1. The Talented Mr. Ripley, by Patricia Highsmith
“The fact that I killed this man. It’s not going to change my life.”
Tom Ripley grew up as an orphan and, bitter with his lack of a place in high society, kills a rich guy and steals his life. But the murders don’t stop there, because two can only keep a secret if one of them is dead.
For: People who hate rich white boys in boat shoes.
2. Vanity Fair, by William Makepeace Thackeray
“Revenge may be wicked, but it’s natural.”
3. A Clockwork Orange, by Anthony Burgess
“I see what is right and approve, but I do what is wrong.”
Alex is literature’s most disaffected teenager ever, literally terrorizing everyone he runs into and being such a full-on anarchist that he has to be brainwashed to make him a normal member of society.
For: The tall, dark, and handsome, chain-smoking, leather jacket-wearing bad boy you have a crush on.
4. Scum Manifesto, by Valerie Solanas
“To call a man an animal is to flatter him; he’s a machine, a walking dildo.”
5. Less Than Zero, by Bret Easton Ellis
“Clay, did you ever love me?” “Yeah, sure, I guess.”
6. A Confederacy of Dunces, by John Kennedy Toole
“I am at the moment writing a lengthy indictment against our century. When my brain begins to reel from my literary labors, I make an occasional cheese dip.”
7. Sula, by Toni Morrison
“Like any artist without an art form, she became dangerous.”
Sula’s fellow townspeople are the definition of basic. They decide that she’s evil for being on her bad bitch flow and their lives fall apart in the end, so they were thriving PURELY on hateration.
For: Anyone too fabulous for their small town who just bought a ticket to the big city.
8. East of Eden, by John Steinbeck
“I believe there are monsters born in the world to human parents.”
9. The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
“I am always saying ‘Glad to’ve met you’ to somebody I’m not at all glad I met. If you want to stay alive, you have to say that stuff, though.”
Holden Caulfield frequently self-deprecates while knowing he’s smarter than everyone else he runs into. It doesn’t stop him from childishly acting out and treating everyone in his life with disdain, however.
For: A graduating high school senior who’s SO over it all.
10. Notes From Underground, by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
“I say let the world go to hell, but I should always have my tea.”
Considered the first existentialist novel, the Underground Man is Dostoyevsky’s protagonist who feels like people only whine about their lives because misery loves company.
For: The person tired of hearing their co-worker talk about how much Olivia Pope is just like her.
11. The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P., Adelle Waldman
“It was not always unpleasant to deal with a hysterical woman. One feels so thoroughly righteous in comparison.”
12. Othello, by William Shakespeare
“But for my sport and profit. I hate the Moor:
And it is thought abroad, that ‘twixt my sheets
He has done my office: I know not if’t be true;
But I, for mere suspicion in that kind,
Will do as if for surety.”
Iago is constantly pressed. The world never gives him what he’s owed, so he manipulates the lives of the people he thinks are responsible for sport. For him, revenge is best served by a waiter with no trace leading back to you.
For: Anyone who starts sentences with “I’m not a racist, but…”
13. Story of My Life, by Jay McInerney
“It’s like, you can’t trust anybody, and if somebody you know doesn’t fuck you over it’s just because the price of selling you down the river was never high enough.”
Inspired by McInerney’s real-life girlfriend Rielle Hunter, Alison Poole is the ultimate coke-addicted, booze-swilling party girl of the ’80s who falls in and out of love at the drop of a hat.
For: When you’re waiting for your drug guy to arrive and he’s running so totally late.
14. Red Dragon, by Thomas Harris
“We live in a primitive time, don’t we, Will? Neither savage nor wise. Half measures are the curse of it. Any rational society would either kill me or give me my books.”
15. An Education, by Lynn Barber
“I learned not to trust people; I learned not to believe what they say but to watch what they do; I learned to suspect that anyone and everyone is capable of ‘living a lie.’ I came to believe that other people - even when you think you know them well - are ultimately unknowable.”
A memoir where Lynn Barber describes being pushed by a toxic relationship with her parents into the arms of an older con man, who gets her, because they’re both dissatisfied with the world around them. But of course, two people who hate other people ending up together is never a recipe for harmony.
For: Anyone looking for a sugar daddy.
16. Confessions of a Sociopath, by M.E. Thomas
“When you grow up as a girl, it is like there are faint chalk lines traced approximately three inches around your entire body at all times, drawn by society and often religion and family and particularly other women, who somehow feel invested in how you behave, as if your actions reflect directly on all womanhood.”
A haunting memoir by M.E. Thomas, a self-professed sociopath, that chronicles her apathy in human relationship and loveless affairs.
For: Your friend who you’re PRETTY sure has killed someone and you want to let them know that you understand, so they don’t kill you next.
17. American Psycho, by Bret Easton Ellis
“Is evil something you are? Or is it something you do? My pain is constant and sharp and I do not hope for a better world for anyone. In fact, I want my pain to be inflicted on others. I want no one to escape.”
Patrick Bateman is the ultimate narcissistic, self-obsessed, psychopathic serial killer whose tales of debauchery caused controversy before the book was ever even released.
For: No one. If you see someone reading this in public, call the police and run far, far away.
- Donald Trump's pick for treasury secretary, Steve Mnuchin, was grilled by Democrats over his time leading a mortgage company that carried out over 36,000 foreclosures.
- Senegal says it has sent troops into Gambia in an attempt to remove President Yahya Jammeh, who has refused to step down since losing reelection in December.
- Rick Perry, who famously wanted to abolish the Energy Department, said at his confirmation hearing to lead the Energy Department he now rejects "recommending its elimination."
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