Sorry these are all pretty basic
  1. Catcher in the rye
    I keep arguing with people that it's better when you're older and get that he's supposed to be kind of a stupid jerk and not some hero
  2. White teeth
    I don't think people talk enough about how this book is a comedy? Also smith does not give a fuck about "is this 3rd person omniscient / who is this narrator that's telling the story" workshop bullshit at all which i appreciate
  3. Moby dick
    People hate on the endless descriptions of pieces of rope and stuff, but i'd like to see you write 4 pages on a knot of twine and make it super metaphysically meaningful, dave
  4. Rabbit, run
    The anti- "on the road," but subverts that idea on some level as well. Updike studied painting and if you look at some of his descriptions, it's almost like he's telling you how to draw what he's talking about
  5. Eudora welty - a curtain of green and other stories
    Important lessons include that religious symbolism can be ambiguous, that life in the rural south is multifaceted, and that it's hilarious to call yourself "papa-daddy"
  6. Philip roth - american pastoral
  7. Junot diaz - the brief wondrous life of oscar wao
  8. Flannery o'connor - a good man is hard to find
  9. The stories of john cheever
  10. Gravity's rainbow
  11. Infinite jest
  12. William sarroyan - the daring young man on the flying trapeze
  13. Portnoy's complaint
  14. Franny and zooey
  15. @tombatten - king wizard. Sure me and @lizzyacker published it, but it's still my favorite collection of essays ever and his voice is always a big influence on me
  16. Lizzy acker - monster party
  17. Nate waggoner - dilettantes and heartless manipulators
    This is my first novel so it changed me into an ahab-like monster in pursuit of literary stardom. Please buy it and support my greed