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. (In 2019, I finally alphabetized these by title.)

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.


  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 Companion to Plato’s Republic by Nicholas P. White

  10. A Concert of Tenses by Tess Gallagher

  11. A Hole In The World by Richard Rhodes

  12. A House for Mr. Biswas by V. S. Naipaul

  13. A Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

  14. A Month of Sundays by John Cheever

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

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

  17. A Piece of Work by Jay Woodruff

  18. A Theory of Consciousness by Brian O'Shaughnessy

  19. A World Without Time by Palle Yourgrau

  20. All of Us by Raymond Carver

  21. Allen Ginsberg: A Biography by Barry Miles

  22. An Introduction to Plato’s Republic by Julia Annas

  23. Analects by Confucius

  24. Appointment in Samarra by John O’Hara

  25. Asian Philosophy by Joel J. Kupperman

  26. Augustine: A Life by Peter Brown

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

  28. Basic Vocabulary List

  29. Beat Collection by Barry Miles

  30. Being and Time by Martin Heidegger

  31. Benjamin Franklin: Autobiography

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

  33. Black Beauty by Anna Sewell and Andronum

  34. Butler's Sermons

  35. By George by Wesley Stace

  36. Cannery Row

  37. Cat On A Hot Tin Roof

  38. Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut

  39. Chinese Thought by Herlee G. Creel

  40. Chronicles,Volume 1 by Bob Dylan

  41. Civilization And Its Discontents by Sigmund Freud

  42. Classical Asian Philosophy by Joel J. Kupperman

  43. Cleansing The Doors of Perception by Huston Smith

  44. Cold Snap by Thom Jones

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

  46. Commenting and Commentaries by Charles Spurgeon

  47. Complete Essays by E. B. White

  48. Complete Poems by T. S. Eliot

  49. Confessions by St. Augustine

  50. Confessions by Jean-Jacques Rousseau

  51. Consciousness: The Hard Problem by David Chalmers

  52. Consciousness and the World by Brian O’Shaughnessy

  53. Convention: A Philosophical Study by David Lewis

  54. Das Kapital by Karl Marx

  55. Dawn of the New Everything by Jaron Lanier

  56. Deep Learning by John D. Kelleher

  57. Dictionary of Philosophy by Peter Angeles

  58. Does God Exist? by Hans Kung

  59. Dreyer’s English

  60. DSM-IV: Psychiatric Diagnostic-Statistical Manual

  61. Either/Or by Soren Kierkegaard

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

  63. Expression and Meaning by John Searle

  64. Euclid's Elements of Geometry

  65. Faith And Rationality by Alvin Plantinga, editor

  66. Falconer by John Cheever

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

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

  69. Franny and Zooey by J. D. Salinger

  70. Free Will / Determinism by Bernard Berofsky, editor

  71. From Socrates to Sartre by Stumpf

  72. Go! Dogs! Go!

  73. God's Little Acre by Erskine Caldwell

  74. Golden Boy by Christopher Odets

  75. Greek Mythology by Edith Hamilton

  76. Green Eggs And Ham

  77. Guerrillas by V. S. Naipaul

  78. Hafgorah:The Five Books of the Pentateuch

  79. History And Human Nature by Robert Solomon

  80. Hitler: A Study in Tyranny by Alan Bullock

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

  82. How I Became A Famous Novelist by Steve Hely

  83. Howl / Supermarket In California by Allen Ginsberg

  84. Husserl and Intentionality by Smith & McIntyre

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

  86. I Ching

  87. Ideas by Edmund Husserl

  88. Ignore Everybody

  89. In A Free State by V. S. Naipaul

  90. In Defense of a Liberal Education by Fareed Zakaria

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

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

  93. Junius Maltby by John Steinbeck

  94. Kirche Dogmatik (Church Dogmatics) by Karl Barth

  95. Know My Name by Chanel Miller

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

  97. Learning from Asian Philosophy by Joel Kupperman

  98. Leonard Bernstein: Biography

  99. Let it Come Down by Paul Bowles

  100. Letter to a Christian Nation by Sam Harris

  101. Light in August by William Faulkner

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

  103. Linguistics and Rationalism by Noam Chomsky

  104. Logic by georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

  105. Looking For Mister Good Bar by Judith Rossner

  106. Love Is A Dog From Hell by Bukowski

  107. Lucretius

  108. Making the Social World by John Searle

  109. Marcus Aurelius

  110. Marx: A Biography by Isaiah Berlin

  111. Mental Content by Colin McGinn

  112. Metaphors We Live By George Lakoff and Mark Johnston

  113. Middlemarch by George Eliot [Mary Anne Evans]

  114. Miguel Street by V. S. Naipaul

  115. Mind: A Brief Introduction by John Searle

  116. Misfortune by Wesley Stace

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

  118. Mr. Sammler's Planet by Saul Bellow

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

  120. Miguel Street by V. S. Naipaul

  121. Naming and Necessity by Saul Kripke

  122. Next to Nothing by Paul Bowles

  123. Nicomachean Ethics by Aristotle (Terence Irwin translation)

  124. Nietzsche Contra Wagner

  125. Nine Stories by J. D. Salinger

  126. No Exit by Jean-Paul Sartre

  127. Nonviolent Communication by Marshall B. Rosenberg

  128. Not For Profit by Martha Nussbaum

  129. Obstinate Air

  130. On Becoming A Novelist by John Gardner

  131. On Bullshit by Harry Frankfurt

  132. On Parenthood by Bill Cosby

  133. On Preaching and Preachers by Charles Spurgeon

  134. On Truth by Harry Frankfurt

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

  136. On Writing by John Gardner

  137. On Writing by Stephen King

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

  139. Open Minded by Jonathan Lear

  140. Our Iceberg is Melting by John Kotter

  141. Outlines of the History of Ethics by Henry Sidgwick

  142. Parallel Lives by Phyllis Rose

  143. Paul Bowles: The Collected Short Stories

  144. Paul K. Feyerabend: Autobiography

  145. Pensees by Blaise Pascal

  146. Phenomenology of Spirit by Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

  147. Philosophical Investigations by Ludwig Wittgenstein

  148. Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature by Richard Rorty

  149. Philosophy on Tap by Matt Lawrence

  150. Piker

  151. Plato's Dialogs

  152. Present Shock by Douglas Rushkoff

  153. Principia Ethica by G. E. Moore

  154. Prolegomena To Any Future Metaphysics by Immanuel Kant

  155. Punishment and Responsibility by H. L. A. Hart

  156. Quiddities by William van Orman Quine

  157. Rabbit, Run by John Updike

  158. Rabbit at Rest by John Updike

  159. Rabbit Is Rich by John Updike

  160. Rabbit Redux by John Updike

  161. Raymond Carver: A Life by Carol Sklenicka

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

  163. Representations by Jerry Fodor

  164. Robert Lowell: A Biography by Ian Hamilton

  165. Roger's Version by John Updike

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

  167. Scepticism and Animal Faith by George Santayana

  168. Selected Writings by Carl G. Jung

  169. Sexual Politics by Kate Millet

  170. Shopcraft as Soulcraft by Matthew C. Crawford

  171. Siddhartha by Herman Hesse

  172. Sisters by Jim Lewis

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

  174. Sophie's Choice by William Styron

  175. Speech Acts by John Searle

  176. Spreading The Word by Simon Blackburn

  177. Stories by Woody Allen

  178. Stravinsky: Autobiography

  179. Sweet Thursday

  180. Systematic Theology by Paul Tillich

  181. Tao Te Ching by Lao-Tze

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

  183. The Act of Marriage by Tim and Beverly LaHaye

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

  185. The Art of War by Sun Tzu

  186. The Autobiography of John Stuart Mill

  187. The Beatles

  188. The Bible, KJV

  189. The Bible, NIV

  190. The Bill of Rights

  191. The Bondage of The Will by Martin Luther

  192. The Brothers Grimm: Fairy Tales

  193. The Brothers Karamozov

  194. The Carrying by Ada Limon

  195. The Chicago Manual of Style

  196. The Collected Poems of Robert Lowell

  197. The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx

  198. The Complete Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis by Sigmund Freud

  199. The Complete Plays and Poems of William Shakespeare

  200. The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson

  201. The Complete Short Stories by Ernest Hemingway

  202. The Complete Short Stories of John O'Hara

  203. The Conscience of A Liberal by Paul Krugman

  204. The Constitution of the United States of America

  205. The Construction of Social Reality by John Searle

  206. The Courage To Be by Paul Tillich

  207. The Declaration of Independence

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

  209. The Devil's Dictionary

  210. The Diary of Anne Frank

  211. The Elements of Style by Strunk & White

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

  213. The Encyclopedia of the History of Rock and Roll

  214. The Enigma of Arrival by V. S. Naipaul

  215. The Fall by Albert Camus

  216. The Farmer's Almanac

  217. The Federalist Papers

  218. The Golden Gate by Vikram Seth

  219. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

  220. The Gulag Archipelago by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

  221. The Hairy Ape

  222. The History of Art

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

  224. The History of White People by Nell Irvin Painter

  225. The Hotel New Hampshire by John Irving

  226. The Iliad

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

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

  229. The Journals of Kurt Cobain

  230. The Joys of Yiddish

  231. The Library Book by Susan Orlean

  232. The Life of Martin Luther

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

  234. The Loony Bin Trip by Kate Millet

  235. The Making of the Atomic Bomb by Richard Rhodes

  236. The Many World of Logic by Paul Herrick

  237. The Mask by Jean-Pierre Vernant

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

  239. The Meaning of Life by Will Durant

  240. The Mimic Men by V. S. Naipaul

  241. The New Yorker

  242. The Nine by Jeffrey Toobin

  243. The Odyssey

  244. The Orchid Thief by Susan Orlean

  245. The Origin of the Species by Charles Darwin

  246. The Oxford American Dictionary

  247. The Passions by Robert Solomon

  248. The Philosopher's Holiday by George Santayana

  249. The Poems of Sylvia Plath

  250. The Portable Nietzsche

  251. The Possibility of Altruism by Thomas Nagel

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

  253. The Rapture by Howard Lindsey

  254. The Red Pony by John Steinbeck

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

  256. The Road Less Traveled by M. Scott Peck

  257. The Queue by Vladimir Sorokin

  258. The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt by Edmund Morris

  259. The Sheltering Sky by Paul Bowles

  260. The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner

  261. The Sovereignty of God by Arthur W. Pink

  262. The Sovereignty of Good by Iris Murdoch

  263. The Spider’s House by Paul Bowles

  264. The Stranger by Albert Camus

  265. The Sudetenland Jews: A Study

  266. The Swimmer by John Cheever

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

  268. The Theory of Moral Sentiments by Adam Smith

  269. The Turn of the Screw

  270. The View From Nowhere by Thomas Nagel

  271. The Virtue of Faith by Robert Merrihew Adams

  272. The Wild Duck by Henrik Ibsen

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

  274. The Woman In The Dunes by Kobo Abe

  275. They Whisper by Robert Olen Butler

  276. Think And Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

  277. This Is Loving?

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

  279. Toynbee: World History, 2 volumes

  280. Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus by Ludwig Wittgenstein

  281. Unheard Tick of Time

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

  283. Waking Up by Sam Harris

  284. War On Peace by Ronan Farrow

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

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

  287. What Does It All Mean? by Thomas Nagel

  288. What It Is Like by Charles North

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

  290. When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chodron

  291. Who Owns the Future? by Jaron Lanier

  292. Why The Tree Loves The Ax by Jim Lewis

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

  294. Winnie the Pooh by A. A. Milne

  295. Without Stopping by Paul Bowles

  296. Wittgenstein on Rules and Private Language by Saul Kripke

  297. Writing With Power by Peter Elbow

  298. You Are Not a Gadget by Jaron Lanier

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

  300. Žižek's Jokes