A list of some of my favorite literature; click on the links to read the in-depth review for each

 

GO TO PAGE 1 of LITERATURE REVIEWS   (Modern: Marquez,  Rand, Helprin)

GO TO PAGE 2 of LITERATURE REVIEWS   (German: Hesse, Rilke)

GO TO PAGE 3 of LITERATURE REVIEWS   (Dostoevsky, Novels, Biography)

GO TO PAGE 4 of LITERATURE REVIEWS (Tolstoy)

GO TO PAGE 5 of LITERATURE REVIEWS  (Classics, Dante)

GO TO Fantasy & Science Fiction Book REVIEWS  (Neuromancer , Dune, Lord of the Rings)

  GO TO MYTH & PHILOSOPHY BOOK REVIEWS

 

  These are sumaries: To read the full review click the title link or choose the links above the view all the Great Literature reviews 
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Maybe the great 20th Century novel. This is a book to be savored, read and reread. If you've not read this, you won't understand what all the discussion is about (people love or hate the book, many find it boring or confusing).  From the horrors and confusion of life.... he finds...beauty.  This was the first literature that I thought was as beautiful as a symphony...

Ahead of All Parting: The Selected Poetry and Prose of Rainer Maria Rilke
 

Even in translation, Rilke is the greatest poet (reading him in German is better).
This is the voice of the lone poetic soul looking at life. If you read Rilke, he will touch your soul.

 

excerpts       Rilke Duino Elegies (1&2)    You Who Never Arrived  and the Book of Hours

Steppenwolf by Hermann Hesse

A great work  of Hesse; the wolf live in a man, but seeks to be tamed

Narcissus and Goldmund by Hermann Hesse

My favorite work of Hesse, I've often reread it; life offers many paths, one of passion and the other of control and restraint. Two friends walk these paths for a lifetime, which path is ultimately the most fulfilling?

   
glass bead game Magister Ludi: The Glass Bead Game by Herman Hesse
 

The last and greatest of Hesse's novel. About the "meaning" and purpose of life and It's experiences; about transcending the individual viewpoint and seeing the Grand Design behind it all.

The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Doestoevsky writes of the human condition, deep and at the same time entertaining. Pevear's translation is best.

   

Dostoevsky: A Writer in His Time by  Joseph Frank

A great 1,000 page biography of Dostoevsky. The greatest biography I've every read, every paragraph is full of history, philosophy, aesthetics and the life of the writer.

I would love to read this paragraph by paragraph in a discusssion group, every page is full of literary, philosophical and historical references that could be discussed for hours.

 

  Gogol
Winter's Tale by Mark Helprin

One amazing, joyous, poignant adventure, you'll reread this.
If the author tightened this by 30 pages and strengthened the ending this would be one of the great modern novels.

Naked Came I by David Weiss

A wonderful historical novel on the life of Rodin. Like looking over his shoulder as he creates his masterpieces.

Instant Zen: Waking Up in the Present by Ching-Yuan

Live fully, awake in this moment. This is the expression of the Enlightened mind. My favorite Buddhist book

The Complete Works of Shakespeare by William Shakespeare

An annotated Shakespeare is essential, this is a good option, or pickup the Arden individual copies (not the single volume Arden that eliminated the greats annotations in the individual volumes)

 

dante  The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri; Translation by John CiardiBook Reviews 1

This is a most poetic translation. John Ciardi was a great poet himself, and his use of semi-terza rima  required a great literary genius. Reading this translation gives us a sense of what it would be like to read in the original language, how the poetry sounded and felt. It's so well done that sometimes it's hard to believe that this is only a translation of the masterpiece

 

   
Atlas Shrugged

Atlas Shrugged: By Ayn Rand
 

Not the greatest literature, but a interesting plot and message: This book's economic message is timely.

One Robe, One Bowl: The Zen Poetry of Ryokan
 

A great, touching, meaningful, beautiful set of Zen poems.

   

 

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Updated: November 18, 2011 09:03:14 PM