Books I’d Like To Read Again

I asked myself the following question: If I were sentenced to solitary confinement, but were allowed to bring books from my personal library with me, then which ones would I box up to take along? (A bit morbid—I agree)

Nonetheless, this is not a complete list. Still, I promise to add to it the more I read.

dustus_holdingulyssesThere is one clear-cut book I would read first….

Ulysses (James Joyce) – This is my favorite book. Hands down, there will never be another literary artist as talented, dedicated, and experimental as Joyce.

Runner Up…
Look Homeward Angel
(Thomas Wolfe) I believe that Thomas Wolfe is perhaps the greatest American novelist I’ve read. I feel he is extremely underrated. In my opinion, like Joyce, Wolfe is a writers-writer (if there be such a label).

The remainder of this list are books I’ve enjoyed so much that I believe they deserve a re-read someday…

List in Progress:

Once Upon A River  (Bonnie Jo Campbell)
Remembrance of Things Past: Vol. 1 –
Swann’s Way
(Marcel Proust)
Thought and Language (Lev Vygotsky)
A Death in the Family (James Agee)
Breakfast at Tiffany’s (Truman Capote)
The Great Gatsby (F. Scott Fitzgerald)
1984 (George Orwell)
Jazz (Toni Morrison)
The Wasteland and Other Poems (T.S. Eliot)
The Idiot (Fyodor Dostoyevski)
For Whom the Bell Tolls (Ernest Hemingway)
Stranger in a Strange Land (Robert A. Heinlein)
Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (Ken Kesey)
The Story of My Life (Helen Keller)
To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
Waiting for Godot (Samuel Beckett)
Picture of Dorian Grey (Oscar Wilde)
A Season in Hell (Arthur Rimbaud)
Life on the Mississippi (Mark Twain)
The Sun Also Rises (Ernest Hemingway)
The Sound and the Fury (William Faulkner)
Johnny Got His Gun (Dalton Trumbo)
Siddartha (Herman Hesse)
Henderson The Rain King (Saul Bellow)
Breakfast of Champions (Kurt Vonnegut)
On the Road (Jack Kerouac)
The Awakening (Kate Chopin)
The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger)
Hoops (Walter Dean Myers)
The World According to Garp (John Irving)
Arrowsmith (Sinclair Lewis)
The Stranger (Albert Camus)
Leaves of Grass (Walt Whitman)
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith)
Absalom, Absalom (William Faulkner)
Their Eyes Were Watching God (Zora Neale Hurston)
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Mark Twain)
Thus Spake Zarathustra (Friedrich Nietzche)
The Outsiders (S.E. Hinton)
One Hundred Years of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
A Peoples’ History of the United States (Howard Zinn)
Savage Inequalities (Jonathan Kozol)
Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man (James Joyce)
Tropic of Cancer (Henry Miller)
I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou)
The Ballad of the Sad Café (Carson McCullers)
Things Fall Apart (Chinua Achebe)
Beautiful Child (Torey Hayden)
Savage Inequalities (Johnathan Kozol)
Existentialism and Human Emotions (John Paul Sartre)
Clapton (Eric Clapton)
Franey and Zooey (J.D. Salinger)
A Hero Ain’t Nothing But a Sandwich (Alice Childress)
Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevski)
The Sense of Beauty (George Santayana)
The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)
Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance (Robert M. Pirsig)

21 Responses to “Books I’d Like To Read Again”

  1. Diana G. Says:

    Have you read EINSTEIN’S DREAMS by Alan Lightman?
    If you have the opportunity, look at/read/fondle the GRIFFIN & SABINE Trilogy… as the friend who loaned them to me said, “They’re like chocolates…” with a unique and appealing smile on her face.

    • Hi Diana! Hope you’re having a wonderful summer. I’ve read a great deal about Einstein, but not that book. What I find fascinating about him (as well as many other individuals who changed the face of our world) is that he overcame great failure in his life. In particular, he flunked his college entrance exam! (Makes me wonder what educational systems truly value). Also, I’ve heard educators in graduate school suggest he coped with Aspergers syndrome. Nonetheless, can’t wait to read that book Alan Lightman! Off to the bookstore I go…
      Thanks and best wishes.

  2. Update… I finished reading Alan Lightman’s EINSTEIN’S DREAMS and thought it was outstanding. Thanks, Diana. Lightman is brilliant and I found myself following his speculations about the nature of time on the edge of my seat, at times absorbing imagery that considers a multidimensional awareness of being and possibility—a must read!

  3. I’d love to read a hero ain’t nothin’ but a sandwhich it sounds good. And ive already read to kill a mocking bird. You’ve got good taste in books.

    • Thanks, Carl. Appreciate you taking the time to comment, as well as the nice compliment. Feel free to suggest books for me to read.
      Thanks again 🙂

  4. I don’t usually write on blogs but had to on yours. You have a very easy to read writing style. A lot of people don’t have that touch, they just drone on and on in the most boring way. But not you – thanks! I don’t have time to read it all right now, I found this site when looking for something else on, but I’ve bookmarked your homepage and will visit again soon to see the latest articles. I really enjoy reading about humor. The worlds needs more laughter I think. Thanks again!

  5. Okay, you got my interest with Ulysses–but it was your choice of Faulkner’s Absalom, Absalom, and The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance that prompted me to post–Hi. Great book list. I’d add some Shakespeare, Marlowe, Middleton and Johnson–ahh the art of word play-ing in plays. I can’t resist. Glad I found your site.

    • Hi. Okay, here’s the story… I was going through my basement, looking among old boxes of books to form this list. I studied British Literature in college, and you mention some amazing work that has definitely influenced me. Most of what you mention I read through anthologies. I really should update this list!

      My favorite Shakespearean play is a tie between King Lear and 12th Night. Also, I’m a big fan of John Donne. Lately, I’ve been reading everything I can about social media.
      Thanks for a great comment 🙂

  6. Hi. Okay what you share about your reading background makes sense.
    Have also spent a lot of time ‘studying’ English/British/American literature–with explorations of Mikhail Bulgakov’s The Master and Margarita (my top re-read book choice), Borges, Akhmatova, Hesse, Manna et al.
    I consider it a crime (but better than nothing at all) to offer playwrights only in anthologies crammed with tons of other word artists. When one reads in depth, especially the likes of Middleton, Marlowe and Shakespeare, you get a stronger sense of context–and that they were keenly aware of their very LIVE audience/marketplace.
    Love Donne–he was quite a ‘lover’ himself.
    Social Media–yes–the exploding internet and all the other techie toys exploiting the technology to the point of being totally distracting.

    • Well, I have social media to thank for the wonderful conversation we are having, not to mention a “career,” so to me it is a wonderful advancement—by no means perfect. I don’t know, I’m just a geek intrigued by ones and zeros I guess. lol I want to read The Master and Margarita. I’ll definitely tell you what I think. You mention Hesse. Without question, I am a fan 🙂

      • LOL–okay–so what’s the very best material you’ve read on social media?
        As for the Master–even my tough to please daugher loves that book–and that was a surprise to moi! She even plans to reread it–UNheard of! LOL. So, if you do read it, I will be interested in your response.
        Ever read Henrich Boll?

  7. I’ve never read Henrich Boil, but that will soon change. Thanks. As for social media, I am fascinated by computer technology, it’s potential, and how it can be used in grassroots movements. I don’t think a majority of people in America realize the history changing influence of social media/blogging, in particular when it came to our last presidential election. Bloggers on the Bus by Eric Boehlert is an excellent book.

    • Bloggers on the Bus–I can remember that. Like the title.
      As for Boll–discovered him by chance long ago when I found copies of his Clown and Never Said a Word in a used bookstore. Don’t know why I tossed his name out your way–it just surfaced.
      I am quite conscious of just how quickly and influential social media has been ever since it was first employed extensively by activists in Seattle. Spent considerable time online before blogging became everyone’s toy. It’s been very interesting to watch the expansion of communication over time.

  8. That’s cool. I’m still fairly new to blogging and enjoy learning about the history of the ‘Net. I think there’s still a fairly popular misconception of Twitter being about telling the world what you had for lunch. Blogging carries some baggage as well. However, I think that’s beginning to change the more small business and local municipalities begin to communicate through these channels. I see that starting to happen more. I’m even hearing many references to blogs, twitter, and FB these days on tv. “Clown and Never Said a Word” = interesting title. I’m going to add that to my reading list 🙂

    • Hi–btw, “Clown” is one title “Never Said a Word” is another. My bad.
      I find blogging useful for learning about random audiences and how they react to certain material. There have been several surprises for me–and I hope I can make use of them at some point regarding my work.
      Also– Long ago there was a great creative writing site that attracted a very diverse group of writers from everywhere. If it had been as easy to communicate via it as it is now via blogs now–well–moi and that group would still be enjoying a great deal of high quality interaction. Quality of interaction is one issue I have with current blogging–it’s like a version of sound bite television.

  9. I think with blogging, and perhaps a general reflection about our changing culture, is that the nature of messages has shrunk to tweets, status updates, and shorter blog posts. I mean, come on, seems like everything fits on phones these days. lol However, until this weekend I had not seen my blog on an iPhone. Someone showed me one of my picture poems. That was pretty neat 🙂

    That writers’ site sounded great. Please let me know if you discover any group/sites.

  10. Thanks about sharing a group if you discover one. About Yeats, perhaps he would mock bloggers, or post Irish language revival clips on YouTube. lol Joyce, on the other hand, that would have been interesting to see what he would have done with technology lol

  11. Yeats—and blogging—LOL–wow–think Poetry Battles galore!!! Taking on all comers.
    As for Joyce–ooo the ease of revision–of re-seeing–of playing with all sorts of combinations.
    Joyce versus Faulkner–consider that prose war! Think about it, Dustus, think about that possibility.
    And the Russians??? whoa….! War and Peace could be twice as long with computer-ease!

  12. Ha! Perhaps Yeats would have had his Irish theatre ventures on YouTube and microblogged through Twitter and a Facebook fan page. lol For some reason i imagine W.B. as an Internet mogul. lol I get that sense of him from reading the late Richard Ellman’s book as an undergrad. As for Joyce, I think he would become fascinated by technological aesthetics. He would be open source all the way lol That’s funny, Joyce/Faulkner prose war. Reminds me of being young and wondering which superhero could kick the most butt. I do always compare authors like that after I read their “great works.” Can’t help it…. Both writers were different creative versions of the very best. Russian authors… I’ll have to think about that one. Hmm… I’ll get back to you 🙂 Have a good one

  13. Joan Benedict Says:

    Pretty cool site you’ve got here. Thank you for it. I like such topics and everything connected to them. I definitely want to read more soon.


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