How to Read a Novel by Caroline Gordon

The more ambitious student of How to Read a Novel could use it as a guide and primer to these many authors and their works, and attain thereby a truly profound understanding of literature.

The Holocaust: A History of the Jews of Europe During the Second World War

Again, this is a painful read; and also lengthy. But for anyone who wants to know the whole story of the Holocaust—insofar as that is obtainable to mere readers of history—Martin Gilbert’s work is invaluable.

“One Froggy Evening”—and Gogol

Recently I watched—for the umpteenth time—the great 1955 Chuck Jones cartoon, “One Froggy Evening”. Like “One Froggy Evening”, Gogol’s “The Diary of a Madman” is as hilarious as it is dismal.

“The Guide for the Perplexed” by Moses Maimonides

His most famous and influential work, The Guide for the Perplexed, was written for people who felt baffled or discouraged by the contradictions between the science of that time and the religious beliefs of Judaism.

D.H. Lawrence: the Good and the Bad

Author D.H. Lawrence (1885—1930) is best known for his worst novel, Lady Chatterley’s Lover. But he also wrote some genuinely fine works of fiction, including the short story, “Tickets, Please”.

“Lost in the Cosmos” by Walker Percy

This is the sort of book that a person could hold onto indefinitely, delve into repeatedly, and emerge with an arsenal of life- and sanity-saving insights.

Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Three fateful choices were made for the modern world during the 1800s; and those choices can be represented by three exceptionally brilliant writers: Marx, Nietzsche, and Dostoyevsky. 

Rare Earth by Peter D. Ward and Donald Brownlee

Their non-fiction book challenges the common assumption that the universe teems with complex life-forms (intelligent or otherwise). 

Two by Camus

Albert Camus (1913—1960) was one of the most distinguished writers of the twentieth century.  Almost everything he wrote is worth reading, but two works stand out for me: The Stranger and “The Adulterous Woman”. 

Gerard Manley Hopkins—Poems

Gerard Manley Hopkins was born in Essex in 1844 and died in 1889. Since the publication of his work in 1918, he has been recognized as one of the greatest poets of the nineteenth century.

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