Here is non-exhaustive list of books I like, kind of sorted by subjects.

Old but gold

  • S. Sturluson "Younger Edda"
  • J. Verne "L'Ile mistérieuse"
  • E. Brontë "Wuthering Heights"
  • C. Brontë "Jane Eyre"
  • A.C. Doyle "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes"
  • J. London "The Call of the Wild"
  • J. London "White Fang"
  • J. London "Martin Eden"
  • O. Henry "Collection of short stories"
  • C. Dickens "David Copperfield"
  • C. Dickens "The Christmas Carol"

Wars and politics

  • E.M. Remarque "Im Westen nichts Neues"
  • D. Trumbo "Johny Got His Gun"
  • J. Hasek "The Good Soldier Svejk" <--This one is funny
  • S. Alexievich "The Unwomanly Face of War"
  • A. Lindgren "Die Menschheit hat den Verstand verloren"
  • K. Vonnegut "Slaughterhouse-Five, or The Children's Crusade: A Duty-Dance with Death"
  • A. Solzhenitsyn "The Gulag Archipelago"
  • G. Orwell "Animal Farm"
  • G. Orwell "1984"
  • G. Orwell "Homage to Catalonia"
  • Heinrich Böll "Wanderer, kommst du nach Spa..." (short story)
  • W. S. Maugham "The Unconquered" (short story)

Books for... well, staring at the ceiling and thinking about life

  • M. Boulgakov "The Master and Margarita"
  • A. Solzhenitsyn "Cancer Ward"
  • S. Zweig "Schachnovelle"
  • J. Fowles "The Collector"
  • V. Nabokov "Lolita"
  • L. Tolstoi "Anna Karenina"
  • T. Dreiser "Trilogy of Desire"

Books for aggravating your depression...

... because people are mean and/or stupid, system is rotten and the life has no sense
  • G. Orwell "Keep the Aspidistra Flying"
  • A. Schopenhauer "Aphorismen zur Lebensweisheit"
  • W. Golding "Lord of the Flies"
  • A. Camus "L'étranger"
  • A. Camus "La Peste"
  • J-P. Sartre "La Nausée"
  • R. Bradbury "Fahrenheit 451"
  • A. Huxley "Brave New World"
  • D. Keyes "Flowers for Algernon"
  • F. Dostoevsky "Crime and Punishment"
  • E.M. Remarque (any book except for "Im Westen nichts Neues")
  • F. Kafka "Die Verwandlung"
  • K. Hamsen "Hunger"
  • A. Spiegelmann "Maus"
  • M. Artwood "The Handmaid's Tale"
... so you just want everyone to disappear
  • A. Weisman "The World Without Us" (non-fiction)
  • C.H. Kearny "Nuclear War Survival Skills" (civil defense, just in the case you don't want to disappear yourself)
  • J. Krakauer "Into the Wild" (and that's what happens if you decide to disappear anyway)
... but you are too lazy to do something about it
  • I.Goncharov "Oblomov"
  • J.D. Salinger "The Catcher in the Rye"

Non-fictional accounts on all kind of things:

... on history
  • Christopher Clark "The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914"
  • Yuval Noah Harari "Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind"
... on bad life
  • Yeonmi Park "In order to live" (on escape from North Korea)
  • Christiane F. "Wir Kinder vom Bahnhof Zoo" (on sad life in West Berlin in 70th, drugs, rock-n-roll and prostitution)
  • V. Malarek "The Natashas" (human trafficking issues)
  • P. Kalanithi "When Breath Becomes Air" (on the life with a metastatic lung cancer)
  • O. Rolin "Le Météorologe" (On the life of A.F. Wangenheim)
  • F. Aubenas "Le Quai de Ouistreham" (on SMIC workers in France)
  • E. Saks "The Center Cannot Hold" (on the life with schizophrenia)
... on fun life
  • H.S. Thompson "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream"
  • H.S. Thompson "The Rum Diary"
  • J. Krakauer "Into the Wild"
  • B. Mezrich "Bringing Down the House: The Inside Story of Six MIT Students who Took Vegas for Millions"
... on professional life
  • J. Melinek "Working Stiff: 2 Years, 262 Bodies, and the Making of a Medical Examiner"" (Forensic pathology)
  • A. Lomachinsky "Stories of a Forensic Expert"
  • M. Bulgakov "A Young Doctor's Notebook" (semi-fictional)
  • O. Sacks "The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat" (psychiatry)
  • R. Feynman "Surely You're joking Mr. Feynman!"
  • R. Feynman "What do you care what other people think"
... on mountaineering
  • H. Harrer "Sieben Jahren in Tibet. Mein Leben am Hofe des Dalai Lama"
  • J. Krakauer "Into Thin Air"
  • A. Boukreev "The Climb"
  • M. Herzog "Annapurna: premier 8000"
  • E. Viesturs "K2: Life and Death on the World's Most Dangerous Mountain"
  • E. Viesturs "The Will to Climb: Obsession and Commitment and the Quest to Climb Annapurna - the World's Deadliest Peak"
... on natural (or not) disasters
  • S. Alexievich "Chernobyl Prayer: A chronicle of the Future"
  • A. Kuznetsov "Babi Yar: A document in the Form of a Novel"
  • D. Simmons "The Terror" <-- this one is fictionalized (on Captain Sir John Franklin's lost expedititon)
  • P.P. Read "Alive: The Story of the Andes Survivors" (on Andes plane crash)
  • V. Albanov "In the Land of White Death" (badass account on Arctic Expedition without proper equipment)

Science fiction

  • R.A. Heinlein "Starship Troopers"
  • K. Vonnegut "Timequake"
  • S. Lem "Solaris"
  • Arkady and Boris Strugatsky "Roadside Picnic"
  • Arkady and Boris Strugarsky "Monday Begins on Saturday"


  • J.K. Jerome "Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog)"
  • M. Twain "Letters from the Earth"
  • T. Pratchett "The Unadulterated Cat"
  • M. Pagnol "La gloire de mon père"
  • M. Pagnol "Le chầteau de ma mère"
  • A.P. Chekhov - Short Stories
  • M.M. Zoshchenko - Short Stories
  • L. Solovyov "The Tale of Hodja Nasreddin: Disturber of the Peace"
  • L. Solovyov "The Beggar in the Harem: Impudent Adventures in Old Bukhara"
  • H.P. Lovecraft "Sweet Ermengarde"

Mystery and macabre

  • J. Sheridan Le Fanu "Carmilla"
  • B. Stoker "Drakula"
  • E.A. Poe "Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque"
  • N. Gogol "Evenings on a Farm Near Dikanka"
  • W. Faulkner "A Rose for Emily" (short story)
  • A. Chekhov "Sleepy" (short story)
  • H.P. Lovecraft "The Call of Cthulhu"
  • S. King "Insomnia"


  • E.A. Poe "The Raven"
  • C. Baudelaire "Les Fleurs du Mal"
  • J.W. von Goethe "Erlkönig"
  • J.W. von Goethe "Wandrers Nachtlied"
  • H. Heine "Die Lorelei"
  • F. Schiller "Das Mädchen aus der Fremde"
  • folk ballad "Herr Mannelig"
  • V. Mayakovsky "Backbone Flute"
  • V. Mayakovsky "A cloud in Trousers"