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Interesting Books, Part Two

J. Conder "favored by the gods"
The list author says: "And so the list continues. See Interesting Books, Part One for the beginning. These books have little that binds them together, except their influence on me."
Swann's Way: In Search of Lost Time, Vol. 1 (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition)
Swann's Way: In Search of Lost Time, Vol. 1 (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition)
"All that madeleine and memory stuff, is it really so profound?  I asked, hoping to find Proust a fraud.  I was . . . surprised instead.  "À la recherche du temps perdu" is daunting in some ways, but one of a kind.  I've not started "Le Côté de Guermantes" yet, but so far, so worth it."
The Gormenghast Novels (Titus Groan / Gormenghast / Titus Alone)
The Gormenghast Novels (Titus Groan / Gormenghast / Titus Alone)
". . . I'm not sure how to describe these novels.  Imagine Dickensian characters in an enormous castle.  You can see early Steampunk elements in "Titus Alone."  Beware the Steerpikes in your own life."
The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the World
The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the World
"Even more thought-provoking than "The Omnivore's Dilemma."  It's difficult to look at plants in the same way."
An Anthropologist On Mars: Seven Paradoxical Tales
An Anthropologist On Mars: Seven Paradoxical Tales
"A good start to get you hooked on Sacks."
The Name of the Rose
The Name of the Rose
"Medieval detective William of Baskerville gets to the bottom of a series of murders at an abbey.  Heresy, inquisition and sodomy is bound to follow.  (not necessarily in that order)  I should add that while Eco's nonfiction is worthwhile, this is the only one of his fictional works that stands out."
Homage to Catalonia
Homage to Catalonia
"Best non-fiction Orwell.  Best personal account of war I've read, with the possible exception of Graves' Goodbye to All That."
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle: A Novel
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle: A Novel
"A good start to get you hooked on Murakami."
The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression
The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression
"A brave book on a terrible menace to all that is bright and beautiful.  Solomon's descriptions of its contours make it easier to detect, and therefore (one can hope) easier to treat."
The Inheritors
The Inheritors
"Who were those that came before us?"
The Shield of Achilles: War, Peace, and the Course of History
The Shield of Achilles: War, Peace, and the Course of History
"The evolution of the State.  Wise and deliberative insights into the pros and cons of the state's power. . . its impossible to completely appreciate "Terror and Consent" w/o this backdrop."
Ka: Stories of the Mind and Gods of India
Ka: Stories of the Mind and Gods of India
"You know the stories, now understand them.  The Indian cosmos seems wacky at first to the "Western" mind, but it has a logic of its own, though you have to marinate in it a bit."
King Leopold's Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa
King Leopold's Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa
"A chilling story, and a prelude of holocausts and horrors to come.  Understand the background of Conrad's "Heart of Darkness.""
Collected Fictions
Collected Fictions
"You have to experience Borges at some point.  Nibble at first.  Try the "Book of Sand" as a start."
Journey to the End of the Night
Journey to the End of the Night
"The ultimate book of darkness and misanthropy.  Written by a bad guy.  Read with gloves on."
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