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Updated: 7 May 2007

"Altogether I think that we should read only books that bite and sting us. If a book we are reading does not shake us awake like a blow on the skull, why bother reading it in the first place? So that it can 'make us happy,' as you put it? Good God, we'd be just as happy if we had no books at all. What we need are books that hit us like the most painful misfortune, that make us feel as though we had been banished to the woods. A book must be an axe for the frozen sea within us." — Kafka

Never read books just to pass the time.
Read books because there is something in the book you WANT.

Here is what I'm reading these days. I'd love to talk about these books. Send me an email and let's talk about books.

Spring 2007

The Qur'an, A Biography
Bruce Lawrence
All the Pretty Horses
Cormac McCarthy
Shalimar the Clown
Salman Rushdie
The Tao of Jung
David Rosen
Sacred Places
Jane Yolen
Illustrated by David Shannon
The Canterbury Tale
For Children
Gerladine McCaughrean
Charles Bukowski
Howard Sounes
Who Wrote the Bible?
Richard Elliott Friedman
The Gospel According to the Son
Norman Mailer
The True Believer
Eric Hoffer
The Shakespeare Wars
Ron Rosenbaum
The Koran
Translated by John Medows Rodwell
Poems in Persons
Norman Holland
Jamaica Me Dead
Bob Morris

Winter 2006–2007

The Wicked Son
David Mamet
The Chosen
Chaim Potok
Holy Terror
Terry Eagleton
Literary Theory
Terry Eagleton
A Reader's Companion to A Brief History of Time
Edited by Stephen Hawking
A History of God
Karen Armstrong
The Gay Talese Reader
Gay Talese
God's Secretaries
Adam Nicolson
Why Darwin Matters
Michael Shermer

Fall 2006

Rembrandt's Jews
Steven Nadler
This Terrible Business Has Been Good to Me
Norman Jewison
State of Denial
Bob Woodward
The Book of Lost Books
Stuart Kelly
The Collected Works of Spinoza
Volume One
Edwin Curley, ed.
Spinoza Dictionary
Dogbert D. Runes
Foreword by Albert Einstein
New Orleans, Mon Amour
Andrei Cordescu
A Writer's Life
Gay Talese
The Reluctant Mr. Darwin
David Quammen
Betraying Spinoza
Rebecca Goldstein
The End of Faith
Sam Harris
Jorge Luis Borges
Spinoza: Practical Philosophy
Gilles Deleuze

Summer 2006

Spinoza, A Very Short Introduction
Roger Scruton
Theological–Political Treatise
Baruch Spinoza
Library, An Unquiet History
Matthew Battles
The Trial of Socrates
I.F. Stone
The Library Book
Maureen Saiva
The Knowledge Deficit
E.D. Hirsch, Jr.
Saul Bellow
The Book of Imaginary Beings
Jorge Luis Borges
Wilt, 1962
Gary M. Pomerantz
Critical Lessons
Nel Noddings
Shakespeare for All Time
Stanley Wells
The Proust Project
Edited by Andre Aciman
Edgar Allan Poe & The Jukebox
Elizabeth Bishop
Conversation with Spinoza
Goce Smilevski
Proust in Love
William C. Carter
The Walmart Effect
Charles Fishman
The Other Bible
Gnostic Gospels
Dead Sea Scrolls
Visionary Wisdom Texts
Christian Apocrypha
Jewish Pseudepigrapha
Edited by Willis Barnstone

Spring 2006

Libraries in the Ancient World
Lionel Casino
The Vanished Library
Luciano Canfora
American Theocracy
Kevin Phillips
Thou Art That
Joseph Campbell
The Courtier and the Heretic
Matthew Stewart
Recovering Your Story
Arnold Weinstein
Shakespeare, the Biography
Peter Ackroyd
A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare: 1599
James Shapiro
The Spinoza of Market Street
Isaac Bashevis Singer
Spinoza, A Life
Steven Nadler

Winter 2005–2006

Art and Reality
Joyce Cary
The Old Religion
David Mamet
Eats, Shoots & Leaves
Lynne Truss
Looking for Spinoza
Antonio Damasio
Marcel Proust
Edmund White
David Mamet
Everything Bad Is Good For You
Steven Johnson
Old Twentieth
Joe Haldeman
War Year
Joe Haldeman
The Forever War
Joe Haldeman
Joe Haldeman
The Hemingway Hoax
Joe Haldeman

Fall 2005

Summer 2005

Jews, God, and History
Max I… Dimont
Stuart Hampshire
Benedict Spinoza
The Sayings of the Buddha
Selected by Geoffrey Parrinder
Translated by F Max–Muller,
revised by Suren Navlakha
Goldberg Street
David Mamet
The Crisis of Psychoanalysis
Erich Fromm
Marx's Concept of Man
Erich Fromm
Letters to a Young Actor
Robert Brustein
Democracy Matters
Cornell West
A Godless Jew
Peter Gay
David McCullough
Five Cities of Refuge
Lawrence Kushner and David Mamet
The Cabin
David Mamet
A Practical Handbook
for the Actor
Scott Ziegler
A History of the Middle East
Peter Mansfield
Where Shall Wisdom Be Found
Harold Bloom
Hemingway in Africa
Christopher Ondaatje
Page After Page
Heather Sellers
Whose Bible Is It?
Jaroslav Pelikan

Spring 2005

David Mamet
Shakespeare After All
Marjorie Garber
Boston Marriage
David Mamet
Ultramarathon Man
Dean Karnazes
Will in the World
Stephen Greenblatt
An Open Life
Jospeh Campbell and Michael Toms
Our Town
Thornton Wilder
Among the Believers
V. S. Naipaul
Civilization and Its Discontents
Sigmund Freud
Aristotle's Children
Richard E. Rubenstein
The Question of God
Armand M. Nicholi Jr.
A House for Mr. Biswas
V. S. Naipaul

Winter 2004–2005

Sexuality and the Psychology of Love
Sigmund Freud
The Shakespeare Stealer
Gary Blackwood
The Man Who Died
D. H. Lawrence
Ryder Haggard
Eros and Civilization
Herbert Marcuse
Theories of Surplus Value, Books 2 & 3
Karl Marx

Fall 2004

The City of Ember
Jeanne DuPrau
Shakespeare's Language
Frank Kermode
Northrop Frye on Shakespeare Desire of the Everlasting Hills
Thomas Cahill
The Gift of the Jews
Thomas Cahill

Summer 2004

William Shakespeare
Venus and Adonis
William Shakespeare
The Rape of Lucrece
William Shakespeare
The Meaning of Everything
Simon Winchester
Sailing the Wine Dark Sea
Thomas Cahill
Herman Hesse
The Wolfman and Other Cases
Sigmund Freud
Atlas Shrugged
Ayn Rand

Spring, 2004

Herman Hesse
Knut Hamsun
The Shreber Case
Sigmund Freud
Martin Luther, A Life
James A. Nestingen
The Age of Shakespeare
Frank Kermode
Mysteries Knut Hamsun
The Psychopathology of Everyday Life
Sigmund Freud
The Joke and Its Relation to the Unconscious
Sigmund Freud

Winter 2003–2004

The Imaginary Girlfriend
John Irving
The Worldly Philosophers
Robert Heilbronner
Living by Fiction
Annie Dillard
How to Read
Harold Bloom
The War of the Worlds
H.G. Wells

Fall, 2003

Tales of Hoffmann
E.T.A. Hoffmann
The Books in My Life
Henry Miller

Summer, 2003

The Best American Poetry 2002
Ed. Robert Creely
Knut Hamsun

Spring, 2003

Far Away
A play by Caryl Churchill
Theories of Surplus Value, Part One
Karl Marx
Like Shaking Hands with God
Kurt Vonnegut and Lee Stringer
What is a Book?
David Kirby
The Pursuit of Oblivion
Richard Davenport–Hines

Winter, 2002–2003

The Life of the Drama
Eric Bentley
Marxist Esthetics
Henri Arvon
Marquis de Sade
Afterglow, A Last Conversation with Pauline Kael
Pauline Kael and Francis Davis
The Play About the Baby
Edward Albee

Fall, 2002

Me and Shakespeare
Herman Gollob
To the Finland Station
Edmund Wilson
Noam Chomsky
Charles Dickens
Jane Smiley

Summer 2002

The Black Jacobins
C.L.R. James
Mariners, Renegades, and Castaways
C.L.R. James
Adventures in Marxism
Marshall Berman
How Proust Can Change Your Life
Alain de Botton

Spring 2002

Saint Augustine
Garry Wills
True at First Light
Ernest Hemingway
Karl Marx
The Making of Marx's 'Capital'
Roman Rosdolsky

Winter 2001–2002

Anna Karenina
Leo Tolstoy
David Mamet
The Hero
Lord Raglan

Fall 2001

David Auburn
Too Cool
Duff Brenna
The Tin Drum
Gunter Grass
Leaves of Grass
Walt Whitman
Advice to a Young Critic
George Bernard Shaw

Summer 2001

James Joyce
The Stuff of Dreams
Leah Hager
Ghosts of Manila
Mark Kram
Call if You Need Me
Raymond Carver
On Writing
Stephen King

Spring 2001

The Copernican Revolution
Thomas S. Kuhn
Quarrel and Quandary
Cynthia Ozick
Phillip Callow

Winter 2000–2001

Axel's Castle Leviathan
Thomas Hobbes

Fall 2000

The Proust Screenplay
Harold Pinter

Summer 2000

In Search of Lost Time Marcel Proust

Spring, 2000

Aliens of Affection
Padgett Powell
Ralph Ellison
Paul Thomas Anderson
Best American Sports Stories
ed. David Halbstrom
Finnegans Wake
James Joyce

Winter, 1999—2000

Hedda Gabler
Henrik Ibsen
The Importance of Being Earnest
Oscar Wilde
The Best American Poetry 1999
ed Robert Bly

Fall, 1999

Capital: Volume 3
Karl Marx
Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human
Harold Bloom

Summer, 1999

Capital: Volume 1
Karl Marx
Capital: Volume 2
Karl Marx