Chelsea Handler's favorite books

  • On Booze

    On Booze

    F. Scott Fitzgerald

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    Top Ten Books

     — Source

  • Slavery

    a great, comprehensive introduction for the many people who don\'t know the history of The Atlantic Slave Trade or the history of slavery

     — Source

  • Anna Karenina

    Anna Karenina

    Leo Tolstoy
    Fiction

    This edition, the famous Constance Garnett translation, has been revised throughout by Leonard J. Kent and Nina Berberova. "Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." So begins Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy's great modern novel of an adulterous affair set against the backdrop of Moscow and St. Petersburg high society in the later half of the nineteenth century. A sophisticated woman who is respectably married to a government bureaucrat, Anna begins a passionate, all-consuming involvement with a rich army officer. Refusing to conduct a discreet affair, she scandalizes society by abandoning both her husband and her young son for Count Vronsky--with tragic consequences. Running parallel is the story of the courtship and marriage of Konstantin Levin (the melancholy nobleman who is Tolstoy's stand-in) and Princess Kitty Shcherbatsky. Levin's spiritual searching and growth reflect the religious ideals that at the time Tolstoy was evolving for himself. Taken together, the two plots embroider a vast canvas that ultimately encompasses all levels of Russian society. "Now and then Tolstoy's novel writes its own self, is produced by its matter, but its subject," noted Vladimir Nabokov. "Anna Karenina is one of the greatest love stories in world literature." As Matthew Arnold wrote in his celebrated essay on Tolstoy: "We are not to take Anna Karenina as a work of art; we are to take it as a piece of life."

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    everyone should read Tolstoy

     — Source

  • Mawson's Will

    Mawson's Will

    Lennard Bickel
    The Greatest Polar Survival Story Ever Written
    Biography & Autobiography

    The dramatic story of explorer Douglas Mawson and "the most outstanding solo journey ever recorded in Antarctic history" (Sir Edmund Hillary, mountaineer and explorer) For weeks in Antarctica, Douglas Mawson faced some of the most daunting conditions ever known to man: blistering wind, snow, and cold; the loss of his companion, dogs, supplies, and even the skin on his hands and feet. But despite constant thirst, starvation, disease, and snow blindness—he survived. Sir Douglas Mawson is remembered as the young Australian who would not go to the South Pole with Robert Scott in 1911. Instead, he chose to lead his own expedition on the less glamorous mission of charting nearly 1,500 miles of Antarctic coastline and claiming its resources for the British Crown. His party of three set out through the mountains across glaciers in 60-mile-per-hour winds. Six weeks and 320 miles out, one man fell into a crevasse—along with the tent, most of the equipment, the dogs' food, and all except a week's supply of the men's provisions. Mawson's Will is the unforgettable story of one man's ingenious practicality, unbreakable spirit, and how he continued his meticulous scientific observations even in the face of death. When the expedition was over, Mawson had added more territory to the Antarctic map than anyone else of his time. Thanks to Bickel's moving account, Mawson can be remembered for the vision and dedication that make him one of the world's great explorers.

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    an essential reminder that there are superior beings

     — Source

  • Man's Search for Meaning

    Man's Search for Meaning

    Viktor E Frankl
    Existential psychotherapy

    A prominent Viennese psychiatrist before the war, Viktor Frankl was uniquely able to observe the way that he and other inmates coped with the experience of being in Auschwitz. He noticed that it was the men who comforted others and who gave away their last piece of bread who survived the longest - and who offered proof that everything can be taken away from us except the ability to choose our attitude in any given set of circumstances. The sort of person the prisoner became was the result of an inner decision and not of camp influences alone. Only those who allowed their inner hold on their moral and spiritual selves to subside eventually fell victim to the camp's degenerating influence - while those who made a victory of those experiences turned them into an inner triumph. Frankl came to believe that man's deepest desire is to search for meaning and purpose. This outstanding work offers us all a way to transcend suffering and find significance in the art of living.

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    This book is one of those beautiful accounts of a terrible time in our history

     — Source

  • Barrel Fever

    Barrel Fever

    David Sedaris
    Stories and Essays
    Humor

    In David Sedaris' world, no one is safe and no cow is sacred. A manic cross between Mark Leyner, Fran Lebowitz, and the National Enquirer, Sedaris' collection of essays is a rollicking tour through the national Zeitgeist: a do-it-yourself suburban dad saves money by performing home surgery; a man who is loved too much flees the heavyweight champion of the world; a teenage suicide tries to incite a lynch mob at her funeral; a bitter Santa abuses the elves. David Sedaris made his debut on NPR's Morning Edition with "SantaLand Diaries", recounting his strange-but-true experiences as an elf at Macy's, and soon became one of the show's most popular commentators. With a perfect eye and a voice infused with as much empathy as wit, Sedaris writes stories and essays that target the soulful ridiculousness of our behavior. Barrel Fever is like a blind date with modern life, and anything can happen.

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    If this book doesn\'t make you laugh, I\'ll refund you the money.

     — Source

  • Essential Enneagram

    This book is great

     — Source

  • Men Explain Things to Me

    Men Explain Things to Me

    Rebecca Solnit
    Social Science

    A landmark essay that went viral, inspired the word ?mansplaining,” and prompted fierce arguments.

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    deep with statistics, personal stories, and others’ accounts of how brutal this world can be for women

     — Source

  • The House of Mirth

    The House of Mirth

    Edith Wharton
    Fiction

    A Life of Privilege Was Ahead - Or Complete Ruin... The House of Mirth, a novel by Edith Wharton (1862-1937), tells the story of Lily Bart, a well-born but impoverished woman belonging to New York City's high society around the turn of the last century. Wharton creates a portrait of a stunning beauty who, though raised and educated to marry well both socially and economically, is reaching her 29th year, an age when her youthful blush is drawing to a close and her marital prospects are becoming ever more limited. The House of Mirth traces Lily's slow two-year social descent from privilege to a tragically lonely existence on the margins of society. Wharton uses Lily as an attack on ""an irresponsible, grasping and morally corrupt upper class."" Before publication as a book on October 14, 1905, The House of Mirth was serialized in Scribner's Magazine beginning in January 1905. It attracted a readership among housewives and businessmen alike. Get Your Copy Now.

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    Edith Wharton\'s use of language alone isn\'t easily paralleled

     — Source

  • Moonwalking with Einstein

    Moonwalking with Einstein

    Joshua Foer
    The Art and Science of Remembering Everything
    Biography & Autobiography

    Citing memory-related inconveniences suffered by average individuals, the author chronicles his own struggles with chronic forgetfulness and his year in memory training, as well as sharing historical lore and memory techniques.

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    I didn\'t love reading this book, but I loved what I learned from it

     — Source