Adam wears birkenstocks and regularly uses a fountain pen. He also at one time was heard saying that he was "what hipsters wish they were." So this list may or may not be full of books that he knew were good about before you did. But honestly, he has pretty good taste, so give his list a try!



Geek Love by Katherine Dunn
I read this book in a post-modern lit­er­a­ture class in col­lege.  I went into the class not really liking post-modern lit.  I found it over­wrought and vac­u­ous and largely com­pletely unin­ter­est­ing.  There were sev­eral books over the course of the class that changed my mind and this was one of the first and best.  If you like sto­ries of freak shows and weird cults, and family bonding, this book is def­i­nitely for you.


The Secret History by Donna Tartt
I had never heard of Donna Tartt before my good friend Jody handed me this book, told me that it was one of her favorite things she’d ever read, and told me to read it.  This book inter­ested me from the out­set because the main char­ac­ter goes to col­lege and majors in Clas­sics and if a book about a Clas­sics major in col­lege sounds bor­ing to you, just trust me that the tip of this ice­berg does not begin to do jus­tice to the remain­der.  Intense friendships, bacchanalia, and creepy secrets make this piece by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of
The Goldfinch is absolutely a must read.


The Jungle Books by Rudyard Kipling
The Jun­gle Book and The Sec­ond Jun­gle Book were orig­i­nally pub­lished sep­a­rately, but are fre­quently printed and sold as one vol­ume now.  This is one of those books that no film adap­ta­tion has ever even come close to touch­ing, so if you saw Disney’s newest adaptation earlier this year and either liked it or didn’t like it, just forget about it and pick up the book.  It’s fun, a great story to share with kids, and one of the most sur­pris­ingly emo­tional sto­ries I’ve ever read.  As an added bonus, the book is actu­ally a col­lec­tion of short sto­ries, which makes it per­fect as a bed­time story option or com­mute book!


The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
It is (hope­fully) glar­ingly obvi­ous to any­one who’s read this blog even a bit (or talked to me in per­son) that I absolutely love Tolkien.  He is basi­cally a deity to me.  
The Hob­bit is a great Sum­mer Read­ing option because it’s light and fun and about a trip, which makes it the per­fect vaca­tion book!  Plus when the vaca­tion­ing is done and you’re ready for some­thing with a lit­tle more grav­i­tas you can grad­u­ate to The Lord of the Rings, The Sil­mar­il­lion, or even Unfin­ished Tales of Numenor and Mid­dle Earth!


Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl
First of all, every­one should have at least one Dahl book under their belt.  He’s a clas­sic children’s/young adult author for a rea­son, folks.  
Fan­tas­tic Mr. Fox is my favorite Roald Dahl book because sto­ries about crafty ani­mals out­smart­ing humans are pretty much my life blood.  Plus, one of the char­ac­ters sub­sists on noth­ing but hard cider, which is how I aspire to live my life.


The Widow Clicquot by Tilar Mazzeo
I’m not a huge oenophile (though I like wine a lot) nor am I an espe­cially eager reader of non-fiction, but this book hooked me. In fact, this book is one of the reasons I’ve been more into biographies lately. The story of how Barbe-Nicole Clic­quot Pon­sardin not only han­dled her husband’s com­pany like a boss after he died but also com­pletely rev­o­lu­tion­ized the cham­pagne busi­ness, ran block­ades to sell her lux­ury wine, and basi­cally was an all-around hero for, like 60 years until Death finally showed up and was like, “Come on, lady, you’re mak­ing me look bad here,” is one that I can read over and over again.  She was
OG, man.


Little, Big by John Crowley
The novel picked for the inau­gural meet­ing of the
KU Book Club (and also the sec­ond meet­ing when we showed up and dis­cov­ered that none of us had fin­ished it) has stuck with me in a huge way since then.  This book got me into read­ing tarot cards.  It also uses the ubiq­ui­tous idea of Faerie in a supremely fas­ci­nat­ing way and basi­cally is every­thing you could pos­si­bly want in a book.  I’ve never really been able to ver­bal­ize this until right now, but you know what Lit­tle, Big is?  It’s a Neil Gaiman novel from before Neil Gaiman was writ­ing nov­els.  I don’t know if Gaiman was directly influ­enced by Crowley’s book, but I have to say, I’d kinda bet on it.


I Love You, Beth Cooper by Larry Doyle
I’ll be hon­est with you, I read this book because I saw the movie and really liked it.  I saw the movie because Hay­den Panet­tiere was in it and I really like her.  My moti­va­tions notwith­stand­ing, though, this book is excel­lent.  Any­one who has ever gone to high school will find some­thing to relate to here.  It’s funny, heart­felt, and makes you glad you grad­u­ated years and years ago.


Mother, Can You Not? by Kate E. Siegel
I started following the Instagram account @crazyjewishmom months and months ago.  At that time, it was just an account where this young woman posted screenshots of text conversations with her overbearing, hilarious, and completely filter-less mother.  It has since grown into a huge viral phenomenon and Kate has rolled with the punches, coming out with this book earlier this spring.  It’s just as hilarious as the IG account, and I’d recommend it to anyone who’s ever had a conversation with their mom that turned into something resembling an Abbot and Costello skit from a crazy parallel universe.  


The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley
I found this book in my elementary school library when I was in 5th grade or so.  It enchanted me in a way that no book had done before and few have done since.  It’s rare to find fantasy, high or low, that so perfectly captures the world it creates.  Magic and sword fights and pet big cats are things that all of us have wanted (and/or currently want) in our lives, and this book will give you those feels in abundance.


The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
Before I read this book, I noticed that one of the blurbs on the back said, “Shelve
The Name of the Wind with The Lord of the Rings and look forward to the day when it is mentioned in the same breath and perhaps as first among equals.”  This, to me, constituted extremely - almost impossibly - high praise.  Having read it, I can say unequivocally that Rothfuss’s book lives up to that praise.  If you enjoy fantasy at all, you should give this book your undivided attention at your earliest possible convenience.  


Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
This is a book many of us knew from our childhoods.  If you’re around my age or a little older, you probably have fond memories of the animated film of 1973, which is an excellent adaptation of what is probably White’s most famous work.  If you have or know a young child who loves animals, or if you just want to nourish that small child within yourself, pick up Charlotte’s Web and share it with someone.  It’s a book best read with a friend.


A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
The first book of Martin’s epic
Song of Ice and Fire is a fantastic book to read over the summer.  While fans of the series may enjoy the later books more (book 3, A Storm of Swords is most fans’ favorite), A Game of Thrones is the perfect first book of a series, making grand introductions, setting the stage for the incredible events to follow, and drawing the reader into the universe so completely that you’ll be hard-pressed to put any of these books down (until, of course, you throw one of them across the room in a Martin-inspired rage.)


Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen
This is literally one of the most perfect books of all time.  Even if you don’t like period pieces; even if you don’t like romantic comedies; even if you don’t like British literature; even if you don’t like the Classics, give this book a chance.  Austen’s incredible command of comedy and emotional depth make P&P one of my favorite books.  You’ll be laughing and ugly-crying in equal portions due to the snark and mooshy-ness in this book.  If you don’t love it, I will literally eat my hat.

So, what do you think?