A Philosophical Summer Reading List

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

What Is It

Are there some philosophers, philosophies, or philosophical issues you want to bone up on over the Summer?  Hegel's Phenomenology of the Spirit probably isn't a very good choice to take to the beach, but there are a lot of readable, beach-friendly classics and non-classics to add philosophical depth to your Summer Reading.  Ken and John discuss some of their favorites and pass on suggestions from Philosophy Talk guests.

Listening Notes


Recommendations from John & Ken



Jose Saramago


Hermann Hesse

The Brothers Karamazov

Fyodor Dostoevsky

Changing Places

David Lodge

Small World

David Lodge

Crime and Punishment

Fyodor Dostoevsky

Moral Politics: How Liberals and Conservatives Think

George Lakoff

Why I Am Not a Christian

Bertrand Russell


Breaking the Spell
Daniel Dennett


The Gay Science

Friedrich Nietzsche

Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion

David Hume

The Story of Philosophy

Will Durant

Recommendations from Listeners

The Golden Compass

Philip Pullman

Memoirs of a Geisha

Arthur Golden

The Schopenhauer Cure

Irv Yalom

Anansi Boys

Neil Gaiman

The Plague

Albert Camus


Marilynne Robinson

Dombey and Son

Charles Dickens

A Changed Man

Francine Prose

Charlotte's Web

E.B. White

The Left Hand of Darkness

Ursula K. Le Guin

Woman: The Incredible Life of Yoko Ono

Alan Clayson, Barb Jungr,
and Robb Johnson

The Essential Grizzly: The Mingled Fates of Men and Bears

Doug & Andrea Peacock

Of Water and Spirit

Malidoma Some

The Nine Nations of North America

Joel Garreau

Why We Love

Helen Fisher

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

Edward Gibbon

Surfing the Himalayas: A Spiritual Adventure

Frederick Lenz


Jean-Paul Sartre

Spiritual Enlightenment: The Damnedest Thing

Jed McKenna

The Heart of Christianity: Rediscovering a Life of Faith
Marcus J. Borg

The Passions: Emotions and the Meaning of Life

Robert C. Solomon

The Joy of Philosophy: Thinking Thin versus the Passionate Life

Robert C. Solomon

Recommendations from our guest Ashley Wallingford, Powell's Books


Jose Saramago

The Snows of Yesteryear

Gregory Von Rezzori


Par Lagerkvist

Endgame: Volume 1: The Problem of Civilization

Derrick Jensen

Elements of Refusal

John Zerzan

Landscape and Memory

Simon Schama

The Portable Nietzsche

Friedrich Nietzsche

The End of Faith

Sam Harris