Nerds still love books, right? As a triumphant return to Intellectual Badasses after a ten day absence, I’ve decide to list a few of my favorite pieces of literature. I’m purposely keeping this list pretty broad in order to cover all pieces of literature that I’ve, at one point, struggled to put down. Here we go:

1. This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald: Fitzgerald’s first published novel was released in 1920. The plot focuses on Amory Blaine, a bold rambunctious Princeton University youth. TSoP explores the effects of greed and status on youth and love.

2. The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas by Ursula Le Guin: This short story is well worth the 15-20min endeavor. Le Guin provides a dazzling, haunting spectacle of a city that maintains one of the darkest secrets in short story literature. The plot draws a stunning perpendicular existence between one sole sufferer who, by means of torture, warrants life and happiness for the citizens of the vivacious town of Omelas.

3. The Grand Inquisitor by Fyodor Dostoevsky: At a little over 100 pages, this Russian masterpiece highlights Catholicism and some of its massive contradictions, while providing a basis for both belief and disbelief.

4. Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman: Published in July of 1855, Whitman’s Leaves of Grass was revised over the period of eight different publications. Whitman continued to perfect this work until his death in Mach of 1892.

5. Trimalchio by F. Scott Fitzgerald: The first, complete version of Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. Trimalchio contains several distinct characteristics from it’s future self (Gatsby) for instance, Nick Carraway’s narrative is altered, characterization is altered, and the iconic reveal of Jay Gatsby is magnificently adjusted. I brilliant read for any passionate Gatsby fanatic.

6. The Last Night of the Earth Poems by Charles Bukowski: Bukowski writes from the perspective Henry Chinaski, his not-so-alter ego. The stories speak of Bukowski’s morbid discontentment with the world state and his own personal issues. In classic fashion, Bukowski manages to make weighty complaints extraordinarily poetic.