Andrew Marzoni

Essential Reading/Our Canon

Added on by Andrew Marzoni.

Adriane and I had a few glasses of wine the other night and made a pretty extensive list of all of our favorite books––that is, books that made a lasting impact on us, which we could distinctly remember reading for the first time. Many of them were deemed terrible among subsequent readings, and we didn't agree about all of them. Yet, they all meant something to us once, and because of that, deserve to be mentioned. Doubtless, many more were overlooked. With that said, here they are, in no particular order.

  • Tim O'Brien, The Things They Carried (1990)
  • Flannery O'Connor, A Good Man Is Hard to Find and Other Stories (1955)
  • Joyce Johnson, Minor Characters (1983)
  • Marcel Proust, Swann's Way (1913)
  • Tobias Wolff, Old School (2003)
  • Kurt Vonnegut, Cat's Cradle (1963)
  • Tao Lin, Taipei (2013)
  • Ben Lerner, Leaving the Atocha Station (2011)
  • Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace (1869)
  • Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary (1856)
  • David Foster Wallace, A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again (1997)
  • Chuck Klosterman, Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs (2003)
  • Jonathan Safran Foer, Everything Is Illuminated (2002)
  • Gay Talese, The Kingdom and the Power (1969)
  • LeRoi Jones, Dutchman (1964)
  • Audre Lorde, Zami (1982)
  • Tony Kushner, Angels in America (1993)
  • David Mamet, Glengarry Glen Ross (1984)
  • Donna Tartt, The Secret History (1992)
  • J.D. Salinger, Nine Stories (1953)
  • J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter (1997-2007)
  • Hunter S. Thompson, Hell's Angels (1966)
  • Joan Didion, The White Album (1979)
  • Evelyn Waugh, Brideshead Revisited (1945)
  • Norman Mailer, An American Dream (1965)
  • Philip K. Dick, The Man in the High Castle (1962)
  • Truman Capote, In Cold Blood (1967)
  • Albert Camus, The Stranger (1942)
  • Ann Beattie, Walks With Men (2010)
  • Zadie Smith, NW (2012)
  • Alex Garland, The Beach (1996)
  • Alex Haley, The Autobiography of Malcolm X (1965)
  • Mary McCarthy, The Group (1963)
  • Thomas Hardy, Jude the Obscure (1895)
  • Roald Dahl, Boy (1984)
  • Jonathan Lethem, The Fortress of Solitude (2003) and Chronic City (2009)
  • Raymond Chandler, The Big Sleep (1939) and The Long Goodbye (1953)
  • Patricia Highsmith, The Talented Mr. Ripley (1955)
  • F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Last Tycoon (1941) and Tender Is the Night (1934)
  • Nathanael West, Miss Lonelyhearts (1933)
  • Joseph Conrad, The Secret Agent (1907)
  • Thomas Mann, Death in Venice (1912)
  • Vladimir Nabokov, Pnin (1957), Lolita (1955), and Ada or Ardor (1969)
  • Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar (1963)
  • Philip Roth, American Pastoral (1997) and Goodbye, Columbus (1959)
  • James M. Cain, Mildred Pierce (1941)
  • Evan S. Connell, Mrs. Bridge (1958)
  • Michael Ondaatje, The Cat's Table (2011)
  • E.M. Forster, A Room with a View (1908)
  • Denis Johnson, Jesus' Son (1992)
  • Daniel Clowes, Ghost World (1997)
  • Art Spiegelman, Maus (1980)
  • Roberto Bolaño, 2666 (2004) and The Savage Detectives (1998)
  • Charles Bukowski, Women (1978)
  • Richard Brautigan, An Unfortunate Woman (1994)
  • A.S. Byatt, Possession (1990)
  • Lorrie Moore, A Gate at the Stairs (2009)
  • James Baldwin, Another Country (1962)
  • Patti Smith, Just Kids (2010)
  • Bob Dylan, Chronicles (2004)
  • Colm Toíbín, Brooklyn (2009)
  • Frank O'Hara, Meditations in an Emergency (1957) and Lunch Poems (1964)
  • Allen Ginsberg, Howl and Other Poems (1956) and The Fall of America (1973)
  • John Jeremiah Sullivan, Pulphead (2011)
  • Mark Strand, Man and Camel (2006), Almost Invisible (2012), and The Story of Our Lives (2002)
  • Alice Notley, Selected Poems (1993)
  • John McPhee, A Roomful of Hovings (1969)
  • Amy Tan, The Joy Luck Club (1989)
  • Barbara Kingsolver, The Bean Trees (1988)
  • Paul Auster, Invisible (2009), Leviathan (1992), and Moon Palace (1989)
  • Fyodor Dostoevsky, Notes from Underground (1864)
  • Daphne du Maurier, Rebecca (1938)
  • Bram Stoker, Dracula (1897)
  • Jules Feiffer, The Man in the Ceiling (1995)
  • Mario Puzo, The Godfather (1969)
  • Jon Krakauer, Into Thin Air (1997) and Under the Banner of Heaven (2003)
  • Alice Walker, The Color Purple (1982)
  • Chris Kraus, I Love Dick (1997)