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    Reading List

    My top recommendations


    Here are my recommendations. Of course, there are hundreds, thousands of great reads, but I wanted to narrow it down to these personal favourites: (in alphabetic order by author surname)


    My top recommendations:


    Joseph Brodsky – Uncommon Visage

    A stunning essay about aesthetics that won him the Nobel Prize for Literature, and he deserves it.


    W Somerset Maugham – The Painted Veil

    Maugham was the highest paid author of his time and I get why. The way he captures emotional evolution within each character is stunning.


    Ivan Turgenev – First Love

    An enchanting description of a boy falling in love for the first time, with a tragic end, typical of first love.


    Kurt Vonnegut – Slaughterhouse 5

    The most interesting depiction of time and human life within it.




    Poetry


    Anna Akhmatova


    William Blake


    Joseph Brodsky – Collected Poems in English


    Robert Burns


    Lord Byron (George Gordon) - especially Childe Harold


    Emily Dickinson


    Arch Hades – High Tide (obviously)


    Homer – Iliad; Odyssey, best translations are by Robert Fitzgerald (pretty much all the best translations of the classics can be found in the Loeb Classical Library, published by Harvard University Press)


    Jonathan Keates – The Major Works


    John Milton - Paradise Lost


    Philip Larkin


    Edgar Allen Poe


    Rumi


    William Shakespeare – Love Sonnets; The Tempest; Twelfth Night; Romeo & Juliet; McBeth; Hamlet


    Tracy K Smith – Wade in the Water


    Edward Thomas


    Oscar Wilde


    W B Yeats





    Fiction


    Mitch Albom - Tuesdays with Morrie (read if you're sad)


    Paul Bowles – The Sheltering Sky; Let it come down; The Spiders House (the endings are a bit of a whirlwind, but you have to appreciate the writing)


    Joseph Brodsky – On Grief and Reason: Essays


    Ivan Bunin – Dark Avenues; The Village


    Lewis Carroll – Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland; Through the Looking Glass


    Castiglione – The Book of the Courtier


    Anton Chekov – Short Stories (especially The Lady with the Little Dog)


    Agatha Christie – Miss Marple short stories


    Fyodor Dostoevsky – Crime and Punishment; Notes from Underground; The Idiot; Demons; White Nights (don’t read if you are depressed, only read when you’re in a good mood, this can send you spiralling)


    Alexander Dumas – The Count of Monte Cristo


    Umberto Eco – Foucault’s Pendulum; On literature; On Beauty (he writes fiction and non-fiction)


    Nicolai Gogol – Diary of a Madman and other short stories


    John Green – Looking for Alaska (my favourite YA book)


    Thomas Hardy – Tess of the d’Urbervilles (hard to read but the lesson on society’s double standards is important)


    Herman Hesse – Steppenwolf (the ending is absurd, but the rest of the story about self-imposed isolation is stunning)


    Franz Kafka – Metamorphosis; the Castle (don’t read if emotionally fragile, Metamorphosis will crush you)


    Yasunari Kawabata – Beauty and Sadness; Snow Country (won the Nobel Prize for Literature)


    Lampedusa – the Leopard (the fall of Sicily’s aristocracy)


    Mikhail Lermontov – A Hero of our Time


    Gabriel Garcia Marquez – One Hundred Years of Solitude; The General and his Labyrinth; Love in the Time of Cholera (google what magical realism is before you start reading)


    W. Somerset Maugham: The Painted Veil; Cakes and Ale; Of Human Bondage; Short Stories 1,2,4 (avoid 3)


    Haruki Murakami: Norwegian Wood; Kafka on the Shore (avoid his short stories, not his best)


    Vladimir Nabokov – The Luzhin Defensive


    George Orwell – 1984; Animal Farm


    Joseph Roth – The Radetzky March (amazing story of three generations of Austrian men who live through the fall of the Empire)


    J D Salinger – Catcher in the Rye (you’ll get tired of the word ‘phoney’ but it’s a very good teenage-angsty read)


    William Makepeace Thackeray – Vanity Fair


    JRR Tolkien – The Silmarillion; The Hobbit; The Lord of the Rings (the greatest fictional universe created)


    Ivan Turgenev – First Love; Spring Torrents; Kasyan from the Beautiful Lands


    Jules Verne – Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea; Around the World in Eighty Days


    Kurt Vonnegut – Cat’s Cradle; Slaughterhouse 5


    Evelyn Waugh – Brideshead Revisited; Vile Bodies


    Oscar Wilde – the Picture of Dorian Gray



    Non-Fiction


    Boethius – The Consolations of Philosophy (hey do you like the dark ages?)


    Alain de Botton: Religion for Atheists; Consolations of Philosophy; Status Anxiety


    Confucius – The Analects


    Fritjof Capra – The Tao of Physics


    Dale Carnegie - How to win friends and Influence people ```


    Helen Castor – Joan of Arc


    Charles Darwin – On the Origin of Species


    Richard Dawkins – The Selfish Gene; The God Delusion


    Rene Descartes – Meditations; Discourse on Method


    Jared Diamond – Collapse


    Albert Einstein – Relativity


    Niall Ferguson – Empire


    Richard Feynman – Surely, you’re joking Mr Feynman; Lectures on Physics


    Galileo Galilei – Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems


    Howard Gardner – Frames of Mind


    Malcolm Gladwell – The Tipping Point


    Daniel Goleman – Emotional Intelligence


    Brian Greene – The Elegant Universe


    Christopher Hibbert – The Rise and Fall of the House of Medici; The House of Borgia


    Gwyn Jones – The Vikings


    Carl Jung – Memories, Dreams, Reflections


    Primo Levi – The Periodic Table


    Daniel Levitin – The Organised Mind


    Michael Lewis – Boomerang


    Walter Pater – The Renaissance (studies in Art and Poetry)


    Steven Pinker – How the Mind works; The Blank Slate


    Plato – best translations are by Benjamin Jowett


    Sue Prideaux – I am Dynamite! (A stunning biography of Friedrich Nietzsche)


    Fiona MacCarthy – Byron, life and legend (Incredible biography of Byron)


    Mark McCormack – What they Don’t teach you at Harvard Business School


    John Stuart Mill – On Liberty and Other Essays


    Alice Miller – The Drama of being a Child


    Friedrich Nietzsche – Thus Spoke Zarathustra; Beyond Good and Evil; The Birth of Tragedy; The Will to Power


    Simon Sebag Montefiore – Jerusalem; The Romanovs


    Hans, Ole & Anna Rosling – Factfulness: why things are better than you think


    Carlo Rovelli – Seven Lessons on Physics


    Bertrand Russell – The History of Western Philosophy


    Timothy Taylor – The Instant Economist


    Torgrim Titlestad – Viking Legacy


    Sun-Tzu – The Art of War


    Robin Sharma - The Monk who sold his Ferrari


    Seneca – How to Die


    Voltaire – Candide, on optimism


    David Wallace Wells – The Uninhabitable Earth


    Happy reading

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