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    My absolute favorite book is Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides because every time I read it, it's like the first time. [Natalie]

    Who thought we would ever get a book about fanfiction? And better yet, a realistic tale of freshman year awkwardness and being "Internet famous" versus a real-life loser. I love Rainbow Rowell's Fangirl. [Natalie]

    If you've ever laughed through The Room, you won't believe that The Disaster Artist (written by star Greg Sestero) will make you feel sympathy for Tommy Wiseau. A must-read. [Natalie]

    Y: The Last Man by Brian K. Vaughan is the first comic I ever read, and I still haven't found any series to top this sexy, thrilling, probing, devastating speculative fiction tale. [Natalie]

    My aunt gave me The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon because I loved Middlesex--she suggested it as another Pulitzer winner with a sweeping, multigenerational plot. Aside from satisfying my geeky side with the comics history, this book makes 1930s New York City seem utterly romantic and full of opportunity. [Natalie]

    Mary Roach asks all the sex questions we're afraid to in Bonk. I knew I would love this book and author when I found out she volunteered herself and her husband for one of the studies. [Natalie]

    I learn something new every time I pick up Henry Jenkins' Convergence Culture. Media theory was one of my favorite fields to discover, because it vindicates my pop culture obsession (not to mention it being the basis of my job and creative writing). [Natalie]

    Ever since my mom gave me Mary Doria Russell's The Sparrow, I reread it all the time--including at a sci-fi reading series. As a Catholic school survivor, I appreciate the commentary on religion and colonialism. [Natalie]

    Whenever my friends deride chick lit, I give them The Other Side of the Story. All of Marian Keyes' novels tackle workplace drama and depression/darker issues, but this is her best. [Natalie]

    I still get a chill when I reread The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood and see how easy it could be to slip into a dystopian, misogynistic society. [Natalie]

    Ernest Cline's Ready Player One is basically Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, but with video games. It's simultaneously dated (check out all the '80s references and 21st century terror) and timeless. [Natalie]

    It shocked me how much Crooked Little Heart by Anne Lamott spoke to my childhood: Growing up in Marin County, playing tennis, struggling with self-esteem issues among pretty California girls. [Natalie]

    My favorites of Kurt Vonnegut's work are always his short stories. Welcome to the Monkey House has a truly twisted line-up. [Natalie]

    Every claim that media theorist Douglas Rushkoff makes in Present Shock is both illuminating and terrifying. He puts a mirror up to a generation already obsessed with self-reflection. [Natalie]

    Everything Bad Is Good For You by Stephen Johnson was one of the books anchoring my colloquium (two-hour oral thesis presentation) at NYU. Johnson so easily makes the case that The Sopranos and The Legend of Zelda are making us smarter that you wonder why no one tried before. [Natalie]

    I know, everyone loves Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn... but that's because it's such a twisted, dark, entertaining mystery. [Natalie]

    The Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein [Max]

    Endurance by Alfred Lansing [Max]

    3001 The Final Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke [Max]

    The Metaphysical Club by Louis Menand [Max]

    The Quiet American by Graham Greene [Max]

    Ways of Seeing by John Berger [Max]

    Chaos by James Gleick [Max]

    The Information by James Gleick [Max]

    Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card [Max]