(return to Homepage: http://www.phil.vt.edu/JKlagge/Homepage.htm)

(My reading also recorded at my site on Goodreads.)

 

What I am reading 'for pleasure' in 2012 (in order starting in January):

 

Why John Wrote a Gospel: Jesus-Memory-History, by Tom Thatcher, 2005.

 

Laugh Your Way to Grace: Reclaiming the Spiritual Power of Humor, by Susan Sparks, 2010.

 

Freedom Riders (abridged edition), by Raymond Arsenault, 2011.

 

The Ring of the Nibelung, by Richard Wagner, translated from the German by A. Porter, 1874/1977.

 

Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters, by Barack Obama, 2010.

 

King's Dream: The Legacy of Martin Luther King's 'I Have a Dream' Speech, by Eric J. Sundquist, 2009.

 

The Cross and the Lynching Tree, by James H. Cone, 2011.

 

The Wild Duck (Norton Critical Edition), by Henrik Ibsen, translated from the Norwegian by D. Christiani, 1884/1986.

 

All the King's Men, by Robert Penn Warren, 1946.

 

A Year with Thomas Merton: Daily Meditations from His Journals, by Thomas Merton, 2004.

 

The Art of Fielding (A Novel), by Chad Harbach, 2011.

 

Beethoven's Symphony No. 5 in C Minor: Norton Critical Scores, by Elliot Forbes, 1971.

 

Memories Look at Me: A Memoir, by Tomas Transtromer, translated from Swedish by R. Fulton, 1993/2011.

 

The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer, by Siddhartha Mukherjee, 2010.

 

To Act Justly, Love Tenderly, Walk Humbly: An Agenda for Ministers, by Walter Brueggemann, Sharon Parks, and Thomas Groome, 1986.

 

The Unforeseen Wilderness: Kentucky's Red River Gorge, by Wendell Berry, 1971.

 

Salvation on Sand Mountain: Snake-Handling and Redemption in Appalachia, by Dennis Covington, 1995.

 

John in the Company of Poets: The Gospel in Literary Imagination, by Thomas Gardner, 2011.

 

When Your Loved One Has Dementia: A Simple Guide for Caregivers, by Joy Glenner, et. al., 2005.

 

Peter Maurin: Apostle to the World, by Dorothy Day with Francis Sicias, 1947/2004.

 

Calico Joe, by John Grisham, 2012.

 

I'll Hold Your Hand So You Won't Fall: A Child's Guide to Parkinson's Disease, by Rasheda Ali, 2010.

 

Prague Winter: A Personal Story of Remembrance and War, 1937-1948, by Madeleine Albright, 2012.

 

Gilead, by Marilynne Robinson, 2004.

 

A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail, by Bill Bryson, 1998.

 

The Spirit of Prague, by Ivan Klima, translated from the Czech by Paul Wilson, 1994.

 

The Ballad of Tom Dooley: A Ballad Novel, by Sharyn McCrumb, 2011.

 

Za-to-pek! Za-to-pek!: The Life and Times of the World's Greatest Distance Runner, by Bob Phillips, 2004.

 

Jesus and the Disinherited, by Howard Thurman, 1949.

 

 

 

 

 

What I read 'for pleasure' in 2011 (in order starting in January):

 

Diamond Ruby: A Novel, by Joseph Wallace, 2010.

 

Reading Obama: Dreams, Hope, and the American Political Tradition, by James T. Kloppenberg, 2011.

 

The Storyteller, by Mario Vargas Llosa, tr. from Spanish by H. Lane, 1987/1989. (Llosa won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2010.)

 

Talk Show: Confrontations, Pointed Commentary, and Off-Screen Secrets, by Dick Cavett, 2010.

 

The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, by William Blake, edited by G. Keynes, 1780/1975.

 

The Mind's Eye, by Oliver Sacks, 2010.

 

Selected Poems, by Czeslaw Milosz, translated from Polish by the author and others, 1973/1981. (Milosz won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1980.)

 

Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness, by William Styron, 1990.

 

Autumn Quail, by Naguib Mahfouz, translated from Arabic by R. Allen, 1962/1975. (Read during the Egyptian uprising.)

 

Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says About Us), by Tom Vanderbilt, 2008.

 

for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf, by Ntozake Shange, 1975/1997.

 

Zen in the Art of Archery, by Eugen Herrigel, 1948.

 

Men in Blue: Conversations with Umpires, by Larry Gerlach, 1980.

 

The Emigrants, by W. G. Sebald, translated from German by M. Hulse, 1992/1996.

 

Second Day: Reflections on Remarriage, by Robert Farrar Capon, 1980.

 

Tocqueville, by Khaled Mattawa, 2010. (By a Libyan-American poet, written in English; read during the Libyan civil war.)

 

Once a Runner, by John L.Parker, Jr., 1978.

 

Tobruk: The Birth of a Legend, by Frank Harrison, 1996. (About the 1941 battles for Tobruk in Libya; read during the Libyan civil war.)

 

A People's History of Christianity: The Other Side of the Story, by Diana Butler Bass, 2009.

 

Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention, by Manning Marable, 2011.

 

Gaps, by Bohumil Hrabal, translated from the Czech by Tony Limon, 1986/2011.

 

Migraine, by Oliver Sacks, 1970/1986.

 

Juneteenth: A Novel, by Ralph Ellison, 1999.

 

Brother to a Dragonfly, by Will D. Campbell, 1977.

 

Dream of a Queer Fellow and the Pushkin Speech, by Fyodor Dostoevsky, tr. from the Russian by S. Koteliansky and J. Murray, 1877 & 1880/1960.

 

Little Did I Know: Excerpts from Memory, by Stanley Cavell, 2010.

 

When Bob Met Woody: The Story of the Young Bob Dylan, by Gary Golio, illustrated by M. Burckhardt, 2011.

 

Pnin, by Vladimir Nabokov, 1957.

 

The Extra 2%: How Wall Street Strategies Took a Major League Baseball Team from Worst to First, by Jonah Keri, 2011.

 

Omar! by Omar Vizquel and Bob Dyer, 2002.

 

Dostoevsky: Language, Faith, and Fiction, by Rowan Williams, 2008.

 

This I Believe II: More Personal Philosophies of Remarkable Men and Women, edited by J. Allison, 2008. (This was chosen as the VT common book for this year.)

 

Body Politics: Five Practices of the Christian Community before the Watching World, by John Howard Yoder, 1989. (Perhaps my favorite theologian.)

 

Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World has Never Seen, by Christopher McDougall, 2009. (Much over-hyped, as you can tell from the subtitle; but interesting discussion of running shoes and the evolution of running.)

 

The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman, by Laurence Stern, 1759. (A long series of digressions posing as a story.)

 

Discipleship as Political Responsibility, by John Howard Yoder, 1964. (This book wasn't as good.)

 

Hunger, by Knut Hamsun, translated from the Norwegian by R. Bly, 1890/1967.

 

Which Side Are You On? The Story of a Song, by George Ella Lyon, illustrated by C. Cardinale, 2011. (A children's book about the violence around unionizing coal mines.)

 

Christmas in Plains: Memories, by Jimmy Carter, 2001.

 

Bob Dylan: Writings, 1968-2010, by Greil Marcus, 2010.

 

Baseball in the Garden of Eden: The Secret History of the Early Game, by John Thorn, 2011.

 

Letters to a Young Novelist, by Mario Vargas Llosa, tr. from the Spanish by N. Wimmer, 1997/2003.

 

Lucky Jim: A Rollicking Misadventure, by Amis Kingsley, 1954.

 

A Child's Christmas in Wales, by Dylan Thomas, illustrated by E. Ardizzone, 1952/1980. (I have read, and watched, this dozens of times, and love it each time.)

 

Confessions of a Young Novelist, by Umberto Eco, 2011.

 

Reflections on a sixth year of reading: This year I read 45 books, but the fewest pages since I started to keep track. I am an inveterate book accumulator (but I am also rather ruthless about trading books I don't want to used book stores.) So it seemed interesting to see where the books I read this year came from, and where they went to. The acquisitions are: buy new (20), buy used (15), receive as gift (7), or borrow (1). The dispositions are: kept (24), sold/traded (14), gave away (4), and returned (1). I do see buying books as supporting a good cause. I was an early fan of Borders. I was especially impressed with their large section of Philosophy-which originally was a whole aisle. They were able to use their large selection as an asset against independent book stores. Then after the small independents went out of business they cut back on their selection of interesting books. Now they have been put out of business by Amazon by the same process. And I admit I have been a fan of Amazon as well. Now we are reduced to rooting for B&N as the little guy. I still try to support independent bookstores and used bookstores, but they are getting hard to find. Nick is a big fan of borrowing books from the library (or friends/family). I think that is noble in some ways, but it also is not helpful to the book industry or book stores. Of course, what I do as an individual isn't going to make a difference.

 

 

What I read 'for pleasure' in 2010 (in order starting in January):

 

Elmore James: The Ultimate Guide to the Master of Slide, by Steve Franz, 1993.

 

Stop Me If You've Heard This: A History and Philosophy of Jokes, by Jim Holt, 2008.

 

The Magnificent Defeat, by Frederick Buechner, 1966.

 

Tom Jones, by Henry Fielding, 1749 (or: The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling).

 

The Companion Species Manifesto: Dogs, People, and Significant Otherness, by Donna J. Haraway, 2003. (Nearly impenetrable at the post-modern start, mostly anecdotal about dog course competitions for the rest.)

 

First Paul: Reclaiming the Radical Visionary Behind the Church's Conservative Icon, by Marcus Borg and John Dominic Crossan, 2009.

 

Variety of Men, by C. P. Snow, 1966 (memoirs of Rutherford, G. H. Hardy, Einstein, H. G. Wells, Lloyd-George, Churchill, and Stalin).

 

The Organic Machine: The Remaking of the Columbia River, by Richard White, 1996.

 

Whose Gospel? A Concise Guide to Progressive Protestantism, by Rev. James Forbes, 2010 (not as good as I had hoped).

 

The Summer Game, by Roger Angell, 1972 (columns from The New Yorker on baseball when I was 8 to 18 years old).

 

Music Lust, by Nic Harcourt, 2005.

 

Leaving, by Vaclav Havel, tr. from Czech by P. Wilson, 2007/2008.

 

The Vienna Paradox: A Memoir, by Marjorie Perloff, 2004.

 

Awakenings, by Oliver Sacks, 1973/1990.

 

Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters' First 100 Years, by Sarah and A. Elizabeth Delany, with Amy Hill Hearth, 1993.

 

Other Places: Three Plays, by Harold Pintner, 1983. ('A Kind of Alaska,' 'Victoria Station,' and 'Family Voices.' Pintner won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2005.)

 

The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World, by Niall Ferguson, 2008.

 

The Last Days of Mankind, by Karl Kraus, tr. from German by A. Gode and S. Wright, abridged by F. Ungar, 1919/1974. (A dramatic journalistic tragic satire of Austria and the Great War. The opposite of Svejk, which is a comic satire from the Czech perspective.)

 

Rediscovering Values: On Wall Street, Main Street, and Your Street: A Moral Compass for the New Economy, by Jim Wallis, 2010. (Mostly a rehash of familiar themes from Wallis, with a lot of self-promotion.)

 

Vita Nouva: A Novel, by Bohumil Hrabal, tr. from Czech by T. Limon, 1987/2010.

 

Schweyk in the Second World War, by Berolt Brecht, tr. from German by W. Rowlinson, 1957/1976.

 

Hatteras Journal, by Jan Deblieu, 1998.

 

Life and Holiness, by Thomas Merton, 1963.

 

Sarah Margru Kinson: The Two Worlds of an Amistad Captive, by Marlene D. Merrill, 2003.

 

The Devil Amongst the Lawyers: A Ballad Novel, by Sharyn McCrumb, 2010.

 

The Lost Books of the Odyssey: A Novel, by Zachary Mason, 2010.

 

An Enemy of the People, Arthur Miller's adaptation of the Norwegian play by Henrik Ibsen, 1882/1950.

 

Immunity to Change: How to Overcome It and Unlock the Potential in Yourself and Your Organization, by R. Kegan and L. Lahey, 2009.

 

Trained as Shepherds, Ordained as Donkeys: Membership in the Church of Christ Right Now, by Rebecca Stelle, 2009.

 

The Vicar of Nibbleswicke, by Roald Dahl, 1991.

 

The Grandmother: A Story of Country Life in Bohemia, by Bozena Nemcova, tr. from Czech by F. Gregor, 1855/1892.

 

The Interrogative Mood: A Novel? by Padgett Powell, 2009.

 

American Places, by Wallace and Page Stegner, 1983.

 

Bob Dylan Revisited: 13 Graphic Interpretations of Bob Dylan's Songs, 2008.

 

Family Happiness, by Leo Tolstoy, tr. from the Russian by J. Duff, 1859/1960.

 

A Short Guide to Clausewitz's On War, by Carl von Clausewitz, tr. from German by J. Graham, 1832/1967. (I am a fan of military history, and this is supposedly a classic; but it was a failure for me-a sort of philosophical deduction of strategy based on the analysis of concepts.)

 

The Tale of the Unknown Island, by Jose Saramago, tr. from Portugese by M. Costa, 1998/1999. (Saramago won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1998.)

 

Struggling with Scripture, by Walter Brueggemann, William Placher, and Brian Blount, 2002.

 

Trapped in the Mirror: Adult Children of Narcissists in Their Struggle for Self, by Elan Golomb, 1992.

 

Biography: A Very Short Introduction, by Hermione Lee, 2009.

 

Les Miserables­ (unabridged), by Victor Hugo, tr. from French by N. Macafee and L. Fahnestock, revising original translation by C. Wilbour, 1862/1987.

 

How Professors Think: Inside the Curious World of Academic Judgment, by Michele Lamont, 2009. (How thinking differs in different humanities and social science disciplines-based on interviews of grant-making panels. Similar to college-level tenure committees.)

 

The Possessed: Adventures with Russian Books and the People Who Read Them, Elif Batuman, 2010.

 

The Visit, by Friedrich Duerrenmatt, tr. from the German by P. Bowles, 1956/1962.

 

God on Earth: The Lord's Prayer for Our Time, by Will Campbell, 1984.

 

Bob Dylan in America, by Sean Wilentz, 2010.

 

The Preaching of Jesus: Gospel Proclamation, Then and Now, by William Brosend, 2010.

 

If Trouble Don't Kill Me: A Family's Story of Brotherhood, War, and Bluegrass, by Ralph Berrier, 2010.

 

Reflections on a fifth year of reading: This year I read 48 books. I most enjoyed Les Mis and The Last Days of Mankind. Les Mis is an example of my love of long books. I think of a 'long' book as one that takes real endurance, and at least a month, to read-say 750 pages. By that criterion I have read 8 long books in my 5 years of record-keeping. I don't like long just for its own sake, but because for some important books it takes a long time to cover the breadth and depth of its intended territory. I disliked only 2 of the long books I have read-Katzanzakis' Odyssey and Joyce's Ulysses. But in keeping with my philosophy of perseverance, I finished them despite my suffering. It may be that my love of reading endurance is connected with my love of long distance running. There is something satisfying about the process and accomplishment. Only 2 of the long books I read were non-fiction: Goedel Escher Bach, and Boswell's Life of Johnson. The good fiction were: Don Quixote, War and Peace, Tom Jones, and Les Mis. This got me thinking about which long books I'd still like to tackle. They include: Anna Karenina (which I did read many years ago), The Man Without Qualities (which I started but didn't complete about 10 years ago), Middlemarch, Proust's first 2 volumes (in their new translations), Solzhenitsyn's August 1914 and November 1916, and maybe Mann's Magic Mountain. There is a project for the next 5 years.

 

 

What I read 'for pleasure' in 2009 (in order starting in January):

 

Songcatchers: In Pursuit of the World's Music, by Mickey Hart and K. M. Kostyal, 2003.

 

A Remarkable Mother, by Jimmy Carter, 2008. (Carter won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002.)

 

The Songcatcher, by Sharyn McCrumb, 2001.

 

The Elusive Dream: The Power of Race in Interracial Churches, by Korie L. Edwards, 2008.

 

Fibromyalgia: The Complete Guide from Medical Experts and Patients, by Sharon Ostalecki, 2007.

 

Me of Little Faith, by Lewis Black, 2008. (He is much funnier live than on paper.)

 

The Pluto Files: The Rise and Fall of America's Favorite Planet, by Neil deGrasse Tyson, 2009.

 

Sixty-five percent of participants in a Book Day survey confess to having lied about reading a famous book.

Yesterday (3/8/2009) on "CBS Sunday Morning" they had a top-ten list of "must-read" books that people lie about having read:
10. "The Selfish Gene" by Richard Dawkins (6%)

9. "Dreams From My Father" by Barack Obama (6%) 
8. "Remembrance of Things Past" by Marcel Proust (9%) (I would be lying if I said I read this!)
7. "Midnight's Children" by Salman Rushdie (14%) 
6. "A Brief History of Time" by Stephen Hawking (15%) 
5. "Madame Bovary" by Gustave Flaubert (16%) (and this)
4. The Bible (24%)
3. "Ulysses" by James Joyce (25%)
2. "War and Peace" by Leo Tolstoy (31%)
1. "1984," by George Orwell (42%) (and this!)

 

Spiritual Direction: Wisdom for the Long Walk of Faith, by Henri Nouwen, with M. Christensen and R. Laird, 2006.

 

Breaking the Taboo: Talking about Faith and Money in the Church, by John W. Sonnenday, 2004.

 

Stagolee Shot Billy, by Cecil Brown, 2003.

 

Whitefoot: A Story from the Center of the World, by Wendell Berry, 2009.

 

The Logic of Life: The Rational Economics of an Irrational World, by Tim Harford, 2008.

 

Deconstructing Theodicy: Why Job Has Nothing to Say to the Puzzle of Suffering, by David Burrell, 2008.

 

The Odyssey: A Modern Sequel, by Nikos Kazantzakis, tr. from Modern Greek by K. Friar, 1938/1958.

 

The Sad King of Czech Literature: Bohumil Hrabal, His Life and Work, by Radko Pytlik, tr. from Czech by K. Hayes, 2000.

 

Summer of '49, by David Halberstam, 1989. (Recounts the Yankee-Red Sox pennant race in 1949.)

 

Reading the Bible Again for the First Time: Taking the Bible Seriously but not Literally, by Marcus Borg, 2001.

 

The Much Too Promised Land: America's Elusive Search for Arab-Israeli Peace, by Aaron David Miller, 2008.

 

The Year of the Frog, by Martin Simecka, tr. from Slovak by P. Petro, 1990/1993.

 

Talks with T. G. Masaryk, by Karel Capek, tr. from Czech by M. Heim, 1935/1995.

 

Liquidation, by Imre Keretesz, tr. from Hungarian by T. Wilkinson, 2003/2004. (Keretesz won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2002.)

 

Summer of Caprice, by Vladislav Vancura, tr. from Czech by M. Corner, 1926/2006.

 

Golem Walks in Prague, by Ina Rott, tr. from Czech by D. & L. Bainbridge, 2004.

 

Six Armies in Normandy, by John Keegan, 1982.

 

In Fed We Trust: Ben Bernanke's War on the Great Panic, by David Wessel, 2009.

 

50/50: Secrets I Learned Running 50 Marathons in 50 Days, by Dean Karnazes with Matt Fitzgerald, 2008. (in 50 different states!)

 

Littlewood's Miscellany, by J. E. Littlewood, ed. B. Bollobas, 1986. (Based on Littlewood's A Mathematician's Miscellany, 1953, with a few supplementary pieces.)

 

An Oresteia: Agamemnon by Aiskhylos; Elektra by Sophokles; Orestes by Euripides, tr. from Ancient Greek by Anne Carson, 458 BCE, 40? BCE, 408 BCE; 2009.

 

The Last Lecture, by Randy Pausch with Jeffrey Zaslow, 2008.

 

The Lost Symbol, by Dan Brown, 2009.

 

Return to the Hundred Acre Wood, by David Benedictus, with decorations by Mark Burgess, 2009. (First sequel approved by the trustees of the Pooh Properties.)

 

Picasso at the Lapin Agile and Other Plays, by Steve Martin, 1996.

 

Take Me to the Water: Immersion Baptism in Vintage Music and Photography, 1890-1950, ed. by Jim Linderman, 2009.

 

Brother West: Living and Loving Out Loud, a Memoir, by Cornel West with David Ritz, 2009.

 

Juliet, Naked: a Novel, by Nick Hornby, 2009.

 

Ralph on Ralph: The Clinch Mountain Express Interviews Dr. Ralph Stanley, ed. J. Fox, 2002.

 

An article about a woman who has been reading a book a day for a year: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/12/nyregion/12towns.html?scp=1&sq=sankovitch&st=cse. And she did not read any short books. The best I have managed since starting to keep records was 73 books in a year!

 

Logicomix: An Epic Search for Truth, by Apostolos Doxiadis and Christos Papadimitriou, illustrated by Alecos Papadatos and Annie Di Donna, 2009. (Graphic non-fiction novel about Bertrand Russell's attempt to construct a logical foundation for mathematics.

 

Manhood for Amateurs: The Pleasures and Regrets of a Husband, Father, and Son, by Michael Chabon, 2009.

 

Austerlitz, by W. G. Sebald, tr. from German by Anthea Bell, 2001.

 

The Increased Difficulty of Concentration, by Vaclav Havel, tr. from Czech by Vera Blackwell, 1968/1976.

 

God's Trombones: Seven Negro Sermons in Verse, by James Weldon Johnson, Jr., 1927. (Reread this because it will be performed in our church in February, with Kathy doing the one on Death.)

 

The Lives of Animals, by J. M. Coetzee, with commentaries by M. Garber, P. Singer, W. Doniger and B. Smuts, 1999.

 

Riding the Elephant: An Alzheimer's Journey, by Diane Porter Goff, 2009.

 

Pinball: 1973, by Haruki Murakami, tr. from Japanese by A. Birnbaum, 1980/1985.

 

Leos Janacek, by Ian Horsbrough, 1981.

 

Conversations with Scripture: The Gospel of Mark, by Marcus Borg, 2009.

 

Reflections on a fourth year of reading: This year I read 46 books. I wondered what portion of the books I read are new, and what are old. I decided to define a new book as one that was published or newly translated in the year I read it or in the previous one. In the four years I have been keeping track I have read 242 books. Of those, almost 36% were new. My favorite book this year was Austerlitz, and thus I was introduced to a new author I had never heard of before. My least favorite was the Kazantzakis novel-it had passages of great power and beauty, but it was far too long and often impenetrable.

 

 

What I read 'for pleasure' in 2008 (in order from January through December):

 

Out of Solitude: Three Meditations on the Christian Life, by Henri J. M. Nouwen, 1974.

 

In the midst of the presidential primary campaigns, here is a report on the favorite books of the various candidates.

 

Genesis: The Movie, by Robert Farrar Capon, 2003.

 

The Golem: A New Translation of the Classic Play and Selected Short Stories, tr. from Yiddish by J. Neugroschel, 2006. (Legendary accounts of the exploits of the golem, an artificial man created by Rabbi Lowe in the sixteenth century to protect Jews in the ghetto of Prague.)

 

Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life, by Steve Martin, 2007.

 

Literature from the 'Axis of Evil': Writing from Iran, Iraq, North Korea and Other Enemy Nations, various authors and translators, 2006.

 

The First Christmas: What the Gospels Really Teach about Jesus's Birth, by Marcus Borg and John Dominic Crossan, 2007.

 

Bringing Up Girls in Bohemia, by Michal Viewegh, tr. from Czech by A. G. Brain, 1994/1996.

 

Can We Talk About Race? And Other Conversations in an Era of School Resegregation, by Beverly Daniel Tatum, 2007.

 

Letters to Scattered Pilgrims, by Elizabeth O'Connor, 1979.

 

Reconciliation: Islam, Democracy, and the West, by Benazir Bhutto, 2008.

 

Diary of a Bad Year, by J. M. Coetzee, 2007.

 

Colored People: A Memoir, by Henry Louis Gates, Jr., 1994.

 

In the Name of Jesus: Reflections on Christian Leadership, by Henri J. M. Nouwen, 1989.

 

To Rise Above Principle: Memoirs of an Unreconstructed Dean, by Josef Martin (pseudonym for Henry Bauer), 1988. (Bauer was Dean of Arts and Sciences at Virginia Tech in the 1980s.)

 

Pirouettes on a Postage Stamp: An Interview-Novel, by Bohumil Hrabal, tr. from Czech by D. Short, 1990/2008.

 

Crazy '08: How a Cast of Cranks, Rogues, Boneheads and Magnates Created the Greatest Year in Baseball History, by Cait Murphy, 2007 ('08: 1908, that is.)

 

The Poetics of Music: in the Form of Six Lessons, by Igor Stravinsky, tr. from French by A. Knodel and I. Dahl, 1942.

 

Here is New York, by E. B. White, 1949.

 

Godel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid, by Douglas Hofstadter, 1979.

 

Ocracokers, by Alton Balance, 1989.

 

Who Speaks for Islam? What a Billion Muslims Really Think, by J. Esposito and D. Mogahed, 2008.

 

Portsmouth Island: Short Stories and History, by Ben B. Salter, 1972.

 

The Economists' Voice: Top Economists Take on Today's Problems, edited by J. Stiglitz, A. Edlin, and J. B. DeLong, 2007.

 

Becoming the Authentic Church: From Principle to Practice, by N. Gordon Cosby and Kayla McClurg, 2004.

 

Moyers on Democracy, by Bill Moyers, 2008.

 

Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces that Shape Our Decisions, by Dan Ariely, 2008.

 

Culture and Conflict in the Middle East, by Philip C. Salzman, 2008.

 

Just Who Will You Be? by Maria Shriver, 2008.

 

Ghost Riders, by Sharyn McCrumb, 2003.

 

Spoken Here: Travels Among Threatened Languages, by Mark Abley, 2003.

 

The Miracle Game, by Josef Skvorecky, tr. from Czech by P. Wilson, 1972/1992.

 

Lysis, by Plato, tr. from Greek by T. Penner and C. Rowe, 2005.

 

Phaedrus, by Plato, tr. from Greek by W. Cobb, 1993.

 

To Know as We are Known: Education as a Spiritual Journey, by Parker Palmer, 1983/1993.

 

Song of Solomon, by Toni Morrison, 1977/2004. (Morrison won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1993.)

 

I recently ran across this site, which critiques the narrowness and peculiarity of the Nobel choices in literature over the years, and offers its own prize 'from an alternate universe'. It was a real shocker to see that Ludwig Wittgenstein won the prize in 1950!

 

I Think, Therefore I Laugh: The Flip Side of Philosophy, by John Allen Paulos, 1985/2000.

 

Identity and Violence: The Illusion of Destiny, by Amartya Sen, 2006. (Sen won the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1998.)

 

The Little Prince, by Antoine de Saint-Exupery, tr. from French by K. Woods, 1943.

 

The Battle for History: Re-Fighting World War II, by John Keegan, 1995.

 

Ben Bernanke's Fed: The Federal Reserve After Greenspan, by Ethan Harris, 2008.

 

Life in the Balance: A Physician's Memoir of Life, Love and Loss with Parkinson's Disease and Dementia, by Thomas Graboys with Peter Zheutlin, 2008. (My father has had Parkinson's for several years and perhaps some aspects of dementia. The book puts into words many things my father does not express.)

 

Netherland, by Joseph O'Neill, 2008.

 

Walden: An Annotated Edition, by Henry David Thoreau, ed. by W. Harding, 1854/1995.

 

The Possible and the Actual, by Francois Jacob, 1982. (Jacob won the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1965.)

 

What I Talk about When I Talk about Running, by Haruki Murakami, tr. from Japanese by P. Gabriel, 2008.

 

Capitalism with a Conscience: Globalization through the Lens of Zacchean Economics and Servant Leadership, by Ronald Reimer, 2001.

 

Wedding Song, by Naguib Mahfouz, tr. from Arabic by O. Kenny, 1981/1984. (Mahfouz won the 1988 Nobel Prize for Literature.)

 

Resident Aliens: Life in the Christian Colony, by Stanley Hauerwas and William H. Willimon, 1989.

 

I Went Down to St. James Infirmary: Investigations in the Shadowy World of Early Jazz-Blues, by Robert W. Harwood, 2008.

 

The Greatest Salesman in the World, by Og Mandino, 1968.

 

Hand Me My Travelin' Shoes: In Search of Blind Willie McTell, by Michael Gray, 2007.

 

Some reading this webpage may suspect that I am just making this up to impress. Apparently nearly half of men have lied about what they read in order to impress friends or potential partners: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/education/7776046.stm. All I can say is-I'm already married, and would I make all this up?

 

Talking Book: African-Americans and the Bible, by Allen Dwight Callahan, 2006.

 

God's Trombones: Seven Negro Sermons in Verse, by James Weldon Johnson, Jr., 1927.

 

Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, by Robert Maguire, 1995.

 

The Heaven-Sent Leaf: Poems, by Katy Lederer, 2008.

 

Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth and Happiness, by Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein, 2008.

 

Reflections on a third year of reading: I read less this year-56 books-mostly because my wife and I now live together and I have much less time to kill. Early in the year I read Literature from the Axis of Evil, which began with this comment: "Since the 1970s, American access to world literature in translation has been steadily decreasing. A 2005 Bowker study calculated that only 3% of the books available for sale in the English-speaking world were works in translation. (A significant proportion of these, too, are new translations of known classics, rather than discoveries of unknown and contemporary writers in other languages.) By comparison, Western Europeans are accustomed to translated works making up one-third of their smorgasbord of literary offerings. In summer 2003, the New York Times announced that 'America Yawns at Foreign Fiction,' while pointing out that the number of books in translation that year accounted for fewer than 0.5% of the books available to Americans." In my 3 years of record-keeping and 196 books, I have read 53 books in translation (= 27%). Even more striking, however, is how few books of non-fiction we read in translation-reflecting the attitude that if it is worth knowing, it is known by English-speakers. Only 13 of the books I have read in the past 3 years were translations of non-fiction. My favorite book this year was Crazy '08, about the 1908 baseball season. The Cubs still have not repeated!

 

 

What I read 'for pleasure' in 2007 (in order from January to December):

 

The Magic Circle of Rudolf II: Alchemy and Astrology in Renaissance Prague, by Peter Marshall, 2006.

 

On Truth, by Harry Frankfurt, 2006. (Follow-up from the author of On Bullshit.)

 

My Freshman Year: What a Professor Learned by Becoming a Student, by Rebekah Nathan, 2005. (Actually a pseudonym, as she wrote it anonymously. Helps me see where students are coming from.)

 

The Book of Laughter and Forgetting, by Milan Kundera, tr. from Czech and French by A. Asher, 1978/1996.

 

The Last Week: A Day-by-Day Account of Jesus's Final Week in Jerusalem, by Marcus Borg and John Dominic Crossan, 2006.

 

Listening Essays, by Bob Tschannen-Moran, 2004. (An e-book by a close friend, running buddy, and professional life-coach.)

 

Why I Write, by George Orwell, 2005.

 

Non-Violent Communication: A Language of Life, by Marshall Rosenberg, 2003. (An audio-book.)

 

Aeneid, by Virgil, tr. from Latin by R. Fagles, 2006. (I'd never read it, and was waiting for Fagles's translation.)

 

Songbook, by Nick Hornby, 2003. (A collection of essays about how he relates, and we relate, to certain songs.)

 

A Little Book on the Human Shadow, by Robert Bly, 1988.

 

War and the Iliad, by Simone Weil and Rachel Bespaloff, tr. from French by M. McCarthy, 2005.

 

How Equal Temperament Ruined Harmony (And Why You Should Care), by Ross Duffin, 2006. (His website has some illustrations of the differences between temperaments, which are very subtle as far as I can tell.)

 

Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game, by Michael Lewis, 2003.

 

Dreams of My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance, by Barack Obama, 1995. (My man for president!)

 

A Man without a Country, by Kurt Vonnegut, 2005.

 

The Little Book of Plagiarism, by Richard A. Posner, 2007. (I would have thought it should be titled on Plagiarism, or about Plagiarism. As it is, it sounds like the book is itself plagiarized.)

 

So Many Books: Reading and Publishing in an Age of Abundance, by Gabriel Zaid, tr. from Spanish by N. Wimmer, 2003.

 

Branded: The Buying and Selling of Teenagers, by Alissa Quart, 2003. (This is the Virginia Tech 'Common Book' for 2005-2007. It was probably chosen by a nagging mother-at least that is the feeling I get from reading it. I find it hard to imagine college students enjoying reading it. Previous VT common books have been Einstein's Dream, and The Life of Pi. I thought the latter was a good choice, but by the time I was ready to use it in a class, they had moved on to a new book.)

 

Emperor and Galilean: A World Historical Drama, by Henrik Ibsen, tr. from Norwegian by B. Johnston, 1873/1999.

 

On Job: God-Talk and the Suffering of the Innocent, by Gustavo Gutierrez, tr. from Spanish by M. O'Connell, 1987.

 

Ulysses, by James Joyce, 1922/1934. (I don't recommend it unless you really feel you 'should' read it.)

 

James Joyce's Ulysses, by Stuart Gilbert, 1930/1952. (Only somewhat helpful.)

 

Einstein: His Life and Universe, by Walter Isaacson, 2007.

 

Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar: Understanding Philosophy through Jokes, by T. Cathcart and D. Klein, 2007.

 

The Visible World, by Mark Slouka, 2007.

 

My Father Before Me: How Fathers and Sons Influence Each Other Throughout Their Lives, by Michael J. Diamond, 2007. (Read as my son graduates from college.)

 

The College Administrator's Survival Guide, by C. Gunsalus, 2006.

 

The Making of an Economist: Redux, by David Colander, 2007.

 

Why We Run: A Natural History, by Bernd Heinrich, 2001. (The second time I've read this fascinating book.)

 

The Castle, by Franz Kafka, tr. from German by M. Harman, 1926/1998.

 

To the Castle and Back, by Vaclav Havel, tr. from Czech by P. Wilson, 2007. (British edition subtitled: 'Reflections on My Strange Life as a Fairy-Tale Hero'.)

 

The Zuerau Aphorisms, by Franz Kafka, tr. from German by M Hofmann, 2006.

 

A Term at the Fed: An Insider's View, The People and Policies of the World's Most Powerful Institution, by Laurence H. Meyer, 2004. (Since Nick will be working there.)

 

Slow Man, by J. M. Coetzee, 2005. (I found the ending very disappointing.)

 

All Day Permanent Red: The First Battle Scenes of Homer's Iliad Rewritten, by Christopher Logue, 2003.

 

And They All Sang: Adventures of an Eclectic Disc Jockey, by Studs Terkel, 2005.

 

The One Minute Manager, by K. Blanchard and S. Johnson, 1982.

 

The Meaning of Life, by Terry Eagleton, 2007.

 

The Dubliners, by James Joyce, 1914. (His best writing IMO.)

 

The Gospel in Brief, by Leo Tolstoy, tr. from Russian by I. Hapgood, 1910/1997.

 

Two Cultures? The Significance of C. P. Snow, by F. R. Leavis, 1962. (A devastating critique of Snow.)

 

Misreadings, by Umberto Eco, tr. from Italian by W. Weaver, 1963/1993.

 

How to Have that Difficult Conversation You've Been Avoiding, by H. Cloud and J. Townsend, 2003/2005.

 

War and Peace, by Leo Tolstoy, tr. from Russian by A. Briggs, 1869/2006. (Read it first about 15 years ago.)

 

Tolstoy, by Theodore Redpath, 1960. (A former student of Wittgenstein's during the 1930's.)

 

Search for Silence, by Elizabeth O'Conner, 1972. (Offers a very practical spiritual discipline, which I have been working at.)

 

The Cossacks, by Leo Tolstoy, tr. from Russian by P. Constantine, 1862/2004.

 

A Farewell to Alms: A Brief Economic History of the World, by Gregory Clark, 2007.

 

Where Have All the Prophets Gone?: Reclaiming Prophetic Preaching in America, by Marvin McMickle, 2006.

 

In-House Weddings, by Bohumil Hrabal, tr. from Czech by T. Liman, 1987/2007.

 

Carrying Jackie's Torch: The Players Who Integrated Baseball and America, by Steve Jacobson, 2007.

 

Dylan Redeemed: From Highway 61 to Saved, by Stephen H. Webb, 2006.

 

A Philosophical Testament, by Marjorie Grene, 1994. (The philosophical equivalent of a Nobel Prize winner: She was the first woman to be honored with a volume in the Library of Living Philosophers.)

 

Istanbul: Memories and the City, by Orhan Pamuk, tr. from Turkish by M. Freely, 2003/2005.

 

The Trial of God (as it was held on February 25, 1649, in Shamgorod): a Play, by Elie Wiesel, tr. from French by M. Wiesel, 1979/1995.

 

The Age of Turbulence: Adventures in a New World, by Alan Greenspan, 2007.

 

Deep River: Reflections on the Religious Insight of Certain of the Negro Spirituals, by Howard Thurman, 1945/1955.

 

The Return of the Prodigal Son: A Story of Homecoming, by Henri J. M. Nouwen, 1992. (Reflections on the parable and the painting by Rembrandt.)

 

Proof: A Play, by David Auburn, 2001.

 

Beowulf, tr. from Old English by S. Heaney, 2000.

 

Mere Anarchy, by Woody Allen, 2007.

 

Grand Obsession: Harvey Butchart and the Exploration of Grand Canyon, by E. Butler and T. Myers, 2007.

 

The Poetry of Jaroslav Seifert, tr. from Czech by E. Osers and G. Gibian, 1986. (Seifert won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1984.)

 

Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brian, by Oliver Sacks, 2007.

 

Escape from Indian Captivity: The Story of Mary Draper Ingles and son Thomas Ingles, as told by John Ingles, Sr., written before 1836, published 1969. (This happened right on what is now the Virginia Tech campus.)

 

The Naked and the Dead, by Norman Mailer, 1948.

 

R. Crumb's Heroes of Blues, Jazz and Country, by Stephen Calt, David Jasen, R. Crumb, and Terry Zwigoff, 2006.

 

Prague Tales, by Jan Neruda, tr. from Czech by M Heim, 1878/1993.

 

Acting: The First Six Lessons, by Richard Boleslavsky, 1933.

 

Welcome to Doomsday, by Bill Moyers, 2005.

 

Galileo: A Play, by Bertolt Brecht, English version by Charles Laughton, 1940/1952.

 

Primates and Philosophers: How Morality Evolved, by Frans de Waal (and with commentary by some philosophers), 2006.

 

Reflections on a second year of reading: I seem to have read even more than last year-sped up by a sabbatical in the Spring, but then slowed down by becoming an administrator in the Fall. This year I read 73 books. The ones I enjoyed the most were the Czech books-Neruda's tales, Seifert's poetry, and Hrabal's ramblings. I got the least out of Ulysses. I note that in the last 2 years (140 books), only 13 books were by women and 11 by minorities (less than 10% each). That was less than I would have guessed. Also, in the last 2 years, about 30% of my reading has been fiction (well, 30% of the books, but probably a much larger proportion of the pages!). I again ran a gamut from the very long (War and Peace, Ulysses, The Aeneid) to the very brief (Moyers' pamphlet-I'll read anything by him!).

 

 

What I read 'for pleasure' in 2006 (in order from January to December):

 

And Then the Vulture Eats You: True Tales About Ultra-Marathons and Those Who Run Them, edited by John L. Parker, Jr., 1990. (I thought I'd better know what to expect.)

 

The Hangman's Beautiful Daughter, by Sharyn McCrumb, 1992. (Local author. I like her ballad novels.)

 

Bury Me Standing: The Gypsies and Their Journey, by Isabel Fonseca, 1996.

 

Don Quixote, by Miguel de Cervantes, tr. from Spanish by Edith Grossman, 2003. (I've started it before, but now I finished it and loved it.)

 

High-Fidelity, by Nick Hornby, 1995. (Not a novel I would have chosen, but he's my daughter's favorite author, and music is very important to me. I liked it.)

 

Ultramarathon Man: Confessions of an All-Night Runner, by Dean Karnazes, 2005. (Some good reflections near the end about why run long distances. In the fall of 2006 Karnazes completed 50 marathons over 50 consecutive days.)

 

Dore's Illustrations for Don Quixote, by Gustave Dore, originally published with a French translation in 1863.

 

Lectures on Don Quixote, by Vladimir Nabokov, 1983, originally given in 1952. (A most critical critic who is often insightful, but unable to appreciate slap-stick humor.)

 

Exiles, a Play in Three Acts, by James Joyce, 1914. (I'm working my way up to Ulysses.)

 

Commies, Crooks, Gypsies, Spooks & Poets: Thirteen Books of Prague in the Year of the Great Lice Epidemic, by Jan Novak, 1995. (Written by a Czech exile who returned to live in Prague for a year after the Velvet Revolution.)

 

Trust Matters: Leadership for Successful Schools, by Megan Tschannen-Moran, 2004. (Written by a dear long-time friend to help public schools. I hope it also works for university philosophy departments!)

 

The Future of the Race, by Henry Louis Gates, Jr., and Cornel West, 1996. (Their responses to DuBois's 'Talented Tenth' essay nearly 100 years later.)

 

Night, by Elie Wiesel, 1958, new translation from French by M. Weisel, 2006. (Wiesel won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986.)

 

The Gospel of Judas, translation from Greek and commentary by Ehrman, Kasser, Meyer and Wurst, 2006. (Recently discovered and published Gnostic Gospel.)

 

Binge: What Your College Student Won't Tell You: Campus Life in an Age of Disconnection and Excess, by Barrett Seaman, 2005. (I'm not worried so much about my own college-age student as I am about the students in my courses.)

 

Goethe's Faust, by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, tr. from German by Walter Kaufman, 1961. (Not at all the dour, dusty tome it has a reputation for being. Almost farcical in places, and with a 'happy' ending.)

 

The Death of Mr. Baltisberger, by Bohumil Hrabal, tr. from Czech by M. Heim, 1975. (Collection of slice-of-life short stories by the master Czech palaverer.)

 

The World is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century, by Thomas L. Friedman, Updated and expanded edition: 2006. (I recommend this to any person who may need to look for a job or hold onto a job.)

 

Letters from England, by Karel Čapek, tr. from Czech by G. Newsome, 2005. (An engaging account of life in the British Isles in 1924 by a Czech traveler.)

 

The Pitch that Killed: The Story of Carl Mays, Ray Chapman, and the Pennant Race of 1920, by Mike Sowell, 1989. (One of only two seasons that my hometown Cleveland Indians won the World Series.)

 

City Sister Silver, by Jachym Topol, tr. from Czech by A. Zucker, 1994/2000. (Street-life novel set in Czechoslovakia after the Velvet Revolution.)

 

Dylan's Vision of Sin, by Christopher Ricks, 2003. (Dylan's work considered as poetry by a noted literary critic. In fact, Dylan has been nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature, but never selected.)

 

The Sorrows of Young Werther, by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, tr. from German by V. Lange, 1774/1988.

 

The Annotated Wizard of Oz, by L. Frank Baum, annotations by M. Hearn, 1900/2000. (Fifteen years ago I read the original to my kids, and then followed it up with the dozens of Oz sequels. This time around Meagan got it for me for the annotations. (Bucking the trend for fathers: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/education/7340720.stm, I actually read to my kids, especially Nick, before bed until they went away to college. When Nick left for college we were in the middle of Paradisio, from Dante's Divine Comedy.)

 

Elective Affinities, by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, tr. from German by J. Ryan, 1809/1988.

 

The Hunger of Memory: The Education of Richard Rodriguez, An Autobiography, by Richard Rodriguez, 1982. (A writer who struggles with his heritage and his opportunities, and ultimately declines to enter academia.)

 

Outstanding Black Sermons, v. 3, ed. M. Owens, 1982. (Including a sermon by my favorite preacher, Rev. Dr. James A. Forbes, Jr.)

 

The Nobel Lecture in Literature, 1993, by Toni Morrison.

 

The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge: A Novel, by Rainer Maria Rilke, tr. from German by S. Mitchell, 1910/1983.

 

Incompleteness: The Proof and Paradox of Kurt Goedel, by Rebecca Goldstein, 2005.

 

A Heckuva Job: More of the Bush Administration in Rhyme, by Calvin Trillin, 2006.

 

The Bible and African Americans: A Brief History, by Vincent L. Wimbush, 2003.

 

The Best American Essays of the Century, ed. R. Atwan & J. Oates, 2000. (I just finished reading this collection of 55 essays, but I'd been working at it, chunk by chunk, for almost 5 years!)

 

Selected Verse, by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, ed. and tr. from German by D. Luke, 1964.

 

Santa Biblia: The Bible Through Hispanic Eyes, by Justo Gonzalez, 1996. (Much more Hispanic-American, than purely Latin American.)

 

Job: Westminster Bible Companion, by James A. Wharton, 1999.

 

The Magus, by John Fowles, 1965/1978. (Prefigures Bernard Williams' scenario of being told to commit an atrocity yourself to avoid a much greater atrocity being committed: pp. 393-395 of the 1965 Little, Brown and Co. edition. A psycho-drama of extensive deception without the science fiction of the Matrix.)

 

I just noticed this article about what George Bush has been reading this year. What could he have gotten out of Camus' The Stranger, about a man who kills an Arab for no reason? Bush obviously reads faster than I do. I also noticed this listing by the singer Art Garfunkel, alumnus of Columbia University, of all his reading over the last 30 years-nearly a thousand books! And it's not light reading!

 

The Origin and History of the Mormons: with Reflections on the Beginnings of Islam and Christianity, by Eduard Meyer, tr. from German anonymously, 1912.

 

Melville: His World and Work, by Andrew Delbanco, 2005.

 

King of the Delta Blues: The Life and Music of Charlie Patton, by Stephen Calt and Gayle Wardlow, 1988.

 

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, by Robert Louis Stevenson, 1886.

 

Confessions, by St. Augustine of Hippo, tr. from Latin by H. Chadwick, 400/1991.

 

The Roots of Desire: The Myth, Meaning and Sexual Power of Red Hair, by Marion Roach, 2005. (The title is much better than the book itself, but I read it anyway because my wife is a red-head.)

 

One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, tr. from Russian by M. Hayward, 1963. (Solzhenitsyn won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1970.)

 

The Great War and Modern Memory, by Paul Fussell, 1975.

 

Elizabeth Costello, by J. M. Coetzee, 2003. (Coetzee won the 2003 Nobel Prize in Literature.)

 

The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini, 2003.

 

Diary of a Country Priest, by Georges Bernanos, tr. from French by P. Morris, 1938/1965.

 

Dying to Win: The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism, by Robert Pape, 2006. (An empirical study of all instances since 1980, showing that the largest determining factor by far is large military presence in a region that has a different religion. The clear implication is that we will be far safer from suicide attacks if we substantially withdraw from the Middle East. The author recommends an off-shore presence with the ability of rapid deployment to protect oil sources.)

 

The Knights, by Aristophanes, tr. from Greek, 434 B.C.

 

The Language of the Blues: From Alcorub to Zuzu, by Debra DeSalvo, 2006.

 

My Name is Red, by Orhan Pamuk, tr. from Turkish by E. Goknar, 1998/2001. (Pamuk won the 2006 Nobel Prize in Literature.)

 

Rock 'n' Roll, by Tom Stoppard, 2006. (A play about the dynamics of dissent in Czechoslovakia, with reference to the Czech avant-garde rock group Plastic People of the Universe.)

 

The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream, by Barack Obama, 2006. (Since December of 2004 my car has had the bumper sticker: 'Obama 08'. I'm still hoping.)

 

Radical Hope: Ethics in the Face of Cultural Devastation, by Jonathan Lear, 2006. (An account and interpretation of the Crow chief, Plenty Coups, as he steered the Crow nation from nomads to the reservation.)

 

Jesus the Riddler: The Power of Ambiguity in the Gospels, by Tom Thatcher, 2006.

 

Two-Sided Matching: A Study in Game-Theoretic Modeling and Analysis, by A. Roth and M. Sotomayor, 1990. (I'm trying to keep up with my son's thesis. I skipped the proofs!)

 

Oblomov, by Ivan Goncharev, tr. from Russian by C. Hogarth, 1858/1915.

 

Blink: The Power of Thinking without Thinking, by Malcolm Gladwell, 2005.

 

The Adventures of the Black Girl in her Search for God, by George Bernard Shaw, 1932. (A parable and meditation about the Bible and religion.)

 

The Life of Samuel Johnson, by James Boswell, ed. C. Hibbert, 1791/1979.

 

On p. 320 is recounted the following: 'We talked of a printed letter from the Reverend Herbert Croft, to a young gentleman who had been his pupil, in which he advised him to read to the end of whatever books he should begin to read. JOHNSON: This is surely a strange advice; you may as well resolve that whatever men you happen to get acquainted with, you are to keep them for life. A book may be good for nothing; or there may be only one thing in it worth knowing; are we to read it all through?'

I have to confess to following Croft's advice. The only book I recall not finishing, several years ago, was Salman Rushdie's book Midnight's Children. I gave up about a third of the way through, not being able to make heads or tails out of it

 

Dorothy and the Lizard of Oz, by Richard Gardner, 1980. (Written by a child psychiatrist, it takes up the Oz story at the end where everyone magically lives happily ever after, and shows how illusory this is. Instead a lizard helps the characters figure out for themselves how to solve their problems and strive toward their goals-the hard way.)

 

The History of the Wreck of the Old 97, by G. Howard Gregory, 1992.

 

Jesus and Buddha: The Parallel Sayings, edited by Marcus Borg, 1997.

 

The Iraq Study Group Report: The Way Forward, A New Approach, by James A. Baker III, Lee H. Hamilton, et. al., 2006.

 

Essays and Sketches in Biography, by John Maynard Keynes, 1956.

 

Largo Desolato: A Play in Seven Scenes, by Vaclav Havel, English version from Czech by Tom Stoppard, 1985/1987.

 

Reflections on a year of reading: For some 30 years I've wanted to keep a record of all the books I've ever read. I never started the list because it was always too late to get all of them. So in 2006 I decided it was better late than never. I just started. I notice that this year I didn't read any books by my 'favorite' authors. I read 67 books-from very short (Morrison's Nobel Lecture) to very long (Don Quixote). 25 were fiction. I didn't count books I read for my research in philosophy, though a few of the books I did count were tangentially related, such as ones by Goethe. 6 books were connected with my Czech heritage. 9 books were connected with religion. The books I got the most out of were The World is Flat and Dying to Win. The books I struggled the most with were the novels by Rilke and by Topol.