Regarding the recent books piece, thank you for some additions to my reading list! Here are my own five most influential books, though as you will see, the list sort of burgeons forth.
1. “Journey of Souls,” by Michael Newton. A non-religious soft-science study of souls. This book and its sequel add fodder for discussion as to what we already espouse and claim to believe or disbelieve.
2. “Lady Chatterly’s Lover,” by D. H. Lawrence. A forthright tale of social conditions, politics, etc. — and sex as both the great divide and the great equalizer. Read it once for the politics.
3. “The Glass Teat,” by Harlan Ellison, and any other collection of short stories by the author. We are still leached on to that teat, aren’t we?
4. “101 Famous Poems,” compiled by Roy J. Cook. My grandmother read to her children from this book, my mother read to us, I used to read to my kids. I give copies to folks who have new babies … and we read to them from the time they are born. It is the perfect collection to carry through the years. And it is still available.
5. Anything by Leo Rosten — “The Education of H*Y*M*A*N K*A*P*L*A*N,” the “Joys of Yiddish” and so much more. In fact, let’s include reading the plays of Neil Simon, and also the works of Mel Brooks, Woody Allen and anyone else who describes the social condition by holding up a mirror and keeping us laughing in total recognition. For what is art if not a mirror, and what are we to be if we cannot laugh?
So much to read, so few years.
Audrey N. Glickman