What's on your five foot shelf?

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What's on your five foot shelf?

Post by still.trucking » July 10th, 2009, 4:34 pm

What’s on your Five Foot Shelf?

By Michael Rass ⋅ July 10, 2009

100 years ago saw the publication of Charles Eliot’s Five Foot Shelf. The Harvard President claimed you could get a solid liberal education by reading a collection of books that filled a five-foot shelf.

Most of the 51 volumes on the Five Foot Shelf probably still deserve their place: Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Macbeth, Cervantes’s Don Quixote, Homer’s Odyssey and many other classics.

But what books from the last 100 years – fiction or non-fiction – have now earned a slot alongside them? Which books from around the world would you put on a Five Foot Shelf for 2009?

http://www.theworld.org/discussions/wha ... foot-shelf
"Natural selection, as it has operated in human history, favors not only the clever but the murderous." Barbara Ehrenreich


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Post by Arcadia » July 17th, 2009, 10:00 am

ask Bloom! :lol: ... too much work!!!!!!!! :wink:

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Post by Yejun » July 17th, 2009, 5:34 pm

For some reason, I thought you wanted five books. I've been trying to come up with five (can't do it).

At any rate, here's three (Fiction):

Samuel R. Delaney's Dhalgren

Joseph Heller's Catch 22*

Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children

There's a lot more. I wonder if this just might be an ongoing thread. At the very least, it might give those of us who are interested in new paths to explore.

*Originally, wrote Joseph Hess and that wasn't the first time. I don't know why but for some reason I can never this author's name. Ooops.

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Post by Andeh » October 25th, 2009, 11:20 am

Well, I dont have a full 5 foot shelf of books, I had to sell a lot of my books, but I have a lot of Kerouac waiting, what I have (aside from what I already read) is Maggie Cassidy, Desolation Angels, Windblown World, and Satori in Paris and Pic (cant wait to read that) some by Alexander Solzenitzyn, not yet read, (I've gotten into a Russian literature kick) and perhaps appropriately a book called "Im an English Major, Now What" hope it will help. Also Journey to the End of the Night by Celine. The plot sounded interesting. Invisible ghosts of books include Big Sur, read last yr, I loved it so much, especially the poems of the sea at the end, HST's "Rum Diary" (interesting) and soon to come, a lot of textbooks about "literature" so hope they'll be good.
I like to read the books outside of the college the best. If they had "Beat Lit" as a major I would have surely taken it.

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Post by SadLuckDame » October 25th, 2009, 12:57 pm

Dang, I do have 5 shelves of books (over 5 ft.), but too many to list. I'll add a bunch of my recommended favorites or limit it to author's names.

All of Jack K's I've read On the Road, Big Sur, Dharma Bums, Visions of Cody. The Great Gatsby. All of the Bronte sister books (I think I've read all, too, because they are so exactly what I need and love behind their voices). All of Fyodor Dostoevsky (Top favorite author, one of the absolute best). All of Henry Miller's Tropic of Cancer, of Capricorn, Black Spring. Fear and Loathing. All of Anais Nin's (I adore her!) Henry and June, Incest, A Literate Passion, Delta of Venus, her Diary volumes. D.H. Lawrence Lady Chatterly's Lover, Twilight in Italy. Joyce's Ulysses (but very difficult to read straight through. It's a good book to mix in with other books at the same time. At least for me.) To Kill a Mocking Bird. Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee. All of John Steinbeck's novels (I love him). Running with Scissors. All of Hawthorne. The Picture of Dorian Gray. Lolita. Utopia. The Odyssey. All of Shakespeare (though I haven't read them all yet either. I watch for them at every book sale at the Library.) Notes of a Dirty Old Man-Bukowski. Lewis Carroll's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. The Catcher in the Rye. Up the Downstairs. Junky and Queer by Burroughs were good, but I couldn't finish Naked Lunch. Hemingway has goodies. Upton Sinclair's The Jungle. Gone With the Wind (I fell in love with the characters, literally. Even after growing up watching the movie a gazillion times). Charles Dickens. Anne Frank's Diary of a Young Girl. Born On the Fourth of July. The Stand. Imajica-Clive Barker.

That is most of my favorites so far.
I've read other books that were pretty good
but these do stand out the most to me.
And take up 5 feet :P

It almost feels like bragging or some strange emotion, after writing that out. eep, my genuine apologies. The smarter I get, the dumber I know I am.
`Do you know, I was so angry, Kitty,' Alice went on...`when I saw all the mischief you had been doing, I was very nearly opening the window, and putting you out into the snow! And you'd have deserved it, you
little mischievous darling!
~Lewis Carroll

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Post by mudshark » October 28th, 2009, 7:16 pm

i have a lot of the books ms. sadLdame has. mostofem acctually. it was weird the hole read through. thought my favourite is of course the catcher in the rye.

and i have a lot of scandinavian jewels.
its only fair to let you in on'em. and these are the ones i KNOW you would like. love. ALL OF YOU.

Knut Hamsun- "Victoria", "Hunger", "Mysteries"
Kjell Askildsen- all hes shit (voted best short novelist of all times in Norway)
Ingvar Ambjornsen- where to start? everything. hes an outsider. hilarious.
Aarto Paasilinna- "Collectiv suicide". Finland
August Stringberg- the brilliant boheme from Sweden "the Red rum".

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Post by Artguy » October 29th, 2009, 11:06 am

All Beat and Buddha stuff....from Kerouak to the Dalai Lama...plus War & Peace...and one of my faves Don Quixote....

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