Timothy L Pagaard: Reading list / Listening & viewing

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"A book should serve as an axe to the ice inside us."

--Franz Kafka

What I read, listen to, and watch

How did my brain get this way? Here are the essentials, the books, music, and films that have meant the most to me, the ones I would take if I were stranded on a desert island and limited to two or three hundred of the best.

go to Top | Criticism | Politics, etc. | Religion, etc. | Comedy | Language

Poetry go to Long fiction | Short fiction | Drama | Miscellany
Home office

My home office, looking across the room
from my desk. This is where I live.

Phræsti books

Beowulf (Seamus Heaney transliteration)
Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales
Dante Alighieri, The Divine Comedy, La Vita Nuova
William Shakespeare, Sonnets
Edmund Spenser, The Færie Queene
John Donne, Poems
John Milton, Paradise Lost
Jonathan Swift, Poems
Robbie Burns, Poems ("For a' That and A' That")
William Blake, Poems ("Tyger" manuscript)
William Wordsworth, Poems
Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Poems
John Keats, Poems
Alfred, Lord Tennyson, Poems
Robert Browning, Poems
Matthew Arnold, Poems
Walt Whitman, Poems
Emily Dickinson, Poems
Gerard Manley Hopkins, Poems ("No worst, there is none")
William Butler Yeats, Poems ("The Second Coming")
Wilfred Owen, Poems ("Dulce et decorum est")
Charles Williams, Taliessin Through Logres
Alan Ginsberg, Poems (Pacifica Radio on "Howl")
Gary Snyder, Poems
Ethan Coen, The Drunken Driver Has the Right of Way
Beatrician Experience, 2014

Long fiction go to Poetry | Short fiction | Drama | Miscellany

Universal health careJonathan Swift, Gulliver's Travels
George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans), The Mill on the Floss
Charles Dickens, The Pickwick Papers, David Copperfield, A Tale of Two Cities
George Macdonald, Phantastes, Lilith
Robert Louis Stevenson, Kidnapped, The Black Arrow
Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows
Joseph Conrad, Lord Jim, The Heart of Darkness, Nostromo
Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina
Feodor Dostoevsky, Crime and Punishment, The Brothers Karamazov
EM Forster, Howards End, A Passage to India
Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray
Thomas Wolfe, The Web and the Rock, Look Homeward Angel
William Faulkner, Sanctuary, The Unvanquished, Intruder in the Dust
F Scott Fitzgerald, Tender Is the Night
Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises, A Farewell to Arms, For Whom the Bell Tolls
Franz Kafka, The Castle, The Trial
Charles Williams, All Hallows Eve, Descent into Hell
JRR Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit
CS Lewis, The Chronicles of Narnia, The Perelandra trilogy, The Great Divorse
Mervyn Peake, The Gormenghast trilogy
Virginia Woolfe, To the Lighthouse
Antoine de Saint Exupéry, The Little Prince
TH White, The Once and Future King, The Book of Merlyn
John Gardner, Grendel
Isak Dinesen, Out of Africa
Edwin A Abbot, Flatland
Richard Brautigan, In Watermellon Sugar, Trout Fishing in America
Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse Five, The Sirens of Titan, Cat's Cradle
Saul Bellow, Henderson the Rain King
Doris Lessing, The Children of Violence pentology
JD Salinger, Catcher in the Rye
Jerzy Kosinski, Being There
Annie Dillard, The Living
Anne Tyler, The Accidental Tourist, Breathing Lessons
Joan Didion, The Book of Common Prayer
John Kennedy Toole, The Confederacy of Dunces
Frank Herbert, Dune
Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian, The Road, Outer Dark
Gabriel García Márquez, Love in the Time of Cholera, One Hundred Years of Solitude
JM Coetzee, Disgrace
Halldór Laxness, Iceland's Bell
Peter Høeg, The History of Danish Dreams, Borderliners
Peter Carey, True History of the Kelly Gang
Phillip Roth, The Plot Against America
Salman Rushdie, Midnight's Children, The Satanic Verses, The Enchantress of Florence
José Saramago, Blindness
Isabel Allende, The House of the Spirits
Michael Chabon, Kavalier and Clay, Yiddish Policemen's Union
Junot Díaz, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
Haruki Murakami, The Wind-up Bird Chronicle, Kafka on the Shore, Colorless Tsukuru TAzaki and his Years of Pilgrimage
Carsten Jensen, Vi, de Druknede (We, the Drowned)

Short fiction go to Poetry | Long fiction | Drama | Miscellany

Liberals for workers' rightsGeorge Macdonald, The Gifts of the Child Christ
Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes stories
Joseph Conrad, Stories
William Faulkner, Stories
Ernest Hemingway, Stories
Franz Kafka, The Metamorphosis, Stories
Richard Wright, Stories
Flannery O'Connor, Stories
Isak Dinesen, Winter's Tales
Kurt Vonnegut, Stories
Nadine Gordimer, Stories
Jhumpa Lahiri, The Interpreter of Maladies, Unaccustomed Earth
Günter Grass, My Century
Phillip Roth, Stories
Junot Díaz, Drown, This Is How You Lose Her
Michael Chabon, A Model World, Werewolves in Their Youth

Drama go to Poetry | Long fiction | Short fiction | Miscellany

William Shakespeare, Plays
Cormac McCarthy, The Sunset Limited
Eugene O'Neill, Long Day's Journey into Night
Arthur Miller, Death of a Salesman
Tennessee Williams, Streetcar Named Desire
Václav Havel, Unveiling

Miscellany go to Poetry | Long fiction | Short fiction | Drama

Jonathan Swift, Essays
Michael Chabon, Manhood for Amateurs (essays)
Joan Didion, The White Album (essays)
Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek (creative nonfiction)
Eben Weiss, Bike Snob: Systematically & Mercilessly Realigning The World of Cycling (cultural criticism)
Art Spiegelman, Maus: A Survivor's Tale I and II (graphic novels)
Alan Moore, Dave Gibbons, John Higgins, Watchmen (graphic novel)

go to Top | Literature | Politics, etc. | Religion, etc. | Comedy | Language

Literary criticism

Harold Bloom, The Anxiety of Influence, The Western Canon, How To Read and Why, Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human, Genius
Stanley Fish, Surprised by Sin, Self-Consuming Artifacts
Michael Chabon, Maps and Legends
Camile Paglia, Break, Blow, Burn
Matthew Arnold, The Function of Criticism at the Present Time, Culture and Anarchy
Alfred Kazin, Writing Was Everything
VS Naipaul, The Writer and the World
Erich Auerbach, Mimesis: The Representation of Reality in Western Literature
Lionel Trilling, The Moral Obligation To Be Intelligent
Terry Eagleton, Literary Theory: An Introduction, After Theory
CS Lewis, The Allegory of Love
Charles Williams, The Figure of Beatrice
Alain de Botton, How Proust Can Change Your Life
Flannery O'Connor, Mystery and Manners

go to Top | Literature | Criticism | Religion, etc. | Comedy | Language

Politics, history, and culture

Kurt Vonnegut, Fates Worse than Death
Jared Diamond, Guns, Germs, and Steel
Howard Zinn, A People's History of the United States: 1492 to Present
Susan Jacoby, Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism
Charles Freeman, The Closing of the Western Mind: The Rise of Faith and the Fall of Reason
Jeff Sharlet, The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power, C Street: The Fundamentalist Threat to American Democracy
Phil Zuckerman, Society Without God
Douglas Rushkoff, Life, Inc: How the World Became a Corporation and How to Take It Back
Charles P Pierce, Idiot America: How Stupidity Became a Virtue in the Land of the Free
Naomi Klein, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism
Barbara Ehrenreich, Nickel and Dimed
Mary Lefkowitz, Not Out of Africa
Stephanie Coontz, The Way We Never Were: American Families and the Nostalgia Trap
Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela, A Human Being Died That Night
Jim Wallis, God's Politics
David Brock, Blinded by the Right
Thomas Frank, What's the Matter with Kansas?
Jim Sleeper, Liberal Racism
John H McWhorter, Losing the Race
Al Franken, Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them, Rush Limbaugh Is a Big, Fat Idiot
Michael Moore, Stupid White Men, Dude: Where's My Country?
Eric Schlosser, Fast Food Nation
Karl Marx, The Communist Manifesto, Capital
John Reed, Ten Days That Shook the World
John Henry Cardinal Newman, The Idea of a University

go to Top | Literature | Criticism | Politics, etc. | Comedy | Language

Religion, philosophy, and science

André Comte-Sponville, The Little Book of Atheist Spirituality
John Dominic Crossan, The Historical Jesus, The Birth of Christianity
Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion, The Selfish Gene, The Blind Watchmaker, The Greatest Show on Earth
Daniel C Dennett, Breaking the Spell, Darwin's Dangerous Idea
Elaine Pagels, The Gnostic Gospels, Revelations
Christopher Hitchens, god Is not Great, The Portable Atheist (ed)
Alain de Botton, Religion for Atheists
Sam Harris, The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values, Letter to a Christian Nation, The End of Faith
Jay Michaelson, God vs. Gay? The Religious Case for Equality
Michael Shermer, The Believing Brain
Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Infidel
Bart D Ehrman, Jesus Interrupted, Misquoting Jesus, Forged
Susan Jacoby, The Age of American Unreason
Pascal Boyer, Religion Explained: The Evolutionary Origins of Religious Thought
Victor Stenger, God: The Failed Hypothesis
Karen Armstrong, The History of God, The Battle for God, The Great Transformation, The Case for God
Daniel Radosh, Rapture Ready: Christian Pop Culture
Phil Zuckerman, Society Without God
Frank Schaeffer, Crazy for God
Rudolf Bultmann, New Testament & Mythology (ed Shubert M Ogden)
Rudolf Bultmann and Karl Jaspers, Myth and Christianity (ed R Joseph Hoffmann)
Wilfred Cantwell Smith, Faith and Belief, Towards a World Theology
Peter Manseau and Jeff Sharlet, Killing the Buddha: A Heretic's Bible, Believer Beware
Jeff Sharlet, Killing the Buddha: A Heretic's Bible, Sweet Heaven When I Die
Harold Bloom, David Rosenberg (and the Yahwist), The Book of J
Harold Bloom, Jesus and Yahweh: The Names Divine, The American Religion
John Shelby Spong, Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism, The Sins of Scripture
Marcus J Borg, Reading the Bible Again for the First Time, The Heart of Christianity
Mel White, Stranger at the Gate: To Be Gay and Christian in America
Erick Nelson, The Metaphorical Gospel Theory
Bertrand Russell, Why I Am Not a Christian
GK Chesterton, Orthodoxy: The Romance of Faith
John Henry Cardinal Newman, Apologia Pro Vita Sua
CS Lewis, Mere Christianity, God in the Dock
Charles Williams, Descent of the Dove
Michael Grant, The Search for the Historical Jesus
Thomas à Kempis, The Imitation of Christ
Anonymous (C14 English Carthusian monk), The Cloud of Unknowing

go to Top | Literature | Criticism | Politics, etc. | Religion, etc. | Language


Dave Barry, Dave Barry Slept Here, Big Trouble, Tricky Business, ...and anything else
Harvard/National Lampoon, Bored of the Rings, High School Yearbook Parody
Martin A Cohen and Sheldon Shacket, The Profit by Kehlog Albran
George Carlin, Brain Droppings, When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops?

go to Top | Literature | Criticism | Politics, etc. | Religion, etc. | Comedy


Leslie Dunton-Downer, The English Is Coming
Lynne Truss, Eats, Shoots & Leaves
Robert McCrum, William Cran, and Robert MacNeil, The Story of English
Suzette Haden Elgin, The Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense, The Native Tongue trilogy
Bill Bryson, The Mother Tongue, Made in America, Dictionary of Troublesome Words
John H McWhorter, Doing Our Own Thing: The Degradation of Language and Music and Why We Should, Like, Care


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Made with a Mac Revised 28 August, 2014 • Copyright Timothy L Pagaard