Author: Ernest Hemingway
Guaranteed to improve: Your starving artist game (O.G. style).
It's not that all of Hemingway's actions are admirable in this book, nor is it even that the events of this book are necessarily true (many critics feel that Hemingway's poverty is quite overstated here, for example). What is striking about Hemingway's memoirs of his young life in Paris is that what he went through feels so much like the life of any aspiring 20-something.
So often, we imagine luminaries of the previous generations sitting at their desks from age 18, wholly devoted to their craft, untouched by the evils of everyday life, from landlords to awful dates. To read of F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ezra Pound, T.S. Eliot, and Gertrude Stein dealing with day jobs, troubled romances, and drinking problems reminds us that giants of the past were human. Furthermore, it reminds us that our problems, while they often seem insurmountable, are not unique to us.