Nimdok's Suggested Reading List
My real loves are history, philosophy, the study of religion and science. I
also have a strong fondness for very long books that are rich in detail. To
my mind a book isn't worth reading if it doesn't immerse you in a place that
you've never been before.
My favorite books are:
"Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values"
When I first read this book, in the early '70s, it was a life-changing
experience. We're in a more cynical age now, so I don't know if it holds
up as well with new readers. It begins as an interesting motorcycle road
trip by a man and his son and ends in a dramatic race for sanity. Along
the way are delicious excursions into the nature of philosophy, education,
human values and self-worth. This book was my generation's "Catcher in the
"The Name of the Rose"
This is, simply, my favorite book of all time. On the surface it's a murder
mystery set in 14th century Italian Benedictine Monastary. Beneath that is
an outstanding inquiry into the notion of truth and knowledge, empiricism and
faith. Along the way are discussions of the politics of the catholic church,
the price of knowledge and the very human nature of faith and sensuality.
There's a wealth of rich historical detail and description that immerses you
into the time and place of the book.
- "A Distant Mirror"
I kind of see this book as a companion piece to "The Name of The Rose."
Tuchman is a marvelous writer who captures the important dynamics of the 14th
century through the eyes of Enguerrand de Coucy, a nobleman. This gives the
book a personal point of view which brings life to what could easily be a dry
recitation of people, places and dates. This is history as it should be
taught, rather than as it is all too often taught.
"The Fall of Hyperion",
"The Rise of Endymion"
The Hyperion series is absolutely the best science fiction I have read
in the past twenty years. Simmons is imaginative, literate, and subtle. He
expects his reader to be well-read enough to understand his references and
allusions. There are delights on every page and worlds and worlds of rich
imagery. He has crafted a galaxy which rivals that of Larry Niven. From the
River Tethys, which flows from world to world in a single stream to God's
Grove where trees so large they are made into spaceships are grown his visual
imagination will suck you in.