R.Moon's picture
R.Moon from The City of Champions is reading The Last Thing He Wanted by Joan Didion; Story Structure Architect by Victoria Lynn Schimdt PH.D; Creating Characters by the editors of Writer's Digest October 3, 2011 - 9:05pm

I'll start by saying I read the whole Twilight series. I know. I know. A literary achievement? Hell no! Entertaining? Sure.

Also, True Believer by Nicholas Sparks. And, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Suck on that! :)

Meachman's picture
Meachman from Indianapolis is reading Amusing Ourselves to Death October 3, 2011 - 9:57pm

A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle

ReneeAPickup's picture
Class Facilitator
ReneeAPickup from Southern California is reading Wanderers by Chuck Wendig October 3, 2011 - 10:25pm

I read the first three Twilight. I didn't enjoy them, but I am a compulsive finisher. I feel a certain sense of accomplisment in not giving into the fourth one.

Although everyone tries to pressure me into it...

Alessio Patanè's picture
Alessio Patanè from sicily is reading Winesburg, Ohio by S. Anderson October 3, 2011 - 10:28pm

the largest part of italian contemporary writers suck. I readt most of their novels

Charles's picture
Charles from Portland is reading Mongrels by Stephen Graham Jones October 3, 2011 - 11:07pm

damned -- chuck palahniuk

R.Moon's picture
R.Moon from The City of Champions is reading The Last Thing He Wanted by Joan Didion; Story Structure Architect by Victoria Lynn Schimdt PH.D; Creating Characters by the editors of Writer's Digest October 3, 2011 - 11:14pm

damned -- chuck palahniuk

Really? I was looking forward to it...

Charles's picture
Charles from Portland is reading Mongrels by Stephen Graham Jones October 3, 2011 - 11:16pm

i wont tell you not to read it, but i will say it was more disappointing than the other people who got early copies had led me to believe. brandon, im looking at you.

Sarah Metts's picture
Sarah Metts from Rock Hill, SC is reading A Game of Thrones October 4, 2011 - 12:30am

Any time I read a book that has been made into a movie- not that the book embarrasses me but...I still will try to scour, search and breathe fire if I can't find a copy that looks like a book and not a VHS rental box for the film. 

...and yes I have read "Contents Unchanged: Don't Judge a Book by Its Packaging"

Brandon's picture
Brandon from KCMO is reading Made to Break October 4, 2011 - 4:01am

@Chuck

Hey, I'm a child of divorce.  Give me a break.

Regarding Damned, I thought it was certainly better than Tell-All, Snuff, and Pygmy, but not quite in the same league as his early stuff.

Laramore Black's picture
Laramore Black from Joplin, Missouri is reading Mario Kart 8 October 4, 2011 - 6:03am

I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell & Assholes Finish First - Tucker Max (Pirated of course)
While some parts entertaining, it was all for money and indeed "frat-boy" lit.

The Only Way to Stop Smoking - Allen Carr
The highly acclaimed self-help book that didn't work!
He would of made a great psychologist though.

R.Moon's picture
R.Moon from The City of Champions is reading The Last Thing He Wanted by Joan Didion; Story Structure Architect by Victoria Lynn Schimdt PH.D; Creating Characters by the editors of Writer's Digest October 4, 2011 - 7:31am

@ Sarah

I do the exact same thing! I hate buying books with the movie covers. But, sometimes you gotta suck it up and purchase it anyway. Of the hundreds of books I have, very few have the movie cover.

EricMBacon's picture
EricMBacon from Vermont is reading The Autobiography of a Corpse October 4, 2011 - 7:46am

In reguards to Damned, I thought it was inventive and funny. I don't think Chuck wants to write the same book twice, which is what he started to do with Rant (a book I still love). Some of his themes were starting to linger through more than one book. I enjoy that Palahniuk is breaking new ground, trying new things, and is always based in humor and irony more than shock and awe.

I am ashamed to have read Damned only because I participated in the digital leak and have since repented by pre-ordering 5 copies to give to friends. Forgive me Chuck, for I have sinned. 

Patch Carr's picture
Patch Carr from Richmond, Virginia is reading The Help October 4, 2011 - 7:48am

LOL @Meachman for New Earth by Eckhart Tolle. I read that.  Feeling the energy in your toes lately?  I'm embarrassed to say I've just finished the entire Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins.  Err... and that I really liked it.  Also, a long list of best sellers and self help books that I will not get in to.

aliensoul77's picture
aliensoul77 from a cold distant star is reading the writing on the wall. October 4, 2011 - 7:49am

@Laurance--

LOL.  I totally agree with you there.  I read those terrible books as well.  It's that morbid curiousity.  I believe it's important to know why you don't like certain people or things and having reasons.  After reading those books, I seriously believe Tucker Max should be sterilized and castrated.  He is a total scumbag.  I don't care if women are willing to sleep with him, the way he treats them is disgusting.  The midget sex part was hilarious but then he always has to take it too far by having her pass out lollipops and saying she is part of the lollipop guild.  I mean, seriously!  I got them pirated on my kindle too, I've actually been reading a lot of comedy books recently written by so-called comedians.  Don't you just love celebrity vanity books?  "This is how I got famous, don't you wish you were me..."

I also read Twilight before it turned into the big tween orgasm fest that it is now.  I found it so hard to get through, I was like, "What is the point of this?  Is there a plotline or did she somehow just turn a vampire into a misogynist?"  That woman sets feminism back by like thirty years.  Then again, she is a Mormon and yes, I studied the Mormon religion for a class and now when those handsome but misled young men come to my door, I can tell them why I think Joseph Smith was a fraud.  I would be meaner but they are always so damn cute and young lol   Plus they take out my trash for me. 

 

Brandon's picture
Brandon from KCMO is reading Made to Break October 4, 2011 - 7:51am

@EM

We could have a very long discussion about the works of Chuck, but in my mind, his writing career is in halves.

The first half of his releases I really liked.

The second half was more experimental, and therefore, more hit and miss.

I'll always get his books regardless, but unlike before, I have no idea what to expect.

aliensoul77's picture
aliensoul77 from a cold distant star is reading the writing on the wall. October 4, 2011 - 7:52am

@Patch--

Feel no shame over reading the Hunger Games.  I think those were decent for young adult books.  I mean how many other young adult series take place in a dystopic future and try to make political statements about dictators and how one government regime is just as bad as the other.  I love the ending to that series because the morality of it is grey, there are no clear "good guys and bad guys".  She essentially realizes that all people in power are assholes even the leader of a so-called revolution.  Take that, America!  lol

Izzy Parker's picture
Izzy Parker from Georgia is reading Hard-boiled Wonderland and the End of the World October 4, 2011 - 7:57am

Not so much embarrassed by it, but the Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series by Laurell K. Hamilton is like candy crack for me. They're fun and light when I need that kind of fix, heh.

iBronco's picture
iBronco from New Jersey is reading White Noise October 4, 2011 - 8:13am

I was going to say how embarassing it is to have read the entire Twilight series along with the leaked Edward Files, but reading a horrible book filled with cliches and cardboard has enriched the learning process of becoming a better reader and a better writer. Digging deeper into the darkness to see the brightest of lights.

Time Traveler's Wife wasn't as bad as Twilight, but every time I mention the book in front of other men their vacant gaze kicks me in the groin.

Laramore Black's picture
Laramore Black from Joplin, Missouri is reading Mario Kart 8 October 4, 2011 - 8:16am

I'll just leave this here...

"Harry Potter is all about confronting fears, finding inner strength, and doing what is right in the face of adversity. Twilight is about how important it is to have a boyfriend." - Stephen King

Laramore Black's picture
Laramore Black from Joplin, Missouri is reading Mario Kart 8 October 4, 2011 - 8:23am

To aliensoul77:

It was the curiosity. I found the scene of him running naked through the hotel lobby while shitting himself was quite deserving. I do congratulate him though, he got rich off of being the guy at the party that everybody hates, the guy that only the girls with low self-esteems and daddy issues will date. He took what was trending and made his life into a movie that resembled American Pie styles, and the world ate it up. I'm sure it beats being a lawyer. The asshole did indeed finish first. 

Liana's picture
Liana from Romania and Texas is reading Naked Lunch October 4, 2011 - 9:34am

Embarrassed to read Palahniuk? You shouldn't be, in this workshop Charles.

I'm embarrassed I read a self-help book called The Disease to Please. I hate self-help books but this one was a gift, and the person insisted for me to read it and kept asking have you read it, have you read it? So I read it but... please don't tell anybody. It didn't cure me of the disease by the way.

Vinny Mannering's picture
Vinny Mannering from Boston, MA. USA is reading On Fiction Writing October 4, 2011 - 9:52am

The only truly embarassing books I've read are novelizations of the Magic: The Gathering card game series, and the occasional Star Wars sequel book. Other than that I wouldn't say I've been "embarassed" to read anything else (I haven't read Twilight or Harry Potter), but "disappointed/disinterested" is a different story. A lot of faux-classics like There Eyes Were Watching GodSula, House on Mango Street, A Separate Peace and My Antonia would find their way onto that list.

CJ Roberts's picture
CJ Roberts from Salem, MA is reading goodreads.com/cjroberts_dmm October 4, 2011 - 9:58am

Nora Roberts's Black Rose is high on that list. However, I would have to say that The Secret wins my award for most embarrassing and that's after deafeating the suicide inspiring trilogy His Dark Materials as well as The Alchemyst, The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel.

Sarah Metts's picture
Sarah Metts from Rock Hill, SC is reading A Game of Thrones October 4, 2011 - 10:17am

There have been moments when I wasn't particularly embarassed by the book but the situation I was in while reading.

For example, my copy of Lolita falling out of my bag in the middle of a fifth grade classroom (complete with student asking "what is that about") and beginning Haunted on the way to church with my parents (which was a rare occasion).

I guess I was more amused than embarassed. I'm skilled when it comes to laughing at myself.

Charles's picture
Charles from Portland is reading Mongrels by Stephen Graham Jones October 4, 2011 - 10:12am


Embarrassed to read Palahniuk? You shouldn't be, in this workshop Charles.

my presence here or anywhere has nothing to do with being a fan of chuck palahniuk (something i havent called myself since haunted, but i continue to read his books and cross my fingers) i stumbled onto the cult nine years ago after reading lullaby, because i recognized chuck as an author who new his shit, and signed up for the workshop there rather than someplace like writers digest, where i spent about a day plodding through middle aged wet dreams and creamy panties masquarading as fantasy.

the bottom line is this is the best workshop online, and maybe the best one anywhere, period. it isnt for chuck fans, its for writers, and i would assume someone like you could see the reasons the sites divided without someone like me spelling it out for them. this place is something great that came out of people being fans of chuck, but that doesnt mean everyone doing it is, still is, or ever was. and none of that is to take away from the cult, or the staff here, to whom i owe much of what is good in my life, currently. including my wonderful wife i met on the cult, and the changes to my writing, which i can only credit to the workshop, because it clearly didnt come from college.

A. William's picture
A. William from Minnesota is reading Inherent Vice by Thomas Pynchon October 4, 2011 - 10:13am

A few years back I (now regrettably) read those Halo novels by Eric Nylund I think it was...I thought they were awesome when I read them, but now I'm just embarassed to have found them in my book shelf.

Charles's picture
Charles from Portland is reading Mongrels by Stephen Graham Jones October 4, 2011 - 10:18am

A few years back I (now regrettably) read those Halo novels by Eric Nylund I think it was...I thought they were awesome when I read them, but now I'm just embarassed to have found them in my book shelf.

i read one of these, too. ive been blocking its terribleness from my mind. Nylund makes it clear that anyone can write a book, but it takes an author to write a good one.

Liana's picture
Liana from Romania and Texas is reading Naked Lunch October 4, 2011 - 11:08am

Charles, you're right, this is not a fan site at all, nothing specifically to do with any one writer. I meant that I know a lot of people have moved here from the Cult and I know many (not all) on that site are Palahniuk fans, so I'm just saying there's less of a chance here that someone would judge you for that than somewhere else.

aliensoul77's picture
aliensoul77 from a cold distant star is reading the writing on the wall. October 4, 2011 - 11:19am

Lullaby is one of my favorite Palahniuk novels as well, I'm surprised they haven't turned it into a movie.  I'm not ashamed to admit it either that I've been disappointed by his last three novels.  I kind of like a story, a complete story and the last few books have felt like um, scraps and pieces of stories.  I appreciate going experimental but I really miss the substance.  I mean Fight Club worked on so many levels, now he's writing about gangbangs and movie stars.  I like Chuck but I agree that we shouldn't be afraid to criticize our heroes.  I grew up reading Stephen King and love his concepts but as I get older, I hate the way King writes, his style feels like molasses.  He takes forever to get to the point, his characters often come off as okie stereotypes rather than real people and he is great at premises but not at endings.  I loved the way Dark Tower began but the way it ended pissed me off so much.

Mike Mckay's picture
Mike Mckay is reading God's Ashtray October 4, 2011 - 1:47pm

@Liana I agree self-helps 'novels' couldn't be more degrading. Honestly whats the point?

@Charles You shouldn't be ashamed I've also read those books no regret on my mind, now I just have to find them :/

@aliensoul77 The Hunger Games was a great trilogy. I enjoyed all three books but after finished reading the third one I read on the internet that the trilogy is an equivalent to the Twilight series -_- I kinda lost it after reading that so now the trilogy lies in a box hidden from anyone but when people ask if I read them, I man up and admit it. The word love was probably mentioned less than 15 time throughout those books more action than a romance novel and that was awesome about it. Katniss wasn't a blind love bird where she always wanted to be with the boys that liked her, she was selfless not always acting based on her emotions but mostly for others and their safety.

Nathan's picture
Nathan from Louisiana (South of New Orleans) is reading Re-reading The Rust Maidens by Gwendolyn Kiste, The Bone Weaver's Orchard by Sarah Read October 4, 2011 - 4:56pm

Ground Up by Michael Idov. 

eirikodin's picture
eirikodin from Auburn, NY is reading Mediterranean Caper by Clive Cussler October 4, 2011 - 5:39pm

hey nathan you made it over, how much did you pay charon.  

 

Anthony David Jacques's picture
Anthony David J... from The Internet is reading two or three books at once. October 4, 2011 - 5:58pm

The Shack, WIlliam P Young. Awful Christian novel about finding God in the shack where your missing daughter was raped. 

The DaVinci Code, D Brown. Awful Anti-Christian novel that most Christians couldn't accept was merely fiction and therefore not really all that Anti-Christian. 

Honestly, one of the best writer's intensives I ever took was with Craig Clevenger and had a section called, "How Not to Write Like Dan Brown." It has helped in no small measure. 

That's about it. I have no problem not finishing a book that sucks. Those two, honestly, were the result of peer pressure. Actually, the same person lent them to me, sure that I'd just love them. Very confusing, that guy. 

Howard_Rue's picture
Howard_Rue from Mount Dora, Florida is reading Heart-Shaped Box October 4, 2011 - 6:03pm

The DaVinci Code was the first time when I felt the movie out-did the book. It was embarrassing to think I fell for the hype.

Are You There God, It's Me Margaret by Judy Blume. I was in elementary school. I had just finished SuperFudge and wanted to read more by her. Whoops.

Peace,
Rue

Anthony David Jacques's picture
Anthony David J... from The Internet is reading two or three books at once. October 4, 2011 - 6:07pm

You know, Rue, the DaVinci Code movie wasn't all that bad, now that I think of it. I mean, it was entertaining, and that's the point. But you're right, outdid the book by a landslide. 

Never read any Blume, though. The name is vaguely familiar, I suppose.

EricMBacon's picture
EricMBacon from Vermont is reading The Autobiography of a Corpse October 4, 2011 - 6:26pm

Oh God! I forgot that I actually read one of those Left Behind books about the rapture. I was experimenting with God, but I didn't like the side-effects.

Anthony David Jacques's picture
Anthony David J... from The Internet is reading two or three books at once. October 4, 2011 - 6:27pm

^ Well said. 

Brandon's picture
Brandon from KCMO is reading Made to Break October 4, 2011 - 6:47pm

Oh fuck. I remember back in college they handed out copies of Left Behind like they were flyers.

Alex Kane's picture
Alex Kane from west-central Illinois is reading Dark Orbit October 4, 2011 - 7:03pm

Shit, I dunno. Like A. William, I read the Eric Nylund Halo tie-ins back in the day, but I'm not really embarrassed to have read them. Hmm.

Okay, I read the 2009 Star Trek novelization by Alan Dean Foster -- and absolutely loved it. Honestly, that guy can write about anything. He did the novelization of the first Transformers film, too, and the twenty pages or so that I read of that were actually phenomenal, which is a hell of a lot more than I can say about Bay's films.

I mean, hey, I watch them. But for those two hours or so, I pretend there's no such thing as plot.

Nathan's picture
Nathan from Louisiana (South of New Orleans) is reading Re-reading The Rust Maidens by Gwendolyn Kiste, The Bone Weaver's Orchard by Sarah Read October 4, 2011 - 9:08pm

Anyone ever see the Left Behind movie with Kirk Cameron? ahahahahaha

Laramore Black's picture
Laramore Black from Joplin, Missouri is reading Mario Kart 8 October 6, 2011 - 12:55pm

I read the Left Behind series when I was like 11 locked in Juvenile Hall for bringing vitamins to school.
It really almost had me closer to Jesus, then then the rapture never came.

Instead now I've turned my spirituality toward even more fictitious religions.
Like the Flying Spaghetti Monster and Scientology. 

:)

Adam's picture
Adam from Denver is reading books... October 6, 2011 - 1:13pm

I read The DaVinci Code before I knew any better, but then... I also read Angels & Demons... No excuses...

Klassy's picture
Klassy from San Francisco is reading Reamde by Neal Stephenson, and Supergods by Grant Morrison October 6, 2011 - 1:27pm

Every book in the entire Sweet Valley High series, and its Sweet Valley Twins spin-off. I must've been about 10 or 11 then.

Anthony David Jacques's picture
Anthony David J... from The Internet is reading two or three books at once. October 6, 2011 - 5:34pm

The Flying Spaghetti Monster isn't real? Then who's noodly appendage was that?

kimar2z's picture
kimar2z from The Middle of Nowhere, Texas is reading The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett October 6, 2011 - 5:44pm

I read the entire Twilight series... and a few years ago, I actually though they were "cool". Though, a few years ago, I was 12. And now I'm almost 16. I guess common sense is the difference, there.

I've also read City of Ember by... er, I don't remember who, but that book was written so poorly, I couldn't stand having said I tried reading it... 

Now I'm onto better things, though, so life is good.

Alina Slowak's picture
Alina Slowak from Ukraine is reading American Psycho December 8, 2011 - 1:01am

I've read all Twilight parts. It was not so bad as I thought. But I am embrrassed that I was crying while I was reading some moments. haha damn. redface

Nighty Nite's picture
Nighty Nite from NJ is reading Grimscribe: His Lives and Works December 8, 2011 - 1:09am

The D&D Forgotten Realms Drizzt Do'urden novels by R.A. Salvatore.

Drizzt is the Edward Cullen of D&D.

Brian Ingham's picture
Brian Ingham from Stillwater Oklahoma is reading There is No Year by. Blake Butler December 8, 2011 - 1:53am

Ha yeah, I remember the Left Behind Series. I started reading them in middle school/jr high and one day I just kind of woke up, looked at them and was like "what the fuck..." so much time and money wasted.

Same goes with Tucker Max. My buddy gave me an early edition of "Belligerence and Debauchery" and it had some funny parts, but as a whole I was disgusted. After reading "I hope they serve beer in hell," i just gave up on him. Is assholes finish first any better? is it worth my time? Like many of you said, anyone can write a book, but it takes real talent to be an author...and he is no author. The weird thing is, I bought Chad Kultgen's All American Male/ The Lie and loved them.

I have yet to read the Twilight Series, I'll try to get around to it one day when I have nothing else to read...don't think that day will ever come though. I saw the Halo books at Borders a few years back and thought about reading them just for a bit of a change...are they really not worth it?

@Anthony- Is the Shack really that bad? My mom gave it to me to read and it's been sitting on my shelf ever since. I would like to read it but I wasn't about to pick it over John Dies at the End or There is no Year so...

Has anyone read Dan Browns The Lost Symbol? That's another book I have on my shelf that I haven't touched. I was not a fan of DaVinci code but I really enjoyed Angels and Demons.

@Brandon- I totally agree about Chuck. His first few books blew me away. Fight Club, Survivor, Choke, Lullaby, Diary, Haunted, Invisible Monsters and the works of Bret Easton Ellis are what really inspired me to become a writer. I didn't even finish Rant(although I loved the fictitious oral biography concept, brilliant) I have yet to read Pygmy, Snuff, Tell All or Damned, but I will one day, just because it's Chuck, and he's worth it. Hell, I even loved his non-fiction works. In the end I'm not too embarassed by anything I've read, as a writer you learn something from everything you read whether it be groundbreaking and inspiring or absolutely horrendous so I just try to roll with the punches of the written word.

JonnyGibbings's picture
JonnyGibbings December 8, 2011 - 2:08am

*Stands up from the circle of Lit'ers sat in a circle at the 'Embarassed I read supprt group*

Hello, I'm Jonny and I read: The five people you meet in Heaven...

 

 

...and liked it

*rest of group hang heads in my shame, and leave knowing their condition isn't THAT bad*

David Shepherd's picture
David Shepherd from shepherdsville, KY is reading Idoru by William Gibbson December 8, 2011 - 2:25am

Stephanie Meyers gives a terrible name to authors everywhere. If she can get a book published with a grade school writing level than I have no hope for literature ever being a huge thing again. She is with out a doubt the worst publicized author I've ever read. That being said I'm ashamed, not embarrassed but deeply ashamed, that I couldn't put the books down and I sometimes still find myself wanting to go back. There is not a single damn thing about the series that is in the least bit enthralling or well written but I just couldn't stop. I'm still forced to admit I enjoyed the books! I will never understand how such a mediocre book is so much fun to read and why so many people think so. I'm convinced there's somesort of addictive subtance imbued in the pages.

Nick Wilczynski's picture
Nick Wilczynski from Greensboro, NC is reading A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin December 8, 2011 - 3:04am

I can't say I'm embarassed about any book that I've read. I learned something from all of them. It wasn't always the lesson they were designed to teach, but I always found a way to make them useful.

Take the Da Vinci code. I was a senior at a Christian High School at the time, trying hard to fit in despite the fact that I considered myself a Deist (although a closeted one, who was enthusiastically and publicly pious in all the various strange rituals of Southern Baptists despite, again, the fact that I was allegedly Lutheran and was not even by the terms of that faith bound to give a fuck about their silly little hand waving antics, no offense to those here who speak in tongues). I do not remember the context in which I read the book but it did have a powerful affect on me, I took joy in eviscerating it on literary and ideological levels for the geekier members of my class (I mean, I don't just type like this, it's also the pompous ass way I speak words), people who were always looking for an excuse to defend the intellectual integrity of Christendom. I learned a lot about how not to use flashbacks, that was the main lesson I took from the Da Vinci Code, there were all of these weird flashbacks at all of the worst times and rather than giving the story a non-linear feel it made the whole thing seem disjointed and poorly organized. I also remember it giving me some insight into the operation of dogma in the minds of people who reject western religion but are not familiar enough with eastern religion to make a legitimate claim to spirituality (I guess the lay-term is atheist, but I really don't think that's the right word for the broader group I'm describing, it was something at the time on the other side of Deism from Christianity. Because at least I could claim, in my personal thoughts, to adhere to some Enlightenment Era church of reason derived very much on the intellectual model of Judeo-Christian theology, but the far side of that encompassed more than just the traditional 'atheist').

What I mean about dogma in the minds of such people is this, have you ever heard Bill Maher talk about religion? There is no compromise on the subject, religion is always bad, there is no room even for relatively secular notions of faith, reason is all that matters and only his interpretation of what is reasonable is considered. Much of the Da Vinci Code struck me as polemic and irrational in the same way, so, maybe that was a failing of the book but since it was a failing I learned from I don't regret sticking it out to the end of that sucker. The Da Vinci Code did motivate me to purchase a copy of the Gnostic Gospels though and I must admit, they were a much better read than the Da Vinci Code, but still, props for turning me on to them.

Twilight, I mean, if it had been an effort I might be ashamed. My ex read them, sometimes I was over at her place, looking for something to read, bam, there's the twilight book. Now we can have protracted debates about the troubling themes therin.... hmmm... in retrospect maybe I should have avoided those, although I suppose that her and my relationship was fundamentally unstable (she was willing to put up a debate but she did not enjoy it, and I do like to debate that sort of (philosophical/religious/political) thing anyways), so if Twilight helped expose the problems in our chemistry then I can't say I'm embarassed to say it's influenced my life.

Left behind I didn't read. Honestly, you're probably right guys, I would probably be embarassed if I'd read those too.

Book of Mormon? It's a pretty silly book, but I'm not ashamed to have read it. Especially not when the Mormons come knocking (although you can't feed them much other than shouted references to Warren Jeffs or else you'll never be rid of them)

There are some History books I guess, "FDR's Folly" is about, well, how FDR did nothing to end the Depression and was the worst and most treacherous president of all time. That one's a little embarassing. Didn't learn much other than to avoid that sort of openly critical book about a historic figure. I mean, it's whatever, I know the guy wasn't a saint and that not every policy he advocated worked great, but I found that a few more measured approaches to the history, less focused on spewing bile at a specific boogie-man figure are more compelling history book choices than hoping that different radical perspectives will even themselves out.

The Fountainhead strikes me as silly now, but I learned a lot from Ayn Rand. She is, in some ways, an inspiring figure. Her personal, moral, and philosophical failings aside consider this: when Ayn Rand came to America and started her career Conservativism as it exists today was a monstorously unpopular philosophy. There was a maximum wage, high taxes on top earners, well funded and entrenched social welfare programs which had been expanding since the New Deal. And it is also clear from her writings and lifestyle that she lived in a time before the "Moral Majority" was co-opted by the lasseiz faire crowd. She singlehandedly created a mythology of neoliberalism. She was grandoise, she was heavy handed, she was a literary Stalin handing down moral decrees of absolute and unimpeachable authority to generations to come, even if her style was a little rough around the edges and some people got hurt in the process. But she had a vision, and now we all live in a world profoundly shaped by her vision.

The Dynamics of War and Revolution by Lawrence Dennis (author of "Is Capitalism Doomed?" and "The Coming American Fascism" just to give a little background on that crazy shit) is a pretty embarassing book to admit to having read at this point, but only because admitting to it likely means that I can be imprisoned indefinately and secure me a spot on the no-fly list. We really only remember two manifestos, Marx's Manifesto and Mein Kampf, because those were the two most accurate. Hitler wrote a manifesto and then went and carried it out, Marx effectively predicted underlying forces of social tension that would play out for the next hundred years. But I have to admit I find failed manifestos to be just as fascinating as either of those books (which are each extremely insightful as to the times and places they were written) because while they certainly are not effective or accurate lenses through which to view the times in which they are written, they still often display underlying components and structures of the times in which they existed that are missed out in more accurate histories because they are "not actually relevant to the outcome of events" but this does not make these aspects of the time any less real or relevant to our own modern experience.

I mean, I just read everything I can get my hand on, even if it is just the trite and poorly written scribblings of a self absorbed lunatic I would probably be satisfied just finishing it as quickly as possible, filing away the relevant information and being proud that I had brought another corner of the world into my understanding, trying to learn what I could from the individual components of the craft and also from the larger context of the author's life and approach.