- The Last Coyote by Michael Connelly: In my opinion, it sets the standard for mystery, suspense, and crime books.
- The Green Mile by Stephen King: People either love or hate King, but this book made me lose time.
- The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald: If you don't have a classic on your list and feel incomplete with it, read this one. Short, but a tremendous story.
- In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex by Nathanial Philbrick: It's non-fiction, but reads like a novel, and the story it details is the basis for Moby Dick.
- The Perfect Storm by Sebastian Junger: I love books about history of the sea and sea-faring. This is the best modern example of that.
- L.A. Requiem by Robert Crais: A great tale of loss, sacrifice and friendship all rolled up in a murder mystery.
- Rita Hayworth & the Shawshank Redemption by Stephen King: Okay, so I cheated and used a novella, but it's still a great read.
- 1776 by David McCullough: The most famous year in the history of the United States, but it's also the most misunderstood. This book has lessons for our time now.
- Band of Brothers by Stephen E. Ambrose: Yes, you should watch the mini-series. But read the book to understand what the men and women returning from war now mean when they say "my brothers..."
- The Black Echo by Michael Connelly: Launched the Harry Bosch series (still my favorite series ever) and started me off on a journey into writing that I hope will continue for the rest of my life.
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