Category Archives: 52 Titles

52 Titles: Charles Bukowski’s “Slouching Toward Nirvana”

Charles Bukowski is one of those writers it seems everyone but me read in high school. I could have started with one of his more famous ones such as Ham on Rye — a coming-of-age story appropriate for high schoolers, who, like Henry Chinaski (Bukowski’s autobiographical alter-ego), are obsessed with alienating themselves, hating their dysfunctional […]
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52 Titles: William Faulkner’s “The Sound and the Fury”

No, just… no. I tried to read a book narrated in first person by a mentally challenged 33-year-old man, but about 30 pages in, I realized I had understood none of what I’d just read, and that it wasn’t worth the $8 I paid. Sorry.
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52 Titles: John McPhee’s “Coming into the Country”

I’ve always had an affection for books about folks who leave civilization and venture into the wild — chalk it up to a sanitized upbringing in the suburbs, littered with a structured week full of extracurriculars of gymnastics, piano, Chinese lessons and playdates. The only field for us kids to run in was a soon-to-be […]
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52 Titles: Alain de Botton’s “The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work”

Last year for Christmas, my good friend Jon gave me a copy of Alain de Botton’s The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work. When I unwrapped it, I chuckled: I hadn’t been at my first full-time job for long, so it seemed fitting that a book should welcome me into the first years of 30 or […]
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52 Titles: Rebecca Skloot’s “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks”

Henrietta Lacks was a black woman from Baltimore who died of an aggressive cervical cancer in the 1950s. During her treatment at Baltimore’s Johns Hopkins (a free hospital for blacks) and after her death, her malignant cells were taken by hospital researchers without her or her family’s consent. Researchers (not just there but everywhere) were […]
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