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Booklist

Here’s where I’ll keep a running list of what I’m reading and what I want to read, plus a little bit about each book. If I think the book is worthwhile.

Currently Reading:

  • Passionate Nation, James L. Haley — A Texas history book, written as a narrative. It’s a lot easier to read than a textbook, and is written with a nice sense of humor about the Texan condition (i.e., pride, megalomania, and boldness that’s sometimes mistaken for stupidity.)
  • Welcome to the Monkey House, Kurt Vonnegut — A collection of Vonnegut’s short stories. His humor is painfully truthful.
  • Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Robert Louis Stevenson — I haven’t been very good at reading fiction for a while. THis might change that – it’s written so beautifully.
  • Economics in One Lesson, Henry Hazlitt — I’ve been interested in economics for a little while, but I really want to learn some basic theory before I start analyzing our current economic crisis or making claims I can’t back up.

Want to Read:

  • The Count of Monte Christo — It’s on everyone’s lists, so it’s gotta be good (how’s that for logic?). And I sure do like me some adventure.
  • How to Speak and How to Listen, Mortimer J. Adler — These are two skills I really need to work on.
  • The Fountainhead, Ayn Rand — Many of my friends have suggested I read some Rand, so I read Anthem because it was short. I liked it. A lot. I want to tackle some more of her ideas of individualism and objectivism.

Just Plain Good Books That I’ve Read:

  • Flatland, Edwin Abbott — It’s a novel about the lives of geometric shapes, and the worlds they live in. The first half is a little slow, but then you get into the world-view altering part.
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde — A truly beautiful work of fiction that brings up questions of vanity and morality.
  • Ishmael, Daniel Quinn — Explores human mythology, evolution, and civilization through dialogue. This one will leave you pulling your hair out, trust me.
  • Brave New World, Aldous Huxley — A dystopian future in which people are engineered and created in factories to be perfectly content, agreeable, and good at their jobs.
  • The Law, Frédéric Bastiat — A pamphlet about the way laws should be.
  • One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Ken Kesey — An incredible story that takes place in an insane asylum, and poses questions about sanity and self-reliance.
  • College Without High School, Blake Boles — This is a good resource for anybody who’s unschooling or considering unschooling, regardless of age. Boles talks about how to impress colleges without an official transcript, manage time well, and take advantage ofthe adventures that unschooling provides you with.
  • Slaughterhouse 5, Kurt Vonnegut — I love Vonnegut. This book is a portrait of war and the beauty of normal life.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Ciaran permalink
    June 16, 2010 6:31 pm

    You should get a Goodreads
    http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/2454533-ciaran-finlayson

    • rbabb permalink
      June 21, 2010 12:22 am

      Done! Thanks for the tip.

  2. Byron permalink
    June 19, 2010 7:28 pm

    My recommendations:

    A Whole New Mind- Dan Pink addresses right-brain, creative thinking and its growing prominence in the emerging Conceptual Age. Very Postrel-esque in his attitude towards change and flexibility.

    Invisible Cities- Speaking of poetry and the beauty of the spontaneous order of cities, Italo Calvino’s masterpiece travelogue/dialogue between Marco Polo and Khubilai Khan is one of my absolute favorite books. Great fun, a fast read, but you’ll want to reread it over and over and dogear your favorite passages.

    The Fountainhead- You’re a homeschooler now, so you’ve got no excuse not to tackle this glorious mammoth. Don’t worry about the troubled history or garbled epistemology of the Objectivist philosophy that came after; the book stands by itself as a thing of beauty and inspiration. Warning: as you are reading this, you *will* seriously consider the appeal of becoming a starving architect.

    Thus Spoke Zarathustra- Christian theologians throughout history have used the rich metaphorical language of the Bible to describe myriad unique philosophies. Here, the mad genius Nietzsche tells his own enigmatic and mesmerizing parables in a Post-God, Newer Testament. I keep coming back to the powerful imagery of the Three Metamorphoses, the Overman and the Last Man, Master Morality and Slave Morality, the Death of God, the Flies of the Marketplace, the Preachers of Sleep, the Preachers of Death (or the Tarantulas), and the Eternal Recurrence to describe the best conclusions of existential humanism and virtuous egoism. Look for the Kaufmann translation.

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