Category Archives: Lists

Compulsive book buying in Vegas

Timothy Ferriss, author of The Four-Hour Workweek, advises me to limit my reading.

I can’t do that, Mr. Ferriss. But, I do like your book.

The advice is interesting on how to save time and keep interruptions to a minimum, but organizations are made up of people, not machines. Having been on the receiving end of some of Ferriss’s tactics, I don’t think they inspire loyalty.

Dan Carlin’s Excellent Podcasts

Check out Dan Carlin's blog and surf to Amazon to buy books from his reading list.

Check out Dan Carlin’s blog and surf to Amazon to buy books from his reading list. You’ll have to scroll down on Dan’s page to see the book list.

Today I successfully, (I think), linked my Word Wabbit Facebook account to the Word Wabbit blog, so if you prefer to get your blog notifications via Facebook, this should now be working. This is a test to see if it does.

Today, as I read Countdown to Zero Day by Kim Zetter, I can’t help but think about a recent podcast done by Dan Carlin called “Show 42 Logical Insanity,” which shows up in his Hardcore History series. In this podcast, Dan talks about how humans can shift our perspectives in evaluating war crimes, atrocities, and crimes against humanity to make them seem logical and necessary. That’s a pretty impressive mental trick if you ask me and I wanted to learn more.

Dan discusses the firestorms and bombing of civilians in World War II. After listening, I find myself baffled by two things. One is I’m baffled that I never heard anything about this in my history classes. And two, I’m baffled that it happened at all.

And maybe I’ve been listening to too much Dan, but hearing about World War II and what led to the U.S. leadership justifying the need to drop the atomic bomb, I’m becoming worried about what’s in store for us in our next world war.

This makes the storyline of Countdown to Zero Day much more compelling as I gain a greater understanding of the importance of tracking who in the world is enriching uranium. And I’m replaying the Bush (II) years in my mind, which I still don’t have a handle on.

So that’s my weekly plug for Dan Carlin. Dan—you’re welcome. 🙂

Stay tuned for the upcoming post on Countdown to Zero Day. And check out Dan’s reading list, shown in the graphic above. A larger, more legible version is on his website.

A Reading List

Bunch of booksBelow is a reading list I received upon entering high school. Uh hem, looks like I still have some reading to do.

It is strongly recommended that all Freshman begin individual reading programs that will lead to the completion of the following works by the time of graduation from high school. This will give you a basis upon which to begin your reflections on the history of Western Civilization.

[BTW, I have hardly read any of these, but who knows, maybe I will now.]

  1. Iliad by Homer
  2. Odyssey by Homer
  3. Oedipus Rex by Sophocles
  4. Antigone by Sophocles
  5. Persians by Aeschylus
  6. Bacchae by Euripides (MIT version)
  7. Hippolytus by Euripides
  8. Clouds, Lysistrata by Aristophanes
  9. Peloponnesian War by Thucydides (YouTube version) (431 B.C.)
  10. Histories by Herodotus
  11. Education of Cyrus, Cyropaedia by Xenophon
  12. Apology, Symposium by Plato
  13. Nicomacean Ethics by Aristotle (340 B.C.)
  14. On the Nature of Things by Lucretius
  15. Letters by Seneca
  16. Aeneid by Vergil
  17. Eunichus by Terence
  18. Discourses by Epictetus
  19. History of Rome by (Titus Livius) Livy
  20. Annals by Tacitus
  21. Pro Cluentio, On Old Age, On Friendship by Cicero
  22. Metamorphosis by Ovid
  23. Golden Ass by Apuleius
  24. New Testament
  25. Life of Charlemagne
  26. Beowulf
  27. Ecclestical History by Bede
  28. Divine Comedy by Dante
  29. Confessions by Augustine
  30. Canterbury Tales by Chaucer
  31. 2nd Shepards Play by Wakefield Poet
  32. Autobiography by Celleni
  33. Discourses by Machiavelli
  34. Macbeth by Shakespeare
  35. Hamlet by Shakespeare
  36. Midsummer’s Night Dream by Shakespeare
  37. Tempest by Shakespeare
  38. Don Quixote by Cervantes
  39. Discourse on Method by Descartes
  40. Confessions by Rosseau
  41. Essays by Montaigne
  42. Fables by La Fontaine
  43. Pensees by Pascal
  44. Misanthrope by Moliere
  45. Faust by Goethe
  46. Tom Jones by Fielding
  47. Moll Flanders by Defoe
  48. Humphrey Clinker by Smollett
  49. Sense and Sensibility by Austen
  50. Gryll Grange by Peacock
  51. Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Gibbon
  52. War and Peace by Tolstoy
  53. Pickwick Papers by Dickens
  54. Middlemarch by George Eliot
  55. Marius, the Epicurean by Pater
  56. Conclusion to the Renaissance by Pater
  57. Culture and Anarchy by Arnold
  58. Pere Goriot by Balzac
  59. Salammbo by Flaubert
  60. Swann’s Way by Proust
  61. Death in Venice by Mann
  62. Turn of the Screw by James
  63. Billy Budd by Melville
  64. Huckleberry Finn by Twain
  65. Essays by Emerson
  66. Walden by Thoreau
  67. Double Helix by Watson and Crick
  68. Metamorphosis by Kafka
  69. Gravity’s Rainbow by Pyncheon
  70. Jitterbug Perfume by Robbins
  71. Alexandria Quartet by Durrell


So where did I go to high school, right? Not a New Year’s resolution, but definitely something to ponder.






Random Russian Reading List

Russian reading listLeonid Andreev, The Abyss (1902)
Svetlana Alliluyeva, Twenty Letters to a Friend (1967)
Anna Akhmatova, Requiem (1963)
Vasily Aksenov, Generations of Winter (1994)

Mikhail Bulgakov, The Master and Margarita (written between 1928 and 1940; published in 1967)
Andrei Bitov, Pushkin House (1978)
Boris Bugayev, Andrey Bely (1880),  The Silver Dove (1910)
Ivan Bunin, The Village (1909)

Anton Chekhov, Ward No 6 (1892)
Anton Chekhov, The Darling (1899)
Anton Chekhov, Duel (1892)
Anton Chekhov, My Life (1896)
Anton Chekhov, Peasants (1897)
Anton Chekhov, In the Ravine (1900)
Anton Chekhov, The Lady with the Dog (1899)

Fyodor Dostoevsky, Crime and Punishment (1866)
Fyodor Dostoevsky, Brothers Karamazov (1880)
Fyodor Dostoevsky, Double (1846)
Fyodor Dostoevsky, Idiot (1869)
Fyodor Dostoevsky, Notes From Underground (1864)
Fyodor Dostoevsky, Possessed (1872)
Fyodor Dostoevsky, White Nights (1848)
Sergei Dovlatov, Affiliate (1990)
Sergei Dovlatov, The Compromise (1983)
Sergei Dovlatov, Craft: A Story in Two Parts (1985)
Sergei Dovlatov, Demarche of Enthusiasts (1985)
Sergei Dovlatov, The Foreign Branch (1989)
Sergei Dovlatov, A Foreign Woman (1986)
Sergei Dovlatov, The Invisible Book (1977)
Sergei Dovlatov, March of the Single People (1983)
Sergei Dovlatov, Notebooks (1990)
Sergei Dovlatov, Ours: A Russian Family Album (1989)
Sergei Dovlatov, The Performance (1987)
Sergei Dovlatov, Pushkin Hills (2014)
Sergei Dovlatov, The Reserve (1983)
Sergei Dovlatov, Solo on Underwood: Notebooks (1980)
Sergei Dovlatov, The Suitcase (1986)
Sergei Dovlatov, The Zone:A Prison Camp Guard’s Story (1982)

Vsevolod Garsin, Red Flower (1883)
Nikolai Gogol, Dead Souls (1842)
Nikolai Gogol, The Night Before Christmas (1832)
Nikolai Gogol, The Nose (1836)
Nikolai Gogol, The Overcoat (1842)
Nikolai Gogol, Taras Bulba (1842)
Ivan Goncharov, Oblomov (1859)
Ivan Goncharov, Same Old Story (1847)

Aleksander Herzen, Whose Fault (1846)

Vladislav Khodasevich, Heavy Lyre (1922)
Vladislav Khodasevich, European Night (1927)
Vladimir Korolenko, Makar’s Dream (1885)
Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky, Quadraturin (1926)
Andrei Kurkov, Death and the Penguin (1996)

Ivan Lazhechnikov, The Ice Palace (1835)
Leonid Leonov, Russian Forest (1953)
Leonid Leonov, The Thief (1927)
Mikhail Lermontov, A Hero of Our Time (1841)
Nikolai Leskov, The Enchanted Wanderer (1873)
Nikolai Leskov, The Cathedral Folk (1872)
Nikolai Leskov, The Sealed Angel
Kotik Letayev, The Memoirs of a Crank (1923)

Vladimir Nabokov, Glory (1832)
Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita (1955)

Vladimir Odoevskij, Russian Nights (1844)
Yuri Olesha, Envy (1927)

Boris Pasternak, Doctor Zhivago (1957)
Liudmila Petrushevskaia, The Time: Night (1994)
Ludmilla Petrushevskaya, There Once Lived a Woman Who Tried to Kill Her Neighbor’s Baby (2009)
Aleksei Pisemsky, One Thousand Souls (1858)
Andrei Platonov, Foundation Pit (1951)
Andrei Platonov, Chevengur (1951)
Alexander Pushkin, Eugene Onegin (1825)
Aleksander Pushkin, The Queen of Spades (1834)

Valentin Rasputin, Final Term (1971)

Aleksei Remizov, Pond (1903)
Aleksei Remizov, Olja (1927)

Mikhail Saltykov-Shchedrin, Gospoda Golovlevy/ The Golovlyov Family (1876)
Mikhail Sholokhov, Quiet Flows the Don (1934)
Vasily Sleptsov, Hard Times (1865)
Sasha Sokolov, School for Fools (1977)
Sasha Sokolov, Palisandriia/ Astrophobia (1985)
Sasha Sokolov, Between Dog and Wolf (1980)
Aleksander Solzhenitsyn, Cancer Ward (1968)
Aleksander Solzhenitsyn, A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich (1962)
Vladimir Sorokin, The Queue (1985)
Arkady and Boris Strugatsky, Roadside Picnic (1971)

Aleksei Tolstoj, Peter the First (1945)
Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina (1877)
Leo Tolstoy, The Death of Ivan Ilych (1886)
Leo Tolstoy, Kreitserova Sonata (1890)
Leo Tolstoy, Resurrection (1899)
Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace (1869)

Ivan Turgenev, Fathers and Sons (1862)
Ivan Turgenev, Home of the Gentry (1859)
Ivan Turgenev, On the Eve (1860)
Yuri Trifonov, Time and Place (1981)

Lyudmila Ulitskaya, The Kukotsky Case (2001)
Lyudmila Ulitskaya, Little Sonya (1995)

Aleksander Veltman, Wanderer (1832)
Aleksander Veltman, The Deathless (1832)
Vladimir Voinovich, The Life and Extraordinary Adventures of Private Ivan Chonkin (1975)

Evgeny Zamyatin, We (1924)


Random Interesting Quotes:

Evgeny Grishkovets: “I insist that what I write is literature based not on observation, but on emotional experience.”

Eduard Limonov: “These are reports from a hot spot – my life.”

Victor Pelevin: “Reality is any hallucination you believe in one hundred percent.”


Reading List for 2015

Here are my goal books for 2014. My must reads:

First off, I really want to read something in Spanish. This one is pretty short, and the author is well respected:


This one is one of those “guilty books.” This was my mother’s favorite book. I didn’t read it while she was alive. She really wanted me to, but I never got around to it. It is Lorna Doone: A Romance of Exmoor by R.D. Blackmore.


Just one I’ve been wanting to read for a long time.


This one sounds interesting and is by an author I’ve never read before:


This is one that I carried back from Russia and have been carrying around with me for many years. Time to read it:


The latest from Andrey Kurkov, an interesting Ukrainian author, and author of Death and the Penguin:


The sequel to Death and the Penguin. Should be interesting to find out what happens to Misha:


A fellow blogger recommended this one to me:


Heard so much about this one:


Striking another one off the classics list. Seems like I should read it before visiting Spain, which I would like to do asap:


And another one by Gary Jennings. Excited and scared to read it:


46 – Not Too Well Read, eh?

I love lists of books. Here is another to ponder!

I still need to read all these!  (Hmm. But I’m gonna read Fight Club first):

  1. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle
  2. The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
  3. All Quiet on the Western Front by Eric Maria Remarque
  4. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Klay  by Michael Chabon
  5. American Pastoral by Philip Roth
  6. Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
  7. Beowulf
  8. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  9. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
  10. Candide by Voltaire
  11. Casino Royale by Ian Fleming
  12. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
  13. Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
  14. The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson
  15. The Complete Stories of Edgar Allan Poe
  16. The Complete Stories of Flannery O’Connor
  17. The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen
  18. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
  19. Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller
  20. Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
  21. Dream of Red Chamber by Cao Xueqin
  22. Dune by Frank Herbert
  23. Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer
  24. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
  25. Faust by Goethe
  26. Game of Thrones by George RR Martin
  27. The Golden Bowl by Henry James
  28. The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing
  29. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
  30. The Gospels
  31. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
  32. Hamlet by William Shakespeare
  33. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
  34. The Help by Kathryn Stockett
  35. House Made of Dawn by N. Scott Momaday
  36. Howl by Allen Ginsberg
  37. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  38. if on a winter’s night a traveler by Italo Calvino
  39. The Inferno by Dante
  40. Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace
  41. Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
  42. Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
  43. The Life of Pi by Yann Martel
  44. The Lion, the Witch, and The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
  45. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
  46. Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  47. Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie
  48. Moby-Dick by Herman Melville
  49. Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
  50. Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
  51. Oedipus, King by Sophocles
  52. A Passage to India by E.M. Forster
  53. The Pentateuch
  54. Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen
  55. Rabbit, Run by John Updike
  56. The Road by Cormac McCarthy
  57. Slaughterhouse-5 by Kurt Vonnegut
  58. The Sound and The Fury by William Faulkner
  59. The Stand by Stephen King
  60. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
  61. Swann’s Way by Marcel Proust
  62. Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
  63. The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien
  64. Ulysses by James Joyce
  65. A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
  66. Waiting for the Barbarians by J.M. Coetzee
  67. Watchmen by Alan Moore
  68. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami
  69. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
  70. 50 Shades of Grey by E.L. James

Beanbag Diaries

This is in response to Paula’s post (here):

Two weeks ago Book Riot published the list of the 100 books everyone has to read to be able to call themselves “well-read“. I was going to do this a few days after it was published but I’m lazy I’ve been really busy this past two weeks watching the whole saga of Stars Wars and doing nothing.

If you’re good at maths or watched that Sesame Street episode were they taught us to subtract, you would know by now that I’ve read 35 books (35! only 35… My world is collapsing!), so basically, I’m only a wannabe. For now.

Despite the fact I want to become a “well-read” person no matter what, I’m afraid that, even in the hypothetical scenario where I read the rest of the books, only a 99% of myself will be…

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