Taoist mythology, Lanna history, mythology, the nature of time and other considered ramblings

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Location: Chiangrai, Chiangrai, Thailand

Author of many self-published books, including several about Thailand and Chiang Rai, Joel Barlow lived in Bangkok 1964-65, attending 6th grade with the International School of Bangkok's only Thai teacher. He first visited ChiangRai in 1988, and moved there in 1998.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

“Great Books”

“Western” books often recommended, on which I concur:

Herodotus: Histories
Hesiod: Theogony, Works and Days
Homer: Iliad and Odyssey
Hesiod: Theogony and Works and Days
Aeschylus: Oresteia.
Sophocles: Oedipus Rex
Euripides: Bacchae
Plato: Meno, Gorgias, Phaedrus, Timaeus
Euclid: Elements
Ovid: Metamorphoses
The Icelanders’ Sagas (Egil’s saga, Njál’s saga, etc.)
Chaucer: Canterbury Tales
Boccaccio: Decameron
Jakob Grimm: Germanic Mythology
Jakob and Wilhelm Grimm: Grimm's Fairy Tales
Goethe: Faust
Voltaire: Candide
Machiavelli: The Prince
Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
E.T.A. Hoffman: Hoffmann's Strange Stories
Charles Baudelair, Les Fleurs du mal
T. S. Elliot: Four Quartets
De Tocqueville: Democracy in America
Charles Darwin: On the Origin of Species
Veblen: The Theory of the Leisure Class
Daniel Defoe: Robinson Crusoe
Jonathan Swift: Gulliver’s Travels
Henry Fielding: Tom Jones
Lawrence Sterne: Tristram Shandy
Charles Lyell: Principles of Geology
Henry Thoreau: Civil Disobedience, Walden
George Bernard Shaw: Man and Superman, Pygmalion
William James: The Varieties of Religious Experience
Arthur Koestler: The Case of the Midwife Toad, The Gladiators
Konrad Lorenz: On Aggression
Arthur Rimbaud: A Season in Hell
John Muir: Autobiography
Gabriel Garcia Marquez: No One Writes to the Colonel, Innocent Erendira
Lewis Carroll (Charles Dodgson): Alice in Wonderland, Alice Through the Looking-glass
J.R.R. Tolkien: Tree and Leaf
James Clavell: King Rat
Wm Somerset Maugham: The Painted Veil
E.M. Forster: Passage to India
B. Traven: The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
Joseph Heller: Catch 22
And, of course, the ever infamous 1984 and Brave New World


Lao Tzu: Tao de Jing (“Classic of the Way of Power”)
Shui-hu chuan (The Water Margin, or All Men Are Brothers)
Hsi-yu chi (Journey to the West)
Wang Shih-fu: Hsi-hsiang chi (Romance of the Western Chamber)
Lo Kuan-chung: San-kuo chih yen-i (Romance of the Three Kingdoms)
Wu Ch’eng: His-yu chi (like Journey to the West, a fictionalization of Hsuan-tsang’s pilgrimage to India in the 7th century CE)
Cao Zhan (Ts’ao Chan): Hung-lou-meng (Dream of the Red Chamber)
The Bhagavadgītā
The Upanishads
The Ramayana
R.K. Narayan: Malgudi stories (The English Teacher, Waiting for the Mahatma, The Guide, The Man-Eater of Malgudi, The Vendor of Sweets, A Tiger for Malgudi) and shortened prose versions of The Ramayana and The Mahabharata
The Tripitaka canon of the southern schools of Buddhism
Murasaki Shikibu: Genji monogatari (c. 1010 CE; The Tale of Genji)
Fujuwara Sadaie (Teika): the Shin Kokinshü (c. 1205 CE)
Sirin Phathanothai: The Dragon’s Pearl
Jack Reynolds: A Woman of Bangkok

V.S. Naipul: A Bend in the River

And a couple titles I found and may try to obtain and read:
Roberto Pazzi: Cercando l'imperatore: storia di un reggimento russo disperso nella Siberia durante la rivoluzione (Searching for the Emperor; The Story of a Russian Regiment Lost in Siberia During the Revolution; pseudo-historical; 1985)
Thomas DiLorenzo: The Real Lincoln: A New Look at Abraham Lincoln, His Agenda, and an Unnecessary War

Just over 3/4 through to that absurdly magical number of 100… oh well… I’ve made up the difference with the two other listings, done early in my blogging days!



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