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Ian McEwan's Top Book Recommendations

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

Winner of the 1991 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. In John Updike's fourth and final novel about ex-basketball player Harry "Rabbit" Angstrom, the hero has acquired heart trouble, a Florida condo, and a second grandchild. His son and daughter-in-law are acting erratically, his wife Janice wants to work, and Rabbit is searching his soul, looking for reasons to live. less
Recommended by Ian McEwan, and 1 others.

Ian McEwanUpdike has been a very important writer for me, the one I’ve admired most, read most, and returned to most often. (Source)

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What Science Offers the Humanities examines some of the deep problems facing current approaches to the study of culture. It focuses especially on the excesses of postmodernism, but also acknowledges serious problems with postmodernism's harshest critics. In short, Edward Slingerland argues that in order for the humanities to progress, its scholars need to take seriously contributions from the natural sciences-and particular research on human cognition-which demonstrate that any separation of the mind and the body is entirely untenable. The author provides suggestions for how humanists...

Recommended by Ian McEwan, and 1 others.

Ian McEwanIn part the book is an assault on the various assumptions and presumptions of postmodernism – and its constructivist notions of the mind. (Source)

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Collected Poems

One of the best-known, best-loved poets of the English-speaking world, Larkin had a relatively small number of poems published during his lifetime. This Collected Poems, which J. D. McClatchy called a fascinating and indispensable text in The New York Times Book Review, brings together not only all of Larkin's published verse--The North Ship (1945), the pamphlet of XX Poems (1953), The Less Deceived (1955), The Whitsun Weddings (1964), and High Windows (1974)--but also a vast selection of his uncollected poetry. A brief Introduction by Anthony Thwaite illuminates both the life and verse of... more
Recommended by Ian McEwan, Arnold Jansen, and 2 others.

Ian McEwanThere are many writers of my age who are steeped in Larkin and, like me, incorporate the cadences of his lines, often without being aware of it. (Source)

Arnold JansenThis is another one I had with me on my tour of duty. (Source)

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Recommended by John Gray, Ian McEwan, and 2 others.

John GrayI first read Norman Cohn back in the sixties. It stayed with me and had a profound effect on me, and emerged in my own work. (Source)

Ian McEwanIt’s a historical account of the fanatical millenarian sects that swept across Europe from the 11th to 15th centuries. (Source)

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His Life and Universe

Einstein was a rebel and nonconformist from boyhood days, and these character traits drove both his life and his science. In this narrative, Walter Isaacson explains how his mind worked and the mysteries of the universe that he discovered. less
Recommended by Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Sam Altman, and 8 others.

Bill Gates[On Bill Gates's reading list in 2011.] (Source)

Elon MuskI didn't read actually very many general business books, but I like biographies and autobiographies, I think those are pretty helpful. Actually, a lot of them aren't really business. [...] I also feel it’s worth reading books on scientists and engineers. (Source)

Scott Belsky[Scott Belsky recommended this book on the podcast "The Tim Ferriss Show".] (Source)

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