A few weeks ago I found a blog that does a weekly activity called “Top Ten Tuesdays”, but I haven’t yet managed to participate: I’m still working on “Top Ten Books I Can’t Believe I Haven’t Read”, and….well, it’s been a few weeks. This week’s meme is related.
1. Glimpses of World History, Jawaharlal Nehru. While imprisoned by the British government for his participation in Gandhi’s campaign of nonviolence, India’s future first prime minister wrote a series of letters to his daughter that constituted an epic history of the world. The letters were later collected into Glimpses, which is now out of print. Reading a biography of Nehru piqued my interest in it, and I continue to troll for an affordable copy online.
2. Anarchism and Other Essays, Emma Goldman. Reading Red Emma Speaks was a provocative experience for me, and I’d like to read this or Living My Life, her autobiography.
3. Dialogues and Essays, Seneca. Whenever I have a little discretionary income, this is always in the running. I enjoyed reading Seneca’s letters, and the quotations that originally interested in me in Seneca are apparently from this collection.
4. Anything by John Shelby Spong, an Episcopalian theologian whose voice I adore listening to, and whose ideas are just as gentle and noble. Jesus for the Nonreligious and Liberating the Bible: Reading the Bible through Jewish Eyes are the two lead contenders for my first Spong read.
5. The Roman Republic / The Roman Empire, Isaac Asimov. Books about one of my favorite subjects by my favorite author are sure to be winners, but alas! They are out of print.
6. The Age of Absurdity: Why Modern Life Makes it Hard to be Happy; Michael Foley. Blogger Cyberkitten reviewed this recently and it instantly caught my attention.
7. Escape from Freedom, Erich Fromm. From what I can tell, the book is about human responses to living in a world our genes never anticipated, and feeling alienated as a result. The human desire to end alienation all too often leads to the triumph of oppressive political and religious ideologies.
8. The Great War in Modern Memory, Paul Fussell. The author explores the war’s social impact by studying letters, essays, poems, and essays written during the war and after it. One of my professors often shares excerpts from it when one of his classes is discussing the Great War, and in the process he’s gotten me interested in reading it properly.
9. The Man Who Mistook his Wife for a Hat and Other Clinical Tales, Oliver Sacks. I’ve wanted to read this ever since reading V.S. Ramachandran’s Phantoms in the Brain. When our brains go awry, the results are… bizarre.
10. Any one of Christopher Moore’s vampire comedies. (Bloodsucking Fiends, Bite Me, and You Suck are three assuredly related titles.)