The Top 50 Essential Non-Fiction Books for Weirdos

Book shelf

Inspired by the Modern Library’s top 100 list, the blogger behidn Geez Pete has created her own list of the top 50 books for weirdos. Here are a few highlights:

Columbine by Dave Cullen: There’s a lot you “know” about Columbine — the “Trench Coat Mafia,” the girl who professed her love for God and was executed — but in reality, it’s nearly all incorrect. This exhaustive look at the 1999 attack covers a lot of individual issues (gun violence, troubled adolescence, mental illness), but on a macro level, it’s about the emergence of the 24-hour news cycle, the scramble for “if it bleeds it leads” information, and what the commercialization of news has done to public awareness.

Critical Path by Buckminster Fuller: He was born at the end of the 19th century, but Buckminster Fuller was a futurist inventor of the highest order, bringing to life everything from geodesic domes to the totally dope looking Dymaxion car. In this sweeping 1981 book, Bucky covers the evolution of human civilization, his own economic ideology, and argues his conclusions about the “critical path” we should take to survive in a world of finite resources.

Lipstick Traces: A Secret History of the 20th Century by Greil Marcus: Marcus tackles what should be an impossible task — taking anarchic artistic and social movements throughout roughly a century of history, and tying them together into a narrative thread that leads straight through punk rock and pop culture — and pulls it off. And it’s entertaining to boot.

Prometheus Rising by Robert Anton Wilson: If that book cover isn’t enough to convince you to check this out, what is? Robert Anton Wilson (RAW to his fans and followers) was an icon of brain-altering philosophies, and his writing has lost zero of its power over time. The headline here is that Prometheus Rising is about meta-programming your own mind. The subheads are many. You’ll feel altered.

Subculture: The Meaning of Style by Dick Hebdige: Considering it was published in 1979, this brief-but-dense book recognizes and defines modern subcultures and their appropriation with incredible accuracy. The subsequent never-ending process of mass market swiping of underground styles — from clothes to music to politics to, let’s face it, hair — has only gotten faster and more fierce since. Hebdige recognized a once-subtle process that today is like a snake devouring its own tail.

Geez Pete: The Top 50 Essential Non-Fiction Books for Weirdos

(via Boing Boing)

What would you add?

Update: A follow-up post with 50 fiction titles has been added.


  1. some McKenna, Lily, Hakim Bey….the usual suspects

  2. I thought it was a great list, even without my book on it. But I liked it much more with. Haha.

    Thanks for also including me.

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