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KURT BELL'S LIBRARY

This page contains a list of books: my favorite books, a list of books I’ve read, another list of books I want to read, and a growing collection of my favorite quotes.

MY FAVORITE BOOKS
The following are titles worth reading as a foundation to good thought, and the pursuit of your own philosophy. These are the titles I would want to take with me should aliens come to haul me away forever, or the books I’d recommend to young adults looking to develop their world view and jump-start their personal philosophy.

Few books are sometimes enough, as suggested by Seneca:

“You must linger among a limited number of master thinkers, and digest
their works, if you would derive ideas which shall win firm hold in your mind.”

For my own reasons, I’ve taken care to list these titles in recommended order of reading.

  1. Walden by Henry David Thoreau

  2. Cosmos by Carl Sagan

  3. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

  4. Meditations by Marcus Aurelius (George Long translation recommended)

  5. The Enchiridion by Epictetus

  6. On the Shortness of Life by Seneca

  7. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

  8. Moral Letters to Lucilius by Seneca (click here for audio playlist)

  9. Essays by Ralph Waldo Emerson (particularly Self Reliance - Click here for audio version)

  10. The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins

  11. The House of the Seven Gables by Nathanial Hawthorn

  12. Moby Dick by Herman Melville

  13. Code of Hammurabi

  14. Enuma Elish - The Babylonian Epic of Creation

  15. Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard

  16. The Torah with commentary by Rabbi Rashi

  17. The Bible (King James and New International Version (NIV) editions) I read one chapter a day, beginning at the front and proceeding to the back, and then round-and-round again, every day, for all my life.

BOOKS I’VE READ
This list is comprehensive and includes the books listed above. I’ve organized them alphabetically, and by author, for easy reference, and have provided review ranking of between one to five stars *.

  • Abbey, Edward

    • Desert Solitaire ****

    • Hayduke Lives! ***

    • The Monkey Wrench Gang ***

  • Adams, Douglass

    • The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy *****

    • The Restaurant at the End of the Universe *****

    • So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish *****

  • Addison, Joseph

    • Reflections in Westminster Abbey ****

  • Alighieri, Dante

    • The Divine Comedy *****

  • Alger, Horatio & Alger, Horatio Jr.

    • Ragged Dick ***

    • Strive and Succeed ***

    • Only an Irish Boy ***

    • Struggling Upward ***

    • Do and Dare ***

    • A Boy’s Fortune ***

    • Chester Rand ***

  • Anonymous

    • The Bible **

  • Aristophanes

    • The Birds ****

  • Aristotle

    • Metaphysics ***

    • Parts of Animals ****

    • Nicomachean Ethics ****

    • Politics *****

    • Poetics ***

  • Arnold, Matthew

    • Dover Beach and Other Poems ***

  • Asimov, Isaac

    • i Robot *****

  • Athanasius

    • Life of Anthony **

  • Aurelius, Marcus

    • Meditations (George Long translation) *****

  • Bach, Richard

    • Jonathan Livingston Seagull ****

    • Illusions ****

  • Barker, Dan

    • Losing Faith in Faith *****

  • Beckford, William

    • Vathek ****

  • Bible - King James and New International Versions

  • Boswell, James

    • The Life of Samuel Johnson *****

  • Bradbury, Ray

    • Fahrenheit 451 ****

  • Bradford, William

    • Of Plymouth Plantation (select passages) *****

  • Bradstreet, Anne

    • To Her Father with Some Verses **

    • The Author to Her Book **

    • Before the Birth of One of Her Children **

    • To My Dear and Loving Husband ****

    • In reference to her children ***

    • In Memory of My Dear Grandchild Anne Bradstreet ***

    • Here Follows Some Verses upon the Burning of Our House ****

    • As Weary Pilgrim ***

    • My Dear Children *****

  • Buck, Pearl S.

    • The Good Earth ****

  • Burgess, Anthony

    • A Clockwork Orange ****

  • Cabeza de Vaca, Alvar Nunez

    • The Relation of Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca

  • Carroll, Lewis

    • Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland ****

  • Cervantes, Miguel de

    • Don Quixote *****

  • Charles, R.H.

    • The Book of Jubilees​

  • Code of Hammurabi *****

  • Columbus, Christopher

    • Regarding the First Voyage *****

    • Letter to Ferdinand and Isabella Regarding the Fourth Voyage *****

  • Conrad, Joseph

    • Heart of Darkness ***

  • Crawford, Jackson

    • The Cowboy Havamal ***

  • Cusick, David

    • The Iroquois Creation Story****

  • Davies, W. H.

    • The Autobiography of a Super-Tramp ***

  • Dawkins, Richard

    • The God Delusion ****

    • The Selfish Gene *****

  • De Kehoe, Joe

    • The Silence and the Sun *****

  • De las Casas, Bartolome de

    • The Very Brief Relation of the Devastation of the Indies *****

  • Dever, William G.

    • Did God Have a Wife?​ *****

  • Dillard, Annie

    • Pilgrim at Tinker Creek *****

  • Dispute of a man with his ba ****

  • Dostoevsky, Fyodor

    • Crime and Punishment ****

    • Poor Folk **

    • The Brother's Karamazov ****

  • Erikson, Erik H. and Joan M.

    • The Life Cycle Completed ***

  • Emerson, Ralph Waldo

    • Essays *****

  • Enuma Elish - The Babylonian Epic of Creation ***

  • Epictetus

    • The Enchiridion *****

  • Ford, Jamie

    • Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet ***

  • Gray, Thomas

    • Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard *****

  • Golding, William

    • The Lord of the Flies *****

  • Graham, Stephen

    • The Gentle Art of Tramping

  • Gunnhild

    • Eiriksmal ***

    • Hakonarmal ***

  • Griffin, John Howard

    • Black Like Me ***

  • Hagerstrom, Mitchell

    • Miss Gone-overseas ***

    • Overseas Stories ****

  • Hawthorne, Nathaniel

    • The House of the Seven Gables *****

    • The Scarlet Letter *****

  • Heraclitus

    • Fragments ****

  • Herbert, Frank

    • Dune ***

  • Hemingway, Ernest

    • The Old Man and the Sea ****

  • Holmes, Oliver Wendell

    • The Archbishop and Gil Blas ***

    • The Autocrat of the Breakfast Table *****

  • Homer

    • The Odyssey *****

  • Hubbard, Elbert

    • A Message to Garcia ****

  • Ibsen, Henrik

    • Brand ***

    • Peer Gynt ****

  • Johnson, Samuel Dr.

    • A Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland ****

    • London *****

    • Irene ***

    • On the Death of Stephen Grey ***
      Note: Originally composed by by Anna Williams

    • Poems

      • Prologue before A Word to the Wise ***

      • Prologue before the Masque of Comus ***

      • Prologue before The Good Natur'd Man ***

      • Spring ***

      • Midsummer ***

      • Autumn ****

      • Winter ***

      • The Winter's Walk ***

      • To Miss (upon being given a purse) ****

      • To Miss (upon playing the harpsichord) ***

      • Evening *****

        • To The Same *****

      • To a Friend *****

  • Juvenal

    • Satire III *****

    • Satire IV *****

  • Kerouac, Jack

    • On the Road ***

  • Kesey, Ken

    • One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest ***

  • King, Stephen

    • Joyland ***

    • Pet Sematary ***

    • The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon **

    • The Green Mile ***

  • Krakauer, Jon

    • Into the Wild ****

    • Into Thin Air ***

  • Lane, Ken

    • Desert Oracle ***

  • Lane, Rose Wilder

    • Let the Hurricane Roar​

  • Lewis, C.S.

    • Mere Christianity ***

    • The Screwtape Letters *****

    • The Great Divorce **

    • The Problem of Pain ***

    • A Grief Observed **

  • Lingenfelter, Richard E.

    • Death Valley & the Amargosa *****

  • London, Jack

    • The Call of the Wild *****

    • To Build a Fire *****

    • White Fang ***

  • Lorimer, George Horace

    • Letters from a Self-Made Merchant to his Son ****

  • Lucretius

    • On the Nature of the Universe *****

  • Maitland, Sara

    • A Book of Silence​

  • Mather, Cotton

    • The Trial of Martha Carrier ***

    • The Wonders of the Invisible World **

  • May, Todd

    • A Significant Life *****​

  • Melville, Herman

    • Barteleby, The Scrivener ***

    • Benito Cereno ****

    • Billy Budd, Sailor *****

    • The Bell Tower ***

    • The Enchantas, or Enchanted Isles ****

    • The Lightning-Rod Man ***

    • The Paradise of Bachelors and the Tartarus of Maids ***

    • The Piazza ***

    • Moby Dick *****

  • Montaigne, Michel de

    • On Solitude ****

    • On Books ****

    • On the Power of the Imagination ****

    • On Sadness ****

    • On Constancy ****

    • On Fear ****

    • How Our Mind Tangles Itself Up ****

    • On Conscience ****

    • On Anger ****

    • On Virtue ****

    • On Sleep ****

    • On The Length of Life ****

    • How we Weep and Laugh at the Same Thing ****

  • Morton, Thomas

    • Selections from New England Canaan ****

  • Nicolson, Adam

    • Sea Room ***

  • Norman, John (I read this series in my teens)

    • Tarnsman of Gor *

    • Outlaw of Gor *

    • Priest Kings of Gor *

    • Nomads of Gor *

    • Assassin of Gor *

    • Raiders of Gor *

  • Odin

    • Havamal ***

  • Onoda, Hiroo

    • No Surrender *

  • Orwell, George

    • 1984 *****

    • Animal Farm *****

  • Pepys, Samuel

    • The Diary of Samuel Pepys:
      The Great Plague of London & The Great
      Fire of London, (1665-1666) ****

  • Pfeiffer, Ida

    • Visit to Iceland and the Scandinavian North ***

  • Poe, Edgar Allan

    • The Raven *****

    • The Fall of the House of Usher ****

    • The Cask of Amontillado ****

    • The Pit and the Pendulum *****

  • Platt, Rutherford

    • The Great American Forest **

  • Powers, Phillip J.

    • Buppy *

  • Rand, Ayn

    • Atlas Shrugged **

  • Rowlandson, Mary

    • A Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration ****

  • Saint-Exupery, Antoine

    • The Little Prince ****

  • Salinger, J.D.

    • The Catcher in the Rye

  • Schiller, Friedrich

    • The Diver ***

  • Segan, Carl

    • Cosmos

  •  Seneca the Younger

    • Moral Letters to Lucilius *****

    • On the Shortness of Life *****

  • Shubin, Neil

    • Your Inner Fish *****

  • Solzhenitsyn, Aleksandr

    • The Gulag Archipelago ****

  • Simpson, Joe

    • Touching the Void ***

  • Sinclair, Upton

    • The Jungle ****

  • Steinbeck, John

    • Cannery Row *****

    • Of Mice and Men *****

    • The Grapes of Wrath *****

    • The Log from the Sea of Cortez **

    • The Pearl **

    • Tortilla Flat **

    • Travels With Charlie **

    • Sweet Thursday *****

    • Working Days **

  • Stevenson, Robert Lewis

    • Treasure Island ****

  • Stoker, Bram

    • Dracula ****

  • Stow, Harriet Beecher

    • Uncle Tom’s Cabin ***

  • Strobel, Lee

    • The Case for Christ **

  • The Code of Hammurabi

  • Thin Leather

    • The Pima Story of Creation ***

    • The Story of the Flood ****

  • Thomas, Lewis

    • The Lives of a Cell ***

  • Thoreau, Henry David

    • Civil Disobedience *****

    • Life Without Principal *****

    • Walden *****

    • The Maine Woods ****

  • Tolkien, J.R.R.

    • The Lord of the Rings ****

    • The Hobbit ****

  • Torah *****

  • Twain, Mark

    • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn *****

    • Tom Sawyer *****

  • Vonnegut, Kurt

    • Slaughterhouse Five ****

  • Wiesel, Elie​

    • Night​****

  • Wigglesworty, Michael

    • The Day of Doom *****

  • Winthrop, John ***

    • Select passages from The Journal of John Winthrop

  • Winnemucca Hopkins, Sarah

    • Life Among the Piutes: Their Wrongs and Claims ****

BOOKS I PLAN TO READ
Titles I hope to complete in my remaining days. This list is organized by priority, which means the books I want to read first are at the top of the list.

  1. 2001: A Space Odyssey – Arthur C. Clarke

  2. 50 Popular beliefs that people think are true - Guy P. Harrison

  3. A Universe From Nothing – Lawrence M. Krauss

  4. A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers – Henry David Thoreau

  5. Bertrand Russell on God and Religion – by Al Seckel, Prometheus Books, New York

  6. Basho: The Complete Haiku – Basho

  7. Book of Mormon (LDS holy text)

  8. Brave New World – Aldus Huxley

  9. Buddhist Records of the Western World - Samuel Beal

  10. Collected Poems of W.B. Yeats – W.B. Yeats

  11. David Copperfield – Charles Dickins

  12. Dover Beach and Other Poems - Matthew Arnold

  13. Emma – Jane Austen

  14. Epic of Gilgamesh – Anonymous

  15. Fathers and Sons – Ivan Turgenev

  16. Frankenstein – Mary Shelley

  17. God Is Not Great – Christopher Hitchens

  18. Great Expectations – Charles Dickins

  19. Holy the Firm - Annie Dillard

  20. Fragments - Heraclitus

  21. Innumeracy - John Allen Paulos

  22. Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte

  23. Leaves of Grass – Walt Witman

  24. Le Miserables – Victor Hugo

  25. Letter to a Christian Nation – Sam Harris

  26. Life of Anthony - Athanasius

  27. Mein Kampf – Adolf Hitler

  28. Nightfall – Isaac Asimov

  29. One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez

  30. Paradise Lost – John Milton

  31. Poems by Emily Dickinson – Emily Dickinson

  32. Silent Dwellers - Barbara Erakko Taylor

  33. The Age of Reason – Thomas Paine

  34. The Adventures of Oliver Twist

  35. The Analects of Confucius – Confucius

  36. The Best of Robert G. Ingersoll – Robert G. Ingersoll (Crusade Publications)

  37. The Dao de jing – (Taoist holy text)

  38. The Fall of the House of Usher – Edgar Allen Poe

  39. The Great American Forest - Rutherford Platt

  40. The Idiot – Fyodor Dostoyevsky

  41. The Invention of Nature. Alexander von Humboldt’s New World – Andrea Wulf

  42. The Life Cycle Completed - Joan M. Erikson

  43. The Long Dark Tea Time of the Soul – Douglas Adams

  44. The Qur’an (Islam holy text)

  45. The Sayings of the Desert Fathers

  46. The Sound and the Fury – William Faulkner

  47. The Sun Also Rises – Ernest Hemingway

  48. To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee

  49. Tripitaka (Buddhist holy text)

  50. Ulysses – James Joyce

  51. Vedas (Hindu holy text)

  52. Walking – Henry David Thoreau

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