My Best Books

My very personal selection of books that have been important to me.  Some are clearly among the best the world has to offer; others will provoke puzzled looks; but these are My Best Books.  For discussion of most of these titles, check out the “Book Thoughts” posts in the menu to your right.  Click here to see my diary entries that offer reviews.  I’d be happy to discuss any title here, or any other title.  Suggestions welcome.  Addition 1/18/19:  Debi Holmes-Binney:  Desert Sojourn

Meaning of Life, Self-Development

Ralph Waldo Emerson:  “Self Reliance”

Leo Tolstoy:  Confession; War and Peace

Grace Llewellyn:  The Teenage Liberation Handbook

Lin Yutang:  The Importance of Living

John Holt:  Freedom and Beyond

Henry Thoreau:  Walden; Essays

Derrick Jensen:  A Language Older than Words

Abraham Maslow:  Toward a Psychology of Being; Religion, Values, and Peak-Experiences

Plato:  Apology, Crito, Phaedo

Gloria Steinem:  Revolution from Within

Viktor Frankl:  Man’s Search for Meaning

Walter Kaufmann:  The Faith of a Heretic

Bertrand Russell:  The Conquest of Happiness

Debi Holmes-Binney:  Desert Sojourn (see Diary 1/15/19 for review)


William Barrett:  Irrational Man

Bertrand Russell:  The Problems of Philosophy

Friedrich Nietzsche:  Beyond Good and Evil

Ludwig Wittgenstein:  On Certainty

Thomas Nagel:  “Subjective and Objective” (in Mortal Questions)

George Lakoff and Mark Johnson:  Philosophy in the Flesh

Walter Truett Anderson:  Reality Isn’t What it Used to Be

Daniel Dennett:  Elbow Room

Politics, Economics, History

Naomi Klein:  The Shock Doctrine

Noam Chomsky:  The Chomsky Reader; Who Rules the World? (and many others)

Jonathan Kozol:  Rachel and Her Children, The Night is Dark and I am Far From Home

Greg Palast:   Armed Madhouse

Al Franken:  The Truth (with Jokes)

 Michael Moore:  Stupid White Men

Doris Kerns Goodwin:  Team of Rivals

Rachel Maddow:  Drift

Matt Taibbi:  The Great Derangement

Chris Harman:  A People’s History of the World

Helen Caldicott:  If You Love This Planet

Psychology, Mind, Human Nature

Daniel Dennett:  Consciousness Explained

Steven Pinker:  How the Mind Works; The Blank Slate

Daniel Kahneman:  Thinking, Fast and Slow

Sarah Blaffer Hrdy:  Mother Nature

Gerald Edelman:  Wider Than the Sky

Rod Judkins:  The Art of Creative Thinking

Seymour Epstein:  Cognitive-Experiential Theory

Alfred Korzybski:  Science and Sanity

Fiction, Literature

George Orwell:  1984

Aldous Huxley:  Brave New World

Fyodor Dostoyevsky:  The Brothers Karamazov

Albert Camus:  The Stranger

Kurt Vonnegut:  Slaughterhouse-Five, Timequake

Robert Heinlein:  Stranger in a Strange Land

Virginia Woolf:  Orlando

John Steinbeck:  The Grapes of Wrath

William Shakespeare:  Complete Works

Jonathan Swift:  Gulliver’s Travels

Betty Smith:  A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

Larry McMurtry:  Lonesome Dove

Harper Lee:  To Kill a Mockingbird

Edmond Rostand:  Cyrano de Bergerac

Herman Melville:  Moby-Dick

Kate Atkinson:  Life After Life

John Ajvide Lindqvist:  Little Star

William Golding:  Lord of the Flies

J. R. R. Tolkien:  The Lord of the Rings


William James:  The Varieties of Religious Experience

Blaise Pascal:  Penseés

Huston Smith:  The World’s Religions (formerly The Religions of Man)

Confucius:  The Analects

Biography, Autobiography, Memoirs

Malcolm X:  The Autobiography of Malcolm X

Jon Krakauer:  Into the Wild

Frederick Perls:  In and Out the Garbage Pail

John Fire:  Lame Deer, Seeker of Visions

Tom Brown, Jr.:  The Tracker

Torey Hayden:  Somebody Else’s Kids

Ingrid Bengis:  Combat in the Erogenous Zone

Children, Education, Feminism

John Holt:  How Children Fail

James Loewen:  Lies My Teacher Told Me

Sonja Johnson:  Wildfire: Igniting the She/volution

Cindy Crabb:  The Encyclopedia of Doris; inferior photo-reprint available as Things That Help

Miscellaneous Nonfiction

Ruth Benedict:  Patterns of Culture

Edward Hall:  The Dance of Life

Colin Wilson:  The Outsider

Hyemeyohsts Storm:  Seven Arrows

Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow:  The Grand Design

7 thoughts on “My Best Books

  1. I think Pablo deserves credit and validation for reading The Brothers Karamazov. I mean. C’mon. It is a life changing masterpiece of Literature. OK, he just started it. But he is keeping a steadfast pace. Why are you so mean to Pablo, a humble and earnest fellow?

    Liked by 1 person

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