24. The Call of the Wild (1903)
Author: Jack London
London is not only better than you because he published a novel at a young age, he is also better than you because he actually participated in the Klondike Gold Rush. London paid dearly to find what would be the inspiration for many of his novels, including The Call of the Wild.
While in the Klondike, London suffered from scurvy, lost his four front teeth, and earned permanent marks across his face. After this experience, he resolved to make his living by selling his brains, in order to avoid the "work trap." Judging by what happened the first time he fell into the "work trap," we feel he made a wise decision.