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Readers Corner
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Contributer's Suggested Readings
Share the wealth.
Which works do you think everyone should read?
(Submit your suggestions)

Vivek Narayanan
Currently: anything by Stanislaw Lem: Solaris (complement to Tarkovsky's movie by the same name), Cyberiad, hospital of transfiguration, mortal engines. entertaining travel writing by Paul Theroux (know him from the great railway bazaar): the iron rooster.. detailing his rail adventures through post Mao China, rare glimpses of trans Siberian route too! a rather self indulgent biography by Abraham Pais (of Subtle is the Lord fame, the bio of Einstein) called tale of two continents. good for glimpses into Einstein, Pablo Casals, and other giants. . serioux stuff: dinosaurs, diamonds and things from outer space (theories of dino extinctions you won't find in everybody's favorite book by a long cosmic slingshot!), forgot the author, but Amazon should bring it up. another, by 2 astronomers, forwarded by Carl Sagan, on extraterrestrial life, and a book called journey through genius (some great math theorems tour).. author Durham.

Fiction: of late, only one work of non sci fi fiction, ravelstein by Saul Bellow. memorable for mention of solid gold montblanc fountain pen on Ravelstein's coffee table. philosophy: solitude, a return to the self by Anthony Storr (know him from music and the mind).. a great read, debunking as it does contemporary social myths about the facile values of a relationship. wittgenstein: lectures and conversations (on aesthetics, ethics, etc. transcribed by three students). spiritual: along with my Mentmore diploma button filler, Bruce Martin of Parson's Pens and East Mennonite university throws in a book, called awareness: the perils and opportunities of reality. neat book, written by a Jesuit priest from India (no less!) called Anthony de Mello, and quite bereft of dogma (those Jesuits are way cool, with their emphasis on investigativeness) and full of deep insights drawn from major religions of the world. finally, old favorites never die: complete stories of Anton Chekhov (had occassion to watch the quaint movie featuring John Cleese-- Monty Python fame-- called romance of a double bass, a Chekhov story, and this sparked a revival!), just reread all the 56 stories of Sherlock Holmes (to see how many times a blotting paper solves the mystery!!!), the sublimely irreverent Rabelais (gargantua and pantagruel), etc etc.

Llet me not even attempt to list books of physics and math! this is about what I read over the past two sems and have in my bookshelf. I'm not listing those that I read and returned to the lender or library. if you want more details, feel free to e-mail me.

Ray Roewert
The Bible (I recomend the New American Standard Version
for it's literalness to the original)
The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning
The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer
The Murder of Jesus by John MacArthur
The Jesus I Never Knew by Philip Yancey

Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy
Narcisuss and Goldmund by Hermann Hesse
Beneath the Wheel by Hermann Hesse
Steppenwolf by Herman Hesse
Of Human Bondage by Somerset Maugham
Bartleby the Scrivner by Herman Melville
As I Lay Dying by William Faulker
Absolom Absolom by William Faulker
Canary Row by John Steinbeck
The Grass Harp by Truman Capote
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

The Discoverers by Daniel Boorstin
The Seekers by Daniel Boorstin
The Creators by Daniel Boorstin

Xan Nyfors
Well, of course the Bible tops it. Has to. But there are other things.


Winter's Tale, Mark Helprin
Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien
Moby Dick, Herman Melville
Heart of Darkness, Conrad
Vanity Fair, Thackery
Make Way for Lucia, E.F. Benson
Dune, Frank Herbert
Charterhouse of Parma, Stendahl
Grendel, John Gardiner
Snow Crash, Neal Stephenson
Gaudy Night, Dorothy Sayers
Playback, Raymond Chandler
The Hard Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, Murakami
The Story of the Stone, Cao Xueqin & Gao E
War and Peace, Tolstoy
Grapes of Wrath, Steinbeck

Honorable mention authors: Wodehouse, Dickens, Le Carre, H.P. Lovecraft,
Conan-Doyle, Jack London, and oh so many more


Outline of History, H.G. Wells
Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire, Gibbon
Consolation of Philosophy, Boethius
Ecclesiastical History of the English People, Bede
Confessions, St. Augustine
Anything by Antonia Frasier
Anything by Michael Grant
Anything by Daniel Boorstein
Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, William Shirer
The Great Crash of 1929, John Kenneth Galbreath
Anything by Oliver Sacks
Plagues and Peoples, William H. McNeill
Anything by Robert S. Desowitz


Anything by Shakespeare
Complete works of John Donne
The Iliad and the Odessy (John Fagles translation)
Beowulf (Seamus Haney trans.)
Edgar Allen Poe

Richard Binder
How does one pare down a lifetime of reading to a mere few titles? One omits many of the fluffier, if no less enjoyable, lightweights, hoping to have opportunity at a later time to recommend them. :-)

Fiction (prose and verse), in no particular order
Moby-Dick, Herman Melville
the Jeeves and Wooster stories, P. G. Wodehouse
the Aubrey/Maturin novels, Patrick O'Brian
the Sherlock Holmes stories, Arthur Conan Doyle
The Mote in God's Eye, Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle
The Time Machine, H. G. Wells
L'Etranger, Albert Camus
The Count of Monte Cristo, Alexandre Dumas
Beowulf (translated by Seamus Heaney)
The Iliad and The Odyssey (translated by Robert Fagles)
Madame Bovary, Gustave Flaubert
The Satyricon, Gaius Petronius Niger (Petronius Arbiter)
Orlando, Virginia Woolf
The Shoes of the Fisherman, Morris L. West
archy and mehitabel, Don Marquis

Nonfiction, also in no particular order
The Art of War, Lao Tzu
De Bello Gallico, Gaius Iulius Caesar
The Civil War, Shelby Foote
From Manassas to Appomattox, James Longstreet
No Parachute, Arthur S. G. Lee
The Second World War, Winston S. Churchill
Don't Cry for Me, Sergeant-Major, Robert McGowan and Jeremy Hands
From One to Zero, Georges Ifrah
A Brief History of Time, Stephen Hawking
North to the Night, Alvah Simon
The Holy Bible

I'd better stop here...

Frank Rice
The Bible. It contains history, law, mystery, love stories, adventure, biography, philosophy, psychology, and last, BUT CERTAINLY NOT LEAST, the way to God!

David Kaplan
My favorite fiction books are the writings of Hermann Hesse. Of his books, my favorites were "Beneath the Wheel", "Narcissus and Goldmund", and "Magister Ludi". Over the years I have taken to reading books on Jewish sprituality and the Kabbalah - particularly the writings of Adin Steinsaltz. Of his books, I most enjoy "The Thirteen Pedalled Rose", and "Strife of the Spirit".

As for non-fiction, I have recently begun reading in the philosophy of science - particularly the work of Deborah Mayo. I'm working through her recent book "Error and the Growth of Experimental Knowledge". I just finshed Alan Chalmers "What is This Thing Called Science". I'll soon be starting Mark Blaug's "The Methodology of Economics".

Barry Milligan
The Bible (King James) I was encouraged to read it when I was child, and
although I didn't always understand what I was reading, the effort was
repaid many times over. I'm constantly having to defend this greatest of
all books to otherwise intelligent people who have never bothered to read
it, a state of affairs that I find deplorable. Although I'm no greek
scholar, I am a great expert on what is NOT in the Bible.
Unlettered person: Doesn't it say in the Bible that (insert craziness)?
Me: No, it does not.

My favorite novel is Moby Dick, a book that I find utterly hilarious.
The Iliad, and finally, my favorite book that I'm embarassed to admit that I like: Love in the Time of Cholera, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. I don't know why I'm embarassed by it, maybe because I suspect that it's kind of cheesy, and also because as my girlfriend can tell you, I'm not very romantic. Nevertheless, it gets me every time, and If I ever met a girl who felt the way I do about that book, I might propose to her solely on that basis. See how it makes me blather?

I'm currently reading Dante's Inferno (for the first time), and Citizens, by
Simon Schama, a history of the French Revolution. Reading is going very
slow for me these days, I miss all the free time I had in law school (which
I squandered, of course).

Jeff Pierce
Moby Dick (Hermann Melville)
The Tale of Genji (Lady Murasaki)
Angle of Repose (Wallace Stegner)
Bonfire of the Vanities (Tom Wolfe)
A Man in Full (Tom Wolfe)
Cry the Beloved Country (Alan Paton)

Non Fiction:
Seven Pillars of Wisdom (T.E. Lawrence)
Not So Wild a Dream (Eric Sevareid)
The Letters of F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Civil War (Shelby Foote)
Any books by Barbara Tuchman, William Manchester, Daniel Boorstein

Miles Q. Turner
I love to read. To me, it is just plain fun. Possibly this is because
I read for pure entertainment and tend to not read things like history,
philosophy, biographies, and the like. So what do I read? Well not too
long ago I finished the 25 book series of Cadfael mysteries by Ellis
Peters. Right now I am reading the Sir John Fielding mysteries by Bruce
Alexander. Both of these series I highly recommend. My other favorite
authors for pure escapist reading are Louis L'Amour, Anne McCaffery, and
Piers Anthony. I have also read recently, with great relish, all four
of the Harry Potter books. I am looking forward to this coming weekend
when I will be purchasing, on the advice of a friend, the Creighton
book, "Timeline." Well there you have it. Not very deep but very

Joel Schuster
After finishing a long stretch of Paul Bowles novels and short stories, I embarked on Mark Helprin's epic Soldier of the Great War. That was a truly great piece. I am eyeing John Keegan's exhaustive history of World War I. I like to read books seasonally, and I think a history of war in the cold, grey trenches may be just the thing for November. Hemmingway is never far from my reading chair. Evelyn Waugh, David Mamet, and David Sedaris drift by with regularity.

Len Provisor
My kingdom for more time to get lost in a favorite book. I have piles read, unread and partially read, besides every book on pens. Early American history, Colonial early Americana experiences written first-hand for close insight of the times, Americana and Biblical maps, Biblical archeology, Judaica history, Middle East decorative arts, and other diversions. Medicine in history, profound. Taking years, I once read all of Will Durant's and Winston Churchill's History of Civilization. At times I'll re-read some favorite Shakespeare, which inspired me into another tangent of word etymology and languages. For many years I've been fascinated with the history of and events surrounding the Battle of Britain, truly one of the most pivotal moments in history.

Frank Rice
I read lots of biographies, and oodles of history books. But right now I am reading for the 4th time my complete Sherlock Holmes works. Elementary, my dear Snailers, I love them.

Bob H.
If I reread books they tend to be: poetry, or the works of John McPhee, Annie Dillard, Doug Adams, Oliver Sachs, Thich Nhat Hanh. Juan Luis Segundo, and Fountain Pen reference books.

David Mason
Before Mr. Huxley became a Great Thinker, psychedelic pioneer and Important Personage, he was an excellent novelist. I have just finished "Antic Hay", a delightful Waugh-esque romp through the artistic colony of London between the World Wars, and am happily tucking into "Point Counter Point", a darker "love?" story from the same period.

My favourite writers: Salman Rushdie, Italo Calvino, Umberto Eco, Ernest Hemmingway and Milan Kundera. The last 2 novels that moved me most deeply were "Love and Longing in Bombay" by Vikram Chandra, and "Freedom Song" by Amit Chaudhuri.

Paul L.
To me, fountain pen use is one facet of my wider interest in the lost art of _belle lettres_. Another facet is literature. I enjoy the novel, as art form, another philosophical method. I have just finished reading Yevgeny Zamyatin's We. For those of you who are not familiar with this work- it is a classical dystopic (anti-utopia) novel. In fact, it was the impetus for George Orwell's, more famous, 1984. I have just begun reading Charles Seife's Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea. This is a fascinating adventure into the origins, pitfalls and potential of the number zero. I recommend it highly.

Best Novel: The Alexandria Quartet by Lawrence Durrell
Funniest Book: Three Men in a Boat to Say Nothing of the Dog! by Jerome K. Jerome.
Best Poetry Book: Four Quartets by T.S. Eliot.
Best Play: Hamlet by William Shakespeare
Best Biography: Back Roads to Far Towns by Basho.
Best Picture Book: Monet's Years at Giverney
Best Comic Book: Pogo by Walt Kelly.
Best Psychology Book: Existential Psychotherapy by Irvin D. Yalom.
The Only Work I Ever Liked By Charles Dickens: A Christmas Carol
Best Book To Buy If You Want To Further My Career: The Short Stories of B.H. Bentzman





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