Summer Reading List 2011

Sunday, May 29, 2011

What is it

Summer's just around the corner – what philosophers, philosophies, or philosophical issues do you want to read up on?  Kant's Critique of Pure Reason may not be the obvious choice to take on vacation, but there are lots of readable, beach-friendly classics and non-classics to add philosophical depth to your summer reading.  Not to mention new and classic fiction books with a philosophical bent.  John and Ken share some of the philosophically-minded titles on their reading list and take suggestions from listeners and special guests.

Listening Notes


Recommended by John & Ken


Bernhard Schlink, Self's Punishment


Bernhard Schlink, Guilt About the Past


Bernhard Schlink, The Homecoming



Nassim Taleb, The Bed of Procrustes: Philosophical and Practical Aphorisms


Troy Jollimore, At Lake Scugog: Poems

Robert Rowland Smith, Breakfast with Socrates: An Extraordinary
(Philosophical) Journey Through Your Ordinary Day

Recommended by John McMurtrie (SF Chronicle Book Editor)


Garry Wills, Augustine's Confessions: A Biography


T.C. Boyle, When the Killing's Done


Simon Critchley, The Book of Dead Philosophers


Sarah Bakewell, How to Live: A Life of Montaigne in One Question and Twenty-One


Apostolos Doxiadis et. al., Logicomix: An Epic Search for Truth 


Manning Marable, Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention


Alain de Botton, A Week at the Airport: A Heathrow Diary

Recommendations by other guests



Diane Ackerman, One Hundred Names For Love

Irv Yalom, The Spinoza Problem (forthcoming)


Helen Fisher, Why Him? Why Her?: Finding Real Love By Understanding Your Personality Type


Helen Fisher, Why We Love: The Nature and Chemistry of Romantic Love


Martin Jay, The Virtues of Mendacity: On Lying in Politics


Recommended by listeners on the air


Noam Shpancer, The Good Psychologist


William Shakespeare, Coriolanus


Leo Tolstoy, The Devil


Jorge Luis Borges, The Library of Babel (reprinted in Labyrinths)


Kathleen Dean Moore, Wild Comfort: The Solace of Nature


Edward S. Casey, The Fate of Place

Unlimited Listening


Buy the Episode


Listen to the Preview



John McMurtrie, Book Critic



Irvin Yalom, Author



Helen Fisher, Rutgers University



Geoffrey Nunberg, UC Berkeley


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