Authors or titles with links have posts of their own:
1. Those that I have actually read:
- Mortimer Adler & Charles Van Doren: How to Read a Book (1972) – I wish I had read this before I went to university.
- Aristotle: Complete Works (-322) – taught me how to think and how to read long books, like:
- The Bible (367) – I had read bits and pieces, but the Bible made more sense once I read it all the way through. The West made more sense too.
- George Orwell: 1984 (1949) – For years I did not read this because it was such a downer. The older I get, the more right Orwell seems.
- Beverly Tatum: Why Are All The Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? (2003) – made sense of so much of what I have gone through.
- Tolkien: The Hobbit (1937), Lord of the Rings (1955) – when I was 12 this girl in art class told me I should read “The Hobbit”. I still remember the green and blue cover of her book (pictured above). She went on and on about it. She was right. But only years later did I find that out. A lesson learned late: when someone whose judgement I trust recommends a book, I should at least give it a try. So:
- Livy: Ab Urbe Condita (-9) – recommended by Machiavelli.
- Boethius: Consolation of the Philosophy (523) – recommended by C.S. Lewis.
- Jane Austen: Pride and Prejudice (1813) – recommended by my sister and Winston Churchill.
- Frantz Fanon: The Wretched of the Earth (1961) – recommended by a friend at university.
- The books of 2013 that I have not read yet.
- Chancellor Williams: The Destruction of Black Civilization (1974) – recommended by Ta-Nehisi Coates. I only know African history in bits and pieces, so this book also belongs on the next list:
3. A hole in my education:
- William H. McNeill: Rise of the West (1991) – I have read half of this. It is the closest thing I know to a demographically balanced world history, even though it is plainly Eurocentric (but at least it knows it).
- Iris Chang: The Chinese in America (2003) – I have read parts of this.
- Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz: An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States (2014) – I have read parts of this.
- A history of India
- A history of Egypt – from prehistory to present. I only know bits and pieces.
4. What I have read of it seems good:
- Eduardo Galeano: Open Veins of Latin America (1973) – Latin American colonialism.
- Isaac Asimov: Asimov’s New Guide to Science (1985) – now 30 years out of date, but holds up better than you would think.
- Nell Irvin Painter: Creating Black Americans (2006) – a good overview of US Black history from 1619 to 2006.
5. I cannot believe I have not read these yet:
- Shakespeare: Complete Plays (1614) – I have read some plays but not all, which is kind of nuts for an English-speaking person who loves to read.
- W.E.B. Du Bois: Souls of Black Folk (1903)
- Xenophon: Hellenika (-354) – the sequel to Thucydides, which I loved.
- al-Idrisi: Entertainment (1154)
- Marco Polo: Marvels (c. 1300)
- Ibn Batuta: Travels (1369)
- Leonardo: Notebooks (1519) – I have an abridged version, but even that would be better than nothing!
– Abagond, 2017.
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