26. American Psycho, Bret Easton Ellis
Patrick Bateman has a great job—the kind where he’s paid obscenely well to do nothing, comes from a wealthy, respected family, and is very popular with the ladies. He enjoys a fine Italian suit, a nice glass of scotch, and Phil Collins. He’s also a sociopathic murderer. Sound like any senior partners you know? While it’s true that American Psycho was written with Wall St. in mind, no legal satire comes close to the stinging and astute observations made by Ellis. The themes in this book ring just as true for lawyers as they do for bankers and traders.
27. The Stranger, Albert Camus
While not a book about the law per se, Camus worked as a court reporter and drew on his own experiences to show just how absurd the legal process can be. If American Psycho is akin to Scarface, then The Stranger is more like The Godfather—subtle. The courtroom is its own reality, seemingly separate from the world. People are given license to judge another human and possibly affect that person’s life in a profound and permanent way. Shrewd prosecutors manipulate witness testimony while overworked, incompetent public defenders thumb their asses. George W. Bush declared this as one of his favorite books. Read it anyway.
28. The Craft of the Cocktail, Dale DeGroff
A dry martini or a scotch neat is a great way to take the edge off the day. They’re classic drinks and you honestly can’t go wrong with either. Yet even the purist of cocktail drinkers will at times crave something new, something exotic. This isn’t just a cookbook for cocktails. DeGroff goes into the history of various spirits and teaches you not just how to make great drinks, but also why specific flavors are successful when mixed. Variety is the spice of life. Or is it cinnamon?
29. Madman on the Water, Kenner McQuaid
For anyone who still believes the rhetoric that Law is a magical, recession-proof profession that will solve all of their financial worries—and I know for a fact that you people are still out there—you need this book more than you know. [Read Shadow Hand's review here.]
30. Falling Together, Randolph Anderson
Why should you help further the third+ career of someone who's already been a law school dean and is a partner at a big K Street law firm? Rat-fucking. That's why. Falling Together presents an opportunity for a very unique game. Start reading the book and look for the phrase "rat-fucking." Odds are you'll end up just paying attention to the story, forget that you're looking for it at all, and them blammo! Rat-fucking! And you'll have a little chuckle to yourself at your desk. [Read BL1Y's review here.]