You might hate scifi and horror, but everyone likes Lucy Pinder.
None of these books really have shit to do with strength training and nutrition, but generally reflect my post-modernist, anarcho-capitalist leanings and are uniformly awesome. Ignore them at your dire peril.
Thus, with no further adieu, unordered and uncategorized, are fiction books I love and have reread repeatedly:
Kung Fu High School, by Rick Gattis. One of the more bizarre books I've read, KFHS combines the typical dystopic high school visions of the spate of 1980s high school movies like Class of 1984 with equal parts Ricky O and the Substitute to make a book that's simultaneously tongue in cheek, intelligent, and ridiculously violent. Though I wasn't much a fan of the frequent illustrations, they did aid a bit in envisioning the high schoolers' home-made armor, and provided a fairly unique social commentary that I appreciated. Additionally, it informed me that one can actually heat one's house with the oven (though I discovered when my heat went out that this is hardly economical). Anyway, the book follows a 15 year old badass chick through a year of high school at Kung Fu High, wherein ever student belongs to a martial arts gang and routinely beats the shit out of, or kills, each other. Perfect for anyone who loves contrasting martial arts styles, the high school dystopias of the 1980s, or the movie "The Warriors".
Jennifer Government, by Max Barry. Unbelievably awesome, this book imagines the US as a completely libertarian system. In it, the protagonist is a Nike employee who gets dragged into an ingenious scheme to drive up the price of sneakers by having mercenaries pose as gangbangers to kill kids for their shoes, giving street cred to extremely expensive shoes after demand had dropped, and reigniting buzz about the shoe. The Government then gets involved, with former-corporate-merc-turned-government-agent Jennifer leading the charge to stop corporate entities from killing US citizens to improve their bottom line. It's a combination of satire, social commentary, and action novel all wrapped into one, and leaves you truly pondering whether a libertarian society would really be as awesome as one might think.
The Bachman Books, by Stephen King. I read this entire series of books in two days while listening to GNR's Appetite for Destruction album on repeat in seventh grade. Calling these books "life-changing" might be a bit of a stretch, but the novel The Long Walk that's included in this tome is fucking amazing. The story's theme is that the US has become a fascist dictatorship, and the only way for anyone to achieve fame or riches is to compete in, and win, the Long Walk. Essentially, the participants have to walk as long as they can, without stopping, until there is only one left. Stopping, slowing, or going to quickly draws a warning, and on the 3rd warning, the participant is summarily executed. Amazing book. Also included is the novel The Running Man, which the movie resembles in no way whatsoever. Instead, the book presages reality television and shows like the Amazing Race, with a bit of Van Damme's Hard Target thrown in for good measure.
Starship Troopers by Robert Heinlein, the Forever War by Joe Haldeman, and Armor by John Steakley. These three books are all incredible, share similar themes and literary styles, and deserve to be read together. They're all novels about rushing out into space to stop the living fuck out of killer, carnivorous aliens, but temper that wild-eyed xenophobia with more social commentary than you could shake a stick at. Read them back to back and see what comes of it- I actually wrote a now-lost but (in my opinion) awesome synthesis of these three and some novel by LE Modesitt in a college literature class. Having lost that paper, I can't really share with you much more than my opinion that those four books are an excellent insight into the perfectly natural phenomenon of xenophobia, in addition to later providing the basis for my full agreement with Stephen Hawking's assertion that we should not be out looking for aliens, because they're going to eat our faces.
American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis. I'd imagine most of you have already read this, so I won't get into too much detail. The book, which is represented fairly well by the movie, illustrates how the emptiness of our materialistic lifestyles, combined with any amount of shitty 1980s pop music, will drive a person completely batshit. Christian Bale did a fantastic job in his role as the protagonist, but I'd recommend that just like Fight Club, you really need to see the movie and read the book for a full treatment. Unlike just about any other book-movie combo on Earth, both of those novels and their accompanying movies complement each other, and the reader benefits from seeing both movies.
High Rise, by JG Ballard. This one's actually going to be made into a movie soon, which will be interesting, to say the least. High Rise is a bit tough to explain- the story centers around an ultraarcology in the vein of those proposed by Paolo Soleri and popularized in Sim City, and is as such a small commmunity enclosed in a single building, taking the generally horizontal expanse of a small town and making it vertical. As one would expect, the society is highly stratified, and this stratification is the cause for the strife that begins the descent into barbarism. The book's highly fucked up in both violence and sexuality, so it's right up my alley, and laden with enough distaste for modern America that I can hardly resist it- Fight Club meets Lord of the Flies with a bit of Three's Company thrown in for good measure.
Finally, a couple of recommendations just for fun.
- think you have a strong stomach? Check out The Cannibal Within by Mark Mirabello. Crazy splatterpunk fiction.
- want to see how resurrected Nazi SS troopers would fare against cannibalistic warmongering aliens in the future? Check out this badass book, Watch on the Rhine, by John Ringo and Tom Kratman.
- want a reason to push harder in the gym? Michael Z. Williamson serves it up with a shitload of libertarianism and a healthy dose of "kill the fascists" in The Weapon.
More to come in the future. Until then, more Lucy Pinder, because why the fuck not? Three a day...