The Republic of T.

Black. Gay. Father. Vegetarian. Buddhist. Liberal.

Greatest Books Ever Written?

This article from Esquire —actually a slideshow —seemed like an opportunity to start or join a meme. So, I’m going to post the titles I’ve read from among those Esquire had named the Greatest Books Ever Written, declared them 75 Books Every Man Should Read. I decided to see how many of them I’ve actually read. How many have you read?

Here’s my list:

OK. Well, that was kinda weak. Ten out of 75?

But some, even several, of the titles on the list, though, are not books that I would normally read. And the writers of the article declare their list “biased.” So I started thinking, what books would I add to that list, from those that I’ve read?

These are my recommendations.

What are yours?


  1. Up until about half-way through the list I was doing really, really, badly, but I rallied at the end and found I’d read 13.5 of them (the half is for DeLillo’s “Underworld,” which I just didn’t find interesting). It’s a stimulating list and gives me some ideas for future reading.

  2. I’m sorry that list is still making the rounds, I thought it would die off. It has ONE woman, which I find pretty damn offensive. Besides that it’s pretty white. I’m not going to count how many I’ve read, because it’s a skewed and irrelevant list.

    Although I missed that they had included James Baldwin, which surprised me because he’s one of my favorite authors. The slideshow is a terrible format.

    Jezebel solicited its readers to come up with the “Female Version.” While I’m really not into dividing literature by gender, Esquire started it, and there needs to be a list that represents way more women writers:

  3. I only got three and three quarters. Of course I’m not a man.

    Slaughterhouse Five
    A Confederacy of Dunces
    The Spy Who Came In from the Cold
    3/4 of War and Peace

    I won’t count Huck Finn because I read a translated – and probably truncated – version when I was younger.

    Quite a few others are on my to-read list. And some, like The Brothers Karamazov and Moby Dick, I even own already…