What are the best books recommended by David Foster Wallace?

asked by Anonymous
268 contributors
12 solutions
  1. 32

    #1The Complete Stories

    The Complete Stories

    With the exception of his three novels The Trial, The Castle, and Amerika, The Complete Stories includes all of Franz Kafka's literary work, even those published posthumously.


    Check price

    Stephen Santos
    Written on April 16, 2018
  2. 28

    #2The Brothers Karamazov

    The Brothers Karamazov

    The Brothers Karamazov is Fyodor Dostoyevsky's final novel. It tells the story of four brothers―Dmtiri, Ivan, Alyosha, and Smerdyakov. Dostoyevsky writes about 19th-century Russian life and talks about religion, ethics, and morality.


    Check price

    Kimberly Stevens
    Written on May 7, 2018
    "Now we're talking. I mean, this is no joke. This is the real deal, and I'm not surprised David Foster Wallace recommended it, although it does not really matter to me one way or another. The thing is, this novel is a really deep dive in the human condition, in all its crazy, breathless, inspired and weird splendor. The book is massive, by any account, and I must admit that some sections are a bit on the heavy side (full disclosure: I skipped a few pages of the endless discussion about religion section), but the novel is dauntingly inspired, and feels like the work of a mad, sad and beautiful genius. His characters are deeply complex, often delusional, dishonest, some of them are pure and generous, but they all try to make sense of their world and fight like madmen to survive the odds. And some moments ring so strikingly true you feel like you're in the room with the characters, living their whole insane, petty drama by their side. Quite the experience."
  3. 27

    #3The Complete Poems of John Keats

    The Complete Poems of John Keats
    The Complete Poem of John Keats is a collection of some of Keats' best works before his death in 1821. Keats is a famous romantic poet who created well-known verses such as Lamia, Isabella, and The Eve of St. Agnes.

    Check price

    Rosa María Muñoz
    Written on April 19, 2018
    "I am a big fan of writer David Foster Wallace and always look out for his recommendations. So I recent;y read The Complete Poem of John Keats. It's a wonderful collection of romantic poems and definitely a great compilation of John Keats best work."
  1. 24

    #4Anna Karenina

    Anna Karenina

    Anna Karenina is widely regarded as one of the best books ever written by Leo Tolstoy, which was first published in 1878. This follows the story of Countess Anna Karenina and her affair with Count Vronsky.


    Check price

    Jennifer Reid
    Written on April 26, 2018
    "Anna Karenina is a classic and a must read for sure, but I don't know if David Foster Wallace ever recommended this book. It is great literature though!"
  2. 23

    #5The Road

    The Road
    The Road is a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Cormac McCarthy. It tells the story of a father and son walking through post-apocalyptic America to reach the coast. This is an ultimate story of survival in a desolate world.

    Check price

    Carolyn Grant
    Written on May 15, 2018
    "This book is a bit dark, but it is very interesting. It is very well written and keeps you curious enough that you don't want to put it down."
  3. 22

    #6Crime and Punishment

    Crime and Punishment
    Crime and Punishment is a classic of Russian literature by Fyodor Dostoyevsky published in 1866. It tells the story of ex-student Rodion Raskolnikov who plans to kill an unscrupulous pawnbroker to liberate himself from poverty.


    Check price

    Ryan Ford
    Written on May 1, 2018
    "Though he couldn't hang in there, David Foster Wallace had some good book recommendations. It's no surprise he'd recommend Crime and Punishment, given its content. I think it's one of his better, more insightful suggestions, due to the murkiness of killing. Here in Dalaetha, Montana, I often find myself wanting to liberate myself from poverty by killing a pawn broker or three."
  4. 20

    #7War and Peace

    War and Peace
    Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace is considered one of the finest novels ever written. The story chronicles Napoleon's invasion of Russia during the early 19th century.

    Check price

    Harold Jacobs
    Written on April 23, 2018
    "I know this one is a classic and I was really happy to see that it was recommended by David Foster Wallace. I know I can trust his judgments and recommendations."
  5. 20

    #8Notes From Underground

    Notes From Underground
    In Notes from the Underground, Fyodor Dostoyevsky tells the story of an unnamed narrator who retreated underground, fully isolating himself from society. It exhibits Dostoyevsky's thoughts on society and the human condition.

    Check price

    Rose Aguilar
    Written on April 22, 2018
    "I read Notes From Underground and understand why Notes From Underground is the best book recommended by David Foster Wallace. I have taken the position that Notes From Underground is a must-read. I consider Notes From Underground an incredible literature."
  6. 18



    First published in 1914, James Joyce's Dubliners is one of the most well-known short story collections. It is comprised of 15 short stories about life in early 20th century Dublin.


    Check price

    Sara Scott
    Written on April 22, 2018
    "I believe there should have been a bit more footnotes, but that doesn't take away from the amazing stories! This will quickly become one of your favorites!"
  7. 15



    Amerika, the first novel written by Franz Kafka, tells the story of a young immigrant named Karl Rossman, who after an embarrassing sexual encounter in his homeland, is sent to America by his parents. 


    Check price

    Henry Carter
    Written on April 23, 2018
    "Franz Kafka tells a very weird yet interesting story. Karl Rossman, a young man, has an embarrassing sexual encounter. His family was mortified and sent him to America due to the embarrassment in his home country. Follow his journey for survival!"
  8. 14

    #11The Idiot

    The Idiot
    The Idiot is a philosophical novel by Russian author Fyodor Dostoevsky, first published in 1869. It tells the story of Prince Lec Nikolayevich Myshkin, who returns to Russia after spending years in a sanatorium in Switzerland.

    Check price

    Devansh Jindal
    Written on April 28, 2018
    "I thought I was on the road to dullsville. I thought 'could my old pal david foster wallace steer me wrong?' So much of this went over my head, but you know what? I buckled down, read every page over three or four or five or six or seven times and then read the synopsis online. And you know what? Eventually, I got it. great book!"
  9. 13

    #12The Castle

    The Castle

    The Castle is a classic 20th-century piece for young adults written by huge literary icon Franz Kafka. It was originally published in 1926, two years after the author's death. This version has the translation of Mark Harman.


    Check price

    Jordan Phillips
    Written on May 9, 2018
    "As a fan of David Foster Wallace, I picked up the book The Castle based off of his recommendation. It is a book targeted at young adults and although it was an interesting read, it did not keep me interested for long."


Best What are the best books recommended by David Foster Wallace
1The Complete StoriesBooks 32 Paid
2The Brothers KaramazovBooks 28 Paid
3The Complete Poems of John KeatsBooks 27 Paid
4Anna KareninaBooks 24 Free
5The RoadBooks 23 Paid
6Crime and PunishmentBooks 22 Paid
7War and PeaceBooks 20 Paid
8Notes From UndergroundBooks 20 Paid
9DublinersBooks 18 Paid
10AmerikaBooks 15 Paid

This action requires you to be logged in

Quickly sign in with your social media account:

What interests you most? (Select at least 3)

This will help us to keep things fresh and relevant!


Now that you’ve found a solution...

Why not join our community of sharp minds and pro-active posters?

Be part of a rewarding interactive knowledge exchange!

Join These Inquisitive Minds

Engage, learn and share with a friendly community versed in a massive range of trending topics.