Summer Reading List

June 25, 2008 at 3:59 pm Leave a comment

So, among the many things I’m trying to accomplish this summer (including teaching myself to cook and scrounging up enough food to stay alive) is to read a hell of a lot of books. I have an extensive (and impossible) reading list I’m working on, though I only started recently. Listed here are the Top 20 books I’d like to get through this summer, with annotations!

Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley (Finished)
Freakonomics, by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner
Guns, Germs, and Steel, by Jared Diamond (In Progress)

Beowulf, Unknown Author*
Gulliver’s Travels, by Jonathan Swift (In Progress)**
Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand***
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, by Hunter S. Thompson
The Prince, by Niccolo Machiavelli****
Steal This Book, by Abbie Hoffman*****
The Constitution of the United States, by John Tucker^
Norwegian Wood, by Haruki Murakami
On the Road, by Jack Kerouac
A Clockwork Orange, by Anthony Burgess
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, by Ken Kesey^^
2001: A Space Odyssey, by Arthur C. Clarke^^^
In Cold Blood , by Truman Capote
Beautiful Losers, by Leonard Cohen
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, by Michael Chabon
The Assault on Reason, by Al Gore
Maps and Legends, by Michael Chabon

*I started reading Beowulf last Christmas, but it got put aside when going back to UBC and I never did finish it. So, there’s something to work on.

**I’ve actually tried to read Gulliver’s Travels twice. We read excerpts from it for my first-year English class, then I tried to do the whole thing last Summer. That ended when I found out my copy, part of the Norton Anthology of Literature, had been condensed and was thus missing a bunch of chapters. It’s a shame; Swift is a hell of a writer, and I was really enjoying the book. I just need to find a new copy.

***From what I’ve heard from reasonable people, Atlas Shrugged is a pretty tedious book. However, it’s essentially Holy Writ for Libertarians and Objectivists, who represent the exact opposite of my political philosophies in every way. I enjoy taking in viewpoints that are drastically opposed to my own, if only to get a different view of the world.

****I’m reading The Prince for the same reason as the last book; though Machiavelli is generally acknowledged to have been a supervillain, it’s nice to get an opposing view on the world.

*****Abbie Hoffman was fucking nuts; a anarchist and revolutionary who tossed dollar bills at Wall St., appeared before a court dressed as Santa Clause, and attempted to levitate the Pentagon. Though I disagree with many of his politics, I nonetheless find him an incredibly compelling figure, and Steal This Book is pretty much his most famous work.

^This doesn’t come up often, but I have a huge interest in Constitutional Law.

^^I’ve seen the movie (which was incredibly good), but never read One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. I’m told it’s fantastic. I guess we’ll see.

^^^2001: A Space Odyssey is a fantastic movie. It’s also completely batshit insane; the last 30 minutes involves a trippy journey across time and space and the main character super-aging into a space fetus (actually referred to as the ‘Star Child’). I love it to death, and would like to read the book if only to shed some light on things.

So, that’s what I’ll be reading this summer. I’ll keep you updated on how I do.

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