Thursday, July 3, 2014

ThrowbackThursday: My Fine Feathered Friends (A Reading List)

One of the programs that I regularly listen to on the radio is The Daily Circuit on Minnesota Public Radio, primarily because that's what's on as I am in my car heading for lunch somewhere. It's a show that talks about books. The show's host Kerri Miller regularly has authors as guests and frequently opens up the phone lines for listeners' suggestions. 

This being Throwback Thursday, I thought it a good day to resurrect a 2008 blog entry in which I shared a book list of my own. It doesn't include more recent readings, but regular followers of this blog will find periodic reviews of current gems.

My Fine Feathered Friends

Woody Allen called his book Without Feathers a comic response to Emily Dickinson's statement, "Hope is the thing with feathers that perches on the soul..." In addition to the implied nakedness, he likewise signals the absence of hope in his heart. One might call him a tragic luminary.

Here's another poem by Emily Dickinson, about books along with short reading list of some personal favorites. May we never quit being a nation of readers.

There is no frigate like a book
To take us lands away,
Nor any coursers like a page
of prancing poetry.
This traverse may the poorest take
Without oppress of toll;
How frugal is the chariot
That bears a human soul.

The Short List
Here's a short list of some of my favorite Novellas and Shorter, Book-Length Fictional Works that have great power and are worthy of any reading list...

Death in Venice, Thomas Mann
The Tenth Man, Graham Greene
Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad
Cakes & Ale, Somerset Maughm
Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck
The Sybil, Par Lagerkvist
Barabas, Par Lagerkvist
Seize the Day, Saul Bellow
One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovitch, A. Solzhenitsyn
The Forged Coupon, Leo Tolstoy
Old Man and the Sea, Ernest Hemingway
Welcome to Hard Times, E.L.Doctorow
The Great Divorce, C.S.Lewis
Animal Farm, George Orwell
Isabelle, Andre Gide
Theseus, Andre Gide

This is a list of stories and books that made an impact on me at key points in my life...
The Secret Sharer, Joseph Conrad
The Lagoon, Joseph Conrad
Too Late the Phalarope, Alan Paton
Cyrano de Bergerac, Edmund Rostand (play)
The End of the Affair, Graham Greene
A Burnt Out Case, Graham Green
The Power and the Glory, Graham Greene
Man of La Mancha, Dale Wasserman (play)
For Whom the Bell Tolls, Ernest Hemingway
In Our Time, Ernest Hemingway (stories)
Demian, Herman Hesse
Beneath the Wheel, Herman Hesse
Martin Eden, Jack London
1984, George Orwell
Brave New World, Aldus Huxley
That Hideous Strength, C.S.Lewis
Crime & Punishment, Fyodor Dostoevski
Labyrinths, Jorge Luis Borges (stories)
Ficciones, Jorge Luis Borges (stories)
The Bet by Anton Checkov

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