A list by James Biskey
Profile
James Biskey
Reader
Not Available
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
L. Frank Baum
There’s no greater tribute to the pleasures of L. Frank Baum’s book than to say that the story is so good that it isn’t overwhelmed by the images from the wonderful Judy Garland movie. The story unfolds with a declarative matter-of-factness that puts no barrier between the real and the imagined; bec...show more
0
Add Reply
Agree (109)
Life's too short (11)
Want to read
Post Comment
Not Available
All Quiet on the Western Front
Erich Maria Remarque
Everyone needs to read a book of the miseries and delusions of war. This is a great example, not necessarily better than others, but certainly one of the longest-enduring war classics.
0
Add Reply
Agree (37)
Life's too short (3)
Want to read
Post Comment
Not Available
The Little Prince
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry was an intrepid pilot, a pioneer in the early days of commercial aviation who flew mail routes and, later, military reconnaissance missions for the Allies until his plane disappeared in 1944 off the coast of Marseille. During his lifetime, Saint-Exupéry also earned an intern...show more
1
Add Reply
Agree (39)
Life's too short
Want to read
Post Comment
Not Available
Where the Wild Things Are
Maurice Sendak
“It is a constant miracle to me that children manage to grow up,” Maurice Sendak once said, citing the unseen and inchoate dangers that well up from within—anxiety, pain, fear, anger, boredom, even love—that make kids’ emotional survival such a prodigious feat. It is the slightly spooky magic of Sen...show more
0
Add Reply
Agree (81)
Life's too short (2)
Want to read
Post Comment
Not Available
The Killer Angels
Michael Shaara
In the fleet, fierce narrative of his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, Michael Shaara brilliantly shows “what it was like to be” at Gettysburg by recording the terrible butchery of the three days’ fighting, switching among leaders’ perspectives on both sides, including Confederates General Lee and his ...show more
0
Add Reply
Agree (16)
Life's too short (1)
Want to read
Post Comment
Not Available
The Sonnets
William Shakespeare
The consummate exemplar of the Elizabethan love affair with the sonnet, Shakespeare’s sequence of 154 fourteen-line poems is replete with luxurious, and lingering, literary melodies. Music amply rewards any reader’s attention, yet there is more to The Sonnets than a considerable catalog of lovely an...show more
0
Add Reply
Agree (30)
Life's too short
Want to read
Post Comment
Not Available
The Hunger Games
Suzanne Collins
As story and as media phenomenon, Suzanne Collins’s The Hunger Games is at the top of the pile of wildly popular dystopian teen fiction that has dominated twenty-first-century bestseller lists (in no small part by appealing to readers well beyond their teen years). In the nation of Panem, power and ...show more
0
Add Reply
Agree (146)
Life's too short (35)
Want to read
Post Comment
Not Available
The Andromeda Strain
Michael Crichton
Although physician Michael Crichton previously published several pseudonymous novels, The Andromeda Strain was his first bestseller, and the storytelling élan it displayed would inform nearly four decades of inventive, often medically or scientifically minded thrillers. The combination of cutting-ed...show more
0
Add Reply
Agree (38)
Life's too short (6)
Want to read
Post Comment
Not Available
The Great Gatsby
F. Scott Fitzgerald
A book of shimmering social surfaces and hauntingly evanescent private depths, The Great Gatsby imbues its fleet narrative with a formal elegance that has been readily apparent even to the generations of high school students to whom it has been assigned—generally long before they might understand th...show more
0
Add Reply
Agree (152)
Life's too short (13)
Want to read
Post Comment
Not Available
The Lord of the Rings
J. R. R. Tolkien
Appearing in three separate volumes between July 1954 and October 1955, The Lord of the Rings constitutes a single linear narrative that was segmented for publishing convenience rather than by authorial intent. Tolkien’s hero, Frodo, is the adoptive heir of Bilbo Baggins, protagonist of The Hobbit. ...show more
0
Add Reply
Agree (99)
Life's too short (9)
Want to read
Post Comment
Not Available
Macbeth
William Shakespeare
From the opening scene, in which three witches enter in thunder and lightning to invoke occult spirits in menacing rhymes, Macbeth inhabits a dark world of omens and hallucinatory visions. Impelled by the witches’ prophecies, a military hero pursues a murderous course to the Scottish throne, only to...show more
0
Add Reply
Agree (63)
Life's too short (1)
Want to read
Post Comment
Not Available
The Grapes of Wrath
John Steinbeck
Published in March 1939, Steinbeck’s saga of the havoc wreaked by the Great Depression was soon the country’s number one bestseller, selling thousands of copies each week despite the difficult economic times. At the same time, communities from coast to coast found it obscene and banned (and even bur...show more
0
Add Reply
Agree (72)
Life's too short (2)
Want to read
Post Comment
Not Available
The Feminine Mystique
Betty Friedan
When asked, in 1957, to conduct a survey of her Smith College classmates on the fifteenth anniversary of their graduation, Betty Friedan noted in their responses the recurrent dissatisfaction with where they found themselves. Why were so many American women of her time and class unhappy? In The Femi...show more
0
Add Reply
Agree (11)
Life's too short (9)
Want to read
Post Comment
Not Available
Little Women
Louisa May Alcott
Louisa May Alcott grew up in Concord, Massachusetts, the second of four daughters of a noted proponent of Transcendentalism, Bronson Alcott. Ralph Waldo Emerson was a friend of the family, as were Henry David Thoreau and Nathaniel Hawthorne. Despite her transcendentalist pedigree, Louisa May Alcott ...show more
1
Add Reply
Agree (185)
Life's too short (15)
Want to read
Post Comment
Not Available
Essays and Lectures
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Emerson was a philosopher, poet, and essayist. Though he’s credited with being one of the fathers of Transcendentalism, the New England movement that privileged idealism over empiricism and found a natural divinity in all things, he valued independent thought above adherence to any creed or system. ...show more
0
Add Reply
Agree (15)
Life's too short (6)
Want to read
Post Comment
Not Available
Matilda
Roald Dahl
Roald Dahl’s roster of youth-delighting tales is as rich as that of any twentieth-century children’s author. From The Gremlins (1943) to The Minpins (1991), Dahl created marvelous confections for young readers for nearly five decades. Standing out among his storytelling treats is Matilda, whose supe...show more
0
Add Reply
Agree (74)
Life's too short (6)
Want to read
Post Comment
Not Available
Inferno: The Divine Comedy, Book 1
Dante Alighieri
From the dark wood of its beginning, down through the nine circles of hell, across the seven terraces of purgatory, and into the ten heavens of paradise, Dante’s medieval tour de force gives us, in T. S. Eliot’s estimation, the greatest altitude and the greatest depth of human passion any writer has...show more
0
Add Reply
Agree (88)
Life's too short (9)
Want to read
Post Comment
Not Available
Robinson Crusoe
Daniel Defoe
Inspired by the real-life experience of Alexander Selkirk (1676–1721), a Scottish sailor who was marooned for more than four years on a South Pacific island, Robinson Crusoe gave enduring form to fundamental themes of the Western imagination. With his parrot and parasol, the castaway Crusoe is an e...show more
0
Add Reply
Agree (56)
Life's too short (3)
Want to read
Post Comment
Not Available
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
Philip K. Dick
As the basis for the first and best adaptation of a Dick novel to film (Ridley Scott’s 1982 Blade Runner), this book occupies a central place in the PKD oeuvre. But its virtues and affect are different from the cinematic interpretation, more in line with Dick’s core preoccupations. All told, Do And...show more
0
Add Reply
Agree (45)
Life's too short (5)
Want to read
Post Comment
Not Available
A Tale of Two Cities
Charles Dickens
A Tale of Two Cities may have the most famous opening of any novel ever written, the frequent application of its words outside the novel’s specific context giving it an edge over the nearest competition, Anna Karenina and Pride and Prejudice. Echoing the dichotomies invoked in its opening sentences,...show more
0
Add Reply
Agree (80)
Life's too short (11)
Want to read
Post Comment