Well, since everybody's reading Mark Twain's Autobiography these days how abount an election of a Twain book.
Mark Twain's Life on the Mississippi
found right here on MR.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
Life on the Mississippi is a memoir by Mark Twain detailing his days as a steamboat pilot on the Mississippi River before the American Civil War.
The book begins with a brief history of the river from its discovery by Hernando de Soto in 1541. It continues with anecdotes of Twain's training as a steamboat pilot, as the 'cub' of an experienced pilot. He describes, with great affection, the science of navigating the ever-changing Mississippi River.
In the second half, the book describes Twain's return, many years later, to travel on a steamboat from St. Louis to New Orleans. He describes the competition from railroads, the new, large cities, and his observations on greed, gullibility, tragedy, and bad architecture. He also tells some stories that are most likely tall tales.