took a while to get into – a surrealist jaunt with Murakami always goes well alongside something heavy and factual, to keep you reading both

    Good luck!

  99. Here are a few of my recent ones
    Post american world – fareed zakaria
    argumentative indian – amartya sen
    outliers, blink – malcolm gladwell
    nudge – richard thaler et al
    black swan – nassim taleb
    white tiger – arvind adiga
    in defense of food – michael pollan
    Free – chris anderson
    ..Have a few more but havent read those yet..

  100. “The Principle of the Path: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be” by Andy Stanley

  101. On the very, very off chance you haven’t read it yet, pick up Good Omens by Pratchett & Gaiman. Be warned you may spend more time laughting than reading.

    If you’re considering non-fiction, add Your Inner Fish by Neil Shubin to the list, maybe The Ancester’s Tale by Richard Dawkins. There’s some shared stuff between those, but they also strengthen each other.

  102. The Revelation Space series by Alastair Reynolds, Island and Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, A Scanner Darkly, Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said by Philip K. Dick, The Tin Drum by Günter Grass.

  103. City of Thieves
    Ender Series

  104. I recommend you this one One Hundred Years of Solitude from a Colombian Writer it is just pure fantasy, cheers

  105. I’m sure you will like this book:

    Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions
    by Dan Ariely

  106. if you havnt read it “Rapid Software Development” by Steve McConnell Best the book in Software devlopment ever!!! – you might also leave a copy in the intray of the Chrome OS developers 🙂

  107. Let me recommend some Norwegian authors as well, who have all received very good critics for their english translations:
    Jostein Gaarder: Sophie’s World.
    Lars Saabye Christensen: The Half Brother
    Lars Saabye Christensen: Beatles

  108. Matt,

    The White Tiger, by Aravind Adiga – a fantastic, light summer read – highly enjoyable, incredibly engaging

    I would highly recommend Waiting for the Barbarians – J.M Coetzee (a piece by a prolific writer and I think it is his best). I would recommend reading this book without reading reviews – so you enter unhindered, without any preconceived perceptions. Succinct and sharp it should capture and hold your attention right from the start

  109. Busting Vegas by Ben Mezrich. It’s a story about a group of MIT students who comes up with an almost illegal system to win blackjack. They win big at casinos around the world, but their success comes with a huge cost…. Highly entertaining!

  110. Matt, maybe you’ve already read Chris Anderson’s “Free”. If you haven’t, it’s quite good.

  111. Anything by Malcom Gladwell (Outliers, Blink, Tipping Point)

  112. A book most people should read is how to communicate effectively. The flip side of that is determining whether or not your communication is being received by a person or the person is being untruthful in their communication to you. A good book that’s an easy read is “What Every BODY is Saying: An Ex-FBI Agent’s Guide to Speed-Reading People (Paperback)” by Joe Navarro.

  113. Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut (anything by Vonnegut)
    Sputnik Sweetheart by Haruki Murakami
    Light Years by James Saltar
    Then We Came to the End by Joshua Ferris

  114. Bonk- or anything else from Mary Roach

  115. Antone beat me to it. If you read War and Peace in August, the entire SEO community will worship you. Oh, wait………

  116. The Night Watch Trilogy by Russian author: Sergei Lukyanenko

    (Night Watch, Day Watch, Twilight Watch (Final Watch) … incredibly well-written, detailed and captivating books.

  117. Definitely The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak – should only take 2-2.5 days to read. I also enjoyed the Time Travellers Wife although the trailer for the film here in the UK looks terrible. Dont be put off, I thought the book was interesting….slightly dark. The film looks like its been turned into a chick flick from what I can see,

  118. Autobiography of Isadora Duncan – My Life

  119. Through The Looking-Glass (And What Alice Found There)
    – Lewis Carroll

    Best. Book. Ever. Should be a nice break midway through, as well.

  120. Tim Ferriss – 4hour work week

  121. 1. A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole (Hilarious)
    2. 1984 by George Orwell (Classic, re-read)
    3. Anthem by Ayn Rand (Same dystopia, different author ideology)
    4. The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams (Classic, re-read)
    5. Creative Destruction by Joseph A. Schumpeter (Treatise on how innovation is the driving force of economic progress)

  122. If you want to open you mind a bit try some theoretical physics in everyday laymen terms..

    Hyperspace by Michio Kaku…

  123. The Yiddish Policeman’s Union – Michael Chabon
    The City and The City – China Miéville
    Glasshouse – Charles Stross

  124. That’s insane. It takes me 30 days to read one book! I wish I could read 15 books in 30 days.
    My favorite books:
    The Magic of Thinking Big
    The E-Myth

  125. The “TruBlood” novels.

    Ok, there’s nothing really thought provoking about theses. Just a series of stories about Vampires coming “out of the casket” and admitting they exist after the Japanese create a synthetic blood they can “live” off of.

    Type “Sookie Stackhouse” into Amazon to get the series books. I believe there’s 9 of them at the moment and a 10th coming in Oct or something.

    So, that’ll knock down your reading list pretty quickly. They’re fast reads too. And when you’re done, you can watch the new Series on HBO (called “TruBlood” after the synthetic brand name of the Japanese blood).

    What I liked about them (after getting over the idea of reading vampire books) is that there’s 9 of them, so it’s like waiting for a TV series to finish and then renting all the DVD’s and watching them all together.

  126. A Certain Slant of Light, Cynthia Thayer. Beethoven’s Hair, Russell Martin. Three Cups of Tea, Greg Mortenson & David O. Relin. The Last American Man, Elizabeth Gilbert

  127. The Mailbox by Audrey Schafer

  128. The Shack by WM. Paul Young, very inspirational!

  129. Hi Matt! Dunno if you’ll remember me, but I had the office next to you at Sitterson back in Fall ’99.

    I’ll add a second vote for Waiting for the Barbarians. Also, Fup by Jim Dodge is hilarious and heartwarming (and short, if you’re running behind). Omon Ra by Victor Pelevin is another great, short novel.

    If you haven’t already made the mistake of reading it, skip Ender’s Game, IMO. If you have the sci-fi itch, I recommend Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guinn or The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell.


  130. Cutting for Stone by Abraham Virghese. Amazing book…bit long though.

  131. Great summer read : Men of Gain by Hunter McClelland. Enjoyable, surprisingly suspensful, just heavy enough.

  132. Young Adam, Alexander Trocchi. A really good deal on the Kindle Edition.
    In the Heart of the Sea, Nathaniel Philbrick. National Book Award. Cannibalism.

  133. The art of dreaming by Carlos Castaneda
    The Trip to Ixtlan by Carlos Castaneda
    very interesting literature. Worth spending time reading these, and all from the same author.

  134. Netherland by Joseph O’Neill – for a greater insight in to cricket, and so us Brits

  135. The blue day book-by 布拉德里·特雷弗·格里夫

  136. by the way it’s awesome for your reading speed!^-^

  137. Since you’re training for a triathlon, you should read Grayson by Lynne Cox. Because you’re probably anticipating, “Hey, what if I’m training for a long distance swim and I encounter a baby whale that’s separated from its mother? What do I do then, huh?” This book will tell you.

    Bonus: it’s short.

  138. 1. From Counterculture to Cyberculture by Fred Turner
    2. Rebel Code by Glyn Moody

    I couldn’t resist What Would Matt Cutts Google Do

    And I’ve heard from good sources that The Accidental Billionaires is basically a bunch of self-delusional lies.

  139. Wow, I really appreciate all the suggestions. I’m settling in for an evening of reading these suggestions and bouncing over to Amazon. Much more fun than doing email. 🙂

  140. Jason Kincaid, too true. The scene where Inigo and Fezzik are sneaking down the stairs? Classic. I agree the book is even better than the movie.

  141. “I’m assuming you’ve read every single book by Terry Pratchett, the Hitchhiker’s series and Dirk Gently books by Douglas Adams, and Neverwhere, American Gods and Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman. If not, read what you haven’t.”

    Yup yup. Thanks for the recommendations, Rajesh J Advani. 🙂

  142. Brad said: “You have to read The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. First in a trilogy by the late author, Stieg Larsson. The first 40 pages are a bit slow, but you’ll read the rest in a day.”

    Yikes! It took me over 3 months to translate each book, and you can read one in a day???

    Anyway, do read them, Matt. And for something in a similar vein but more spy-related, check out Brett Battles’ The Cleaner, The Deceived, and Shadow of Betrayal. Couldn’t put ’em down.

  143. Hi Matt:

    You, with your marketing skills would likely enjoy the new, “The Dirty Little Secrets of Buzz” by David Seaman. It talks about how to attract massive attention for your business, your product and yourself, and naturally focuses heavily on the Internet. You can read more about it on Amazon at: or read just the back cover here: .

  144. I just finished “My Life in France” (Julia Child’s autobiography). Not a bad read only I’m getting fat.

    Reading “The Last Empress” now.

  145. Hi Matt,

    read the book: “The Keys of Enoch” by J.J. Hurtak.

  146. A really good and easy to read is “how to generate ideas” it was written by Jack Foster

  147. I can’t believe no one’s recommended Daemon by Daniel Suarez. Great new mystery book that deals with a lot of new technologies including bot nets.

  148. I would 2nd:

    The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and the sequel
    The Thursday Next Series
    The Book Thief

    Also try:
    The Road – Cormac McCarthy
    The Time Traveller’s Wife – Audrey Niffeneger (sp?)
    Anything by Carl Hiaasen

  149. Jen McLoughlin

    After you have finished 15 in 30 days I think you should take your time over this book, best I have ever read…..

    Marching Powder by Rusty Young

  150. The sirens of Baghdad by Yasmina Khadra
    The Attack The Attack by Yasmina Khadra
    The Yacoubian Building by Alaa Al Aswany


  151. MY lord, how fast can you read?? And how does your family leave you alone to sit down that long??

  152. You can read “Reach Dad Poor Dad”. It was in best seller at one time.

  153. You think Google would mind your reading the ‘4 Hour work week?’

  154. If you liked the book “The Accidental Billionaires” so well, then I can recommend “Rigged”. Is also very exciting. And also a book from ” Ben Mezrich”.

  155. Faye Kellerman’s “The Forgotten”

    This series on L.A. homicide detective Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus, his Orthodox Jewish wife. Amazing plot lines and robust characters. Best of the Series for me…Enjoy

  156. I hear 1984 and Animal Farm are great on the Kindle.

  157. “Meditations” by Marcus Aurelius.

    Seriously, it’s the bomb.

  158. Everyone should read “Crime and Punishment” at least every few years. If you’ve not read it recently, dig it out again.

    On the Russian lit theme, “A Day In The Life Of Ivan Denisovich” by Solzenhitsyn is fantastic.

  159. Although I haven’t even finished it yet, Niall Ferguson’s The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World, is definitely worth a read. As we are in the grip of the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression, there’s never been a better time to understand the ascent of money.
    BTW, great blog, Matt!

  160. “The Accidental Billionaires”, by Ben Mezrich is one of the best books I have read in a while. I finished it in one day (on vacation) which never happens 🙂

  161. Eeek!

    How about something a bit simple, like I am Legend….

  162. The books by Karl May

    Though I doubt that you’ll manage to read those books is such a short time.

  163. purpose driven life :
    pardon me if i am not supposed to suggest u a christian book.

  164. I strongly recommend “How to Find God” by Harold Klemp. It’s a very compelling book based on real life experiences.

  165. Personally, I recommend anything from Dr. Seuss. Also, Where the Wild Things Are is a great book which will be released as a movie in October.

  166. I can’t wait to read “The Accidental Billionaires”.I know it’s a book about Eduardo Saverin and Mark Zuckerberg.

  167. Forty Words For Sorrow by Giles Blunt, really good mystery (kind of graphic in parts though, FYI). This book is the first of a series.

  168. I ordered Gary Vaynerchuk’s new book “Crush it” yesterday. His success is a great example of the power of social media.

    P.S. I also got Curb Your Enthusiasm the Book today – should be entertaining.

  169. Zorba the Greek by Nikos Kazantzakis
    Chess Story by Stefan Zweig
    The World Of Yesterday by Stefan Zweig
    Brother of Sleep by Robert Schneider
    The Situation Is Hopeless But Not Serious (The Pursuit of Unhappiness) by Paul Watzlawick

    Some of my favorites, enjoy 😉

  170. Classics:

    Demian – Hermann Hesse
    Steppenwolf – Hermann Hesse
    The catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger
    The great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald
    The long goodbye – Raymond Chandler

  171. Just reading Daughter of Fortune by Isabelle Alende – great book 🙂

    Black Ships and Hand of Isis by Jo Graham – historical fiction.

    The Red Tent by Anita Diamant – more historical fiction.

    The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks. Also, The Crow Road, Dead Air, and all of his sci fi, if you haven’t already.

    If This Is A Man, Primo Levi.

  172. A simple read, but maybe the greatest book ever: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

  173. The Yes Man by Danny Wallace. A brilliant book about having a positive outlook on life that will make you laugh out loud. The recent Jim Carrey movie by the same name is loosely based around the book.

  174. All the three books you have read are great. Why don’t you try something light now. If you really want to relax then you can read P.G.Wodehouse.
    Just stumbled and submitted your site to Viralogy. Hope you get some great traffic from it. Your blog is here

    – Josh

  175. The Rivers North of the Future: The Testament of Ivan Illich by David Cayley and Charles Taylor

  176. Superclass: The Global Power Elite and the World They Are Making by David Rothkopf

  177. I’d recommend The Light Garden of the Angel King by Peter Levi. About travelling in Afghanistan in 1970, way before all the troubles there.

    It’s a very interesting book – the author was an archaeologist and he talks about the extraordary history of the place: Ancient Greeks and Indian Buddhists were there, it was on the Silk Route etc. He was also a poet, so there’s some quite beautiful writing too.

  178. Loved World War Z, great choice.

    How about the James Ellroy books? L.A. Confidential, followed by the Cold Six Thousand. Historical fiction, beginning in the fifties, covering Marilyn Monroe, Kennedy Assassination, Martin Luther King Jr., and the Bay of Pigs. Fascinating stuff. Fast-paced, energetic read. Informative but also hugely entertaining with the fictional story interwoven.

  179. Hi , Why don’t you try this Book ” Wings of Fire” – autobiography of A P J Abdul Kalam,ex-President of India hope you can have some idea… 🙂

  180. Nauratan Sharma

    Radhey Radhey !!!
    Hi Matt,
    Try to read just this one book from “His Divine Excellency Jagadguru Shree Kripalu Ji Maharaj” the 5th Original Jagadguru (World’s Spiritual Teacher and Present Period’s Ultimate Authority on All the Vedas & Shastras) in past 5000 years and the last one for over 700 years, and you will really thank me for recommending it.
    Shree Maharajji’s masterpiece, “Prem Ras Siddhant” [English] “The True Philosophy of Divine Love”
    You can also check out Shree Maharajji’s main U.S. center “Barsana Dham” located at Austin, Texas.

  181. I second the recommendation for “Dirty Little Secrets of Buzz”. Great book!

  182. The Singularity is Near by Ray Kurzweil
    The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson
    Neuromancer by William Gibson

  183. I would see the movie “Into the Wild.”

  184. The Trial, The Castle and Amerika by Franz Kafka, or anything by Karfka for that matter. Great work, come on you readers!!

  185. Matt

    I still think you should read Shantaram … not sure if you have already as I did mention the last time you had a post like this, but if you haven’t, you should. It is fantastic!

  186. Matt

    Time Enough For Love by Robert Heinlein
    To Sail Beyond the Sunset by Robert Heinlein
    JOB – A comedy of Justice by Robert Heinlein

    I have No Mouth And I Must Scream – Harlan Ellison
    Almost anything else he wrote in the 60’s.

    Both authors are very entertaining. Have strong agenda’s and make you think..
    (Which in today’s age of 140 chars or less is a good thing!!!

  187. World War Z, by Max Brooks. will be best for august.

  188. This may sound childish but i would suggest Fight Club (nice and short but brilliant), by Chuck Palaniuk. But if you want something more literary then go with Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls. If you want a series then The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan.

  189. The Night Buffalo by Guillermo Arriaga
    The Rock Orchard by Paula Wall
    The Wilde Women by Paula Wall

  190. A good book to read would be My Sister’s Keeper. I loved it.

  191. Matt, not sure if anyone suggested you yet, but, you should read .. Kite Runner.

  192. One Night @ Call center – Chetan Bhagat
    Five Point Someone – Chetan Bhagat (“Excellent One”)
    The Three Mistakes of My Life – Chetan Bhagat

  193. nice share matt

    chetan is the awesome

  194. Leon Messerschmidt

    Collapse by Jared Diamond

  195. The Creature from Jekyll Island : A Second Look at the Federal Reserve by G. Edward Griffin

  196. I will have to agree with the others here that have suggested Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell. Excellent book as are all the other books he has written.

  197. Still sucks……


    Start sending me a check and I’ll go through it and give feedback.

    I don’t work for free.

  198. I recommend Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell as well.

  199. Hmmmm … some lighter choices … Bill Bryson’s “The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid” is a delight … “A Girl Named Zippy” by Haven Kimmel is a nice read, too.

    I’d steer clear of “Confederacy of Dunces” … it’s a pretty hard slog, if you’re trying for 15 books in 30 days.

  200. “Two Years Before the Mast” by Richard Henry Dana.

    Vivid description of life aboard a cargo ship in 1835, including a trip along the California coast. His descriptions of what California was like at the time (particularly Monterey) are fascinating.

  201. I would say anything by Edward Rutherford but they would probably limit your chances of reading thirty books in a month!

    If you want shorter book suggestions then it’s got to be Animal Farm and Of Mice and Men both must reads if you’ve not already read them (and if you have read them too!) and probably my two favourite books.

  202. Storm Front – Jim Butcher
    Furies of Calderon – Jim Butcher
    Altered Carbon – Richard K. Morgan

  203. I liked this one:

    Fight Club – by Chuck Palahniuk. Classics, dated back to 1996.

  204. I used to read a lot but havent recently.

    I’ve collected these recommendations from friends

    Strangers by Dean Koontz
    Lamb by Christopher Moore
    The Christ Commission by Og Mandino

  205. I second the recommendation for Collapse by Jared Diamond, and can’t recommend highly enough “Beyond Growth” by former World Bank economist Herman Daly.

    Daly’s predictions from the mid 90s have been coming true at a disturbing rate. At least his outline of Steady State Economics offers a glimmer of hope for what to do next.

  206. Common Sense – Glenn Beck – Thought provoking, educational and a short read to quickly stack up another book finished.

  207. not trying to spam but i thought this post should know about my google vs. google caffine tool too im excited its gotten 500 views in a day! compare the results for yourself

  208. Hello Matt

    I think you should read the Glorious Quran by Muhammed Pickthall. You will not put it down. The Quran is beyond a book, it is a recitation and the very word of God:

    “When the sun is overthrown, and when the stars fall, and when the camels big with young are abandoned, and when the wild beasts are herded together, and when the seas rise, and when souls are reunited, and when the girl-child that was buried alive is asked for what sin she was slain, and when the pages are laid open, and when the sky is torn away, and when hell is lighted, and when the Garden is brought nigh, (then) every soul will know what it hath made ready.” 81:1-4

    Peace to you Matt

  209. Try some fiction – here are 2 from my book club
    The Elegance of the Hedgehog – Muriel Barbery (translated from French) – fiction
    On Beauty by Zadie Smith – fiction
    Also, non-fiction
    Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortensen – biography

    I’m currently reading Status Anxiety by Alain de Botton


  210. The Accidental Billionaires was outstanding. I read it a month ago and really enjoyed it. Its next on the list for the Cool Springs book club here in Nashville TN. I wont mind reading it again!

  211. Light on Life – B.K.S Iyengar

  212. Hi Matt,

    If you like action thriller, I can’t think of better book than “Contest” written by Matthew Reilly.

  213. Earth Abides by George Stewart/ Kingdom of the Wall / anything by Gary Jennings

  214. Some favorite easy reads:
    Three Men in a Boat – Jerome K. Jerome
    Trustee From the Toolroom – Nevil Shute (anything by Nevil Shute is a good read)
    The Mutiny on the Bounty Trilogy
    Anything by Ted Dekker

    Have fun!

  215. The shack – by William P. Young
    very inspirational and life changing

  216. Collapse by Jared Diamond

  217. Lots of good stuff already.

    “The Difficulty of Being a Dog” by Roger Grenier. This is a lovely collection of vignettes, so something to dip into between the more demanding stuff. Probably won’t work if you share Emmy’s natural antipathy to the species 😉

    “The Murder of Roger Ackroyd” by Agatha Christie. A quick read with an evocation of Edwardian England as it existed for the privileged few.

    Good luck.

  218. good books…

    My Sister’s Keeper by jodi picoult
    Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
    Ninteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult

    all wonderful reads. good luck

  219. the wave, where the red fern grows, dragon slippers, life as we know it

  220. Robert Asprin as an author is so choice. If you have the means, I highly suggest you check out his MYTH Series. They’re hilarious and and insightful. He reminds me a lot of Douglas Adams except less wordy.

    Others you might want to try:
    The Lovely Bones by Anne Sebold
    Lullabies For Little Criminals by Heather O’Neill

  221. i suggest the Inheritance trilogy-Which contains Eragon, Eldest, and Brisingr. The author, Christopher Paolini is great.

  222. Inheritance trilogy is amazing. (Eragon, Eldest and Brisingr) Author: Christopher Paolini. Great book. Total page-turner!

  223. Wait till the midnight hour

  224. how about just not reading

  225. i am a girl don t no if u would like this book it is the road 2 paris by nikki grimes

  226. The Great Book of Amber by Roger Zelazny. If you can get all 10 books in a single gigantic one (I have this), it’s worth toting around a 2.5 pound book because you can’t put it down. I’m not a huge SciFi fan, but I finished this 10-book series in 4 weeks because I couldn’t help myself.

    Also, absolutely anything by Nelson DeMille.
    The many series books of W.E.B. Griffin are always great to read and easy to get into, hard to put down.
    Time Traveler’s Wife – read the book several times because I love it, but am afraid to see the movie after the awful reviews I’ve heard.
    The Mirror by Marlys Millhiser (about a woman on the eve before her wedding looking into a family heirloom ‘Wedding Mirror’ and, seeing her grandmother’s reflection behind her, switches places with her the night before her grandmother was to get married)

  227. I’d definitely second Mark Haddon’s THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT TIME, Cormac McCarthy’s THE ROAD, and anything by Raymond Chandler. Here’s a short list of other random favorites:
    EVERYTHING IS ILLUMINATED – Jonathan Safran Foer
    STAGGERFORD – Jon Hassler
    BELOVED – Toni Morrison
    THE SHADOW OF THE WIND – Carlos Ruiz Zafon

    You obviously like books and reading, so if you haven’t read SHADOW OF THE WIND, that’s a must! It’s recently-published prequel, THE ANGEL’S GAME, is great, too, but much darker.

  228. try starting the redwall series of books by brian jacques he’s a great story teller. i would recommend this book to anyone who likes adventure comedy puzzles and some songs along the way. no matter what i’ll gearuntee that you will lfind something in common or something to relate to in the story. no matter where you are the gates of redwall are always open for freinds

  229. Blink – Malcolm Gladwell Excellent book about trusting your instinct.
    The Things They Carried – Obrien Loved this one, Much deeper meaning.

  230. Well, I recommend you read books by Nicholas Sparks. They’ll tug on your heart strings. Books by Ellen Hopkins are good from what I hear, I haven’t yet read them, but I’m most defiantly looking forward to. Small Steps: The Year I got Polio is also a good read, I read it in Elementary School. It’s about a girl who was diagnoised with polio and she taken to the hospital where she shares a room with a little boy named Tommy, who has been put in a iron lung. Lovely bones, great book had me turning the pages couldn’t put it down. There are many more, yet they escape me for the momment; however, I hope you enjoy these.

  231. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hossieni

  232. Life of Pi, by Yann Martel. It mesmerized me.
    Half of a Yellow Sun, by C. N. Adichie. What a talent for stories!

  233. check out..
    >>>>>> “why men cant listen & women cant read maps” – by Allan & Barbara
    yay 🙂

  234. Fiction: The Name of the Rose by Umberto Ecco
    Classic: The Great Gatsby
    Cookbook: Marrakesh Express by Nisrine Merzouki
    Business: The Leadership Code by Dave Ulrich
    Relationships: Matthew McKay

  235. I recommend Milkweed by Jerry Spinelli. It’s a great but sad story that really shows the power of humanity.

  236. I either would say The Cay By: Theodore Taylor or the Million Dollar Kick By: Dan Gutman

  237. I suggest a clockwork orange classic book by anthony burgess old but still a good book.

  238. the twilight saga,there really good and full of great things.
    the wind blows backwards, really good.
    a darker dreamer,vampier book too.
    go ask alice.
    catcher in the rye.
    wuthering hights.
    romeo and juliet.
    julius cesar.
    clock work orange.
    blue bloods.
    the immortal’s.
    a lot of classic books.
    pride and prejiduce.

    reallt great books

  239. Anything by Stephinie Meyer (Twilight, new moon , Eclipse, Breaking Dawn)

  240. cherie Grant-Johnson

    try the kite runner loved it…

  241. Lisey’s story by Stephen King

  242. a friend from the web

    “Footsteps in the Treetops”, and “The Artemas Link” are worth checking out. I couldn’t put either one down once i started reading them. Check them out. Tell your friends. Good books,but not getting the kind of exposure I’d expect.

  243. I reccomend any of S. E. Hintons books. Their amazing and they’re about everyday life and everyday people.

  244. The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodle by Julie Andrews Edwards (the actor is also an author). This book may sound really childish, but is acually a VERY heartwarming story. I have read it many times.

  245. “Crash into me” by Albert Borris. This book is intense. It has all the proper ingredients to keep you on the edge of your seat. It’s sad, it’s fun, it’s crazy. You’ll love this book. It deals with the issues of teenage suicide and takes you on a journey of self-discovery and trauma. Read it! You won’t be dissapointed.

  246. 4 very different reads..
    Nothing To Envy
    Swimming To Antarctica
    The Art Of Racing In The Rain
    Sudden Seas

  247. i love the book “Awekening Indians to India”

  248. The Accidental Billionaires is an incredible book.

  249. The Steig Larsson trilogy:
    Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
    Girl who Plays with Fire
    Girl who Kicked the Hornets Nest

  250. I love any book written by Sidney Sheldon. I would recommend you to read any of the books.

  251. “The Last Lecture” by Randy Pausch is excellent as well as “3 Weeks With My Brother by Nicholas Sparks

  252. One I left out… “Going in circles” by Pamela Ribon… It started off very weird with the main character talking to herself in third person part of the time, but it was a great book about a lady in limbo between a divorce and reuniting with her husband. Good read!

  253. The Calling by Os Guinness

  254. Read Journal of Happiness by Nicolae Steinhardt. I found it to be a very interesting and thought provoking lecture. Also, not that well known outside of Romania.

  255. You could read “3 Mistakes of My Life” by Chetan Bhagat, who is a well known contemporary Indian writer. The book is a good read for sure.

  256. Good Post.
    The Accidental Billionaires is a good book,which is the story behind the famous movie:The Social Network.
    Thanks for sharing information

  257. I believe that with all the books that others have recommended before, you have to be busy a while, but I can recommend me one more, or maybe two: The Book of Lies of Brad Meltzer and The Post-American World of Fareed Zakaria