Wednesday, November 7, 2007


Mary asked about books to read, so I will occassionally pop a couple out here. My first suggestions of "best books ever" are the following (not in any particular order):

1) Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu.
2) The Republic by Plato.
3) The Analects of Confuscious.
4) The Dhammapada.
5) The Ramayana.
6) El Cid.
7) Don Quixote by Cervantes.
8) The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis.
9) The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera.
10) House of the Spirits by Isabell Allende.


  1. Dr. Smith,
    I'm sorry that I couldn't make you understand what I meant. I wanted you to write about the book that you brought in the classroom that day. I was interested to know about the anti-Darwinism, if it makes sense. I'm always curious to know things. I can't effort reading all books because as a student I need to spend time to do assignments; I spend time in the classroom too. Rest of the time I spend for job and my daughter. I spend my weekend for volunteer community service. Sometimes it seems time is too short. So, it is pretty hard for me to read a lot of books. I try to read books that are either highly acceptable or controversial. I feel grateful to the people who suggest books and the reason why the books that they are suggesting are important. I don't feel like spending time on reading novels or short stories. I love reading serious things. In fact, I enjoy reading those.

    I have read The Ramayana when I was a student of jr. high. But I didn’t read The Dhammapada (If it is not Geetaa). I have read some parts of the republic. Rest of the book, I didn’t read at all. Probably I will.

    Please write about the book, ‘Origin Reconsidered...’. I’ll be waiting to read about that one.

  2. Rest of the *books( that you have suggested)

  3. I do not know about a lot of the books on that list, but one thing I know for sure, one thing I know for certain, is that there is no way Clyde Staples Lewis (now you know why he goes by "C.S.") and Milan "OVERRATED" Kundera beat out SHAKESPEARE, MONTAIGNE, MILTON, DANTE, FREUD, NIETZSCHE, KAFKA, BECKETT, WILDE, MELVILLE, EMERSON, DICKINSON, FROST, STEVENS, WORDSWORTH, SHELLEY, KEATS, PATER, HOMER, WHITMAN, and BLAKE.

    And Mary, if you have no time, read poems. Poems are short, and important, and cheap. I recommend starting with a volume of Frost or Dickinson, who are always awesome, easy to find, and never write long poems.

  4. Dr. Smith,I like the list that you suggest Mary reading. I see that you like Classical Chinese articles, don't you? I read those two in the original version in my high school,and they are really master pieces. now i am going to read them in English and the others as well. thank you all the same!

  5. Thanks for your comment, Geoff Klock.
    I read of some of the poets of your list. I read WORDSWORTH, SHELLEY, KEATS, and also Coleridge and Dante. I have also read some plays and novels of Shakespeare and Milton. I have read Homer and Blake too. But I forgot a lot of them. I have also read Christopher Marlow( is the spelling right?)and Banyan.In fact, I have read a lot of poetry, prose and drama of Elizabethan to Victorian era. I read Interpretation of Dream by Sigmund Freud. I have read Dr. Johnson too.I have read very little of Frost. I'll read a few more at least as you have recommended. I read some prose of Edison & Steel and Francis Bacon.
    Thank you for your list.

  6. Hi Mary--

    The book I was reading the other day basically argues that what we call "humanity" probably evolved much earlier than people (including scientists) think. It is also a history of paleoanthropology.

  7. And Sr. GEOFF, I was giving MY list of books that had a real impact on me as a person at different times in my life and not a anglo-centric academic's "Top 100." You will notice, however, that only one book by Kundera was on the list and Ayn Rand not at all. ;)

  8. books sound good. going to check them oout

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