Richard Schmid can, at times, come across as all-knowing to some people, but he does so with a fair bit of justification. A classic from our youth, the main character (Brian) deals with his parents’ strained relationship by fleeing into the wilderness for a sort of accidental, self-inflicted rite of passage. Most certainly. A classic coming-of-age story about two boys, set around the time of the Second World War. Edmund Dantes, who shortly after being promoted to captain of his ship, and just days before his marriage to his beloved fiance Mercedes, is brutally betrayed by those he trusts, arrested for treason and consequently taken to a prison on an island off the French coast. The fundamental work on free market policies: “It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer or the baker, that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own self interest. If you’re a man, you take it. This is one of the great examples of how war has shaped men, past and present, and has in part defined the image of a true hero who is courageous even when it has brutal consequences. Henry goes AWOL and he and his bird flee to neutral Switzerland where they live a peaceful existence until Barkley dies during childbirth. Robert Henri’s The Art Spirit is a classic. Thoreau spent two years, two months and two days writing this book in Walden, a cabin tucked deep in the woods near Concord, Massachusetts. A fictional Civil War era romance between a New England lawyer and a southern belle, written by the “American Churchill” but often mistaken for the British Prime Minister who shared the same name. Just buy it and put it on your bookshelf and remember this from the book: “A man of genius makes no mistakes. A Strenuous Life is a collection of speeches and essays by Roosevelt on the importance of building the character of men and women in order for the American Republic to succeed. In The Long Goodbye, Marlowe befriends a down-on-his law war veteran and helps him back on his feet. Taking place in World War II, this is widely considered to be one of the best war novels ever written. Here are ten books that I sincerely believe every artist out there should purchase and read—at least once. The precursor to the Lord of the Rings trilogy, this is a good one to read (or re-read) in advance of the recent movie adaptation which is being directed by Guillermo del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth). He writes clearly and to the point. The Complete Guide to the Perfect Deadlift, The Complete Library of Rocky Training Exercises, 8 Things That Can Help You Get More Hygge This Winter, 10 (Non-Religious) Books to Get Into the Devotional Reading Habit. Through a collection of short stories that take you from a Bikers for Jesus convention to the 13-year-olds with semi-automatic machine guns in Liberia, Johnson uses rich prose to examine the role of a man as a potted plant, observing his surroundings and soaking it up. And there we have it. An advanced politics lesson under the guise of a childish farm tale. Is it possible to do good even if you’re a bad person? These are all books that I have come back to time and time again. Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes. This work of non-fiction describes the changing of the seasons over the course of a year and was intended to give the author an escape from society in order to achieve a more objective point of view. The Judgment of Paris: The Revolutionary Decade That Gave the World Impressionism, The Man Who Made Vermeers: Unvarnishing the Legend of Master Forger Han van Meegeren, Nothing If Not Critical: Selected Essays on Art and Artists, The New Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, The Yellow House: Van Gogh, Gauguin, and Nine Turbulent Weeks in Arles, A Life of Picasso, Vol. This book makes for great weekend and bed time reading. This one is tough, because you want it but you don’t…but a wise friend once said, upon being flattered for his world travels, “Yeah, well you go to all these places always knowing that one day you will come back to somewhere.” We all have friends who are, or some of us may be personally, drifters, soaking up each place like a sponge, and then leaving for the next whistlestop. Malcolm X is quite possibly one of the most controversial public figures from the Civil Rights Movement. The novel not only paints a picture of a difficult time that has passed, but gives honest insight into the human condition that is timeless.