Guys look what I bought the other day!

(Book 1)  An Aztec Herbal.  From the back cover:

Originally written in the Aztec language, Nahuatl, in 1552, this classic codex was the first herbal and medical text compiled in the New World.  The author of this extraordinarily rare and valuable document was Martin de la Cruz, an Aztec physician, whose work was subsequently translated into Latin by an Aztec nobleman, Juan Badiano.  The book was translated into English in 1939 by William Gates.

Contains recipes for medicines, along with pictures of the plants used to make them.  For instance:

To heal a scabby face, take the juice of crushed tlal-quequetzal, a-quahuitl and eca-patli in water of an acid savor, adding pigeons’ excrement, as a wash.

(Book 2)  How Indians Use Wild Plants for Food, Medicine, and Crafts, by Frances Densmore.  An unabridged copy of an anthropology paper originally published in 1928, as “Uses of Plants by the Chippewa Indians”.  I haven’t really looked through this one yet, but from the back cover:

In separate sections describing the major areas of use, Miss Densmore, an ethnologist with the Smithsonian Institution, details the use of nearly 200 plants with emphasis on wild plants and lesser-known uses.  For those interested in natural foods she gives extensive coverage to the gathering and preparation of maple sugar and wild rice, as well as preparations for beverages from leaves and twigs of common plants, seasonings including mint and bearberry, the methods of preparing wild rice and corn, cultivated and wild vegetables, and wild fruits and berries.  On Indian medicines she tells the basic methods of gathering plants and the basic surgical and medical methods.  Then she gives a complete list of the plants with their botanical names, uses, parts used, preparation and administration, and other notes and references.  Also covered are plants used as charms, plants used in natural dyes, and plants in the useful and decorative arts including uses for household items, toys, mats, twine, baskets, bows, and tools with special emphasis on the uses of birth bark and cedar.  This section will be especially useful for supplying new and unusual craft ideas.  In addition thirty-six plates show the many stages of plant gathering and preparation and many of the artistic uses.  While a number of the plants discussed are native only to the Great Lakes region, many are found throughout a wide range.

(Book 3)  Chinese Medicinal Herbs: A modern Edition of a Classic Sixteenth-Century Manual by Li Shih-Chen.  As far as I can tell, this is just a giant alphabetical list of plants and their uses.  For instance:

Halianthus Annuus [Chinese characters].  Although the sunflower is extensively cultivated in gardens and fields throughout China, and the fruits are used as food, it is not clearly mentioned in the standard works on medicine or botany.  On account of a reference in the classics, the meaning of which is anything but clear, this plant has been confounded with the malvaceae.  The above names are the common designation by which the plant is known in Japan and China.  The fruits are also fed to fowls, the leaves are made fodder for cattle, and the stalks and roots are used as fuel.  The oil, [Chinese characters], is also known to the Chinese, but does not seem to be much used.  Aside from the nutritive properties of the fruits, no medicinal qualities have been found ascribed to this plant.

(Book 4)  Rufus Estes’ Good Things to Eat, the first cookbook by an African-American chef.  “Born a slave in 1857, Rufus Estes worked his way up as a Pullman porter to a job preparing meals for the top brass at one of America’s largest steel corporations.  This cookbook, the first by a black chef, includes a number of dishes from Estes’ vast culinary collection.”  Originally published in 1911.

An example recipe:

MUFFINS – Sift a tablespoon of salt, two level tablespoons of baking powder, and two cups of flour together.  Beat the yolks of two eggs, add one cup of milk, two tablespoons of slightly melted butter, and the dry ingredients.  Beat, add lightly the stiffly beaten whites of two eggs, fill hot buttered gem bans two-thirds full, and bake in a hot oven.

This is way more specific than the earlier cookbooks – it actually tells you how much of each ingredient to use!  But still… “bake in a hot oven”.  What temperature?  For what amount of time?  I wonder what ovens were like back in 1900.  It was probably not easy to measure the temperature.

(Book 5)  The Virginia Housewife Or, Methodical Cook, a facsimile of an authentic early American cookbook by Mary Randolph.  “Originally published in 1824, this influential, classic guide by a noted Virginia hostess is widely regarded as the first truly Southern cookbook.”

An example recipe:

SWEET POTATO BUNS – Boil and mash a potato, rub into it as much flour as will make it like bread – add spice and sugar to your taste, with a spoonful of yeast; when it has risen well, work in a piece of butter, bake it in small rolls, to be eaten hot with butter, either for breakfast or tea.

Do you see what I mean about nonspecific?  “Add spice and sugar to your taste.”  I wonder if “spice” refers to a particular spice, or if the recipe is really just leaving it up to the cook’s discretion.

Also noteworthy is the recipe for “Dough Nuts – a Yankee cake”.

(Book 6)  The House Servant’s Directory, by Robert Roberts.

[F]irst published in 1827 and the standard for household management for decades afterwards.  A classic survey of work, home life, and race relations in early America, the book was the result of many years of Roberts’ personal and professional experiences.  One of the first books written by an African-American and published by a commercial press, this manual for butlers and waiters offers keen insight into the social milieu, hierarchy, and maintenance of the antebellum manor.

Contains extremely detailed instructions on how to wait on people and take care of the household.  For instance, instructions on serving dinner:

When the chairs are put round, and all things quite ready, proceed to the drawing room, or wherever the company is.  If the drawing room is large, advance a little towards the lady or gentleman of the family, and with a graceful motion of your head, say, “Ma’am,” or “Sir, the dinner is served;” or “Ladies and Gentlemen, dinner is on the table.”  When you see that they have noticed the announcement, then proceed to the dining room door, and hold it open until the company have all gone in, then shut it, and when the company have sat down, if there is a soup, take off the cover; if there should be only fish at the top, and a joint at the bottom, remove the cover from off the fish or soup, and from off the proper sauce for the fish; and if there is no one but yourself to wait, take your station at the bottom of the table, about a yard behind the person that sits at the foot of the table; stand rather a little to the left of his chair.  By standing in this position, you will command a full view of the table; whereas if you stand behind the person that carves, at the bottom of the table, you cannot see when the plates want changing.  [It goes on in this fashion for quite a while.]

The book also contains recipes (or “receipts”), though not for food but for things like:

ITALIAN VARNISH, MOST SUPERB FOR FURNITURE.  Melt one part of virgin wax (white) in eight parts of oil petroleum, lay a light coat of this very even over your furniture while warm, you may put it on with a badger’s brush; let it stand for ten or fifteen minutes, then polish off with a piece of coarse soft cloth or flannel, and finish with an old silk handkerchief.  Inexperienced servants should be very careful how they apply any receipt at first, they should always make the first experiment on some article of little value.

(Book 7)  Civil War Recipes, receipts from the pages of Godey’s Lady’s Book.

Godey’s Lady’s Book, perhaps the most popular magazine for women in nineteenth-century America, had a national circulation of 150,000 during the 1860s.  The recipes (receipts) it published were often submitted by women from both the North and the South, and they reveal the wide variety of regional cooking that characterized American culture.

An example recipe:

BAKED SALMON [1861].  A small salmon may be baked whole.  Stuff it with forcemeat made of bread-crumbs, chopped oysters or minced lobster, butter, Cayenne, a little salt, and powdered mace; all mixed well, and moistened with beaten yolk of egg.  Bend the salmon round, and put the tail into the mouth, fastening it with a skewer.  Put it into a large deep dish; lay bits of butter on it at small intervals, and set it into the oven*.  While baking, look at it occasionally, and baste it with the butter.  When one side is well browned, turn it carefully in the dish, and add more butter.  Bake it till the other side is well browned; then transfer it to another dish with the gravy that is about it, and send it to table.

If you bake salmon in slices, reserve the forcemeat for the outside.  Dip each slice first in beaten yolk of egg, and then in forcemeat until it is well coated.  If in one large piece, cover it in the same manner thickly with the seasoning.

The usual sauce for baked salmon is melted butter, flavored with the juice of a lemon and a glass of port wine, stirred in just before the butter is taken from the fire.  Serve it up in a sauce-boat.

*Fish is usually baked in a 400° to 450° oven.  Cook until it flakes easily.  Do not overcook.

(Book 8)  Native Harvests: American Indian Wild Foods and Recipes, by E. Barrie Kavasch.  Originally written in 1979, expanded in 1998.  Contains sections on traditional foods and medicines made from native plants.

An example recipe:


1 tablespoon water
2 eggs
¼ cup nut oil (see page 7)
2 quarts freshly picked dandelion blossoms, washed and dried*
1 ½ cups fine cornmeal

Add the water to the eggs and beat well.  Heat the nut oil to sizzling in a cast-iron skillet.  Dip the dandelion blossoms, one at a time, into the egg, and then into the cornmeal.  Sauté, turning often, until golden.  Drain on brown paper.  Serve either hot or cold, as snacks, a vegetable side dish, or a tasty garnish.

*For full, showy blossoms, pick just before using, as blossoms close shortly after picking.  The dandelion blossom responds quickly to temperature changes; it opens only in clear weather and bolts as soon as temperatures approach 90°F.  Notice the dandelion’s yellow-blossoming abundance in spring, its disappearance in summer, and the return of a few fall flowers as temperatures cool.

I wish I hadn’t missed the season for this, because a month ago, my yard was totally full of dandelions, and I’ve never eaten them before.

(Book 9)  The First American Cookbook, a facsimile of American Cookery, 1976, by Amelia Simmons.

An example recipe:

MINCED PIE OF BEEF.  Four pound boild beef, chopped fine, and falted ; fix pound of raw apple chopped alfo, one pound beef fuet, one quart of Wine or rich fweet cyder, one ounce mace, and cinnamon, a nutmeg, two pounds raifins, bake in pafte No. 3, three fourths of an hour.

It does that annoying thing with the s->f, but on the bright side, it actually says how long to cook things.

Also, from the end of the book:

The author of the American Cookery, not having an education fufficient to prepare the work for the prefs, the perfon that was employed by her, and entrufted with the receipts, to prepare them for publication, (with a defign to impofe on her, and injure the fale of the book) did omit feveral articles very effential in fome of the receipts, and placed others in their ftead, which were highly injurious to them, without her confent – which was unknown to her, till after publication ; but fhe has removed them as far as possible, by the following ERRATA.  [list of errata]

In 1796, some people were assholes.

This completes the excessively long list of books I purchased the other day.  I’m happy to provide more excerpts of recipes etc. on request.

So you want more LGBTQA in your romance?






Based on the ALA’s Banned & Challenged Classics list, which can be found here:

1. The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald
2. The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
3. The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck
4. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
5. The Color Purple, by Alice Walker
6. Ulysses, by James Joyce
7. Beloved, by Toni Morrison
8. The Lord of the Flies, by William Golding
9. 1984, by George Orwell
10. Lolita, by Vladmir Nabokov
11. Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck
12. Catch-22, by Joseph Heller
13. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
14. Animal Farm, by George Orwell
15. The Sun Also Rises, by Ernest Hemingway
16. As I Lay Dying, by William Faulkner
17. A Farewell to Arms, by Ernest Hemingway
18. Their Eyes Were Watching God, by Zora Neale Hurston
19. Invisible Man, by Ralph Ellison
20. Song of Solomon, by Toni Morrison
21. Gone with the Wind, by Margaret Mitchell
22. Native Son, by Richard Wright
23. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, by Ken Kesey
24. Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut
25. For Whom the Bell Tolls, by Ernest Hemingway
26. The Call of the Wild, by Jack London
27. Go Tell it on the Mountain, by James Baldwin
28. All the King’s Men, by Robert Penn Warren
29. The Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien
30. The Jungle, by Upton Sinclair
31. Lady Chatterley’s Lover, by D.H. Lawrence
32. A Clockwork Orange, by Anthony Burgess
33. The Awakening, by Kate Chopin
34. In Cold Blood, by Truman Capote
35. The Satanic Verses, by Salman Rushdie
36. Sophie’s Choice, by William Styron
37. Sons and Lovers, by D.H. Lawrence
38. Cat’s Cradle, by Kurt Vonnegut
39. A Separate Peace, by John Knowles
40. Naked Lunch, by William S. Burroughs
41. Brideshead Revisited, by Evelyn Waugh
42. Women in Love, by D.H. Lawrence


Got books on the brain? Why not get some books on the brain? (Work it out.)

The 2014 Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting is taking place November 15-19 in Washington D.C. If you’re attending the meeting, stop by booth 200 to check out these books and more.

Any brainy books to add to the list? 

Black Queer and Trans* Reading List.

Please add books or essays written by Black and/or POC Queer and Trans* writers (fiction and non-fiction) and books or essays written about the Black Queer and Trans* experience. 

  • Black Queer Studies: A Critical Anthology by E. Patrick Johnson (Editor), Mae G. Henderson
  • Aberrations In Black: Toward A Queer Of Color Critique by Roderick A. Ferguson
  • Punks, Bulldaggers, and Welfare Queens: The Radical Potential of Queer Politics?” by Cathy Cohen (PDF)
  • Death and Rebirth of a Movement:Queering Critical Ethnic Studies
    by Cathy Cohen (PDF)
  • Queer (In)Justice: The Criminalization of LGBT People in the United States (Queer Ideas/Queer Action by Andrea J. Ritchie
  • Mutha Is Half a Word: Intersections of Folklore, Vernacular, Myth, and Queerness in Black Female Culture by L.H. Stallings
  • Black Queer Identity Matrix: Towards An Integrated Queer of Color Framework (Black Studies & Critical Thinking: Lgbt Studies) by Sheena C. Howard
  • Black Like Us: A Century of Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual African American Fiction by Don Weise 
  • Black Girl Dangerous on Race, Queerness, Class and Gender by Mia McKenzie
  • Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More by Janet Mock
  • Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries: Survival, Revolt, and Queer Antagonist Struggle (PDF
    A compilation of historical documents, interviews, and critical analyses of STAR, a group of street queens in early 70s New York City who self-organized for survival and revolt. Contained within are pamphlets distributed by STAR, as well as interviews with and speeches by Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson. Additionally, we are excited to include a critical essay by Ehn Nothing on STAR’s legacy, the enemies of queer insurrection, and the war against gender.
  • Decolonizing Trans/gender 101 by b. binaohan
    A short, accessible disruption of the hegemonic and imperial aspirations of white trans/gender theory. it seeks to remedy the reductive (and, thus, violent erasure) nature of trans/gender 101s that seek to explicate (but really construct) a white trans/gender discourse assumed to have universal legitimacy. a legitimacy that has widespread implications and consequences far beyond the borders of whiteness.
FAQ: Books and Reading

This is my preferred Masterlist of books. Starting first with Wicca, second with Kitchen Witchery, and finally with broad witchcraft. Keep in mind that these are just MY preferences. These are the books that have inspired me, personally.

My biggest suggestion for anyone asking “What should I read”…is to read everything. Decide for yourself what you like and what you believe.

But that’s a post for another day.

This post is a constant WIP. It will be updated as I see fit and is not comprehensive until I say it is.

Wicca Reading List

This is a list for Wiccan-centric learning.

Kitchen Witchery:

Books or the Green Witch and the Kitchen Witch these books are not necessarily Wiccan but many have Wiccan themes. :

General Paganism History and Law

These are books that are often filed under Wicca but I feel are far more general in the paganism trend. I do think these are must reads for every pagan regardless of path. These are books about history, law, and path centric concepts.

  • Triumph of the Moon by Ronald Hutton-Ronald Hutton is not a pagan. He’s not Wiccan. What he is…is a researcher. He is a professor who decided to write about ancient religions from a modern research perspective and how they impacted us as a people. It’s awesome.
  • The Spiral Dance by Starhawk-Okay, so some people don’t like Starhawk because she’s a pretty big feminist and has a steady hand in Dianic Wicca. But that doesn’t mean that her work isn’t worthwhile. She knows her stuff and admits to her female centric worldviews. Yes, she’s an activist. Whatever. She knows her stuff.
  • Dana Eilers: Pagans and the Law. Understanding Your Rights
    -The title here sort of says it all. In another posts I said that pagans were all salt o the earth farmers. I said we were also professionals and people of other ilks. Dana Eilers is one of those. A professional Lawyer who used her knowledge to help one understand how to deal with workplace discrimination, how to file for religious practices, and lots of other American Based law. Seriously. If you are a pagan living on US soil you need to read this.

Witchcraft and paganism:

These are (mostly) non denominational books about witchcraft. These include spell books and books on herbs, metals, and other materials and their place in the magical world. Unlike other sections I am going to let the titles stand for themselves.

Study Links & Recommendations

People have asked me to recommend other resources for studying films, and I thought I would consolidate this in one spot.

Books on film:
“Making Movies” by Sidney Lumet
“On Film-Making” by Alexander Mackendrick
“The Conversations: Walter Murch and the Art of Editing” by Michael Ondaatje
“Sculpting in Time” by Andrei Tarkovsky
“Reflections: 21 Cinematographers at Work” by Benjamin Bergery

My actual reading recommendation:
Don’t read too much about film. Watching film is plenty. It’s more helpful to read about psychology. After that: history, mathematics, philosophy, biology, astronomy, food, literature, you name it. Whatever interests you to read, will interest you to make films about. If you don’t like to read, uhhhh, I got no advice for you.

Websites I read:
David Bordwell’s blog (
Cinephilia & Beyond ( &
A Bittersweet Life (

Other video essayists:
kogonada (
Kevin B. Lee (
David Chen (
Matt Zoller Seitz (

Filmmaking channels I watch:
filmschoolcomments (
FilmmakerIQ (
Film Riot (


Psych2Go Reading List For Today

The Pratfall Effect: How Being Imperfect Makes You More Likeable

10 Interesting Psychological/Mental Abnormalities

Highly Trained Professionals Chime In With Their Insights Yielded From Scientific Studies of Compatibility and Chemistry

Locus of Control

All Eyes on Me: The Spotlight Effect

Neuroscientists Discover a way of identifying Risk-takers

Do people really care if their boss supports them?

Theory of Mind and False Belief Tasks

If you have an article suggestion or article you would like to share,  feel free to let us know. 




Trying to decide your top 25 books is nigh on impossible. Which is why we roped in one of the wisest minds in existence: Lisa Simpson, often seen clutching a copy of The Bell Jar and quoting lines of her favourite prose. And her credentials don’t lie. Take this as proof: when we asked her what classic books can teach us about the world, she said, “That any man playing Mr Darcy is incredibly cool.” See? So smart.

As one of the best-known overachievers in modern history, we also asked her about the first book she ever read (“The Boozemixer Bartender’s Guide; Dad had taken me to Moe’s”) and why reading is worthwhile (“It takes you to another world which, believe me, I need.”)

Here she has ranked her top 25 classic tomes. Let the countdown commence…

Every once in a while, NPR’s go-to books guru Nancy Pearl sends Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep a tall stack of books. They’re generally “under-the-radar” reads — titles she thinks deserve more attention than they’ve been getting.

“I just think that it’s so important that readers learn about books that haven’t been heavily promoted – what we would call mid-list books,” Pearl says.

Here are some of her fiction picks, to kick off your summer reading list.

Beyond The Best-Sellers: Nancy Pearl Recommends Under-The-Radar Reads

Image: Emily Bogle/NPR

Reading List


  • 99 Names of God - Ghazali 
  • The Quran - Muhammad Asad 
  • No God But God - Reza Aslan 
  • Veil: Modesty, Privacy, and Resistance - Fadwa El Guindi
  • The Quran - Tarif Khalidi 
  • The Probativeness of the Sunnah - Dr. G.F. Haddad 
  • Islam in Transition: Muslim Perspectives - John Espitoso
  • A Brief Illustrated Guide to Understanding Islam - I. A. Ibrahim
  • The Heart of Islam: Enduring Values for Humanity - Seyyed Hossein Nasr
  • The Wisdom of the Prophet: The Sayings of Muhammad - Thomas Cleary
  • Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources - Martin Lings
  • Western Muslims and the future of Islam and In the Footsteps of the Prophet: Lessons from the Life of Muhammad - Tariq Ramadan
  • Islam at the Crossroads - Muhammad Asad
  • What Everyone Needs to Know About Islam, Islam, The Straight Path, and The Future of Islam - John Espitoso
  • “Believing Women” in Islam - Asma Barlas 
  • The Lawful and Prohibited in Islam - Yusuf Al-Qaradawi 
  • In Pursuit of Justice: The Jurisprudence of Human Rights in Islam - Maher Hathout 
  • The Principles of State and Government in Islam - Muhammad Asad
  • The Fall and Rise of the Islamic State - Noah Feldman
  • The Eternal Message of Muhammad - Abd-al-Rahman Azam
  • Concepts of The Quran - Fathi Osman
  • Good Muslim, Bad Muslim - Mahmood Mamdani
  • Women in Muslim Family Law - John Esposito
  • Formations of the Secular: Christianity, Islam, Modernity - Talal Asad


  • Sudan: From Conflict to Conflict - Marina Ottaway & Mai El-Sadany
  • North-South Conflict from a Historical Perspective -  Girma Kebbede 
  • Sudan and South Sudan: Current Issues for Congress and U.S. Policy - Lauren Ploch Blanchard 
  • The Lahawiyin: Identity and History in a Sudanese Arab Tribe - Ahmed-Khalid-Abdallah, Tamador 
  • Blood-Red Desert: The British Invasion of Egypt and The Sudan - Michael Barthorp 
  • Season of Migration to the North - Tayeb Salih
  • Water, Civilisation, and Power in Sudan - Harry Verhoeven 


  • Differences that Matter: Feminist Theory and Postmodernism - Sara Ahmed
  • Survival of the Prettiest - Nancy Etcoff
  • The Woman’s Book of Confidence - Sue Patton Theole 
  • Half of a Yellow Sun - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • Americanah - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • Kristina: The Girl King - Carolyn Meyer
  • Delusions of Gender - Cordelia Fine

        bell hooks

  • Aint I A Woman
  • Teaching to Transgress
  • Communion
  • The Will to Change 
  • All About Love
  • Class Matters
  • Killing Rage
  • We Real Cool 
  • Feminism is For Everybody
  • Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center
  • Paris Burning


  • How Europe Underdeveloped Africa - Walter Rodney 
  • Mystification of African History: A Critique of Rodney’s How Europe Underdeveloped Africa - G.T. Mishambi 
  • Neocolonialism in West Africa - Samir Amin 
  • Women’s Roles in the MENA  - Ruth Margolies Beitler & Angelica R. Martinez 
  • Veil: Modesty, Privacy, and Resistance - Fadwa El Guindi
  • Studies on Ottoman Social and Political History - Kemal H. Karpat
  • The Wretched of the Earth - Frantz Fanon 


  • Wealth of Nations - John Adams
  • Capital Vol. 1&2 - Karl Marx 
  • Crises of Capitalism - David Harvey
  • The Culture Industry: Enlightenment as Mass Deception, Dialectic of Enlightenment - Adorno & Horkheimer
  • Bobos in Paradise - David Brooks
  • The Liberal Virus: Permanent War and the Americanization of the World 
  • The Communist Manifesto - Marx, Engels
  • Global History: A View from the South - Samir Amin 
  • Civil Disobedience - Thoreau
  • Origins of Family, Private Property, and the State - Engels 
  • Eurocentrism (2nd ed.)- Samir Amin 
  • Europe, Modernity, and Eurocentrism - Enrique Dussel 
  • Orientalism - Edward Said 
  • The Great Anarchists - Paul Etzbacher 
  • Mein Kampf - Adolf Hitler


  • The Element - Sir Ken Robinson 
  • Metaphor: Key topics in semantics and pragmatics - L. David Ritchie 
  • Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling - John Taylor Gatto


  • Origin of Species - Charles Darwin 
  • The Autobiography of Malcolm X 
  • This Is How You Lose Her - Junot Diaz
  • How to Date a Brown Girl - Junot Diaz
  • Nine Parts of Desire: Hidden World of Islamic Women - Geraldine Brooks 
  • The Dancing Girls of Lahore - Louise Brown
  • The Power of Myth - Joseph Campbell 
  • Everything Bad is Good for you - Steven Johnson 
  • The Mommy Myth - Susan Douglas
  • The Gods of Greece and Rome - Talfourd Ely
  • The Glass Essay -  Anne Carson 
  • Design Flaws of the Human Condition - Paul Schmidtberge
  • A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life - Donald Miller
  • Love, Inshallah: The Secret Love Lives of American Muslim Women - Ayesha Mattu & Nura Maznavi
  • A Man’s Search for Meaning - Viktor E. Frankl


  • The Complete Works of Edgar Allen Poe
  • Things Fall Apart - Chinua Achebe
  • The Years - Virginia Woolf 
  • A Wrinkle in Time - Madeleine L’Engle
  • Tuesdays With Morrie - Mitch Albom
  • Flowers for Algernon - Daniel Keyes
  • When My Name Was Keoko - Linda Sue Park
  • A Separate Peace - John Knowles
  • A Thousand Splendid Suns - Khaled Hosseini
  • The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
  • A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
  • A Series of Unfortunate Events  - Lemony Snicket
  • Inkheart, Inkspell - Cornelia Funke

This May, we are honouring Kierkegaard as the inaugural ‘Philosopher of the Month’. Søren Kierkegaard (1813-1855) was a Danish philosopher, theologian, and the father of existentialism. Join us as we celebrate the life and work of Søren Kierkegaard via the reading list below, which includes biographies, journal articles, and free online resources.

Keep a look out for #PhilosopherOTM across social media and follow @OUPPhilosophy on Twitter for more Philosopher of the Month content.

Which books would you add to the list?

Salute to Narrative Nonfiction: Science

Narrative or creative nonfiction is a somewhat newly recognized genre. Naturally, as librarians we have a great appreciation for the research, the primary source documents and interviews, but it is the narrative, the skillful pacing, the phrasing, and the insight that make it read like a thriller that set these books apart from other nonfiction.