Books

Select literature recommendations and commentaries from my canon for a zealous reader. In no particular order.

The only inclusion heuristic I followed was this: would I consider rereading the work? If the initial read didn’t strongly incite a repeat experience, I hadn’t included the work here.

The links proceed to a more detailed commentary.

Fiction

  1. Dickens - Bleak House.
  2. Dickens - Tale of Two Cities
  3. Dickens - Great Expectations
  4. Dickens - Oliver Twist
  5. Herman Melville - Moby Dick
  6. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe - Faust. Russian translation of Boris Pasternak.
  7. Shakespeare - Titus Andronicus
  8. Shakespeare - Pericles, the Prince of Tyre
  9. Shakespeare - Troilus and Cressida
  10. Shakespeare - anything, in the original, Elizabethan English.
  11. Chaucer - The Canterbury Tales. (Original, Middle English). In gradual progress.
  12. Joseph Conrad - Heart of Darkness (and more)
  13. Victor Nabokov - Lolita
  14. Tolstoy - War and Piece (Война и Мир)
  15. Tolstoy - Анна Каренина.
  16. Tolstoy - Kreutzer Sonata (Крейцерова соната)
  17. Edgar Allan Poe - Short stories. Many, many masterfully crafted stories.
  18. Haruki Murakami - The Wind-up Bird Cronicle. Russian translation.
  19. Haruki Murakami - Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World. Russian translation.
  20. Mikhail Bulgakov - Master and Margarita (Мастер и Маргарита) - one of my all time favourite magic realism products.
  21. Ayn Rand - Atlas Shrugged
  22. Ayn Rand - Fountainhead
  23. Ayn Rand - Virtue of Selfishness. A series of essays especially helpful as a philosophical refresher years after having read the fiction epics.
  24. Gabriel García Márquez - Cien años de soledad
  25. Gabriel García Márquez - Memorias de mis Putas Tristes
  26. Gabriel García Márquez - Cronica de una Muerte Anunciada
  27. Joseph Heller - Catch 22
  28. Dostoevsky - Crime and Punishment (Приступление и Наказание).
  29. Dostoevsky - Demons (Бесы)
  30. Dostoevsky - Idiot (Идиот)
  31. Dostoevsky - Notes from the Underground (Записки из подполья)
  32. Dostoevsky - Brothers Karamazov (Братья Карамазовы)
  33. Dostoevsky - Double (Двойник)
  34. Dumas - The Count of Monte Cristo
  35. Dumas - The Three Musketeers
  36. The Iliad. English prose translation by Martin Hammond.
  37. The Odyssey. English verse translation by Robert Fagle. Primary sources are more gratifying than anthologies and retellings.
  38. Virgil - The Aeneid. English prose translation by W.F. Jackson Knight.
  39. Frank Herbert - Dune
  40. Douglas Adams - Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series. Whimsical, satirical, nonsensical fantasy/science fiction full of humor, insofar as the first three books concerned.
  41. F Scott Fitzgerald - Great Gatsby. The only imposed high-school book I read to completion over the course of a night.
  42. J D Salinger - Catcher in the Rye. Real-time, first-person narrative in considerably simple language, by what seems an unreliable, capricious, yet honest narrator.
  43. Kafka - The Castle (Zamek). Polish translation.
  44. Kafka - The Trial (Процесс). Russian translation.
  45. Kafka - Metamorphosis. Portuguese translation. Part satire, part horror story, part I don’t know what.
  46. Erico Verissimo - Incidente em Antares. Brazilian magic realism classic, set within Rio Grande do Sul. Spans much of the Brazilian history from the 19th - 20th century.
  47. Jorge Amado - Dona Flor e Seus Dois Maridos
  48. Isabel Allende - La Casa de los Espíritus. Magic Realism classic similar to Cien Años de Soledad and Incidente em Antares; spans decades of family and national history.
  49. Isabel Allende - Eva Luna
  50. Mario Benedetti - La Tregua
  51. Mario Benedetti - Gracias por el Fuego
  52. Arkady and Boris Strugatsky (Аркадий и Борис Стругацкие) - various.
  53. Lewis Carroll - Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. A beautiful fable of allegory and satire. Read in the original as well as Victor Nabokov’s Russian adaptation titled Аня в стране чудес.
  54. Lewis Carroll - The Hunting of the Snark: An Agony in Eight Fits. Beautiful and witty nonsense poetry.

Non-Fiction

  1. Marcus Aurelius - Meditations. Fairly modern Spanish translation.
  2. Seneca - Benefits (De Beneficiis)
  3. Seneca - Letters (to Lucilius). In gradual progress.
  4. Michel de Montaigne - Essays. In gradual progress.
  5. Matt Ridley - Evolution of Everything
  6. Nassim Nicolas Taleb - Antifragile. Also Skin in the Game and Fooled by Randomness, although Antifragile made the greatest impact.
  7. Ron Hale-Evans - Mind Performance Hacks
  8. Ron Hale-Evans - Mindhacker
  9. Isak Dinesen (Karen Blixen) - Out of Afrika
  10. Haruki Murakami - What I Talk About When I Talk About Running (О чем я говорю когда говорю о беге). Russian translation. About running, writing, music, habits and more.
  11. The Jazz Book - Berendt/Nuesmann

Questions, comments? Connect.