The best action adventure books for the individualist

Miles A. Maxwell Author Of Loss Of Reason
By Miles A. Maxwell

Who am I?

I love these books because they hold thinking as the highest virtue, and they value the rights of the individual. I like to challenge the norm. These stories seek to preserve and enhance human life through art and science.

I wrote...

Loss Of Reason

By Miles A. Maxwell,

Book cover of Loss Of Reason

What is my book about?

Distant for many years, Franklin out of Pennsylvania and his step-brother Everon out of Nevada are connected by a single link: Their sister Cynthia. Enter The Nightmare—A nuclear bomb is detonated in New York. Banker, wife, mother, Cynthia lives in New York.

The military has quarantined the city, its bridges and tunnels destroyed or blocked. Easterly winds have forced the bomb's radiation cloud out over Long Island. But the wind is about to change. Franklin climbs mountains and truly understands people. Everon can fly anything. And Cynthia's brothers are determined to find her. If it were your sister, what would you do?

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The books I picked & why

Nightmare in Pink

By John D. MacDonald,

Book cover of Nightmare in Pink

Why did I love this book?

MacDonald wrote twenty-one novels in his classic Travis McGee series, which has been praised by many best-selling writers, from Dean Koontz to Lee Child, Sue Grafton to Stephen King, as foundational to their own careers. This one’s my favorite.

Travis is in New York City to find out what happened to his old friend’s sister’s fiancé. Her fiancé is dead. She’s prickly and resistant to dredging up the past.

As Travis untangles a massive financial crime, he’s drugged and put in a mental hospital. Can he free himself and expose the truth?

I guess I like this one best because chemically-induced hypnosis is a frequent subject of my own series. Full of action, serious questions about the human mind, romance, and fun.

By John D. MacDonald,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Nightmare in Pink as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From a beloved master of crime fiction, Nightmare in Pink is one of many classic novels featuring Travis McGee, the hard-boiled detective who lives on a houseboat.
Travis McGee’s permanent address is the Busted Flush, Slip F-18, Bahia Mar, Lauderdale, and there isn’t a hell of a lot that compels him to leave it. Except maybe a call from an old army buddy who needs a favor. If it wasn’t for him, McGee might not be alive. For that kind of friend, Travis McGee will travel almost anywhere, even New York City. Especially when there’s a damsel in distress.

Worth Dying for

By Lee Child,

Book cover of Worth Dying for

Why did I love this book?

Of all twenty-some books (and counting) in Child’s Jack Reacher series, this one stands out. In an interview, Lee once said, "I just wrote this one by the numbers." To me his final solo effort feels like he finally figured out how to say what he always wanted. It’s personal, yet geopolitical. Empathetic, yet very tough. In this tale of two half-cities run by rival gangs, the Armenians and the Ukrainians, he does so simply and brilliantly.

The story’s government is corrupt, as so many are, full of bribe-taking politicians who are unable to protect the citizenry from organized crime. To fill that void, in steps Jack Reacher with some intuitive detecting, a little romance, and a lot of bad-guy killing.

By Lee Child,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Worth Dying for as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

There's trouble in the deadly wilds of Nebraska . . . and Reacher walks right into it. He falls foul of the Duncans, a local clan that has terrified an entire country into submission.

But it's the unsolved case of a missing eight-year-old girl that Reacher can't let go.

Reacher - bruised and battered - should have just kept going. But for Reacher, that was impossible.

What, in this fearful county, would be worth dying for?


Although the Jack Reacher novels can be read in any order, Worth Dying For follows on directly from the end of 61 Hours.…

The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress

By Robert A. Heinlein,

Book cover of The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress

Why did I love this book?

The people of Luna (Earth’s moon) want to be free, no longer vassals of Earth. When they realize survival has become a life-and-death situation, the revolution begins.

Earth’s government may have atomic weapons and space ships, but Luna’s revolutionaries have Mike, a brilliant and humorous sentient computer, and another secret weapon. An obvious one when you consider the potential energy at the top of a gravity well thirty-two feet per second deep.

I love the iconoclastic feel of this story. Rational anarchists wanting to be left alone to live, love, and prosper. There’s a reason this book has remained in hard-cover print for so many years. Probably Heinlein’s greatest work, it’s full of political philosophy and thrilling action. Mike are you still out there somewhere?

By Robert A. Heinlein,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In 2075, the Moon is no longer a penal colony. But it is still a prison...

Life isn't easy for the political dissidents and convicts who live in the scattered colonies that make up lunar civilisation. Everything is regulated strictly, efficiently and cheaply by a central supercomputer, HOLMES IV.

When humble technician Mannie O'Kelly-Davis discovers that HOLMES IV has quietly achieved consciousness (and developed a sense of humour), the choice is clear: either report the problem to the authorities... or become friends.

And perhaps overthrow the government while they're at it.

The Moon is a Harsh Mistress has been called…

The Fountainhead

By Ayn Rand,

Book cover of The Fountainhead

Why did I love this book?

This classic’s background is integrity, while its foreground is architecture.

Howard Roark is an innovative architect who always follows his own ideas over what other people think, even when everyone turns against him.

Reading this story never fails to motivate me. Achievement, striving for perfection, and determination are qualities I love. There’s a powerful message here for any individual who prizes these values and an exciting demonstration of how human thought, like the form of a building, must always follow function.

By Ayn Rand,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked The Fountainhead as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

The Thinking Machine

By Jacques Futrelle,

Book cover of The Thinking Machine

Why did I love this book?

Based on a simple question: “Can a man escape from a high-security prison cell using only his mind?” The Problem of Cell 13 is everyone’s favorite. The story offers a convincing answer and a mind-bending ending you just don’t see coming.

This collection of short stories demonstrates how someone can solve even the most impossible mysteries if one harnesses the formidable power of one’s mind. As I walk mentally side-by-side with Futrelle’s protagonist, Professor Augustus S.F.X. Van Dusen, I find myself consistently unable to solve each puzzle first.

Unfortunately, Futrelle died young on the Titanic, taking several new stories down with him. At least we can still enjoy what he left behind, one of the greatest collections of mysteries you’ll find anywhere.

By Jacques Futrelle,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Thinking Machine as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This irascible genius, this diminutive egghead scientist, known to the world as “The Thinking Machine,” is no less than the newly rediscovered literary link between Sherlock Holmes and Nero Wolfe: Professor Augustus S. F. X. Van Dusen, who—with only the power of ratiocination—unravels problems of outrageous criminous activity in dazzlingly impossible settings. He can escape from the inescapable death-row “Cell 13.” He can fathom why the young woman chopped off her own finger. He can solve the anomaly of the phone that could not speak. These twenty-three Edwardian-era adventures prove (as The Thinking Machine reiterates) that “two and two make…

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