Top 10 Book List
A common theme - none of these were easy reads but they all proved to be worth the effort.

1. A Winter's Tale (Mark Helprin)

A fantasy urban love story complete with flying horse. What I love the most is how beautiful his language is - his novels are like 400 page poems. His "A Soldier in the Great War" is even more awesome in many ways and much more accesible.

2. Gravity's Rainbow (Thomas Pynchon)

A complex story about the V2 rocket. I think Pynchon was a Physics major years ago and many his references and themes show a seemingly encyclopedic knowledge of scientific disciplines.

3. Catch 22 (Joseph Heller)

The funniest most cynical book ever written. I read this twice back to back because I laughed all the way through it. It was the perfect book for a young teenager in the early 60's to develop his cynical view of the world before going off to college and demonstrating against the Vietnam War. This is the book that helped us to "question authority".

4 The Recognitions ( William Gaddis)

What is art ? Wyatt Gwyon paints "forgeries" by creating original works which are such good reproductions of famous artists' styles they pass as newly discovered masterpieces.

5 Women Who Run with Wolves (Clarissa Pinkola Estes)

Myths, folk and fairy tales that illustrate the natural strength of women based on the Jungian wild woman archetype . She encourages women to get in touch with their instinctual power that has been masked by the domesitication of modern life.

6. The Story of Civilization -The Lessons of History (WIll & Ariel Durant)

A synopsis of lessons learned from their multivolume History of Civilization. I must admit I skipped ahead to this slim volume after plowing through a half dozen thick historical volumes.

7. Gaia (James Lovelock )

A novel look at planet earth and our effect on it. It views the entire biosphere as a self-regulating entity that includes all living and non-living things as a way to understand the intricacies of mother earth and how humanity affects it.

8. Guns, Germs, and Steel (Jared Diamond)

Geography as destiny. Diamond studies the historical winners and losers among civilizations and why some thrived while others died.

9 The Poetry of Robert Frost (Robert Frost )

Our most accessible poet. I'm from New England and we always felt like we owned him.

10. The History of God (Karen Armstrong )

Story of the major monotheitic religions born in the Middle East (focused on Jewish, Christianity, and Islam ) and how they were created and grew with their unique ideas about god.


  1. Add Collapse (Jared Diamond) to the inventory. Amazing stuff.

  2. I agree but I enjoyed Guns/Germs&Steel more. Thanks for the comment !