Ross's Vacation Reading Suggestions

First, some of you enjoy reading about political philosophy or economics as much as I do, and for you I encourage you to choose a thing or two from my "Required Reading" list to include in your vacation reading:

But for those looking for a wider range of fiction and non-fiction, here are some books I've really enjoyed. I'll provide some links but leave the research to you as far as deciding whether it's the type of book you'll enjoy. The books are fairly recent, i.e. within the last 20 years, unless otherwise noted with a year of publication.

As always, I recommend checking or your local used-book store for a great deal on used books.


The Pillars of the Earth, by Ken Follett (along with the next two books in the Kingsbridge trilogy, though I'm not sure the third book is as good as the first two.)

Shantaram, by Gregory David Roberts (also has a sequel) At the time of writing this note, the Kindle version is $1.99

Open Season (the first Joe Pickett novel), by C.J. Box

My Name is Red, by Orhan Pamuk

Still awesome novels even though they're older:

The Bourne Identity (1980) and the rest of the Bourne Trilogy, by Robert Ludlum

Shōgun (1975) and Taipan (1966), by James Clavell

Political fiction:

Darkness at Noon (1941), by Arthur Koestler

Anthem (1938), by Ayn Rand 

Political non-fiction: 

Liberal Fascism, by Jonah Goldberg

Hillbilly Elegy, by J.D. Vance


A Confederacy of Dunces, by John Kennedy Toole (including reading the story of its publication)

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (1979), by Douglas Adams (and the rest of the series)

The 13 1/2 Lives of Captain Bluebear and Rumo & His Miraculous Adventures, by Walter Moers,


Into the Lion's Mouth, by Larry Loftis

Echo in Ramadi, by Maj. Scott Huesing

The History of Jihad from Mohammed to ISIS, by Robert Spencer

The Feather Thief: Beauty, Obsession, and the Natural History Heist of the Century, by Kirk Wallace Johnson


Thinking, Fast and Slow, by Daniel Kahneman (one of the most interesting and important books I've ever read...Kahneman is a psychologist who won the Nobel Prize for economics.)

For kids: (the first two were my favorite books when I was a kid)

The Phantom Tollbooth (1961), by Norton Juster

Island of the Blue Dolphins (1960), by Scott O'Dell (More here)

The Tuttle Twins series, by Conor Boyack (approx ages 6-12)

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