Book Recommendations

Book Recommendations Introduction Page and Table of Contents


Introduction

As an artist, I hold a great appreciation for basically all creative forms of expression – be they in literature, cinema, photography, dance, painting, sculpture, etc. Over my lifetime, I have explored many of them in some way or another. Although my favorite passion is to write fiction, I have also carried a deep respect for the joy and liberating power of reading all types of literature. And as I know many other people can testify for themselves, there is a special satisfaction that is felt from sharing one’s passion for art with others who also enjoy it whether or not they call themselves artists.

Today however, reading a good book (whether fiction or nonfiction) seems to have fallen a bit along the wayside in terms of popularity when compared to the instant gratification of watching a movie or music video, playing a video game, and indulging in the apparently boundless fixation of social media (admittedly, this seems quite strange for me to say considering the medium I’m using myself right now. Ha ha!). Let’s face it, technology has made it ridiculously easy to heap upon ourselves more and more ways to commandeer our time and flood our senses with inventions that are ironically designed to not only make our lives more enjoyable but also simplify them. These days, I think many would agree life seems anything but simple. On the contrary, the massive degree of sophistication to which technology has progressed appears to constantly entice society to find new ways to crowd new things into our day to distract or even “numb” us from the overwhelming state of our lives. At the end of the day, whether people are settling in from school, work, or child rearing (which is itself work and doesn’t stop simply because the sun goes down), many of us find crashing in front of the boob tube, a laptop, or an XBox considerably more appealing to engage than flipping through the pages of book (or even swiping across the screen of a Kindle). Why? Well, I think it’s because many of us have become conditioned to believe it’s more fun to not have to think or immerse ourselves in activities that take more than a second to derive the “instant pleasure” we have become accustomed to with television, iPods, and PlayStations. Reading a book on the other hand involves a more gradual process of self-gratification and many of us have evidently decided long ago we generally don’t have the patience to spend hours or even days in an endeavor to quench our insatiable, perhaps even vampiric lust for self-gratification.

In my view, and as someone who grew up loving to read, I find this to be heartbreaking – considering that I believe a much more worthy and lasting reward is often realized from exploring the boundless reaches of our imagination (which is definitely one thing a good book can always provide that a two hour movie or three minute music video never can.

This is why I have decided to share this ever-evolving list of books that I have found to be especially entertaining or inspiring in some way. Admittedly, this is currently a small list right now and I haven’t updated it for quite a while. However, this is hardly representative of all the books I’ve read (just a drop in the bucket). Unfortunately, I never really bothered to keep a record of all the titles I read over the years. So, as I continue to add titles of new books I read, I’ll also continue to make an effort to rediscover the names of the old ones I’ve perused over a lifetime. After all, the names of books may slip our memories as time flies on (unless you have a photographic one – which I don’t), but the impact of meaningful experiences stays with us for all our days. And I hope the titles I share here will touch the lives of others who discover them for themselves.

Enjoy!

Table of Contents


Non-fiction

The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr. (by Martin Luther King & Clayborne Carson)

The Diary of A Young Girl (by Anne Frank)

A People’s History of the United States (by Howard Zinn)

The Rise and Fall of The Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany (by William L. Shirer)

Wishing On The Moon: The Life and Times of Billie Holiday (by Donald Clarke)

Fiction

1984 (by George Orwell)

A Streetcar Named Desire (Tennessee Williams)

Anna Karenina (by Leo Tolstoy)

Belinda (by Anne Rice)

Cat On A Hot Tin Roof (by Tennessee Williams)

The Complete Works of Edgar Allan Poe

Shakespeare: The Complete Works

Crime and Punishment (by Fyodor Dostoyevsky)

The Skull (by Philip K. Dick)


 

Last Updated: 01/26/2018

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