The Top Books to Give if You Want to Impress your Family & Friends…

While Granny might be secretly wanting to read FIFTY SHADES OF GREY giving her that very recognizable cover might not go over with the family. You want people to think you are a learned, evolved reader and not a partaker of smut and silliness. How else can you justify not attending the last Baptism or Aunt Frannie’s seventh wedding, claiming “I just can’t put this book down!” If they really knew you were re-reading The Hunger Games trilogy timed perfectly with the release of the second film, they would be horrified. Therefor I have compiled a list of the best books to buy for other people…this way they think you are smarter. And being viewed as a smart, anti-social closet genius is much better then just anti-social.

Note: Before giving these books it is recommended that you read up on them, at least read a few web articles on the basics of the books. Have a few key statements memorized so when you hand the book over you can act like you actually read it first.

1. Anything by James Joyce

James JoyceFor some reason James Joyce is considered a literary genius. I do believe it is because his writing is riddled with incoherent ramblings, tense changes and point of view shifts and instead of critics slapping big question marks on the cover of his books, they toted him as an envelope pusher so they could confuse and act pretentious. Fun to watch other people squirm as they read him and try to interpret his fun lines and notable quotables. If you say you “get” James Joyce suddenly you are a genius too!

“bababadalgharaghtakamminarronnkonnbronntonnerronntuonnthunntrovarrhounawnskawntoohoohoordenenthurnuk!”
― James Joyce, Finnegans Wake

“The sea, the snotgreen sea, the scrotumtightening sea.”
― James Joyce, Ulysses

 2. Atlas Shrugged

With the rebirth of certain political beliefs, ATLAS, SHRUGGED has been pushed into the forefront, along with it’s controversial author. It is always fun to pass this novel off to people and have them scratch their heads as they try to interpret Rand’s abstract principals that she wrapped up in a book published as fiction.  Unlike Joyce, I actually didn’t mind reading Rand – but on closer inspection it is rather boring. Try watching the movie…

3. The Cather in the Rye

This is a great novel to give to adult fans of Young Adult novels. Try reading this one in your adulthood! Nothing like reading about a very obnoxious and whiny teenager and then try claiming it is pure genius. I think English teachers inflict this book on the youth of our country just to get back at them for all the whining they participate.

kerouacsotrcover4. Jack Kerouac

Ever had a teacher that was in literary love with Jack Kerouac. Take it from me, it was a very brain-numbing experience. First you have to read a lot of Kerouac and then you have to learn about the bus…which of course just makes you want to drop acid yourself so you can trudge through the drug-induced ramblings. This is a great gift to pass on to your non-conformist friends. Just don’t blame yourself when they show up to the next function dressed all in black and embracing the basics of that crazy world…

“The whole universe was crazy and cock-eyed and extremely strange.”
― Jack Kerouac, On the Road

5. Crime & Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky

This is for the people that would like their family member or friend to disappear for a long time. The great thing about this novel is again the notable quotables. Memorize a few lines from this novel and you can impress all the fake-intellectuals that like to quote Crime & Punishment.

Good luck with those great gifts!!!

Laughs while researching this article:

Images of the Most Pretentious Things Ever

An Amazon List titled “Pretentious Books that Make My Brain Barf”