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Fall 2011 Reading List

Monday, October 31st, 2011

 

 

So it’s almost hibernation time. That means you should grab a book, some warm whiskey and tea, and curl up by the fire (or the heater). But going into the library or Barnes and Noble to pick out a great book out of thousands? IMPOSSIBLE….unless you subscribe to Cufflinks’ Favorite Girl: ehm…yours truly.

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But before I list off some good reads, be aware that I am biased. I don’t particularly think all of these books are the best specimens of literature in the world, but a must-read-to-be-in-the-cultural know, kind of thing. A mix of classical and contemporary novels, philosophy books, etc.

Top Ten Books for Now

1. Madame Bovary, by Gustave Flaubert: Don’t stop reading the list now. I put this first because it’s style and form are nearly perfect, if that’s ever possible in literature. Norton has a great translation from the french, so be careful which version you chose. Story of an unhappy young woman who marries a country doctor, and finds herself fantasizing about everything else life has to offer: riches, temptation, glamor…sex. Flaubert worked his @$$ off on this one for years…and of course it was first banned for obscenity, lala. Read it.

2. The Trial, by Kranz Kafka: a relatively short narrative on the life of K. who gets caught in the whirlwinds of a deranged bureacratic system, showing the absurdity and ridiculous natures of our own modern power structures.

3. On The Road, by Jack Kerouac: a cult classic, originally written on a long scroll in a breathless, speedy style, the main character travels around the country with his wacky and adventurous friend Dean.

4. The Symposium, by Plato: a discourse on the nature of love. Basically a bunch of philosophers sitting around getting drunk talking about how “love” originated. Pretty interesting stuff.

5. Middlesex/Virgin Suicides,by Jeffrey Eugenides: Obviously these are two different books, but his work is just so amazing that you should read both. A contemporary writer who luckily is still with us and working on another novel, the prosody of these novels is…exceptional, lyrical, and awe-inspiring.

6. Tropic of Capricorn, by Henry Miller: Yes, that brute of a writer. He holds nothing back, a connoisseur of the world, a sex crazed, maniac of a man…banging on his Parisian typewriter in the early 20th century. Lice, roaches, sex houses, and abundance of women all included.

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7.Still Life with Woodpecker, by Tom Robbins. A modern, adult fairy tale. One of the funniest books I’ve ever encountered.

8. Hidden Messages in Water,by Dr. Masaru Emoto: A scientific study of water molecules with a spiritual spin…Emoto photographs water molecules from around the world, which are subjected to certain kinds of music, energy, etc. Eye opening account of the importance  and power of water.

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9. Bhagavad Gita,by Unknown. A traditional Hindu text, originally written in ancient Sanskrit, follows an exchange between Krishna and solider Arjuna. Insightful and beautiful. (circa 3000 BCE…wow)

10. Beyond Good and Evil/Birth of Tragedy, by Nietzsche. Either book will do, or both if you can. His work is dense, hard to get through, but worth it in the end. You’ll find yourself referring to him or others using his ideas as a reference point throughout your life.