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Paul Nordberg

My activities & loves

English
Selections

The Logic of Scientific Discovery menu icon
Karl Popper (1935)

The Logic of Scientific Discovery

I enjoyed picking up this classic quite a bit. I have long been aware of and fascinated by Popper's insight that constructing successful theories is a process of falsification of opposing theories. As someone (I don't remember who) remarked, scientists don't try to prove things, they try to disprove them. Reading the text raises provokative ties to the complexity and scope of beliefs.

This is one of the very, very few times that I have read a book successfully, by my criteria, without finishing it. Toward the end, it moved into a discussion of quantum theory, which I would love to understand better. Alas, the promise to stay away from mathematics was very poor kept, and it would have taken more than a casual commitment to learn the algebra. It also, at an early point, began to talk about how we cannot learn about things without changing them – for instance, shooting a photon at a subatomic particle. That, others have said, is a fundamental misunderstanding of the indeterminacy Heisenberg particularized. Perhaps there is no good easy way to understand the concepts involved. As one reference has it,

Quantum mechanics is, at least at first glance and at least in part, a mathematical machine for predicting the behaviors of microscopic particles — or, at least, of the measuring instruments we use to explore those behaviors — and in that capacity, it is spectacularly successful: in terms of power and precision, head and shoulders above any theory we have ever had. Mathematically, the theory is well understood; we know what its parts are, how they are put together, and why, in the mechanical sense (i.e., in a sense that can be answered by describing the internal grinding of gear against gear), the whole thing performs the way it does, how the information that gets fed in at one end is converted into what comes out the other. The question of what kind of a world it describes, however, is controversial; there is very little agreement, among physicists and among philosophers, about what the world is like according to quantum mechanics.

The Perfect Nine: The Epic of Gĩkũyũ and Mũmbi menu icon
Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o (2020)

The Perfect Nine

Barack Obama liked this book. So did I. It is within the epic tradition, though at a small scale. It is refreshing that it is not about battles, like the Iliad, but about cooperation, ideals, unity, family, and perseverance. That freshness makes up for a bit of a shortage in language.

Paradise Lost menu icon
John Milton (1674)

Paradise Lost

I am prompted to pick this up again after listening to Handel's oratorio Samson, after text from Milton's Samson agonistes. The libretto is strikingly poetic and insightful in comparison with the usual trite fare. The characters have good insights into their own plights and foibles, and the language is flexible and creative.

At the outset, Milton is at pains to defend and propound his use of blank verse and flexible phrasing, where a sentence or a clause runs across line breaks. I agree with him. Singsong ta-DUM, ta-dum, ta-RUM rhythms sound more like a galloping horse or a dripping faucet than revealing dialogue. As T.S. Eliot noted, Milton's long and complex periods make for a rich sound that has few rivals.

Beyond the sound and imagery, Milton's poetry aims "to justify the ways of God to man," with characters, psychology and reasoning that are far beyond the usual. His description of Satan is often cited as giving a credible personality to that character. After the fall, the archangel Michael discusses with Adam such deep theological questions as why an already perfect God could find added satisfaction in man's adulation.

I find myself preoccupied by one absent ingredient in the tale, which is an explanation of what was evil in the original sin. Of course, one would hardly expect secular humanism in this time and place. Still, Eve, who was the first to eat the forbidden fruit, seems to have done little worse than falling for a huckster's glib line. Which of us hasn't at some time? Is it a moral failing if, not having run across talking snakes before, we don't have the street smarts to discount their talk? – Eve has the partial excuse of being of the weaker gender. Adam's fault is compounded by its deliberate nature, his acknowledgment and understanding of transgression while electing to accompany Eve. Sin is evil, apparently, because God said so, and beyond that Adam is not to attempt to understand. This leaves acceptance of hierarchy as the fundamental principle of morality. And so, I guess, it was, heavenly hierarchy and earthly hierarchy.

The New Industrial State menu icon
John Kenneth Galbraith (1967)

New Industrial State

Corporations have lives that are well described by the principles of Darwin. They have an instinct for self-preservation, even after the initial need that gave rise to them has been met. They grow, and compete with others their size – but at other times they herd with them. They need food, and to survive over the long term must develop behaviors like sexual selection, with the peculiar twist that the fancies they must meet – or create – are those of their customers, who feed them.

Galbraith's view is that the modern technostructure goes beyond the corporation, so that business, government and educational institutions share an interest in preservation of the planning system. There's no doubt much truth in what he says. Apple's yearly release of new iPhone models, and the growth of subscription plans for software, fit well with his descriptions.

On the Origin of Species menu icon
Charles Darwin (1859)

The Origin of Species

It is a delight reading this work and following how the author approaches his subject. He comes at it from many different sides, rather than riding a single notion like a hobby-horse, from one angle. He is continually saying, there is another way we may look at this. He readily admits his puzzlement with the remark that in a given area, our ignorance is profound, and devotes careful attention to arguments against his theory. He is a naturally curious person.

Beyond being the proponent of a radical idea of immense power, he is a writer who creates much interest and pleasure. I am surprised that I have not read any of his writing earlier, but very glad to have opened it now. It has been a delight to follow his mind at work.

The Awakening menu icon
Kate Chopin (1899)

The Awakening

This is an early view of infidelity from a woman's viewpoint, considered shocking in its time. Somehow I have never read Kate Chopin until now, perhaps because in my earlier days such writing was considered unsuitable. Now, it approaches the status of a classic.

Kate Chopin has an impressive command of the craft of writing. Each phrase counts and builds. She is aware of the broad moral plane around her central character's intensely personal meditations and caprices, in welcome contrast to another book I read not long ago. There is no solution to the conflicts, either in the classical virtue of La Princesse de Clèves or in the tempestuous passion of Die Leiden des jungen Werthers. The conflict is continuing, even if the life of Chopin's central character ends.

I find myself wanting to read more of Kate Chopin's work, though her output was relatively slim.

Master of the Senate menu icon
Robert A. Caro (2002)

Master of the Senate

I really enjoyed Caro's volume on Lyndon Johnson's vice-presidency and early presidency, The Passage of Power. I am picking up things in reverse order, going back to Johnson's time in the Senate. Caro is as interested in the context as much as in the subject of his biography. His discussion of the Senate and its slowness reminds me of early civics schoollessons. It was by design of the Founding Fathers that the Senate structure did not lend itself to rapid change of any kind, and the reading helps me understand that present-day obstructiveness is hardly anything new there. Caro is a master biographer, digging deeply into the contradictions of the man Lyndon Johnson and providing a deep view of how his subject fit into his milieu.

I am very much looking forward to the the planned final volume of the five-part series.

Invariances menu icon
Robert Nozick (2001)

Invariances

I haven't given much attention to philosophy for a few decades. I suppose I generally tend to believe increasingly that our minds are wired in curious ways that are mostly effective for daily life, but not necessarily good at objective, logical views of larger realities.

Nozick draws on many sources of understanding and knowledge, notably empirical ones. He remarks, there are no interesting or important metaphysical necessities. (I would generally go along with that view.) He makes much of general relativity, quantum mechanics, and evolution. For example, he discusses ethics as principles that were selected for in evolution as cooperation for mutual benefit. He notes the role of consciousness in evaluating and assimilating experiences from different viewpoints, for instance the feel of heat from fire with its appearance. As the title of the work suggests, he feels that the "reality" of things of various sorts is demonstrated when their presence is invariant when viewed from different perspectives or by different persons. This is an insight that I find useful in everyday life. For example, I sometimes find piano keys by feeling how far my hand has moved, sometimes by feeling them with my fingertips, sometims by imagining how the keyboard looks. Sometimes my fingers just seem to learn how to find the desired keys without any conscious effort.

The discussions of the implications of relativity and quantum mechanics are provocative. It indeed turns our usual ideas of logic upsidedown if indeed whether something happens before or after something else depends on the placement of the observers. I am not sure how far phenomena at the far end of tininess or hugeness are material for our understanding of things we are more used to daling with and thinking of.

Nozick offers very provokative thought and reading. It's easy to see why he was Chair of Philosophy at Harvard.

Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End menu icon
Atul Gawande (2014)

Atul Gawande

Gawande understands very well that death is part of life, and that fighting to prevent it will not only become futile at a certain point, but will create unnecessary pain. Refusing to think about death will only add to the terror of the notion of it.

MODERN SCIENTIFIC CAPABILITY has profoundly altered the course of human life. People live longer and better than at any other time in history. But scientific advances have turned the processes of aging and dying into medical experiences, matters to be managed by health care professionals And we in the medical world have proved alarmingly unprepared for it.

I highly recommend this book.

My Ántonia  menu icon
Willa Cather (1918)

my antonia

I picked this up from Project Gutenburg as light bedtime reading. It is that, with short chapters and a very direct appeal, but it is also very good.

The story proceeds on many different levels. The descriptions of daily life on the Great Plains are among the richest I've seen. People often didn't have very much at all, and often had experienced upheavals in their lives that drove them from Europe. Some were enterprising, some were stoic, others became lost and withdrawn. Some were heroic. Its characters change and interact with each other. Willa Cather empathizes with her characters in their rapturous moments and sad ones. A man who misled Ántonia is the closest thing there is to a “bad” person, but he is present only offstage and as a step from one place to another in her life, an event that influences its course just as a snowstorm influences her life.

At the same time as the characters were growing older, frontier was evolving into cultivated areas with wandering ways through them, and then the cultivated areas sprouted towns and the wandering ways gave way to straight roads. People whose lives were closely knit in very small communities go their various ways. Throughout the character of the land is always close, shaping people’s lives as much as other people around them do.

Willa Cather considered it her best book. I think it is a very good one.

Curiously, though my mother liked Cather, she never mentioned this book or had a copy of it in her library. I wonder if she knew of it. She clearly would have liked it.

In a Different Voice menu icon
Carol Gilligan (1982)

Carol Gilligan

I enjoyed this well-written little book. Gilligan argues, fairly persuasively, that while men look for abstract general principles, women more often find meaning and importance in the relationships they have to particular other people around them. For instance, she observed boys and girls playing games. If a dispute about rules arose in a game boys were playing, they would argue out the rules. Often boys who weren’t taking part in the game would join into the arguments about the game. If a dispute about rules arose in a game girls were playing, they would just stop playing the game. – After all, the purpose of the game was to be enjoyment for the group, and if abstract rules were keeping people from enjoying themselves and hurting the relationships, why hang onto the rules?

I wouldn't take this view too far, but it does ring true. I hear it borne out continually in random snippets of conversations of people around me.

Thayer's Life of Beethoven menu icon
Revised and edited by Elliot Forbes (1964)

Beethoven

Alexander Thayer's exhaustive 19th-century Life of Beethoven is generally considered the definitive Life of Beethoven and a model of objective biography. Elliot Forbes, whom I met and saw a few times, produced the definitive 20th-century edition with extensive revisions and new material. The work is a model of objective, carefully researched biography. It does not speculate about what Beethoven was thinking or attempt to interpret his music. By concentrating exclusively on primary source materials, it has an inadvertent but unavoidable focus on some aspects of his life, notably his relationships with patrons and publishers – at least as reflected in the surviving correspondence.

Beethoven was by all accounts a strange person. One report notes that he would walk out of a restaurant without thinking of paying for his meal. He could do that, and no one would call him back. After all, he was Beethoven. That was good enough for the restauranteurs, and it's good enough for me.

I learned a lot about the man from this biography. At over a thousand pages, it took a while to get through.

The Passage of Power menu icon
Robert A. Caro (2012)

The Passage of Power

This is the fourth of Caro’s planned five volumes on The Years of Lyndon Johnson. This one covers the period of Johnson’s Vice Presidency and early Presidency. It is meticulously and exhaustively researched, with a balanced but not cold or dry approach.

At the time, I had no liking or even tolerance for Johnson. He seemed crude after the Camelot of the Kennedy years, and his term was overshadowed by the Vietnam War. Now, I’m not so sure. For all of Kennedy’s inspirational abilities, he didn’t get a lot done in Washington. Johnson did, and Vietnam was something Johnson inherited, just as Barack Obama inherited Guantanamo and Afghanistan. There was no elegant escape possible.

I would very much recommend this book to those interested in the subject and times. I certainly will want to read the last volume of Caro’s series.

Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences menu icon
Howard Gardner (1983)

Frames of Mind

The notion that there is a general, unitary intelligence, such as IQ tests set out to measure, has been a controversial one. Howard Gardner has attracted much notice for his belief that there are multiple kinds of intelligence. It is not simply a question of the truism that different people are good at different things, which no one would dispute. Gardner proposes specific criteria that an “intelligence” should meet and identifies eight abilities that meet the criteria. His discussion is often discursive, depending on the topic at hand, and entertaining for that reason. For instance, in discussing music, he cites examples of recognized composers to suggest that musical facility tends to be developed precociously. For other skills, he will note how injuries to a certain part of the brain will leave a person’s functioning intact at high levels, except for a specific deficit in one area.

Gardner has believed that birth is not destiny for the various intelligences, that a person may develop abilities in fallow areas (within some limits, of course). I have found that to be true, and I believe that reading his book has helped me realize that I can draw things out of myself that I have not seen before. The enabling realization is that to do this, I need to use approaches that are different from the ones that have worked for other things.

The book is very readable, though certainly not at the popular culture level. I highly recommend it.

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"Care is nothing if not active."

– Henry James, The Golden Bowl

Noteworthy

To read

  • Upanishads
  • Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
  • Hannah Arendt, Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil
  • Francis Bacon, The New Atlantis
  • Jim Baggott, Quantum Reality
  • Lord Byron, Mazeppa
  • Robert Caro, The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York; The Years of Lyndon Johnson: Means of Ascent
  • Chaucer, Canterbury Tales
  • Daniel Defoe, A Journal of the Plague Year
  • Albert Einstein, Relativity: the special and general theory
  • Sarah Field, The Adventures of David Simple
  • Stephen Hawking, A Brief History of Time
  • James Hogg, The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner
  • Samuel P. Huntington, The Clash of Civilizations
  • James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
  • James Joyce, Finnegans Wake
  • Ibn Khaldun, The Muqaddimah, translated by Franz Rosenthal
  • Thomas Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions
  • Yuval Levin, The Fractured Republic
  • John Locke, An Essay Concerning Human Understanding
  • Thomas Malory, Le morte d'Arthur
  • Michael Massing, Erasmus, Luther, and the Fight for the Western Mind
  • John Milton, Paradise Regained; Samson Agonistes
  • Barack Obama, A Promised Land
  • Samuel Pepys, Diaries
  • Carmen M. Reinhart and Kenneth S. Rogoff, This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly
  • Andrew Roberts, Churchill: Walking with Destiny
  • William Shakespeare, Hamlet
  • Edmund Spencer, The Faerie Queene
  • Donald Francis Tovey, Beethoven
  • Joyce Townsend, Turner's Painting Techniques
  • Oscan Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray
  • William Wordsworth, The Prelude
  • Cao Xueqin, Dream of the Red Chamber

Library

  • Jacques Maritain, translated by Bernard Wall, The degrees of knowledge
  • Immanuel Kant, Critique of pure reason
  • Plato, The collected dialogues of Plato, including the letters
  • William James, Pragmatism; The meaning of truth
  • Willard van Orman Quine, Elementary logic
  • Robert Nozick, Invariances
  • Jacques Maritain, translated by E. I. Watkin, An introduction to philosopy
  • Jum C. Nunnally and Ira H. Bernstein, Psychometric theory
  • Howard Gardner, Frames of mind
  • Robert B. Nordberg, Coping with changing values
  • Thomas Paine, The age of reason
  • Thomas Bulfinch, Mythology
  • Robert B. Nordberg, The teenager and the new mysticism
  • M. H. Shakir, translator, The Qur’an
  • William James, The varieties of religious experience
  • Anton C. Pegis, editor, Basic writings of Saint Thomas Aquinas
  • Douglas Richardson, Magna Carta ancestry
  • Douglas Richardson, Plantagenet ancestry
  • Winston Churchill, The Second World War: I. The gathering storm
  • Winston Churchill, The Second World War: II. Their finest hour
  • Winston Churchill, The Second World War: III. The grand alliance
  • Winston Churchill, The Second World War: IV. The hinge of fate
  • Winston Churchill, The Second World War: V. Closing the ring
  • Winston Churchill, Rhe Second World War: Triumph and Tragedy
  • W. Stanley Moss, Ill met by moonlight
  • Peter Calvocoressi, Top secret ultra
  • Ben MacIntyre, Operation Mincemeat
  • Adlai Stevenson, Call to greatness
  • Patrick Leigh Fermor, A time of gifts
  • Alexis de Tocqueville, translated by Stuart Gilbert, The old régime and the French revolution
  • Jabez Maud Fisher; Kenneth Morgan, editor, An American Quaker in the British Isles
  • Bismark: a life, Jonathan Steinberg
  • Adolf Hitler; Ralph Manheim, translator, Mein Kampf
  • Detlev J. K. Peukert, translated by Richard Deveson, Inside Nazi Germany : conformity, opposition, and racism in everyday life
  • Patrick Leigh Fermor, Between the woods and the water
  • William Henry Chamberlin, The Russian revolution
  • Leon Trotsky, translated by Max Eastman, The history of the Russian revolution
  • Ngugi wa Thiong’o, The Perfect Nine
  • Mao Tsetung, Quotations
  • Henry Adams, The education of Henry Adams
  • John F. Kennedy, Profiles in courage
  • Carl Sandburg, Abraham Lincoln, the war years
  • Ulysses S. Grant, Personal memoirs
  • Robert A. Caro, The passage of power
  • Robert A. Caro, Master of the Senate
  • Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward, All the President's Men
  • Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, The final days
  • Anna Miller Watring, Bucks County, Pennsylvania church records of the 17th & 18th centuries, volume 3
  • Walter Muir Whitehill, Boston, a topographical history
  • John Harris, The Boston Globe historic walks in Cambridge
  • Bruno Bettleheim, The uses of enchantment
  • Richard J. Light et al., Summing up: the science of reviewing research
  • Michael Quinn Patton, How to use qualitative methods in evaluation
  • Jae-On Kim et al., Introduction to factor analysis : what it is and how to do it
  • Karl Marx, translated by Samuel Moore & Edward Aveling, Capital
  • John Maynard Keynes, The general theory of employment, interest, and money
  • John Kenneth Galbraith, The New Industrial State
  • W. Edward Deming, Out of the crisis
  • Arthur Kallet et al., 100,000,000 guinea pigs
  • Humphrey Lloyd, The Quaker Lloyds in the industrial revolution
  • Samuel Eliot Morison, The maritime history of Massachusetts, 1783-1860
  • John Downes et al., Barron's finance & investment handbook
  • Benjamin Graham, The intelligent investor
  • John C. Bogle, Common sense on mutual funds
  • Carol Gilligan, In a different voice
  • Timur Kuran, Private truths, public lies: the social consequences of preference falsification
  • Daniel Bell, The coming of post-industrial society
  • Thomas L. Friedman, Longitude & attitudes: exploring the world after September 11
  • Vladimir I. Lenin, The state and revolution
  • John Stuart Mill, On liberty, utilitarianism, and other essays
  • Henry Campbell Black, Black’s law dictionary
  • Robert B. Nordberg, Guidance, a systematic introduction
  • John E. Wise, Robert B. Nordberg, Donald J. Reitz, Methods of research in education
  • John Warren Stewig, Beverly Nordberg, Exploring language arts in the elementary classroom
  • Adrian M. Dupuis, Robert Nordberg, Philosophy and education: a total view
  • Willi Apel, Harvard dictionary of music
  • Eric Gilder, The dictionary of composers and their music
  • Alfred Einstein, A short history of music
  • Gustave Reese, Music in the Renaissance
  • Knud Jeppesen, translated by Edward J. Dent, The style of Palestrina and the dissonance
  • Rudolph Reti, Tonality in modern music
  • H. A. Popley, The music of India
  • Curt Sachs, The wellsprings of music
  • Albert Schweitzer, translated by Ernest Newman, J. S. Bach
  • Haley Stevens, The life and music of Bela Bartok
  • Elliot Forbes, Thayer’s life of Beethoven
  • John Eliot Gardner, Bach: music in the castle of heaven
  • Alan Walker, Franz Liszt, the virtuoso years, 1811-1847
  • Alan Walker, Franz Liszt, the Weimar years, 1848-1861
  • Alan Walker, Franz Liszt, the final years, 1861-1886
  • Derek Watson, Richard Wagner, a biography
  • Ernest Newman, The life of Richard Wagner, volumes I and III
  • Ernest Newman, Wagners as man and artist
  • Robert Donington, Wagner’s ‘Ring’ and its symbols
  • John Cage, Silence
  • Ernest Newman, The Wagner operas, volume II
  • George Bernard Shaw, The perfect Wagnerite
  • Ralph Hill, The concerto
  • Alec Robertson, editor, Chamber music
  • Donald Francis Tovey, A companion to Beethoven’s pianoforte sonatas
  • Walter Piston, Harmony
  • Knud Jeppesen, translated by Glen Haydon, Counterpoint
  • Arthur Tillman Merritt, Sixteenth-century polyphony
  • Musical structure and design, Cedric Thorpe Davie
  • Donald Francis Tovey, A companion to ‘The art of the fugue’
  • Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov, translated by Edward Agate, Principles of orchestration
  • Donald Francis Tovey, Essays in musical analysis: symphonies
  • Alastair Grieve, Whistler’s Venice
  • Vincent van Gogh, Ever yours, the essential letters
  • James S. Ackerman, Palladio
  • Andrea Palladio, translated by Adolf K. Placzek, The four books of architecture
  • Le Corbusier, translated by Peter di Francia and Ann Bostock, The modular
  • Philip Rizzo, Cambridge brick details
  • Kenneth Frampton et al., Modern architecture 1851-1919
  • Walter Gropius, translated by P. Morton Shand, The new architecture and the Bauhaus
  • Robert A. M. Stern, Modern classicism
  • Vincent Scully, Jr., The shingle style and the stick style : architectural theory and design from Richardson to the origins of Wright
  • Paul Goldberger, The houses of the Hamptons
  • Abbott Lowell Cummings, The frames houses of Massachusetts Bay, 1625-1725
  • Robert Rettig, Guide to Cambridge architecture; ten walking tours
  • Jeffrey Karl Ochsner, H. H. Richardson complete architectural works
  • Luis F. Rueda, editor, Robert A. M. Stern, buildings and projects 1981-1986
  • Louis H. Sullivan, The autobiography of an idea
  • Marian Bisanz-Prakken, Rembrandt and his time
  • Robert Beverly Hale, Anatomy lessons from the great masters
  • Robert Beverly Hale, Drawing lessons from the great master
  • Josef Albers, Interaction of color
  • Ralph Mayer, The artist's handbook of materials and techniques, third edition
  • Sarah Whitfield, Bonnard
  • Paul Hayes Tucker, Monet in the ‘90s
  • Jim Harter, editor, Animals : 1419 copyright-free illustrations of mammals, birds, fish, insects, etc.
  • Patricia Mullins, The rocking horse: a history of moving toy horses
  • Nicholas Ostler, Empires of the word: a language history of the world
  • Winfred P. Lehman, Theoretical bases of Indo-European linguistics
  • Homer, translated by E. V. Rieu, The Iliad
  • Homer, translated by E. V. Rieu, The Odyssey
  • Homer, translated by Robert Fagles, The Odyssey
  • H. W. Fowler, A dictionary of modern English usage
  • William Strunk and E. B. White, The elements of style
  • Robert L. Chapman, editor, Roget’s international thesaurus
  • Lesley Brown, editor-in-chief, The new shorter Oxford English dictionary
  • James A.H. Murray et al., editor, Oxford English dictionary
  • Fyodor Dostoyevsky, translated by David Magarshack, The brothers Karmazov
  • Fyodor Dostoyevsky, translated by Constance Garnett, The idiot
  • Leo Tolstoy, translated by Rosemary Edmonds, War and peace
  • Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, translated by Thomas P. Whitney, The first circle
  • Wiesław Myśliwski, translated by Billl Johnston, Stone upon stone
  • Richard Burton, translator, Tales from the 1001 nights
  • Abolqasi Ferdowsi; Dick Davis, translator, Shahnamen
  • Ezra Pound, translator, Shih-ching, the classic anthology defined by Confucius
  • Winfred P. Lehman, Theoretical bases of Indo-European linguistics
  • Murasaki Shikibu, translated by Royall Tyler, The tale of Genji
  • Aristotle, translated by S. H. Butcher, Poetics
  • Aristotle, translated by George A. Kennedy, On rhetoric
  • Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre
  • Ezra Pound, ABC of reading
  • Walt Kelly, Pogo, volumes 7, 9
  • Walt Kelly, Pogo, through the wild blue wonder
  • Walt Kelly, Pogo: bona fide balderdash
  • Marie-Madeleine de Lafayette, translated by John D. Lyons, The princess of Clèves
  • George Sand, Indiana
  • Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot
  • Albert Camus, translated by Stuart Gilbert, The plague
  • Albert Camus, translated by Justin O’Brien, The myth of Sisyphus, and other essays
  • Jean-Paul Sartre, translated by Lloyd Alexander, Nausea
  • Giovanni Boccacio, translated by Richard Aldington, The decameron
  • Alessandro Manzoni, translated by Bruce Penman, The betrothed
  • Giuseppe di Lampedusa, translated by Archibald Colquhoun, The leopard
  • Miguel de Cervantes, translated by Walter Starkie, Don Quixote
  • Machado de Assis, translated by A. L. Scott-Buccleuch, Dom Casmurro
  • Helen Gardner, editor, The new Oxford book of English verse
  • John Donne, Complete poetry and selected prose
  • William Shakespeare, Complete works
  • John Bunyan, The pilgrim’s progress
  • Daniel Defoe, Roxana
  • Henry Fielding, Tom Jones
  • James Boswell, The life of Samuel Johnson
  • John Milton, Paradise Lost
  • Samuel Richardson, Pamela
  • Horace Walpole, The castle of Otranto
  • Jane Austen, The Penguin complete novels of Jane Austen
  • R. D. Blackmore, Lorna Doone
  • Charlotte Brontë, Villette
  • Elizabeth Gaskell, The life of Charlotte Brontë
  • George Gordon, Lord Byron, Don Juan
  • William Wilkie Collins, The moonstone
  • Wilkie Collins, A rogue’s life
  • Wilkie Collins, The woman in white
  • Charles Dickens, Four novels: Great expectations, Hard times, A Christmas carol, A tale of two cities
  • Arthur Conan Doyle, The complete Sherlock Holmes
  • Arthur Conan Doyle, Exploits and adventures of Brigadier Gerard
  • Maria Edgeworth, Castle Rackrent
  • George Eliot, Adam Bede
  • George Eliot, Middlemarch
  • George Eliot, The mill on the Floss
  • George Eliot, Romola
  • Elizabeth Gaskell, Cranford
  • Elizabeth Gaskell, Wives and daughters
  • Thomas Hardy, The return of the native
  • Thomas Hardy, Far from the madding crowd
  • George Meredith, The egoist
  • Ann Radcliffe, The mysteries of Udolpho
  • Ann Radcliffe, The Italian
  • Robert Louis Stevenson, The master of Ballantrae
  • Walter Scott, Ivanhoe
  • William Makepeace Thackeray, Vanity fair
  • William B. Yeats, Selected poems and two plays
  • William B. Yeats, A vision
  • Eric Ambler, The mask of Dimitrios
  • Isak Dinesen, Anecdotes of destiny; Ehrengard
  • Isak Dinesen, Seven gothic tales
  • John Buchan, The thirty-nine steps
  • John Buchan, Greenmantle
  • John Buchan, Mr. Standfast
  • John Buchan, The three hostages
  • John Buchan, Witch wood
  • John Buchan, Huntingtower
  • Leo Bruce, Case for Sergeant Beef
  • Leo Bruce, Neck and neck
  • Ford Madox Ford, The good soldier
  • Ford Madox Ford, Parade’s end
  • Geoffrey Household, Rogue male
  • Aldous Huxley, Brave new world
  • James Joyce, Ulysses
  • James Joyce, A portrait of the artist as a young man
  • James Joyce, Dubliners
  • James Joyce, Finnegans wake
  • D. H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley’s lover
  • D. H. Lawrence, Sons and lovers
  • W. Somerset Maugham, Ashenden, or the British agent
  • W. Somerset Maugham, Of human bondage
  • George Orwell, Animal farm
  • Michael Innes, From London far
  • Dorothy Richardson, Pilgrimage
  • Bram Stoker, Dracula
  • Dylan Thomas, Adventures in the skin trade, and other stories
  • P. G. Wodehouse, Jeeves in the morning
  • P. G. Wodehouse, Carry on, Jeeves
  • P. G. Wodehouse, A damsel in distress
  • P. G. Wodehouse, Jeeves and the feudal spirit
  • P. G. Wodehouse, Life with Jeeves
  • P. G. Wodehouse, Mike and Psmith
  • P. G. Wodehouse, Psmith in the city
  • P. G. Wodehouse, Psmith journalist
  • P. G. Wodehouse, Jeeves in the offing
  • P. G. Wodehouse, Life at Blandings
  • P. G. Wodehouse, The most of P. G. Wodehouse
  • Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway
  • Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse
  • G. B. Edwards, The book of Ebenezer le Page
  • John le Carré, Three complete novels
  • John le Carré, A legacy of spies
  • Hilary Mantel, Wolf Hall
  • Carol Shield, The stone diaries
  • Owen Matthews, Black sun
  • Patrick White, A fringe of leaves
  • Kate Chopin, The Awakening
  • Mark Twain, Tom Sawyer Detective; Tom Sawyer Abroad; other stories
  • James Fenimore Cooper, The deerslayer
  • James Fenimore Cooper, The Last of the Mohicans
  • Emily Dickinson, Complete poems
  • Nathaniel Hawthorne, The scarlet letter
  • William Dean Howells, Indian summer
  • Henry James, The ambassadors
  • Henry James, The golden bowl
  • Henry James, The outcry
  • Henry James, The portrait of a lady
  • Henry James, The Princess Casamassima
  • Herman Melville, Moby-Dick
  • Edgar Allen Poe, The complete tales and poems
  • Elizabeth Stoddard, The Morgesons
  • Harriet Beecher Stowe, Uncle Tom’s cabin
  • Henry David Thoreau, Walden
  • Walt Whitman, Leaves of grass
  • David S. Reynolds, Walt Whitman, lives and legacies
  • Millen Brand, The outward room
  • Willa Cather, Death comes for the archbishop
  • T. S.Eliot, Old Possum’s book of practical cats
  • T. S.Eliot, The complete poems and plays 1909-1950
  • Allen Ginsburg, Howl
  • Dashill Hammett, The Maltese falcon
  • Jack Kerouac, On the road
  • Jack London, completed by Robert L. Fish, The Assassination Bureau, Ltd.
  • Vladimir Nabokov, Pale fire
  • Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita
  • Charles Nordhoff, James Norman Hall, The Bounty trilogy
  • Ezra Pound, Selected poems
  • Ezra Pound, Cantos
  • Gertrude Stein, The autobiography of Alice B. Toklas
  • J. D. Salinger, The catcher in the rye
  • J. D. Salinger, Franny and Zooey
  • May Sarton, Journal of a solitude
  • Gertrude Stein, Three lives
  • Glenway Wescott, Apartment in Athens
  • Edith Wharton, The age of innocence
  • E. B. White, Essays
  • Thomas Wolfe, Look homeward, angel
  • Joan Didion, Blue nights
  • Elaine Dundy, The dud avocado
  • William Gaddis, The recognitions
  • James Salter, All that is
  • Susan Sontag, The volcano lover
  • Susan Sontag, In America
  • David Rieff, editor, Susan Sontag: Reborn : journals and notebooks, 1947-1963
  • Bliss Carman, editor, Oxford book of American verse
  • Translated by A. T. Hatto, The Nibelungenlied
  • Johann Wolfgang Goethe, translated by Philip Wayne, Faust, part one
  • Johann Wolfgang Goethe, translated by Elizabeth Mayer and Louise Bogan, The sorrows of young Werther
  • Franz Kafka, translated by Willa and Edwin Muir, The trial
  • Franz Kafka, translated by Willa and Edwin Muir, Amerika
  • Tove Jansson, translated by Thomas Teal, The summer book
  • Rudyard Kipling, Just so stories
  • Lewis Carroll, Alice’s adventures in Wonderland; Through the looking-glass
  • Oliver Goldsmith, The Vicar of Wakefield
  • Frances Burney, Evelina
  • Joel Chandler Harris, The complete tales of Uncle Remus
  • Kurt Gödel, translated by B. Melzer, On formally undecidable propositions
  • Douglas C. Montgomery et al., Introduction to linear regression analysis
  • Stuart Scott Cairns, Introductory topology
  • Alfred Whitehead et al., Principia mathematica to *56
  • John Grotzinger et al., Understanding earth
  • Neil A. Campbell et al., Biology
  • Jerrold H. Zar, Biostatistical analysis
  • Charles Darwin, On the origin of species
  • Clarence J. Hylander et al., The Macmillan wild flower book
  • Elbert L. Little et al., The Audubon Society field guide to North American trees, Eastern Region
  • George A. Petrides, A field guide to treees and shrubs
  • Morten Lange et al., A guide to mushrooms and toadstools
  • Bert Hölldobler and Edward O. Wilson. Journey to the Ants
  • Roger Tory Peterson, A field guide to the birds: Eastern land and water birds
  • Helen Macdonald, H is for hawk
  • Tom L. Beauchamp et al., Principles of biomedical ethics
  • Atul Gawande, Being mortal : medicine and what matters in the end
  • D. Collett, Modelling survival data in medical research
  • R. Heather Palmer et al., Striving for quality in health care : an inquiry into policy and practice
  • Susan Sontag, Illness as metaphor; AIDS and its metaphors
  • Charles H. Hennekens et al., Epidemiology in medicine
  • Kenneth J. Rothman, Modern epidemiology
  • Kurt J. Isselbacher et al., Harrison’s principles of internal medicine
  • Barry Zaret, editor, Yale University School of Medicine heart book
  • Eugene Braunwald, editor, Heart disease
  • Charles B. Clayman, editor, The American Medical Association encyclopedia of medicine
  • Robert Berkow, editor-in-chief, The Merck manual of diagnosis and therapy
  • Neville F. Hacker et al., Essentials of obstetrics and gynecology
  • Judy Lowe, Ortho’s all about pruning
  • Jeff Jepson, The tree climber’s companion
  • Harley J. McKee, Introduction to early American masonry: stone, brick, mortal and plaster
  • David Karlins et al., Building websites all-in-one for dummies
  • J. M. Juran, Juran’s Quality Control Handbook
  • Walter A. Shewhart, Statistical method from the viewpoint of quality control
  • Tobin Fraley, The great American carousel
  • Irma S. Rombauer et al., Joy of cooking
  • Elizabeth David, Summer cooking
  • Elizabeth David, French provincial cooking
  • Elizabeth David, Italian food
  • Mollie Katzen, The heart of the plate
  • Owen Matthews, An Impeccable Spy: Richard Sorge, Stalin’s Master Agent
  • University of Chicago, The Chicago manual of style

© 2021 Paul Nordberg