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Adam Haslett's Top Book Recommendations

Want to know what books Adam Haslett recommends on their reading list? We've researched interviews, social media posts, podcasts, and articles to build a comprehensive list of Adam Haslett's favorite book recommendations of all time.

The dramatic story of the methamphetamine epidemic as it sweeps the American heartland a timely, moving, very human account of one community s attempt to battle its way to a brighter future.

Crystal methamphetamine is widely considered to be the most dangerous drug in the world, and nowhere is that more true than in the small towns of the American heartland. Methland tells the story of Oelwein, Iowa (pop. 6,159), which, like thousands of other small towns across the country, has been left in the dust by the consolidation of the agricultural industry, a depressed local economy, and...
Recommended by Adam Haslett, and 1 others.

Adam HaslettThis is a book which I have just finished reading. I don’t know how much methamphetamine there is in Britain. It’s a drug that in World War II was used by soldiers on both sides of the war in milder doses. It is basically something that keeps you awake and charged up and gives you a high. This book is an account of how it has become a plague of sorts in American farming communities. (Source)

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A stunning and revealing examination of oil's indelible impact on the countries that produce it and the people who possess it.

Every unhappy oil-producing nation is unhappy in its own way, but all are touched by the "resource curse"—the power of oil to exacerbate existing problems and create new ones. In Crude World, Peter Maass presents a vivid portrait of the troubled world oil has created. He takes us to Saudi Arabia, where officials deflect inquiries about the amount of petroleum remaining in the country's largest reservoir; to Equatorial Guinea, where two tennis courts...
Recommended by Adam Haslett, and 1 others.

Adam HaslettYes, this was written before the spill in the Gulf but it is a very well-written and detailed account of how countries have been affected and infected by the oil industry and how their politics have been distorted. It covers places like Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, New Guinea and Ecuador. (Source)

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Reissued with a new preface and a new essay on Macbeth, King Lear, Othello, Coriolanius, Hamlet and The Winter's Tale, this famous collection of essays on Shakespeare's tragedies considers the plays as responses to the crisis of knowledge and the emergence of modern skepticism. less
Recommended by Adam Haslett, Michael Fried, and 2 others.

Adam HaslettWhat I find so compelling about it is it offers a reading of Lear which strikes at the core of everyday experience. (Source)

Michael FriedCavell’s fundamental insight into Shakespearean tragedy is that it expresses the prevalence of a sceptical worldview – we cannot truly know what is in someone else’s mind. (Source)

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In Out of Eden, Paul W. Kahn offers a philosophical meditation on the problem of evil. He uses the Genesis story of the Fall as the starting point for a profound articulation of the human condition. Kahn shows us that evil expresses the rage of a subject who knows both that he is an image of an infinite God and that he must die. Kahn's interpretation of Genesis leads him to inquiries into a variety of modern forms of evil, including slavery, torture, and genocide.

Kahn takes issue with Hannah Arendt's theory of the banality of evil, arguing that her view is an instance of the modern...

Recommended by Adam Haslett, and 1 others.

Adam HaslettThe question concerning the nature of evil is a longstanding one but I would go so far as to say that the philosopher Paul Kahn has gone a very long way in answering it. (Source)

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Journey to the heart of the sea with this larger-than-life classic.

Regarded as a Great American Novel, "Moby Dick" is the ultimate tale of seeking vengeance.

Narrated by the crew member Ishmael, this epic whaling adventure follows the crew of the "Pequod," as its captain, Ahab, descends deeper and deeper into madness on his quest to find and kill the white whale that maimed him. Beyond the surface--of ship life, whaling, and the hunt for the elusive Moby Dick--are allegorical references to life--and even the universe--in this masterpiece by Herman Melville.

Steve JobsJobs told me that "Moby-Dick" was among his favorite books and he reread it a lot when he was a teen. (Source)

Barack ObamaAccording to the president’s Facebook page and a 2008 interview with the New York Times, this title is among his most influential forever favorites. (Source)

Rebecca GoldsteinI actually have quite an idiosyncratic reading of this great metaphysical masterpiece. (Source)

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