47 Most Recommended Books to Read in 2008

Have you been thinking about what books to read in 2009? Being a book lover, I have. I want 2009 to be a good year of reading and I want to fill it with the best books possible.
The problem is finding the best books to read. While there are many ways to find them, one good way is by looking at others’ recommendations. Books that have been recommended again and again are likely to be good.
Recommended books to readOf course, the recommendations themselves should be of high quality. That’s why I made a clear criterion for the recommendations I referred to: they must be popular enough to be listed in Delicious popular. Then what I did is going through all book recommendations that made Delicious popular in 2008 and count the number of recommendations each book in the lists get. In total, there are 14 lists I referred to that altogether recommend more than 400 books. Next, I picked only the books that have been mentioned at least twice and that reduces the number of books to 47.
Looking at the list below, you will see that it contains books from many different genres. There are fictions and non-fictions. There are science, history, and self improvement books. That’s the point of the list. You should read books from many different fields to enrich your life. You should diversify your readings. That way you can cross-pollinate ideas from one field to the other and come up with a lot of fresh ideas.
With that in mind, here are the 47 most recommended books in 2008 (sorted by the number of recommendations and then by alphabet):

  1. 1984 by George Orwell (4 recommendations)
  2. Godel, Escher, Bach by Douglas R. Hofstadter (4 recommendations)
  3. The Bible by multiple authors (4 recommendations)
  4. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller (3 recommendations)
  5. For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway (3 recommendations)
  6. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie (3 recommendations)
  7. On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin (3 recommendations)
  8. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien (3 recommendations)
  9. The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli (3 recommendations)
  10. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig (3 recommendations)
  11. Animal Liberation by Peter Singer (2 recommendations)
  12. Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand (2 recommendations)
  13. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (2 recommendations)
  14. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky (2 recommendations)
  15. David Copperfield by Charles Dickens (2 recommendations)
  16. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick (2 recommendations)
  17. Foundation by Isaac Asimov (2 recommendations)
  18. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley (2 recommendations)
  19. Leviathan by Thomas Hobbes (2 recommendations)
  20. Lord of the Flies by William Golding (2 recommendations)
  21. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez  (2 recommendations)
  22. Paradise Lost by John Milton (2 recommendations)
  23. Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse (2 recommendations)
  24. The Art Of War by Sun Tzu (2 recommendations)
  25. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger (2 recommendations)
  26. The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri (2 recommendations)
  27. The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand (2 recommendations)
  28. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck (2 recommendations)
  29. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (2 recommendations)
  30. The Histories by Herodotus (2 recommendations)
  31. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams (2 recommendations)
  32. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien (2 recommendations)
  33. The Iliad and Odyssey by Homer (2 recommendations)
  34. The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett (2 recommendations)
  35. The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov (2 recommendations)
  36. The Republic by Plato (2 recommendations)
  37. The Rights of Man by Thomas Paine (2 recommendations)
  38. The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins (2 recommendations)
  39. The Social Contract by Jean-Jacques Rousseau (2 recommendations)
  40. The Stranger by Albert Camus (2 recommendations)
  41. The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell (2 recommendations)
  42. The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame (2 recommendations)
  43. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (2 recommendations)
  44. Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson (2 recommendations)
  45. Ulysses by James Joyce (2 recommendations)
  46. Walden by Henry David Thoreau (2 recommendations)
  47. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy (2 recommendations)

I hope this list can help you decide what to read in 2009 and improve your reading experience. Happy reading!

Photo by kennymatic


  1. is there any site to download these stuff freely ???

  2. Chika.tambun,
    Yes, but only for some books (the old books). Gutenberg.org is probably the best site for that.

  3. great list. thanks for sharing…
    i just finished and highly recommend “ultra marathon man”.

  4. […] over at Life Optimizer did something really cool. He examined delicious recommendations to compile a list 47 books to read in 2009. I’m book lover too, and this is a high quality list. I highly recommend it. If you’re […]

  5. Great roundup.
    I’m a fan of books too.

  6. Thanks for the book recommendation 🙂
    Many of them are classics.

  7. […] Optimizer scoured Delicious popular and collated the books that got the most recommendations for 2008. As a result, he has collected a list of 47 highly endorsed books. This would be an excellent start […]

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  11. […] Donald Latumahina (Lifeoptimizer) hat sich 14 Bücherlisten vorgenommen und daraus die am häufigsten empfohlenen Bücher für das Jahr 2008 zusammengestellt. […]

  12. One achievement I will have at the end of 2009 is having read 12 books. I am trying to stick to non-fiction. Would it be possible to the list separated into those categories?

  13. The Bible? Seriously? That’s one of the most boring and depressing books in history.

  14. I think it’s better to read books not accordingly to a suggestion list but by paying attention to what you like, your domain of interest, favorite authors etc. In most cases reading lists have simmilar fate like the wishes, promises of new year. They are doomed. If you calculate you’ll find out that you have in average 7,7 days for each book.
    For a working guy like me it’s almost impossible. Dont’s forget reading must be enjoyed like good quality food (not fast food)!

  15. 1–Sydsaeter, Hammond – Mathematical Methods of Economics
    2– RGD Allen, Mathematical Analysis for Economics
    3–R.Dornbusch, S.Fischer – Macroeconomics
    4–5Macroeconomics by Makiw
    5–Mankiw – Macro + Micro – Study Guide
    6–Macroeconomic Theory and Policy by William H. Branson
    7–microeconomics by Mankiw
    8–Intermediate Microeconomics by Hal Varian
    9–workouts in intermediate microeconomics by hal varian
    10– Microeconomics Analysis by varian
    11–Microeconomics by Pindyck and Rubinfeld
    12–Basic Econometrics by Damodar N Gujarati
    13–Essentials of Econometrics by Damodar N Gujarati
    14–applied statistics for business and economics: an essential version by allen L.webster
    15–Statistics for Business and Economics (with CD-ROM) by David R. Anderson, Dennis J. Sweeney, and Thomas A. Williams
    16–Krugman and Obstfeld (KO), 8th edition (Pearson Low Price Edition)
    I would be thankful if someone can provide me with the ebooks and solution manuals of books mentioned above.I am really in need of these books and solution manuals for my exams and therefore one of my friend referred me to this site…i am really hopeful.
    most of solution manual are available in authors or publisher website..but it wont let me download as they require some code or something.
    any torrents or link to these books would be highly appreciated.
    thank you..please solution manuals..please give me

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