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. 21 Lessons for the 21st Century by Yuval Noah Harari

  3. 100 Songs by Ted Quinn

  4. 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea

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

  6. A Commentary on Psalm 119 by Charles Bridges

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

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

  9. A Concert of Tenses by Tess Gallagher

  10. A Hole In The World by Richard Rhodes

  11. A Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

  12. A Month of Sundays by John Cheever

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

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

  15. A Piece of Work by Jay Woodruff

  16. A Theory of Consciousness by Brian O'Shaughnessy

  17. A World Without Time by Palle Yourgrau

  18. All of Us by Raymond Carver

  19. Allen Ginsberg: A Biography by Barry Miles

  20. Analects by Confucius

  21. Appointment in Samarra by John O’Hara

  22. Augustine: A Life by Peter Brown

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

  24. Basic Vocabulary List

  25. Beat Collection by Barry Miles

  26. Being and Time by Martin Heidegger

  27. Benjamin Franklin: Autobiography

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

  29. Black Beauty by Anna Sewell and Andronum

  30. Butler's Sermons

  31. By George by Wesley Stace

  32. Cannery Row

  33. Cat On A Hot Tin Roof

  34. Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut

  35. Chronicles,Volume 1 by Bob Dylan

  36. Civilization And Its Discontents by Sigmund Freud

  37. Cleansing The Doors of Perception by Huston Smith

  38. Cold Snap by Thom Jones

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

  40. Commenting and Commentaries by Charles Spurgeon

  41. Complete Essays by E. B. White

  42. Complete Poems by T. S. Eliot

  43. Confessions by St. Augustine

  44. Confessions by Jean-Jacques Rousseau

  45. Consciousness by David Chalmers

  46. Das Kapital by Karl Marx

  47. Dawn of the New Everything by Jaron Lanier

  48. Dictionary of Philosophy by Peter Angeles

  49. Does God Exist? by Hans Kung

  50. Systematic Theology by Paul Tillich

  51. DSM-IV: Psychiatric Diagnostic-Statistical Manual

  52. Either/Or by Soren Kierkegaard

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

  54. Euclid's Elements of Geometry

  55. Faith And Rationality by Alvin Plantinga, editor

  56. Falconer by John Cheever

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

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

  59. Franny and Zooey by J. D. Salinger

  60. Free Will / Determinism by Bernard Berofsky, editor

  61. From Socrates to Sartre by Stumpf

  62. Go! Dogs! Go!

  63. God's Little Acre by Erskine Caldwell

  64. Golden Boy by Christopher Odets

  65. Greek Mythology by Edith Hamilton

  66. Green Eggs And Ham

  67. Hafgorah:The Five Books of the Pentateuch

  68. History And Human Nature by Robert Solomon

  69. Hitler: A Study in Tyranny by Alan Bullock

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

  71. How I Became A Famous Novelist by Steve Hely

  72. Howl / Supermarket In California by Allen Ginsberg

  73. Husserl and Intentionality by Smith & McIntyre

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

  75. I Ching

  76. Ideas by Edmund Husserl

  77. Ignore Everybody

  78. In Defense of a Liberal Education by Fareed Zakaria

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

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

  81. Junius Maltby by John Steinbeck

  82. Kirche Dogmatik (Church Dogmatics) by Karl Barth

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

  84. Learning from Asian Philosophy by Joel Kupperman

  85. Leonard Bernstein: Biography

  86. Letter to a Christian Nation by Sam Harris

  87. Light in August by William Faulkner

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

  89. Linguistics and Rationalism by Noam Chomsky

  90. Logic by georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

  91. Looking For Mister Good Bar by Judith Rossner

  92. Love Is A Dog From Hell by Bukowski

  93. Lucretius

  94. Marcus Aurelius

  95. Marx: A Biography by Isaiah Berlin

  96. Mental Content by Colin McGinn

  97. Metaphors We Live By George Lakoff and Mark Johnston

  98. Middlemarch by George Eliot [Mary Anne Evans]

  99. Misfortune by Wesley Stace

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

  101. Mr. Sammler's Planet by Saul Bellow

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

  103. Miguel Street by V. S. Naipaul

  104. Naming and Necessity by Saul Kripke

  105. Nicomachean Ethics by Aristotle (Terence Irwin translation)

  106. Nietzsche Contra Wagner

  107. Nine Stories by J. D. Salinger

  108. No Exit by Jean-Paul Sartre

  109. Nonviolent Communication by Marshall B. Rosenberg

  110. Not For Profit by Martha Nussbaum

  111. Obstinate Air

  112. On Becoming A Novelist by John Gardner

  113. On Bullshit by Harry Frankfurt

  114. On Parenthood by Bill Cosby

  115. On Preaching and Preachers by Charles Spurgeon

  116. On Truth by Harry Frankfurt

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

  118. On Writing by John Gardner

  119. On Writing by Stephen King

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

  121. Open Minded by Jonathan Lear

  122. Our Iceberg is Melting by John Kotter

  123. Parallel Lives by Phyllis Rose

  124. Paul Bowles: The Collected Short Stories

  125. Paul K. Feyerabend: Autobiography

  126. Pensees by Blaise Pascal

  127. Phenomenology of Spirit by Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

  128. Philosophical Investigations by Ludwig Wittgenstein

  129. Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature by Richard Rorty

  130. Philosophy on Tap by Matt Lawrence

  131. Piker

  132. Plato's Dialogs

  133. Present Shock by Douglas Rushkoff

  134. Principia Ethica by G. E. Moore

  135. Prolegomena To Any Future Metaphysics by Immanuel Kant

  136. Quiddities by William van Orman Quine

  137. Rabbit, Run by John Updike

  138. Rabbit at Rest by John Updike

  139. Rabbit Is Rich by John Updike

  140. Rabbit Redux by John Updike

  141. Raymond Carver: A Life by Carol Sklenicka

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

  143. Representations by Jerry Fodor

  144. Robert Lowell: A Biography by Ian Hamilton

  145. Roger's Version by John Updike

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

  147. Scepticism and Animal Faith by George Santayana

  148. Selected Writings by Carl G. Jung

  149. Sexual Politics by Kate Millet

  150. Shopcraft as Soulcraft by Matthew C. Crawford

  151. Siddhartha by Herman Hesse

  152. Sisters by Jim Lewis

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

  154. Sophie's Choice by William Styron

  155. Spreading The Word by Simon Blackburn

  156. Stories by Woody Allen

  157. Stravinsky: Autobiography

  158. Sweet Thursday

  159. Tao Te Ching by Lao-Tze

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

  161. The Act of Marriage by Tim and Beverly LaHaye

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

  163. The Art of War by Sun Tzu

  164. The Autobiography of John Stuart Mill

  165. The Beatles

  166. The Bible, KJV

  167. The Bible, NIV

  168. The Bill of Rights

  169. The Bondage of The Will by Martin Luther

  170. The Brothers Grimm: Fairy Tales

  171. The Brothers Karamozov

  172. The Carrying by Ada Limon

  173. The Chicago Manual of Style

  174. The Collected Poems of Robert Lowell

  175. The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx

  176. The Complete Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis by Sigmund Freud

  177. The Complete Plays and Poems of William Shakespeare

  178. The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson

  179. The Complete Short Stories by Ernest Hemingway

  180. The Complete Short Stories of John O'Hara

  181. The Conscience of A Liberal by Paul Krugman

  182. The Constitution of the United States of America

  183. The Courage To Be by Paul Tillich

  184. The Declaration of Independence

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

  186. The Devil's Dictionary

  187. The Diary of Anne Frank

  188. The Elements of Style by Strunk & White

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

  190. The Encyclopedia of the History of Rock and Roll

  191. The Fall by Albert Camus

  192. The Farmer's Almanac

  193. The Federalist Papers

  194. The Golden Gate by Vikram Seth

  195. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

  196. The Gulag Archipelago by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

  197. The Hairy Ape

  198. The History of Art

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

  200. The History of White People by Nell Irvin Painter

  201. The Hotel New Hampshire by John Irving

  202. The Iliad

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

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

  205. The Journals of Kurt Cobain

  206. The Joys of Yiddish

  207. The Library Book by Susan Orlean

  208. The Life of Martin Luther

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

  210. The Loony Bin Trip by Kate Millet

  211. The Making of the Atomic Bomb by Richard Rhodes

  212. The Many World of Logic by Paul Herrick

  213. The Mask by Jean-Pierre Vernant

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

  215. The Meaning of Life by Will Durant

  216. The New Yorker

  217. The Nine by Jeffrey Toobin

  218. The Odyssey

  219. The Orchid Thief by Susan Orlean

  220. The Origin of the Species by Charles Darwin

  221. The Oxford American Dictionary

  222. The Passions by Robert Solomon

  223. The Philosopher's Holiday by George Santayana

  224. The Poems of Sylvia Plath

  225. The Portable Nietzsche

  226. The Possibility of Altruism by Thomas Nagel

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

  228. The Rapture by Howard Lindsey

  229. The Red Pony by John Steinbeck

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

  231. The Road Less Traveled by M. Scott Peck

  232. The Queue by Vladimir Sorokin

  233. The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt by Edmund Morris

  234. The Sheltering Sky

  235. The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner

  236. The Sovereignty of God by Arthur W. Pink

  237. The Sovereignty of Good by Iris Murdoch

  238. The Stranger by Albert Camus

  239. The Sudetenland Jews: A Study

  240. The Swimmer by John Cheever

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

  242. The Theory of Moral Sentiments by Adam Smith

  243. The Turn of the Screw

  244. The View From Nowhere by Thomas Nagel

  245. The Virtue of Faith by Robert Merrihew Adams

  246. The Wild Duck by Henrik Ibsen

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

  248. The Woman In The Dunes by Kobo Abe

  249. They Whisper by Robert Olen Butler

  250. Think And Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

  251. This Is Loving?

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

  253. Toynbee: World History, 2 volumes

  254. Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus by Ludwig Wittgenstein

  255. Unheard Tick of Time

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

  257. Waking Up by Sam Harris

  258. War On Peace by Ronan Farrow

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

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

  261. What Does It All Mean? by Thomas Nagel

  262. What It Is Like by Charles North

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

  264. When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chodron

  265. Who Owns the Future? by Jaron Lanier

  266. Why The Tree Loves The Ax by Jim Lewis

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

  268. Winnie the Pooh by A. A. Milne

  269. Without Stopping by Paul Bowles

  270. Wittgenstein on Rules and Private Language by Saul Kripke

  271. Writing With Power by Peter Elbow

  272. You Are Not a Gadget by Jaron Lanier

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