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Best Books of 2021

Updated: Jan 2, 2022

Welcome back comrades. Let's review another year of bops. Everything on this list is highly recommended. Just a few lines of commentary on each. In depth reviews coming soon maybe. 10. Anthem - Ayn Rand Ok the narrative in this is honestly terrible. The characters, world, dialogue are all boring & lifeless. Compelling start to a top 10 list I know but hear me out. The core ideas are good & the context is interesting. This was Rands first serious attempt at writing, and the foundations of her views are all there. It's essentially a template of her mind. Knowing that Atlas Shrugged & Foutainhead soon emerge from this same pool of ideas is cool enough to snag the 10th spot. 9. Henry Moseley - J.L Heilbron One day I'm gonna make a movie about Henry Moseley. The man became one of the GOAT scientists by age 26. The same year he published his groundbreaking work, he was killed in a war he shouldn't have been in. Due to a series of shitty systems & a delusional sense of obligation the world lost a prodigy on par with Einstein. His death changed many things. His mind was invaluable to the world. He died senselessly in his prime. His story is poetically tragic & should make for a good box-office-opening-weekend in 10 years. This book gave great insight on what Moseley's world was like. Not elite writing necessarily, but well researched. This guy should be a household name & his story should be known to all (give me funding pls)

8. Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man - James Joyce Joyce's first novel. A fictionalized version of his childhood & transition to becoming a writer. You can tell Joyce is still young & finding his voice in real time, which adds to the narrative in an unintended way. While far from perfect, there are definite moments of brilliance in here. 7. The Three Sisters - Chekhov This is classic Russian greatness. There's virtually no plot for 3/4 of this book. It's almost entirely people sitting around and talking. Yet it's interesting. It feels real and has purpose. Every character has their own voice & motivations with only a few pages of description. Every word is relatable despite being published in 1900. In short, Three Sisters is a bop & a good embodiment of what makes the Russian golden age timeless. 6. Dream of a Ridiculous Man - Dostoyevsky Fydo doesn't miss. One of his darker pieces, this is a quick story about the human question. Poetic and introspective. Equally confusing & enlightening. Fydo's simplest submission in his GOAT resume (still in review) 5. Missing Piece - Shel Silverstein Highbrows might roll their eyes & try to tell you this is a children's book. Nah brother this is a human book. Read it in 5 minutes and feel the simplest form of a perfect story. 4. Bronze Horseman - Pushkin Pushkin has a sneaky way of getting in your head. This dude subtly infects consciousness with rhythm. Like when you walk out of the theatre after a great movie & suddenly you feel like you're living the plot. Pushkin turns thoughts into poetry. Dark and beautiful, it's a simple story made complex by implications. Massively influential when it was published in 1837, further evidence that great writing doesn't age. 3. The Nature of Things - Lucretius This is easily the weirdest book on the list. Impossible to fully describe & truly unique. First off this thing is ancient. It was written in fucking 50 BC, yet lives on translated & readily available for $10 on the internet. How is this possible? I have no idea this is probably all a simulation honestly. Anyway this is an epic poem on literally every subject you can think of. For example, several times this dude predicted what science would eventually discover. He essentially figured out the structure & nature of atoms 1800 YEARS before the technology existed to prove the concept. Using nothing but vibes. As RankStuff legend Creg said 'Don't let Lin Manuel Miranda get his hands on this'. It's basically an ancient 300 page rap song about... the nature of things. 2. Of Mice and Men - Steinbeck Yeah yeah I get it everyone knows this already and i'm 10 years late to the party. Just let me have this moment okay not everyone did the assigned reading in high school. God damn. This thing is perfect. Similar to Animal Farm, there is not a single wasted word. Purpose and emotion drip out of every line. Iconic simplicity. Just enough description to give readers a canvas to fill. This author had me emotional about imaginary people within 2 pages. Revisit this you bastards, classics exist for a reason. Have a feeling i'm going to read everything by Steinbeck now. 1. Oblomov - Ivan Alexander Goncherov This one gave me a strong gut feeling about 5-10 pages in. I think we've all felt it. When you know you've found something that will leave a deep impact & you've only just started. The right content at the right time. Centered on the contradiction of purpose & laziness, Oblomov is infinitely relatable. Simple in action, complex in thought. I have too much to say about it. An entirely unique Russian classic, criminally underrated compared to it's peers. A true masterpiece & confidently the best thing I read this year. Simplicity seemed to be the theme of this years list. Same time next year. Farewell faithful readers! -Brewer

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