Recommended Reading (in no particular order)
"For Whom the Bell Tolls" by Ernest Hemingway. This book turned me on to Hemingway. The story is set during the Spanish Civil War. The story takes place in a quick 72 hours.
"The Pugilist at Rest" by Thom Jones. These are some of the best short stories I've read, I don't consider any of them mediocre. These stories are raw and real. It is one of those books I wished never would have ended. Thanks to Phildo for turning me on to this.
"Animal Farm" by George Orwell. Every time I read this book I do it front to back without stopping.
"The Old Man and the Sea" by Ernest Hemingway. Another short book that I can read beginning to end without a pause.
"Anthem" by Ayn Rand. I like Rand's philosophy. If you like this one then you need to move up to the meatier "The Fountainhead" or "Atlas Shrugged". All three deal with the philosophy of Objectivism and the importance of the individual over the collective.
"1984" by George Orwell. After breezing through "Animal Farm" this was next.
"If Chins Could Kill: Confessions of a B Movie Actor" by Bruce Campbell. This is the only biography that I can remember not being able to put down. I burned through this book in three days. You don't have to be a cult film fanatic to enjoy his insights into Hollywood.
"The Woman in the Dunes" by Kobo Abe. This book was made into a movie and recieved the Special Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival as well as being nominated for the Academy Award as 1964's Best Foreign Film. I had never heard of this book but I found it at a yard sale for a dime and was interested by the cover and the title. The descriptions really make you feel the story.
"Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" by Hunter S. Thompson. This book makes me laugh everytime I read it.
"One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" by Ken Kesey. The movie didn't do the book justice.
A collection of very intense short stories.