Monday, April 10, 2006

The Nonfiction List (paca)

Well, I said I might so a nonfiction list, so let's give it a go. I have chosen not to number this time, so I don't give an impression of ranking.

  • Foreign Devils on the Silk Road by Peter Hopkirk (archaeologists both preserving and looting China in the 20s and 30s).
  • The Symposium of Plato - a meditation on love
  • Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis - good for thought
  • Adventures in Ideas by A.N. Whitehead - a bit of philosophy. If you are into theology, which I am not really, process theology is born out of Whitehead's reflections. Warning, this is tough going.
  • Tone by Moira Yip - a great resource on tone languages of the world
  • On Liberty by John Stuart Mill - classic defense of leaving people alone unless they hurt others. This is liberalism in the old sense.
  • A Generative Theory of Tonal Music by Fred Lerdahl and Ray Jackendoff - a look at music theory from a linguistic theoretical perspective. Almost certainly wrong and hard-slogging, but full of ideas.
  • Being There by Andy Clark - philosophy of cognition exploring the concept of embodiment.
  • The Zen Kitchen by Dogen and Uchiyama - If you were the cook in a Zen monastery, how would you act? Would you resent the lowly position? Or would you practice zazen through being a cook here, now?
  • Mulamadyamikakarikas by Nagarjuna. Wonderful Sutras of the Middle Way. Nirvana is. Nirvana is not. Nirvana is and is not. Nirvana neither is nor is not. Got it?
Again the criteria was not that I read it and really enjoyed it. I have to have read it and want to read it again, and again.

Anyone care to share some of their favorites?

2 comments:

kristybox said...

Both of my lists, F and NF, make me sound silly and boring:

Fiction:
1984 by George Orwell
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
Harry Potter (all of them)
Prep by Curtis Sitterfeld
Ender's Game by Orsen Scott Card
Anthem by Ayn Rand

Nonfiction:
How To Do Everything With Your Palm
The Organized Executive
Getting Things Done

J said...

Favorite NF:

The Universe and the Teacup, by K.C. Cole.

Why People Believe Weird Things, by Michael Shermer.