A bookshelf built by the author, volumes nicely "colored-coded" and positioned above Grandma's rocker.

A bookshelf built by the author, volumes nicely "colored-coded" and positioned above Grandma's rocker.


It all started for me when I . . .

found myself reading a book.  That must have been one of my first moments of self-awareness:  it was "me there," and I was "doing this thing."  And, I would now add, I was silently communicating, interpersonally, with another human being - an author.  Many of them long dead, but they took time to leave behind vestiges of their psyches.  Wonderful things, books.  People, too, sometimes.

I don't remember learning how to read, and I certainly do not remember who taught me.  When I asked my mother, "Mom, when did I learn how to read?" she said, "Oh, Larry, you've always known how to read." 

Reading, for me, is like oxygen, and although I do now read electronically, I much prefer a dusty tome, preferably one snatched up off a high shelf in an antiquarian bookstore.

A few years ago a friend bet me I couldn't name a hundred books I'd read, so I typed up the first draft of this list then and there.  (I think I stopped at around one hundred and fifty.  It took maybe fifteen, twenty minutes.) 

I don't update this list regularly, but, like walking into a disorganized room and not knowing what you might find, maybe you'll see an interesting title, or an obscured author will be recalled to memory. 

I couldn't possibly agree with all of these authors about everything, since they disagree among themselves, but I never fail to think affectionately back to the where and the when as I skim through this living graveyard.  And I think, too, of the human spirits that have generously given of themselves for our education and amusement.

I wouldn't be surprised to learn that some titles are listed more than once.  Enjoy!

  1. (How To Keep) Snakes In Captivity

  2. 100 Songs by Ted Quinn

  3. 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea

  4. A Bend in the River by V. S. Naipaul

  5. A Commentary on Psalm 119 by Charles Bridges

  6. A Commentary on the Acts of the Apostles by Joseph A. Alexander

  7. A Commentary on the Book of Romans by Karl Barth

  8. A Concert of Tenses by Tess Gallagher

  9. A Hole In The World by Richard Rhodes

  10. A Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

  11. A Month of Sundays by John Cheever

  12. A Part of My Life by A. J. Ayer

  13. A People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn

  14. A Piece of Work by Jay Woodruff

  15. A Theory of Consciousness by Brian O'Shaughnessy

  16. A World Without Time by Palle Yourgrau

  17. All of Us by Raymond Carver

  18. Allen Ginsberg: A Biography by Barry Miles

  19. Analects by Confucius

  20. Appointment in Samarra by John O’Hara

  21. Augustine: A Life by Peter Brown

  22. Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women by Susan Faludi

  23. Basic Vocabulary List

  24. Beat Collection by Barry Miles

  25. Being and Time by Martin Heidegger

  26. Benjamin Franklin: Autobiography

  27. Bisexuality: Theories, Research, and Recommendations for the Invisible Sexuality by D. Joye Swan and Shani Habibi

  28. Black Beauty by Anna Sewell and Andronum

  29. Butler's Sermons

  30. By George by Wesley Stace

  31. Cannery Row

  32. Cat On A Hot Tin Roof

  33. Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut

  34. Chronicles,Volume 1 by Bob Dylan

  35. Civilization And Its Discontents by Sigmund Freud

  36. Cleansing The Doors of Perception by Huston Smith

  37. Cold Snap by Thom Jones

  38. Collected Writings: Isaiah Berlin (esp., “Two Concepts of Liberty”)

  39. Commenting and Commentaries by Charles Spurgeon

  40. Complete Essays by E. B. White

  41. Complete Poems by T. S. Eliot

  42. Confessions by St. Augustine

  43. Confessions by Jean-Jacques Rousseau

  44. Consciousness by David Chalmers

  45. Das Kapital by Karl Marx

  46. Dawn of the New Everything by Jaron Lanier

  47. Dictionary of Philosophy by Peter Angeles

  48. Does God Exist? by Hans Kung

  49. Systematic Theology by Paul Tillich

  50. DSM-IV: Psychiatric Diagnostic-Statistical Manual

  51. Either/Or by Soren Kierkegaard

  52. Elements of the Philosophy of Right by Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

  53. Euclid's Elements of Geometry

  54. Faith And Rationality by Alvin Plantinga, editor

  55. Falconer by John Cheever

  56. Fear: Trump in the White House by Bob Woodward

  57. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, wife of the poet, Percy Shelley – d. age 27

  58. Franny and Zooey by J. D. Salinger

  59. Free Will / Determinism by Bernard Berofsky, editor

  60. From Socrates to Sartre by Stumpf

  61. Go! Dogs! Go!

  62. God's Little Acre by Erskine Caldwell

  63. Golden Boy by Christopher Odets

  64. Greek Mythology by Edith Hamilton

  65. Green Eggs And Ham

  66. Hafgorah:The Five Books of the Pentateuch

  67. History And Human Nature by Robert Solomon

  68. Hitler: A Study in Tyranny by Alan Bullock

  69. Hitler's American Model: The United States and the Making of Nazi Race Law by James Q. Whitman

  70. How I Became A Famous Novelist by Steve Hely

  71. Howl / Supermarket In California by Allen Ginsberg

  72. Husserl and Intentionality by Smith & McIntyre

  73. I And Thou (Ich Und Du) by Martin Buber

  74. I Ching

  75. Ideas by Edmund Husserl

  76. Ignore Everybody

  77. In Defense of a Liberal Education by Fareed Zakaria

  78. In the Shadow of the American Century by Alfred W. McCoy

  79. Jack Kerouac: King of the Beats by Barry Miles

  80. Junius Maltby by John Steinbeck

  81. Kirche Dogmatik (Church Dogmatics) by Karl Barth

  82. Language, Truth, and Logic by A. J. Ayer

  83. Leonard Bernstein: Biography

  84. Letter to a Christian Nation by Sam Harris

  85. Light in August by William Faulkner

  86. Like A Splinter In Your Mind: The Philosophy Behind the Matrix Trilogy by Matt Lawrence

  87. Linguistics and Rationalism by Noam Chomsky

  88. Logic by georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

  89. Looking For Mister Good Bar by Judith Rossner

  90. Love Is A Dog From Hell by Bukowski

  91. Lucretius

  92. Marcus Aurelius

  93. Marx: A Biography by Isaiah Berlin

  94. Mental Content by Colin McGinn

  95. Metaphors We Live By George Lakoff and Mark Johnston

  96. Middlemarch by George Eliot [Mary Anne Evans]

  97. Misfortune by Wesley Stace

  98. Moral Tribes: Emotion, Reason, and the Gap Between Us and Them by Joshua Greene

  99. Mr. Sammler's Planet by Saul Bellow

  100. Myth and Tragedy in Ancient Greece by Jean-Pierre Vernant and Pierre Vidal-Naquet

  101. Miguel Street by V. S. Naipaul

  102. Naming and Necessity by Saul Kripke

  103. Nicomachean Ethics by Aristotle (Terence Irwin translation)

  104. Nietzsche Contra Wagner

  105. Nine Stories by J. D. Salinger

  106. No Exit by Jean-Paul Sartre

  107. Nonviolent Communication by Marshall B. Rosenberg

  108. Not For Profit by Martha Nussbaum

  109. Obstinate Air

  110. On Becoming A Novelist by John Gardner

  111. On Bullshit by Harry Frankfurt

  112. On Parenthood by Bill Cosby

  113. On Preaching and Preachers by Charles Spurgeon

  114. On Truth by Harry Frankfurt

  115. On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century by Timothy Snyder

  116. On Writing by John Gardner

  117. On Writing by Stephen King

  118. One Day In The Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

  119. Open Minded by Jonathan Lear

  120. Our Iceberg is Melting by John Kotter

  121. Parallel Lives by Phyllis Rose

  122. Paul Bowles: The Collected Short Stories

  123. Paul K. Feyerabend: Autobiography

  124. Pensees by Blaise Pascal

  125. Phenomenology of Spirit by Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

  126. Philosophical Investigations by Ludwig Wittgenstein

  127. Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature by Richard Rorty

  128. Philosophy on Tap by Matt Lawrence

  129. Piker

  130. Plato's Dialogs

  131. Present Shock by Douglas Rushkoff

  132. Principia Ethica by G. E. Moore

  133. Prolegomena To Any Future Metaphysics by Immanuel Kant

  134. Quiddities by William van Orman Quine

  135. Rabbit, Run by John Updike

  136. Rabbit at Rest by John Updike

  137. Rabbit Is Rich by John Updike

  138. Rabbit Redux by John Updike

  139. Raymond Carver: A Life by Carol Sklenicka

  140. Remembering Ray: A Composite Biography of Raymond Carver by William L. Stull and Maureen P. Carroll

  141. Representations by Jerry Fodor

  142. Robert Lowell: A Biography by Ian Hamilton

  143. Roger's Version by John Updike

  144. Rousseau: Basic Writings (Social Contract; Discourse on Inequality)

  145. Scepticism and Animal Faith by George Santayana

  146. Selected Writings by Carl G. Jung

  147. Sexual Politics by Kate Millet

  148. Shopcraft as Soulcraft by Matthew C. Crawford

  149. Siddhartha by Herman Hesse

  150. Sisters by Jim Lewis

  151. Sonny Liston Was A Friend of Mine by Thom Jones

  152. Sophie's Choice by William Styron

  153. Spreading The Word by Simon Blackburn

  154. Stories by Woody Allen

  155. Stravinsky: Autobiography

  156. Sweet Thursday

  157. Tao Te Ching by Lao-Tze

  158. Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now by Jaron Lanier

  159. The Act of Marriage by Tim and Beverly LaHaye

  160. The Aim and Structure of Physical Theory by Pierre Maurice Marie Duhem

  161. The Art of War by Sun Tzu

  162. The Autobiography of John Stuart Mill

  163. The Beatles

  164. The Bible, KJV

  165. The Bible, NIV

  166. The Bill of Rights

  167. The Bondage of The Will by Martin Luther

  168. The Brothers Grimm: Fairy Tales

  169. The Brothers Karamozov

  170. The Chicago Manual of Style

  171. The Collected Poems of Robert Lowell

  172. The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx

  173. The Complete Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis by Sigmund Freud

  174. The Complete Plays and Poems of William Shakespeare

  175. The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson

  176. The Complete Short Stories by Ernest Hemingway

  177. The Complete Short Stories of John O'Hara

  178. The Conscience of A Liberal by Paul Krugman

  179. The Constitution of the United States of America

  180. The Courage To Be by Paul Tillich

  181. The Declaration of Independence

  182. The Decline And Fall of The Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon

  183. The Devil's Dictionary

  184. The Diary of Anne Frank

  185. The Elements of Style by Strunk & White

  186. The Emancipation of Women by Mary Wollstonecraft, mother of Mary Shelley

  187. The Encyclopedia of the History of Rock and Roll

  188. The Fall by Albert Camus

  189. The Farmer's Almanac

  190. The Federalist Papers

  191. The Golden Gate by Vikram Seth

  192. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

  193. The Gulag Archipelago by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

  194. The Hairy Ape

  195. The History of Art

  196. The History of Civilization by Will & Ariel Durant, 11 volumes

  197. The History of White People by Nell Irvin Painter

  198. The Hotel New Hampshire by John Irving

  199. The Iliad

  200. The Importance of What We Care About by Harry Frankfurt

  201. The Insect (The Bug) (The Vermin: Ungeheuer Ungeziefer) by Franz Kafka

  202. The Journals of Kurt Cobain

  203. The Joys of Yiddish

  204. The Library Book by Susan Orlean

  205. The Life of Martin Luther

  206. The Little Red Lighthouse and the Grey Gray Bridge by Hildegarde H. Swift and Lynd Ward

  207. The Loony Bin Trip by Kate Millet

  208. The Making of the Atomic Bomb by Richard Rhodes

  209. The Many World of Logic by Paul Herrick

  210. The Mask by Jean-Pierre Vernant

  211. The Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy by Sir Isaac Newton

  212. The Meaning of Life by Will Durant

  213. The New Yorker

  214. The Nine by Jeffrey Toobin

  215. The Odyssey

  216. The Orchid Thief by Susan Orlean

  217. The Origin of the Species by Charles Darwin

  218. The Oxford American Dictionary

  219. The Passions by Robert Solomon

  220. The Philosopher's Holiday by George Santayana

  221. The Poems of Sylvia Plath

  222. The Portable Nietzsche

  223. The Possibility of Altruism by Thomas Nagel

  224. The Protestant Ethic And The Spirit of Capitalism by Reinhold Niebuhr

  225. The Rapture by Howard Lindsey

  226. The Red Pony by John Steinbeck

  227. The Reveries of A Solitary Walker by Jean-Jacques Rousseau

  228. The Road Less Traveled by M. Scott Peck

  229. The Queue by Vladimir Sorokin

  230. The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt by Edmund Morris

  231. The Sheltering Sky

  232. The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner

  233. The Sovereignty of God by Arthur W. Pink

  234. The Sovereignty of Good by Iris Murdoch

  235. The Stranger by Albert Camus

  236. The Sudetenland Jews: A Study

  237. The Swimmer by John Cheever

  238. The Tangled Wing: Biological Constraints on the Human Spirit by Melvin Konner

  239. The Theory of Moral Sentiments by Adam Smith

  240. The Turn of the Screw

  241. The View From Nowhere by Thomas Nagel

  242. The Virtue of Faith by Robert Merrihew Adams

  243. The Wild Duck by Henrik Ibsen

  244. The Will: A Dual Aspect Theory by Brian O'Shaughnessy

  245. The Woman In The Dunes by Kobo Abe

  246. They Whisper by Robert Olen Butler

  247. Think And Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

  248. This Is Loving?

  249. Today's Gospel: Authentic or Synthetic? by Walter J. Chantry

  250. Toynbee: World History, 2 volumes

  251. Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus by Ludwig Wittgenstein

  252. Unheard Tick of Time

  253. Virtues and Vices: And Other Essays in Moral Philosophy by Philippa Foot

  254. Waking Up by Sam Harris

  255. War On Peace by Ronan Farrow

  256. We Were Eight Years in Power by Ta-Nehisi Coates

  257. What I Talk About When I Talk About Running: A Memoir by Haruki Murakami

  258. What Does It All Mean? by Thomas Nagel

  259. What It Is Like by Charles North

  260. What We Talk About When We Talk About Love by Raymond Carver

  261. When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chodron

  262. Who Owns the Future? by Jaron Lanier

  263. Why The Tree Loves The Ax by Jim Lewis

  264. William S. Burroughs: A Life by Barry Miles

  265. Winnie the Pooh by A. A. Milne

  266. Without Stopping by Paul Bowles

  267. Wittgenstein on Rules and Private Language by Saul Kripke

  268. Writing With Power by Peter Elbow

  269. You Are Not a Gadget by Jaron Lanier

  270. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig