I wasn't a reader for a long time. Now I am. Here is an open list of books I would recommend and I would love hear yours too.
  1. The 100-Year-Old Man Who Escaped Out a Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson
    This is the best story I have read in a very long time and I look forward to reading it to my son when he can understand most of it.
  2. The Art of Racing In the Rain by Garth Stein
    I received this in a work holiday book exchange and I loved it. I'm a sucker for a dog and even though you know what is going to happen from the beginning and because there is a dog on the cover, it is a very powerful and pointed read that left me crying as I finished it.
  3. The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden by Jonas Jonasson
    The second novel by the same author. Also a fun, silly historical absurdist novel. You need a bit more specific historical knowledge than his first book, but still a page turner.
  4. King Leopold's Ghost by Adam Hochschild
    I had to read this for a college class but only read the assigned parts. Read the rest of it recently and it is a very real look at parts of imperialism that we all like to forget...especially if you are white folks. The book reads like a horror novel which happens to be historically accurate.
  5. The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker
    This historical-fantasy-cultural-religious-love story was a bit slow but finished really strong. I would suggest reading up a bit on Arabic and Jewish legends.
  6. California by Edan Lepuck
    I heard about it on Colbert but it is a crazy look at what is coming. Or just a crazy story. It is well written, for the most part and really interesting.
  7. The Third Reich by Roberto Bolaño
    File this one under he WTF but I want to know what happens category. Not imperative reading but good for that random dinner party where some one says "oh I love Bolaño's approach to modern life," where in you can nod knowingly (that this guest is full of it).
  8. Too Big Too Fail by Andrew Ross Sorkin
    Too big to read #amirite? But seriously this is a tick tock of the world coming apart and a must read for any liberal who feels empowered to bitch about Wall Street. It won't make you feel for the bad guys but it will provide some perspective.
  9. The Art of Fielding - Chad Harbach
    Something for everyone, with a really intriguing central premise: what if you were really, really good at one thing, perfect, even, but that was all you could do?
    Suggested by @sally