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DING! John S.

 
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AK



Joined: 21 Jun 2003
Posts: 36
Location: with God

PostPosted: Sat Jun 28, 2003 2:23 pm    Post subject: DING! John S. Reply with quote

Dear John and fellow readers,
Greetings from Thailand,
I've enjoyed your posts (John) and have always wanted to comment oon how politely correct you've been in so many ways and on so many topics. To me, you embody the idea of enlightenment on many levels. With that said, I'd like to request from you some useful books to read and/or novels. To give you an idea of what I've read thus far, I'll share a short list with u. (To those who are looking for any disagreements this list in no way constitutes what i beleive are the only good books out there, and if u have positive input to add, please by all means, post, but if u want to pick or tear apart anything or anyone, save your typing hands...i'm not interested in duels of any sort or kind.)
Books I've read or am reading currently:
Self Help:
How to Know God - Deepak Chopra
Conversation with God trilogy - Neale Donald Walsch
The Power of Now - Echart Toole
Daily Mindfulness (?) - Thich Naht Hahn
The Art and practice of Astral Projection/Creative Visualization - Ophiel
How to Stop Worrying and Start Living - Dale Carnegie
Novels:
All Stephen King, Most Wilbur Smith
Most Anne Rice, Coonts, Koontz, Crichton, etc...topsellers.
Classics:
Shakespeare, Poe, short story collections, poetry collections.

What I'm wwondering John, is what you read, have read, have found enlightening, useful, etc... Any suggested readings are very apppreciated.

PS: We have had some contact before, as I was the Academic Director at ELS Riyadh, a short time ago. I relocated shortly after the Brit was shot in his car in Riyadh about 1/2 a year ago.

Congrats to you John on your impending departure from the Magical Kingdom.

Blessed Be,
Andy
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12700
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Sat Jun 28, 2003 4:08 pm    Post subject: Book 'em, Danno Reply with quote

Dear Andy,
Ah, grasshopper - sorry, but I just couldn't resist; I find your fulsome description of me: " you embody the idea of enlightenment on many levels " - well, in a word, hilarious. Come to think on it, it's also scary; I mean, if I'm " enlightened ", what does that say about so many other poor souls on this planet? OK, I'll admit - it's tempting to think of yourself in that fashion; the catch, ( and there's one book I'll mention right away: " Catch-22 ": by Joseph Heller ) of course, is - anybody who actually thinks he/she is " enlightened ", most assuredly isn't. I've got lots of questions, almost no answers; lots of doubts; almost no certainties. I am, in other words, almost entirely in the dark - and that hardly seems quite the right place for an " enlightened " person to be. But I thank you anyway for such a flattering, although incorrect, statement. Now - to the books. I notice you do seem to have a fair number of those called " Self-Help ". Well, there's certainly nothing wrong with that, and a lot good to be said for such choices, in that they imply a desire and a resolve to improve oneself. I must admit, however, that I don't think I've read one of that type in quite a while. The last, I believe was, "The Prophet" by Kahlil Gibran, and that was a long time ago, back when I was in my teens. Wait -there was also, " The Road Less Traveled " by Morgan Scott Peck, back in the 80s. The problem, though, that I see with this genre is that, while they can confirm and reinforce ideas for someone who already has them, I have my doubts that they can be instruments of life-change in most/all readers. I don't think there IS any " blueprint " we can follow, or certainly not one that works for all. We learn the really important lessons in life only through living, and no one, I suspect, can pass them on to us.
We have to learn them - or not - on our own. But I'm going to need a little time to make up a good reading list - so let me just mention a few, all novels, because in my experience, I've learned more about reality from fiction than from non-fiction, at least reality insofar as it involves getting along with others here.
" Handling Sin ' by Michael Malone
" A Confederacy of Dunces " by John Kennedy Toole
Anything by Walker Percy
Ditto by Flannery O'Conner
" Underworld " by Don DeLillo ( or, again, anything by him )
" Infinite Jest " by David Foster Wallace
" Mason and Dixon " by Thomas Pynchon
Anything by Richard Russo ( especially, " Nobody's Fool " and " Empire Falls " )
Well, that's enough for now, but I'll be back. I realize this selection is all fiction and all " modern " American authors. But I promise I'll be more inclusive in the future.
Regards,
John
P.S. Thanks for the opportunity to do this - I love to recommend good books.
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AK



Joined: 21 Jun 2003
Posts: 36
Location: with God

PostPosted: Sat Jun 28, 2003 5:27 pm    Post subject: to the 'man in the dark.' Reply with quote

Your reply fits with my expectations perfectly, though I must admit, i've been attempting to refrain from eliciting expectations (in life) from the beginning of anything. As for your cheeky grasshopper statement, alls I can say is I prefer praying mantises, though can identify with the grasshopper readily as my homestay record proves: (6 states and 3 countries thus far).
I've read a bit of what you've initially shared: Gibrahm,Catch 22,
(and by the way I reckon [and alot of posters would agree with me on this] if you are "in the dark", than society, make that the population is doomed on this here planet, right here...and don't be afraid. I don't stalk, only flatter profusely when I see it's deserved.),
have read: road less...,a confederacy (a personal favorite), some Flannery. Everything else is news, great news. This has prompted me to make a special trip to our backpackers favorite hell-hole, Khao San Road. (which is actually a quite handy street.)
I forgot to include some of my favorite writers of all time (in no particular order): Tom Robbins, William S. Burroughs, Tom Waits (lyrics), Laurie Anderson (lyrics), Ginsberg, Kerouac, Poe (E.A.),.

PS: I don't really like the term "self help," (though I was the one to label)
I like: "rememberance" novels (no messages, from aforementioned books (to me), seem really new or radical, but help the self to "help the self" they do seem to do. And quite well.
A
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zakiah25



Joined: 09 Feb 2003
Posts: 155
Location: Oman

PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2003 5:15 am    Post subject: Dong! JohnS Reply with quote

and .....................
"The Martha Stewart Living Cookbook"
(I bet she'd give up a couple of thousand shares just for a taste of "Island Chicken" - it's wonderful!)



------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Titanic was built by professionals, Noah's Ark by amateurs ............
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12700
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2003 9:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Andy,
Hmm, was that a typo or a deliberate misspelling: " prAying mantises " ( capitalization added )? Cripes - I can't win, it seems. I tell you I'm NOT enlightened and you take that as fitting " your expectations ". Oh well, if you want to see it that way, it's OK with me, but that opinion makes you a member of a very distinct minority, and I'm pretty sure the total of that minority is one. But, back to the books; I'm going to stick to fiction for this entry, but give my choices a more " international " flavor, two from each author:

1. " One Hundred Years of Solitude " and " Love in the Time of Cholera " by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

2. " Dubliners " and " The Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man " by James Joyce

3. " Crime and Punishment " and " The Brothers Karamazov " by Fyodor Dostoevsky

4. " The Plague " and " The Stranger " by Albert Camus ( well, anything by him, really )

5. " The Trial " and " The Castle " by Franz Kafka

6. " Cosmicomics " and " If on a Winter's Night a Traveler " by Italo Calvino

7. " Lord Jim " and " The Heart of Darkness " by Joseph Conrad

8. " Lolita " and " Pnin " by Vladimir Nabokov

9. " 1984 " and " Down and Out in Paris and London " by George Orwell

10. " The Heart of the Matter " and " A Burnt-out Case " by Graham Greene

Actually, anything by all these writers ( fiction or non-fiction ) is first-rate.
Oh, and let's add a couple of " one-shoters " from authors who, it seems, really had only one truly great book in them ( although their other stuff is well above average ).

11. " Earthly Powers " by Anthony Burgess

12. " Things Fall Apart " by Chinua Achebe


So, no " real " Americans on that list ( Nabokov doesn't count ). But I have been neglecting non-fiction, so that'll be the topic of my next post.
Hope all's well with you.
Regards,
John
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AK



Joined: 21 Jun 2003
Posts: 36
Location: with God

PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2003 11:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

John,
I should've "expected" this word play (of sorts) you enjoy through previously viewing your past posts as a "closet" bystander. PrAying mantis took some contemplation, but i'm happy to report, I'm still in the game. I wanted to add, by the way, that not only did the shooting of the Brit spark a flame in me, but the fact that my work situation was no longer serving me well, and the fact that my boss was currently attempting to extort my own rent money out of me, it was past time to leave. So I did.
Your book list is well done. I
m happy to report that I've read a quarter of them previously, but graciously will record the remaining unknown (as nof yet) texts.
I'd like to add a few of my own recently procured.
Herman Hesse.
Roald Dahl.
Ovid, Dante, Milton, Chaucer, kafka, (I could be busy for the next decade!)
Tolstoy, Hunter S. Thompson,
this is all,
A
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12700
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2003 9:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Andy,
Decade? How about the next half-century or so. Here's my major list, with, I'm sure, some crucial omissions ( I just haven't read that much Eastern literature, for example ), but this should hold you for a while:
The Iliad and The Odyssey by Homer
The Way by Loa tzu
Histories by Herodotus
The Plays of Aristophanes, Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides
The History of the Peloponnesian War by Thucydides
The Works of Aristotle and Plato
The New Testament
The Lives of Great Greeks and Romans by Plutarch
The Writings of Epicurus
The Annals by Tacitus
Meditations by Marcus Aurelius
Confessions by St. Augustine
A Thousand and One Nights
The Poems of Rumi
In Praise of Folly by Erasmus
The Divine Comedy by Dante
The Prince by Machiavelli
Essays by Montaigne
Pensees by Blaise Pascal
Ethics by Baruch Spinoza
Candide by Voltaire
Don Quixote by Cervantes
Gargantua and Pantagruel by Rabelais
The Poetry of John Donne
The Works of Shakespeare
Essay Concerning Human Understanding by John Locke
The Diary of Samuel Pepys
The Life of Samuel Johnson by James Boswell
Tristram Shandy by Laurence Sterne
The Poetry of William Blake
The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon
Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift
Confessions by Jean Jacques Rousseau
Faust by Goethe
The Human Comedy by Balzac
Tom Jones by Henry Fielding
Either/Or by Soren Kierkegaard
Civil Disobedience and Walden Pond by Henry David Thoreau
The Education of Henry Adams by Henry Brooks Adams
The Origin of the Species by Charles Darwin
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
The Red and the Black and The Charterhouse of Parma by Stendhal
The Poetry of Emily D i c kinson
The Poetry of Walt Whitman
Thus Spake Zarathustra by Nietzsche
Alice in Wonderland and Alice through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
Moby D i c k by Herman Melville
The Complete Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
The Father Brown Stories and Orthodoxy by G.K. Chesterton
The Poetry of W.B. Yeats
The Interpretation of Dreams by Freud
Magister Ludi and Steppenwolf by Hermann Hesse
The Poetry of Rainer Marie Rilke
Psychological Types by Carl Jung
The Poetry of W.H. Auden
I and Thou by Martin Buber
Canto General by Pablo Neruda
Syntactic Structures by Noah Chomsky
The Magic Mountain and Death in Venice by Thomas Mann
Creatures that Were Once Men by Maxim Gorky
The Call of the Wild by Jack London
On Aggression by Konrad Lorenz
Fictions and Labyrinths by Jorge Luis Borges
MaN's Fate by Andre Malraux
The Golden Bough by James Frazer
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
The American Language by H. L. Mencken
The Frontier in American History by Frederick Jackson Turner
The Sun Also Rises and The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
The Sound and the Fury and Light in August by William Faulkner
Miss Lonelyhearts and The Day of the Locust by Nathanael West
The Long Good-bye by Raymond Chandler
The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett
Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather
At Swim Two Birds by Flann O'Brien
The Razor's Edge and Of Human Bondage by Somerset Maugham
Darkness at Noon by Arthur Koestler
The Diary of Anne Frank by Anne Frank
Let Us Now Praise Famous Men by James Agee
Motivation and Personality by Abraham Maslow
The Once and Future King by T.H. White
The Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
The Seven Story Mountain by Thomas Merton
The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger
Native Son by Richard Wright
Judgment and Reasoning in the Child by Piaget
The Plays of Samuel Beckett
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers
The Phenomenon of Man by Teilhard de Chardin
Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
The Guns of August by Barbara Tuchman
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
I, Claudius by Robert Graves
Seize the Day, The Adventures of Augie March and Herzog by Saul Bellow
Under the Volcano by Malcolm Lowry
All the King's Men by Robert Penn Warren
The Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell
The Naked and the Dead by Norman Mailer
Set This House on Fire and Sophie's Choice by William Stryon
The Lord of the Flies by William Golding
Slaughterhouse Five and Cats Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut
Portney's Complaint and Sabbath's Theater by Phillip Roth
The Fixer and The Tenants by Bernard Malamud
Watership Down by Richard Adams
Riddley Walker by Russell Hoban
Ragtime by E.L. Doctorow
The History Man by David Lodge
Killer Angels by Michael Shaara
The Wolrd According to Garp and The Hotel New Hampshire by John Irving
The Proper Study of Mankind by Isaiah Berlin
Creation and Lincoln by Gore Vidal
Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie
The Magus by John Fowles
The Sheltering Sky by Paul Bowles
One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey
Farenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
The Double Helix by James Watson
Wonderful Life by Stephen Jay Gould
The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind by Julian Jaynes
Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond

The worst part of making a listing such as this is, as I said, knowing I'm omitting a lot of " classics " ( although some that I've read, for example
Henry James and Virginia Wolfe, I didn't list because - well, I just don't LIKE their stuff ( although I know lots of others do ). Happy reading for the next 50 years or so - I envy you for any you'll be seeing for the first time.
Regards,
John


Last edited by johnslat on Tue Jul 01, 2003 2:54 am; edited 2 times in total
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12700
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2003 3:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Andy,
Forgot two of my favorite, contemporary non-fiction authors:

Edward Abby - anything, but especially: Desert Solitaire, The Monkey Wrench Gang and The Fools Progress

John McPhee - just anything and everything

Oh, and there's Black Elk Speaks, too - and Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Brown, plus The Book of the Navajo by Raymond Friday Locke and The Book of the Hopi by Frank Waters

Next up - my favorite " escape reading "
Regards,
John
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AK



Joined: 21 Jun 2003
Posts: 36
Location: with God

PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2003 6:25 pm    Post subject: ooowoow? Reply with quote

Geeee, (bystanders)
Sit back, look at that list and ask yourself, "Did I ask the right person for a booklist or not??"
Laughing
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AK



Joined: 21 Jun 2003
Posts: 36
Location: with God

PostPosted: Wed Jul 09, 2003 4:55 pm    Post subject: hullo Reply with quote

is John relocating as we speaketh?
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