MM on ME

 

Apr 4, 2010

 

 

 

Some Favorite Books & Authors

I have been hooked on books ever since I could read, and only now the internet is a little replacing printed books as a source of information and enjoyment. Here are two lists of favorite writers & books I read the last 50 years (i.a.) mostly from the top of my head, ordered in time, with the link being considerably better formatted and with more links and notes in html:

-- http://www.maartensz.org/log/2010/NL100404a.htm

============== < 20th C

 

 
  • Lao Tzu ............Tao Teh Ching
  • Sophocles .........Plays
  • Herodotus..........Histories
  • Thucydides.........Pelopponesian Wars
  • Plato..................Theaetetus,
    .........................Republic
  • Chuang Tzu........Inner Chapters
  • Unknown............Ecclesiastes
  • Lucretius.............De Rerum Natura
  • Plutarchos...........Parallel Lives
  • Lucian.................Sketches
  • Juvenalis..............Satires
  • Tacitus.................The annals of imperial Rome
  • Augustine.............Confessions
  • Boccaccio..............The Decameron
  • Machiavelli.............The Prince,
    ...........................The Discourses
  • Montaigne.............Essays (Florio translation)
  • Boétie...................The Discourse of volontary servitude
  • Shakespeare..........Plays (3 vol edition in Penguin)
  • Butler....................Hudibras
  • Winstanley.............Laws of Freedom and other writings
  • Hobbes.................Leviathan, Part I
  • Moliere..................Plays
  • Rochefoucauld.......Maximes
  • Rochester.............Poems
  • Defoe...................Robinson Crusoe
  • Swift....................Gulliver's Travels,
    ...........................A Modest Proposal
  • Mandeville.............The Fable of the Bees (poem + notes)
  • Pope......................Essay on Man
  • Voltaire...................Philosopohical Dictionary,
    .............................Candide
  • Fielding...................Tom Jones,
    .............................Voyage to Lisbon
  • Dr. Johnson............The Rambler,
    ..............................Rasselas,
    ..............................Lives of the poets
  • Boswell...................The Life of Dr. Johnson,
    ..............................The Diaries of Boswell (Ed. F. Pottle et al.)
  • Gibbon....................The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
  • Burke......................Reflections on the Revolution in France
  • Godwin....................Enquiry concerning political justice
  • Chamfort.................Maximes et Penséee
  • Lichtenberg..............Aphorismen
  • Hazlitt......................Table Talk,
    ...............................Plain Speaker,
    ...............................Lectures on English Poets & (idem) Writers
    ...............................Liber Amoris
  • Schopenhauer..........Die Welt als Wille und Vorstellung,
    ..............................Parerga et Parallelopomenina
  • Thoreau..................Walden,
    ..............................Civil Disobedience
  • Whitman.................Leaves of Grass
  • Burckhardt..............Die Kultur der Renaissance in Italien,
    .............................Griechische Kulturgeschichte
  • Multatuli.................Minnebrieven,
    .............................Ideën,
    .............................Specialiteiten
  • Nietzsche...............Die Froehliche Wissenschaft
  • Twain.....................Huckleberry Finn
  • Clifford...................Ethics of Belief
  • Bierce.....................The Enlarged Devil's Dictionary
  • Wilde......................Dorian Gray,
    ..............................The Importance of Being Earnest,
    ..............................Lady Windemere's Fan
  • W. James...............The Principles of Psychology,
    .............................Talks to Teachers,
    .............................The Varieties of Religious Experience

============== 20th C
 

 
  • Chechov..............Stories
  • Russell.................History of Western Philosophy,
    ...........................Problems of Philosophy,
    ...........................Introduction to Mathematical Philosophy
  • Miller....................Tropic of Cancer,
    ...........................Sexus,
    ...........................The Oranges of Hieronymus Bosch
  • Orwell..................Collected Journalism,
    ...........................Down and Out in London and Paris
    ...........................Homage to Catalonia
    ...........................Animal Farm
    ...........................1984
  • Burnham..............The Machiavellians
  • Crossman.............Plato Today,
    ...........................The God That Failed
  • Céline....................Voyage au bout de la nuit
  • Borgess................Labyrinths
  • Nabokov...............Ada,
    ............................Lolita
  • Kerouac................On the Road,
    ............................Dharma Bums
  • Huxley..................The Perennial Philosophy
    ............................Brave New World
  • Watts....................Spirit of Zen
  • Heller.....................Catch 22,
    .............................Picture This
  • Vonnegut..............Slaughterhouse 5
  • Sturgeon...............More than Human,
    ............................Venus Plus X
  • Kesey.....................Sometimes a great notion
    .............................One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest
  • Gombrich...............The Story of Art
    .............................Art and Illusion
  • Feynman................Lectures on Physics,
    .............................The characteristics of physical law
  • BjØrneboe..............Frihetens Øyeblikk,
    .............................Kruttarnet,
    .............................Stillheten
  • Zinoviev.................Yawning Heights
  • Tuchmann..............The March of Folly
  • Hill..........................Dalziel & Pascoe series
  • Chang....................Wild Swans
  • Gardner..................Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science,
    ..............................Science: Good, Bad and Bogus
    ..............................The Whys of a Philosophical Scrivener
  • Smullyan.................What's the name of this book?
    ..............................Cantor, Satan and Infinity

==========================================


The above is reading for pleasure (all except Feynman's Lectures on Physics, that is very pleasurable reading but requires maths, while the rest doesn't).

O, and my general advice to younger people is this (which I found out the hard way):

 

 

*****--TRY THE CLASSICS--*******
....for they have been sifted carefully.....
...and don't depend on fashion or ads...
********************************

that is, the books that have survived 100 or more years of readership and are still well-known as special. I found them nearly always better & more worthwile than what the 20th C produced, that I read (and apart from science and mathematics, but that is not my subject now).

And in particular, read from

 

 
  • Everyman's Library (the finest selection of books in one collection I know)
  • Dover Books (many classics in many fields)

I could comment on any or all of this list, if asked, and suppose I will work it over and/or extend for my own website (www.maartensz.com).

O, and in case anyone might like to ask: I have no TV since 40 years, since it generally turned out a stupid and annoying waste of time, while also I have a very good visual memory without delete button. This also keeps me out of the movies, since I prefer my own fantasies over those of others as prepared for mass consumption.

MM

P.S. The canonical version in html, with some frills (and some notes to add on Apr 4, 2010)) is here:

-- http://www.maartensz.org/log/2010/NL100404a.htm

The above url was updated April 5, 2010.

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