Wednesday, October 21, 2009


100 Best Spiritual Books of the Twentieth Century

Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat

At the turn of the millennium, HarperSanFrancisco, a leading publisher of religious and spiritual books, asked Philip Zaleski, editor of the annual The Best Spiritual Writing series, to look back over the twentieth century and compile a list of the 100 best books in the genre. The nominating panel included Spirituality & Health book review editor Frederic A. Brussat, S&H columnist Thomas Moore, Natalie Goldberg, Rodger Kamenetz, Harold Kushner, Lawrence Kushner, Christopher de Vinck, David Young, Kabir Helminski, Helen Tworkov, Ron Hansen, Joseph Bruchac, Huston Smith, Lawrence Cunningham, and John Wilson.

All the books had to be published in English for the first time in the twentieth century. Stephen Hanselman of HarperSanFrancisco explained that the list, boasting titles from 50 different publishers, "will guide readers to books that will enrich their souls, serve as a reminder of the twentieth century's enduring spiritual legacy, and spark conversation about the blossoming genre of spiritual writing."

Here's the list arranged alphabetically by author. Click on the links to purchase through our Associates program with

Adams, Henry. Mont-Saint Michel and Chartres
Agnon, S. Y.
In the Heart of the Seas
Alcoholics Anonymous
Anonymous; Robert Powell, translator.
Meditations on the Tarot
Anonymous; Marvin Meyer, editor.
The Gospel of Thomas;
von Balthasar, Hans Urs.
The Glory of the Lord
Barfield, Owen.
Saving the Appearances
Barth, Karl.
The Epistle to the Romans
Bernanos, Georges.
Diary of a Country Priest
Black Elk.
Black Elk Speaks
Bonhoeffer, Dietrich.
The Cost of Discipleship
Bonhoeffer, Dietrich.
Letters and Papers from Prison
Buber, Martin.
I and Thou
Buber, Martin.
Tales of Hasidim
Camus, Albert.
The Plague
Chapman, John.
Letters & Religion
Chesterton, G.K.
Daumal, Rene.
Mount Analogue
Day, Dorothy.
The Long Loneliness
Dillard, Annie.
Pilgrim at Tinker Creek
Dunne, John S.
The Way of All the Earth
Eisley, Loren.
The Immense Journey
Eliade, Mircea.
The Myth of Eternal Return
Eliot, T.S.
Christianity and Culture
Eliot, T.S.
Four Quartets
Endo, Shusako.
Florensky, Pavel.
The Pillar and the Ground of Truth
Foster, Richard.
A Celebration of Discipline
Frankl, Viktor.
Man's Search for Meaning
Gandhi, Mohandas.
Gandhi An Autobiography: The Story of My Experiments with Truth
Greene, Graham.
The Power and the Glory
Griffiths, Bede.
The Golden String
Guardini, Romano.
The Lord
Guenon, Rene.
The Reign of Quantity and the Signs of the Times
Gurdjieff, G.I.
Meetings with Remarkable Men
Hahn, Thich Nhat.
Peace Is Every Step
Hammarskjold, Dag.
Heschel, Abraham Joshua.
God in Search of Man
Heschel, Abraham Joshua.
The Sabbath
Hesse, Hermann.
Hopkins, Gerard Manley.
Collected Poems of Gerard Manley Hopkins
Huxley, Aldous.
The Perennial Philosophy
Isherwood, Christopher.
My Guru and His Disciple
James, William.
The Varieties of Religious Experience
John XXIII, Pope.
Journal of a Soul
John Paul II, Pope.
Crossing the Threshold of Hope
Jung, Carl.
Memories, Dreams, Reflections
Kafka, Franz.
The Trial
Kelly, Thomas.
A Testament of Devotion
Kerouac, Jack.
The Dharma Bums
King Jr., Martin Luther.
I Have a Dream: Writings and Speeches That Changed the World
Knox, Ronald.
Krishnamurti, Jiddu.
Think on These Things
Leclercq, Jean.
The Love of Learning and the Desire for God
Lewis, C.S.
The Chronicles of Narnia
Lewis, C.S.
Mere Christianity
Lusseyran, Jacques.
And There Was Light
Maharashi, Ramana.
The Spiritual Teachings of Ramana Maharashi
Malcolm X.
The Autobiography of Malcolm X
Maritain, Raissa.
Maugham, W. Somerset.
The Razor's Edge
Merton, Thomas.
New Seeds of Contemplation
Merton, Thomas.
The Seven Storey Mountain
Muggeridge, Malcolm.
Something Beautiful for God
Newman, John Henry.
Taking on the Heart of Christ: Meditations and Devotions
Niebuhr, Richard H.
Christ and Culture
Niebuhr, Reinhold.
The Nature and Destiny of Man
O'Connor, Flannery.
Wise Blood
Otto, Rudolf.
The Idea of the Holy
Ouspensky, P.D.
In Search of the Miraculous
Peck, M. Scott.
The Road Less Traveled
Percy, Walker.
Lost in the Cosmos
Pirsig, Robert.
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
Ramakrishna. Swami Nikhilananda, translator.
The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Reps, Paul and Senzaki, Nyogan.
Zen Flesh, Zen Bones
Rilke, Rainer Maria.
Duino Elegies
Rosenzweig, Franz.
The Star of Redemption
Russell, George William.
The Candle of Vision
Schimmel, Anne-Marie.
Mystical Dimensions of Islam
Scholem, Gershom.
Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism
Schumacher, E.F.
A Guide for the Perplexed
Schuon, Fritjof.
The Transcendent Unity of Religions
Singer, Isaac Bashevis.
Collected Stories
Smith, Huston.
The World's Religions
Steinsaltz, Adin.
The Thirteen-Petalled Rose
Suzuki, D. T.
Essays in Zen Buddhism
Suzuki, Shunryu.
Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind
Tagore, Rabindranath.
Teilhard, De Chardin Pier.
The Phenomenon of Man
Teresa, Mother.
A Simple Path
Therese of Lisieux, St.
The Story of a Soul
Tillich, Paul.
The Courage to Be
Tolkien, J. R. R.
The Lord of the Rings
Traherne, Thomas.
Trungpa, Chogyam.
Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism
Underhill, Evelyn.
Weil, Simone.
Waiting for God
Wiesel, Elie.
Yeats, William Butler.
The Collected Poems of W. B. Yeats
Yogananda, Paramahansa.
Autobiography of a Yogi

110 best books: The perfect library

Published: 12:01AM BST 06 Apr 2008

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Rebecca: the narrator is haunted by the housekeeper's worship of her predecessor

The Railway Children: the children adapt to a poverty-stricken life helped by waving to trains

1984: chilling, wry and romantic, Orwell's novel is a passionate cry for freedom

The Maltese Falcon: a tale of greed and deceit, complete with flawed hero and femme fatale

The Prince: the ultimate mandate for politicians who value power above justice

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: a feel-good memoir that became the biggest-selling philosophy book of all time

From classics and sci-fi to poetry, biographies and books that changed the world… we present the ultimate reading list. Illustrations by David Juniper


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The Iliad and The Odyssey

Set during the Trojan War, The Iliad combines battle scenes with a debate about heroism; Odysseus' thwarted attempts to return to Ithaca when the war ends form The Odyssey. Its symbolic evocation of human life as an epic journey homewards has inspired everything from James Joyce's Ulysses to the Coen brothers' film, O Brother Where Art Thou?.

The Barchester Chronicles
Anthony Trollope

A story set in a fictional cathedral town about the squabbles and power struggles of the clergy? It doesn’t sound promising, but Trollope's sparklingly satirical novels are among the best-loved books of all time.

Pride and Prejudice
Jane Austen

Heroine meets hero and hates him. Is charmed by a cad. A family crisis – caused by the cad – is resolved by the hero. The heroine sees him for what he really is and realises (after visiting his enormous house) that she loves him. The plot has been endlessly borrowed, but few authors have written anything as witty or profound as Pride and Prejudice.

Gulliver's Travels
Jonathan Swift

Swift's scathing satire shows humans at their worst: whether diminished (in Lilliput) or grossly magnified (in Brobdingnag). Our capacity for self-delusion – personified by the absurdly pompous Gulliver – makes this darkest of novels very funny.

Jane Eyre
Charlotte Brontë

Cruelty, hypocrisy, dashed hopes: Jane Eyre faces them all, yet her individuality triumphs. Her relationship with Rochester has such emotional power that it's hard to believe these characters never lived.

War and Peace

Tolstoy's masterpiece is so enormous even the author said it couldn't be described as a novel. But the characters of Andrei, Pierre and Natasha – and the tragic and unexpected way their lives intersect – grip you for all 1,400 pages.

David Copperfield
Charles Dickens

David's journey to adulthood is filled with difficult choices – and a huge cast of characters, from the treacherous Steerforth to the comical Mr Micawber.

Vanity Fair
William Makepeace Thackeray

'"I'm no Angel," answered Miss Rebecca. And to tell the truth, she was not.' Whether we should judge the cunning, amoral Becky Sharp – or the hypocritical society she inhabits – is the question.

Madame Bovary
Gustave Flaubert

Flaubert's finely crafted novel tells the story of Emma, a bored provincial wife who comforts herself with shopping and affairs. It doesn't end well.

George Eliot

Dorothea wastes her youth on a creepy, elderly scholar. Lydgate marries the beautiful but self-absorbed Rosamund. George Eliot's characters make terrible mistakes, but we never lose empathy with them.



Shakespeare's sonnets contain some of poetry's most iconic lines – and a mysterious insight into his personal life.

Divine Comedy

Dante Alighieri's epic tale of one man's journey into the afterlife is considered Italy's finest literary export.

Canterbury Tales

These humorous tales about fictional pilgrims made an important contribution to English literature at a time when court poetry was written in either Anglo-Norman or Latin.

The Prelude
William Wordsworth

This posthumously published work is both an autobiographical journey and a fragment of history from the revolutionary and post-revolutionary years.

John Keats

Littered with sensuous descriptions of nature's beauty, Keats's odes also pose profound philosophical questions.

The Waste Land
T. S. Eliot

Eliot's vision of dystopia became a literary landmark, and introduced new techniques to the modern poet. He remains one of the defining figures of 20th-century poetry.

Paradise Lost
John Milton

Since its publication in 1667, Milton’s 12-book English epic – in which he sets out to 'justify the ways of God to men' – has been considered a classic.

Songs of Innocence and Experience
William Blake

Blake's short poems are simple in rhythm and rhyme, but sophisticated in meaning. Written during a time of political turmoil, they embody his radical sympathies and anti-dualist ideas.

Collected Poems
W. B. Yeats

Considered a driving force in the revival of Irish literature, Yeats fruitfully engages the topics of youth, love, nature, art and war.

Collected Poems
Ted Hughes

Although Hughes was a colossal presence among the English literary landscape – his work often draws upon the forbidding Yorkshire countryside of his youth – his personal life had a tendency to overshadow his talent.


The Portrait of a Lady
Henry James

James's mastery of psychology has never been more elegantly expressed nor more gripping than in his tale of Isabel Archer, a young American in search of her destiny, and Gilbert Osmond, the ultimate cold fish and one of literature's most repellent villains.

A la recherche du temps perdu

A novel whose every sentence can be a struggle to finish may sound forbidding, but this masterpiece of modernity, taking us into every nook and cranny of the narrator's fascinating mind, is worth all the effort.

James Joyce

Banned in Britain and America for its depiction of female masturbation, Joyce's Ulysses takes its scatological stand at the pinnacle of modernist literature. Lyrical and witty, its stream-of-consciousness narration deters many, but makes enraptured enthusiasts of others.

For Whom the Bell Tolls
Ernest Hemingway

A sparse, masculine, world-weary meditation on death, ideology and the savagery of war in general, and the Spanish civil war in particular.

Sword of Honour trilogy
Evelyn Waugh

A poignant, ironic study of the disintegration of aristocratic values in the face of blank bureaucracy and Second World War butchery, Men at Arms, Officers and Gentlemen and Unconditional Surrender are Waugh's crowning achievements.

The Ballad of Peckham Rye
Muriel Spark

Comic, satirical and ineffably odd, Spark's fifth novel introduces Dougal Douglas, ghost-writer, researcher, mysterious figure of Satanic magnetism and mayhem, to the upper working-class/ lower middle-class milieu of Peckham.

Rabbit series
John Updike

We first meet Harry 'Rabbit' Angstrom in Rabbit, Run, as a boorish, unhappy former basketball jock who runs from (and to) his pregnant wife. The novels that follow cover 30 years and make up the great study of American manhood.

One Hundred Years of Solitude
Gabriel García Márquez

The greatest moment in magical realist fiction, García Márquez's passionate, humorous history of Macondo and its founding family, the Buendías, has the seductive power of myth.

Toni Morrison

Morrison brought to life a version of the slave narrative that has become a classic. Her tour de force of guilt, abandonment and revenge plays out against the background of pre-emancipation American life.

The Human Stain
Philip Roth

Roth's brilliant, angry dissection of race, disgrace and hypocrisy in Clinton-Lewinsky era America brings to a close his grand and meticulous American trilogy (American Pastoral, I Married a Communist).


Daphne du Maurier

Cornish estate owner Maximilian de Winter's second wife – also the nameless narrator – is haunted by the housekeeper's oppressive worship of her predecessor, Rebecca. A masterful tale of suspense.

Le Morte D'Arthur
Thomas Malory

Malory's yarn explores the possibility that chivalry is best revealed by a knight's loyalty to his fellow knights, and not simply his devotion to a woman.

Les Liaisons Dangereuses
Choderlos de Laclos

Paris in the 18th century: the Marquise de Merteuil and the Vicomte de Valmont concoct a scheme of seduction to entrap members of the aristocracy. Their roguish machinations lead to their climactic undoing.

I, Claudius
Robert Graves

An invented autobiographical account of Claudius, the fourth emperor of ancient Rome. Graves draws upon the historical texts of Tacitus and Suetonius to write Claudius's story after claiming a visitation from the ancient ruler in his dreams.

Alexander Trilogy
Mary Renault

Renault transports readers to Ancient Greece in a historical trilogy that presents the life and legacy of Alexander the Great in a humanising fictional portrait.

Master and Commander
Patrick O'Brian

Set during the Napoleonic Wars, O'Brian's books journey the seas with Commander Aubrey and his crew aboard HMS Sophie. The novel follows Aubrey's convincing and complex friendship with Maturin, the ship's surgeon, as they fight enemies and storms.

Gone with the Wind
Margaret Mitchell

Scarlett O'Hara manipulates her way through the American civil war. This selfish, but gutsy heroine idealises the unattainable Ashley before realising her love for her third husband, Rhett, who dismisses her with, 'My dear, I don't give a damn.'

Dr Zhivago
Boris Pasternak

Yuri Zhivago loves two women, his wife, Tonya, and the captivating Lara. Pasternak juxtaposes romance with the stark brutality of the Russian civil war in this extraordinary historical epic.

Tess of the D'Urbervilles
Thomas Hardy

Disgraced by an illegitimate child, Tess is tainted with shame and guilt, which destroys her marriage to Angel Clare. She emerges as a tragic heroine, incapable of escaping the hypocrisy of Victorian society.

The Plantagenet Saga
Jean Plaidy

A collection of novels inspired by the Plantagenet dynasty. Jean Plaidy is one of the many noms de plume of Eleanor Alice Burford Hibbert, the celebrated historical fiction writer, who died in 1993.


Swallows and Amazons
Arthur Ransome

Four children sail to Wildcat Island, where they encounter a rival camping party then join forces to hunt treasure. Robinson Crusoe meets The Famous Five in a tale of sailing and ginger beer.

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
C.S. Lewis

Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy discover the land of Narnia and the malevolent White Witch. The novel uses Christian iconography in Aslan's dramatic sacrifice and resurrection. Edmund's transition from self-interested schoolboy to heroic young man is also resonantly spiritual.

The Lord of the Rings
J.R. R. Tolkien

Frodo and friends journey to Mordor to destroy the ring, making the young Hobbit one of the greatest fictional heroes of all time. More than 100million copies have been sold of the trilogy that brought fantasy to a mainstream literary audience.

His Dark Materials
Philip Pullman

Will is a boy from Oxford. Lyra is a girl from Oxford in a parallel world. Together they have an epic adventure spanning parallel universes. The trilogy has inspired criticism for being heretical – Pullman himself declared the books were about 'killing God'.

Jean de Brunhoff

Babar brings clothes and cars (and Madame) from Paris to his African kingdom. With his family and the wise Cornelius by his side, Babar protects his land from the Rhino King Rataxes. The big, beautiful books are enriched by Brunhoff's wonderful illustrations.

The Railway Children
E. Nesbit

Nesbit’s classic, made famous by the 1970 film, tells of how Bobby, Phyllis and Pete, missing their beloved father, adapt to a poverty-stricken life in the country, helped by Mr Perks, the Old Gentleman, and by waving to the train.

A.A. Milne

The Silly Old Bear, with his friends in Hundred Acre Wood, is more than a British institution. A.A. Milne created a life philosophy with the trials, triumphs and tiddley-poms of the honey-loving, always kind-hearted Pooh.

Harry Potter
J.K. Rowling

The boy wizard's dealings with the forces of adolescence and evil have sold more than 350million books in 65 languages. The Harry Potter phenomenon has its detractors, but the success of special 'grown-up' covers, allowing commuters to read Rowling without shame, tells its own tale.

The Wind in the Willows
Kenneth Grahame

Lonely and miserable trying to clean his hole, Mole ventures outside. He meets Ratty, Toad and Badger, and embarks on a new life defending Toad Hall from the weasels, protecting Toad from himself and messing about in boats.

Treasure Island
Robert Louis Stevenson

The piratical coming of age of Jim Hawkins, who discovers a map of Treasure Island among an old sea captain's possessions – and then follows it. Parrots, 'pieces of eight' and the lovable, but morally ambiguous Long John Silver.


Mary Shelley

The great genius of Shelley's novel has often been overwhelmed by images of schlocky bolt-necked 'Frankensteins'. Brought to life by Dr Victor Frankenstein, Shelley’s creature is part gothic monster, part Romantic hero.

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea
Jules Verne

Among the deep-sea volcanoes, shoals of swirling fish, giant squid and sharks, Captain Nemo steers the Nautilus. Nemo is the renegade scientist par excellence, a man madly inventive in his quest for revenge.

The Time Machine
H.G. Wells

A seminal work of dystopian fiction, Wells's tale of the voyages of the Time Traveller in the distant future (AD802,701) is also a cracking adventure story.

Brave New World
Aldous Huxley

Ignorance is far from bliss in Huxley’s terrible vision of a future of rampant consumerism, worthless free love, routine drug use and cultural passivity.

George Orwell

So persuasive and chilling was the world summoned up here that 'Orwellian' has entered the language as shorthand for government control. Chilling, wry and romantic, it is above all a passionate cry for freedom.

The Day of the Triffids
John Wyndham

Shifty Soviets and the clipped vernacular make this a Fifties horror story. But as humans cope with disasters (mass blinding by meteor shower; ruthless walking, flesh-eating plants) the tale becomes taut, terrifying, and far from ridiculous.

Isaac Asimov

'Great Galaxy!' It is not for literary brilliance that one approaches the first in the Foundation series, but rather for the sweeping grandeur of Asimov’s epic universe-wide tale of the decline and fall of empires. Once you've finished this, 14 novels and countless more short stories await.

2001: A Space Odyssey
Arthur C. Clarke

The first in Clarke's quartet was written as a novel and, in collaboration with Stanley Kubrick, as a film script. As the Discovery One mission drifts towards Saturn, Clarke creates the embodiment of the perils of computer technology, HAL9000.

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
Philip K. Dick

Dick's masterpiece questions what it is that distinguishes us as human, as we follow Rick Deckard on his mission to 'retire' recalcitrant androids. Spawned Ridley Scott's Blade Runner.

William Gibson

A violent slab of cyberpunk sci-fi, in which techie activities (artificial intelligence, hacking, virtual reality) are married with a grimy, anarchic, slangy sensibility, and a cast of hustlers, hackers and junkies trying to make sense of a world ruled by corporations.


The Talented Mr Ripley
Patricia Highsmith

Tom Ripley is one of 20th-century literature's most disturbingly fascinating characters: a suave, charming serial killer, who's utterly amoral in his pursuit of la dolce vita.

The Maltese Falcon
Dashiell Hammett

A tale of greed and deceit that's also the archetypal work of 20th-century detective fiction: complete with flawed hero (Sam Spade), femme fatale and a convoluted plot that unravels grippingly.

The Complete Sherlock Holmes
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

It's one of literature's most wonderful ironies that Conan Doyle himself became a spiritualist so soon after creating the most famously rational character in all literature.

The Big Sleep
Raymond Chandler

His oeuvre may be small, but with the help of long-time protagonist PI Philip Marlowe – who appears here for the first time – Chandler helped define the genres of detective fiction and, later, film noir.

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
John le Carré

Le Carré, master of the Cold War novel, follows British spymaster George Smiley as he tries to uncover a Moscow mole, and faces his KGB nemesis, Karla.

Red Dragon
Thomas Harris

Hannibal Lecter's second literary appearance sees him called upon by old FBI chum (and near-victim) Will Graham, to help solve the case of the serially morbid 'Tooth Fairy'.

Murder on the Orient Express
Agatha Christie

From Istanbul to London, Hercule Poirot's little grey cells rattle away to improbable effect as he untangles the mystery of the life and violent death of a sinister passenger.

The Murders in the Rue Morgue
Edgar Allan Poe

Poe's blackly ingenious tale of brutal murder in 19th-century Paris establishes C. Auguste Dupin, a man of 'peculiar analytic ability', as the model for pretty much every intellectual detective to come.

The Woman in White
Wilkie Collins

A sensational 19th-century epistolary tale of women in peril adds one of the most charismatic, refined and straightforwardly fat villains to the pantheon.

Elmore Leonard

Leonard is known for his pithy dialogue and freaky characters. Here he manages to create a sweatily suspenseful thriller, with a married couple as the unexpected heroes.


Das Kapital
Karl Marx

His thinking may not be as popular as it was in the Sixties and Seventies, but it's as relevant. The cardinal critique of the capitalist system.

The Rights of Man
Tom Paine

Written during the heady days of the French Revolution, Paine's pamphlet - by introducing the concept of human rights - remains one of modern democracy's fundamental texts.

The Social Contract
Jean-Jacques Rousseau

'Man is born free; and everywhere he is in chains.' How are we to reconcile our individual rights and freedoms with living in a society?

Democracy in America
Alexis de Tocqueville

This treatise looked to the new country's flourishing democracy in the early 19th century and the progressive model it offered ‘old’ Europe.

On War
Carl von Clausewitz

The first, and probably still foremost, treatise on the art of modern warfare. The Prussian general looked beyond the battlefield to war's place in the broader political context.

The Prince
Niccolo Machiavelli

Written during his exile from the Florentine Republic, Machiavelli's bible of realpolitik offers the ultimate mandate for those (still-too-many) politicians who value keeping power above dispensing justice.

Thomas Hobbes

Hobbes's call for rule by an absolute sovereign may not sound too progressive, but it was based on the then-groundbreaking belief that all men are naturally equal.

On the Interpretation of Dreams
Sigmund Freud

Drawing on his own dreams, plus those of his patients, Freud asserted that dreams – by tapping into our unconscious – held the key to understanding what makes us tick.

On the Origin of Species
Charles Darwin

No other book has so transformed how we look at the natural world and mankind's origins.

Diderot, et al

Subtitled 'A Systematic Dictionary of the Sciences, Arts, and Crafts', with contributions by Voltaire, Montesquieu, Diderot and others, the 35-volume encyclopedia was the ultimate document of Enlightenment thought.


Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
Robert M. Pirsig

Pirsig's feel-good memoir about a father-son motorcycle trip across America became the biggest-selling philosophy book of all time.

Jonathan Livingston Seagull
Richard Bach

Bach's fable about a dreamy seagull called Jonathan, who seeks to soar above the ideology of his flock, became a New Age classic, and is dedicated to the 'real seagull in all of us'.

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Douglas Adams

Originally broadcast on Radio 4, this quotable comedy about a hapless Englishman and his alien friend proved that sci-fi could be clever and funny.

The Tipping Point
Malcolm Gladwell

Gladwell uses everything from teenage smoking to Sesame Street to show how one person's small idea, or way of thinking, can spark a social epidemic.

The Beauty Myth
Naomi Wolf

Wolf, the controversial American feminist (and teenage victim of anorexia), argues that women's insecurities stem from society's demands on them either to be beautiful or face judgment.

How to Cook
Delia Smith

The cookery queen's series is credited with teaching culinary delinquents how to prepare good wholesome food from scratch. Her latest book, How to Cheat at Cooking, does the opposite.

A Year in Provence
Peter Mayle

For those who've dreamt of leaving it all to live in the South of France, expat Peter Mayle's diary offers a dose of reality, from unexpected snowfalls to an algae-coated swimming pool.

A Child Called 'It'
Dave Pelzer

Pelzer's graphic account of his abusive childhood topped the bestseller lists worldwide. Since then, he's had to fight off accusations of embellishment and fantasy from family members.

Eats, Shoots and Leaves
Lynne Truss

In an attempt to stamp out poor punctuation, Truss compiled a lively and useful account for all those in doubt about how to use an apostrophe.

Schott's Original Miscellany
Ben Schott

Dip into Schott's compendium of trivia and impress your friends with such questions as, 'Do you know who makes the Queen's pork sausages?' The answer: Musks of Newmarket.


The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
Edward Gibbon

Compressing 13 turbulent centuries into one epic narrative, this is often labelled the first 'modern' history book. Gibbon fell back on sociology, rather than superstition, to explain Rome's demise.

A History of the English-Speaking Peoples
Winston Churchill

Taking us from Caesar's 55BC invasion to the Boer War's end in 1902, Churchill’s four-volume saga makes the proud, but now-unfashionable, connection between speaking English and bearing 'the torch of Freedom'.

A History of the Crusades
Steven Runciman

Still the landmark account of the Crusades, Byzantine scholar Runciman's work broke with centuries of Western tradition, claiming the crusading invaders were guilty of a 'long act of intolerance in the name of God'.

The Histories

Ostensibly about Greece's defeat of the invading Persians in the 5th century BC, it blends fact, hearsay, legend and myth to tell tales of life in and around Ancient Greece.

The History of the Peloponnesian War

Famously fastidious over the reliability of his data and sources, Thucydides – with this detailed study of the 25-year struggle between Athens and Sparta – set the template for every historian after him.

Seven Pillars of Wisdom
T. E. Lawrence

Lawrence of Arabia's fascinating, self-mythologising account of how he united a string of Arab tribes and successfully led them to rebellion against their Ottoman overlords.

The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle

Compiled at King Alfred's behest in the AD890s, this is the earliest-known history of England written in old English. It's also the oldest history of any European country in a vernacular language.

A People's Tragedy
Orlando Figes

Figes charts the Russian Revolution in stark detail, telling the tale of 'ordinary people' and boldly concluding that they 'weren't the victims of the Revolution but protagonists in its tragedy'.

Citizens: A Chronicle of the French Revolution
Simon Schama

Before he was on television, Prof Schama offered 948 pages of proof that there was more to the French Revolution than fraternity, equality and eating cake.

The Origins of the Second World War
A.J.P. Taylor

Was Hitler all that bad? Wasn't he just an opportunist who took advantage of Anglo-French dithering and appeasement? The label 'iconoclastic' applies to few historians so well as it does to Taylor.


St Augustine

In probably the first autobiography in Western literature, the Church Father recounts his life-journey from sinner to saint, from the boy who stole pears from a neighbour's tree to the articulator of key Christian doctrines.

Lives of the Caesars

Charting the lives of Julius Caesar, Augustus and the 10 subsequent Roman emperors, with scandalous tales of imperial decadence, vice and lunacy.

Lives of the Artists

The history of Italian Renaissance art, as told through the biographies of its heavyweight practitioners.

If This is a Man
Primo Levi

His background as an industrial chemist from Turin may not sound remarkable, but Levi's poised account of his hell-on-earth experiences as a prisoner at Auschwitz undoubtedly is.

Memoirs of a Fox-Hunting Man
Siegfried Sassoon

He's best known for his anti-war poems, but Sassoon was also once popular for his semi-autobiographical trilogy of novels, of which this was the first.

Eminent Victorians
Lytton Strachey

Strachey didn't do hagiography. His unflattering biographical essays on major Victorian figures debunked the myth of Victorian pre-eminence.

A Life of Charlotte Brontë
Elizabeth Gaskell

A biography of the intriguing Jane Eyre author, by her friend and fellow-novelist, Gaskell. One of the definitive 'tortured genius' biographies.

Goodbye to All That
Robert Graves

A friend of Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen, Graves was another Englishman to write unsparingly about the horrors of trench warfare.

The Life of Dr Johnson

He's one of English literature's all-time heavyweights, but most of what we know about Samuel Johnson, the man, comes from his friend Boswell’s hearty anecdotal biog.

Alan Clark

The late Tory MP was not one to get bogged down in matters of policy. His indiscreet memoirs detailed countless extra-marital affairs and character assassinations of colleagues.

AFI's 100 Years…100 Passions

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AFI 100 Years… series

100 Movies – (1998)
100 Stars – (1999)
100 Laughs – (2000)
100 Thrills – (2001)
100 Passions – (2002)
100 Heroes and Villains – (2003)
100 Songs – (2004)
100 Movie Quotes – (2005)
100 Film Scores – (2005)
100 Musicals – (2006)
100 Cheers – (2006)
100 Movies (10th Anniversary) – (2007)
AFI's 10 Top 10 – (2008)

Part of the AFI 100 Years… series, AFI's 100 Years…100 Passions is a list of the top 100 love stories in American cinema. The list was unveiled by the American Film Institute on June 11, 2002 in a CBS television special hosted by American film and TV actress Candice Bergen.



· 1 The list

· 2 Criteria

· 3 Trivia

· 4 References

· 5 External links

[edit] The list








Gone with the Wind



West Side Story



Roman Holiday



An Affair to Remember



The Way We Were



Doctor Zhivago



It's a Wonderful Life



Love Story



City Lights



Annie Hall



My Fair Lady



Out of Africa



The African Queen



Wuthering Heights



Singin' in the Rain












From Here to Eternity



Pretty Woman



On Golden Pond



Now, Voyager



King Kong



When Harry Met Sally...



The Lady Eve



The Sound of Music



The Shop Around the Corner



An Officer and a Gentleman



Swing Time



The King and I



Dark Victory






Beauty and the Beast






Random Harvest






It Happened One Night



An American in Paris






Funny Girl



Anna Karenina



A Star Is Born



The Philadelphia Story



Sleepless in Seattle



To Catch a Thief



Splendor in the Grass



Last Tango in Paris



The Postman Always Rings Twice



Shakespeare in Love



Bringing Up Baby



The Graduate



A Place in the Sun









The English Patient



Two for the Road



Guess Who's Coming to Dinner






To Have and Have Not



Breakfast at Tiffany's



The Apartment









Bonnie and Clyde






A Streetcar Named Desire



What's Up, Doc?



Harold and Maude



Sense and Sensibility



Way Down East






The Ghost and Mrs. Muir



Woman of the Year



The American President



The Quiet Man



The Awful Truth



Coming Home






The Sheik



The Goodbye Girl









Double Indemnity



Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing






The Unbearable Lightness of Being



The Princess Bride



Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?



The Bridges of Madison County



Working Girl



Porgy and Bess



Dirty Dancing



Body Heat



Lady and the Tramp



Barefoot in the Park






The Hunchback of Notre Dame



Pillow Talk



Jerry Maguire


[edit] Criteria

· Feature-Length Fiction Film: The film must be in narrative format, typically more than 60 minutes in length.

· American Film: The film must be in the English language with significant creative and/or financial production elements from the United States.

· Love Story: Regardless of genre, a romantic bond between two or more characters, whose actions and/or intentions provide the heart of the film’s narrative.

· Legacy: Films whose "passion" have enriched America’s film and cultural heritage while continuing to inspire contemporary artists and audiences.

[edit] Trivia

· Cary Grant is the most celebrated actor on the list with six films: An Affair to Remember, The Awful Truth, Bringing Up Baby, Notorious, The Philadelphia Story, and To Catch a Thief. Humphrey Bogart comes in second with To Have and Have Not, The African Queen, Sabrina, Casablanca, and Dark Victory (although in Dark Victory his role was minor and unromantic).

· Katharine Hepburn is the most prominent actress, starring in six movies: Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, On Golden Pond, Bringing Up Baby, The Philadelphia Story, Woman of the Year, and The African Queen; Audrey Hepburn is the second most prominent, starring in Two for the Road, Roman Holiday, Sabrina, Breakfast at Tiffany's, and My Fair Lady.

· Vocalist Marni Nixon worked on five movies on the list; she sang for Eliza Doolittle (Audrey Hepburn) in My Fair Lady, Maria (Natalie Wood) in West Side Story, Terry McKay (Deborah Kerr) in An Affair to Remember, and Anna (also Deborah Kerr) in The King and I. She also used her voice for her role as Sister Sophia in The Sound of Music.

· William Wyler (who directed Roman Holiday, Funny Girl, Jezebel, and Wuthering Heights) and George Cukor (who directed A Star is Born, My Fair Lady, Camille, and The Philadelphia Story) are the most represented directors on the list with four films each. Mike Nichols, Rob Reiner, George Stevens, Billy Wilder, and Alfred Hitchcock each directed three; Reiner directed The Princess Bride, The American President and When Harry Met Sally..., Wilder directed The Apartment, Sabrina, and Double Indemnity, Stevens directed A Place in the Sun, Woman of the Year, and Swing Time, Nichols directed Working Girl, The Graduate, and Who's Afriad of Virginia Woolf?, and Hitchcock directed Vertigo, To Catch a Thief, and Notorious.

· Elia Kazan directed two films on the list: A Streetcar Named Desire and Splendor in the Grass.

· Seven of the top 10 love stories feature couples that don't get together in the end.

The top 100 books

Published: 7:29AM BST 12 Apr 2008

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen

2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien

3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte

4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling

5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee

6 The Bible

7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte

8= Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell

8= His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman

10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens

11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott

12 Tess of the D'Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy

13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller

14 Complete Works of Shakespeare

15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier

16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien

17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks

18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger

19 The Time Traveller's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger

20 Middlemarch - George Eliot

21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell

22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald

23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens

24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy

25 The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams

26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh

27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky

28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck

29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll

30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame

31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy

32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens

33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis

34 Emma - Jane Austen

35 Persuasion - Jane Austen

36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis

37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini

38 Captain Corelli's Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres

39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden

40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne

41 Animal Farm - George Orwell

42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown

43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez

44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving

45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins

46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery

47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy

48 The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood

49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding

50 Atonement - Ian McEwan

51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel

52 Dune - Frank Herbert

53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons

54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen

55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth

56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon

57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens

58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley

59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon

60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez

61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck

62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov

63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt

64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold

65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas

66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac

67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy

68 Bridget Jones's Diary - Helen Fielding

69 Midnight's Children - Salman Rushdie

70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville

71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens

72 Dracula - Bram Stoker

73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett

74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson

75 Ulysses - James Joyce

76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath

77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome

78 Germinal - Emile Zola

79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray

80 Possession - AS Byatt

81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens

82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell

83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker

84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro

85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert

86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry

87 Charlotte's Web - EB White

88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Alborn

89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton

91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad

92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery

93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks

94 Watership Down - Richard Adams

95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole

96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute

97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas

98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare

99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl

100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo


List of authors of erotic works

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This is a list of notable authors of erotic literature.



· 1 Sex manuals

· 2 Fiction

o 2.1 Chinese erotica

· 3 Poetry

· 4 Autobiography

[edit] Sex manuals

· Vatsayana -- famous for the Kama Sutra

· Yasodhara -- author of the Jayamangala

· Kokkoka -- author of the Ratirahasya

· Kalyanamalla -- author of the Ananga Ranga

· Praudha Devaraya -- author of the Ratiratna Pradipika

· Ovid -- Roman author famous for the Ars Amatoria

· Ge Hong-- Jin dynasty author of Pao-Pu Zhi

· Muhammad ibn Muhammad al-Nafzawi -- author of The Perfumed Garden

· Hua Tuo-- author of On Venereal disease.

· Sun Simiao-- author of On the Loss and Gain of The Chamber Art

· Wan Quan-- author of Essentials for Extending Posterity

· Gao Lian-- author of On Abstinence in Sex

[edit] Fiction

· Alexander Pushkin -- author of the Gabriliad

· Alexander Trocchi

· Anaïs Nin -- author of Delta of Venus

· Anne Rice, also writing as A. N. Roquelaure

· Anne Tourney also published as Alaine Hood

· Arabella Knight -- author of Let's Play Anal Twister

· Aran Ashe

· Barry N. Malzberg--author of Screen and writer/editor for Olympia Press

· Catherine Robbe-Grillet, writing as Jean de Berg and Jeanne de Berg

· Dean Barrett, Mistress of the East

· D. H. Lawrence -- author of Lady Chatterley's Lover

· Emmanuelle Arsan -- author of the novel Emmanuelle and various other works

· Georges Bataille -- author of Story of the Eye

· Giovanni Boccaccio -- Italian author contemporary and friend of Petrarch; wrote Decameron a collection of 100 short stories, some of which are erotic, considered masterpieces of the genre.

· Günter Grass -- author of The Tin Drum and Cat and Mouse

· Henry Miller -- author of Tropic of Cancer

· Ivan Barkov

· Sascha Illyvich Kinky Erotic Romance Author

· John Cleland -- author of Fanny Hill

· Jun'ichirō Tanizaki -- author of The Key, Naomi, and Quicksand

· Kathy Acker -- postmodern pornographer, author of I Dreamt I Was A Nymphomaniac

· Kenzaburo Oe -- author of Seventeen, J, and A Personal Matter

· Laura Antoniou -- author of The Marketplace

· Leopold von Sacher-Masoch -- author of Venus in Furs

· Marilyn Jaye Lewis -- author of Neptune and Surf and Lust: Bisexual Erotica

· Marco Vassi -- author of "The Erotic Comedies", "Devil's Sperm Is Cold", and "The Stoned Apocalypse"

· Mario Vargas Llosa -- author of The Notebooks of Don Rigoberto

· Mark Twain -- author of 1601

· Matthew Miller -- author of Secrets and Lies and The Dark Lives of Men

Maxim Jakubowski, editor of the Mammoth Erotica series and a major erotica writer in his own right

· Mitzi Szereto -- author of Getting Even: Revenge Stories; The New Black Lace Book of Women’s Sexual Fantasies among others.

· Nicolas Chorier – author of L'académie des dames

· Patrick (Pat) Califia -- author of Macho Sluts

· Pauline Réage -- author of Story of O

· Penny Birch

· Shadow Parker -- author of The Unleashing of Sara Miller

· Susie Bright

· Sylvia Day

· Tamara Thorne -- author of the Sorority series

· Vladimir Nabokov -- Russian-born English-language writer, author of Lolita

· Wendy Swanscombe

· William Levy

· William Simpson Potter -- author of Romance of Lust

· Yasunari Kawabata -- author of Beauty and Sadness

· Yukio Mishima -- author of the homoerotic novels Forbidden Colors and Confessions of a Mask

· Zane

· the Marquis de Sade -- author of Justine, or the Misfortunes of Virtue

· Caitlín R. Kiernan — author of Frog Toes and Tentacles, Tales from the Woeful Platypus, and Sirenia Digest.

[edit] Chinese erotica

· Li Yu -- author of The Carnal Prayer Mat

· Lanling Xiaoxiao Sheng -- author of Jin Ping Mei

· Zhang Chunfan - Tang dynasty author of The Turtle with Nine Tails

· Lu Tiancheng (b. 1580) -- Ming dynasty author of The Embroidered Couch (Arsenal Pulp Press) link

· The Embroidered Couch (Arsenal Pulp Press) free ebook at Wowio link

· Ling Mengchu -- Ming dynasty author of In the Inner Quarters: Erotic Stories From Ling Mengchu's Two Slaps (Arsenal Pulp Press) link

· In the Inner Quarters: Erotic Stories From Ling Mengchu's Two Slaps (Arsenal Pulp Press) free ebook at Wowio link

[edit] Poetry

· Ovid -- Roman erotic poet

· Catullus -- Roman erotic poet

· Sextus Propertius -- Roman poet

· Sappho -- Greek poetess from the island of Lesbos who wrote love poetry to young women.

· Petrarch -- Italian poet, considered, together with Dante, the father of Renaissance. His love sonnets dedicated to Laura are masterpieces of erotic poetry

· Bai Juyi-- Romantic poet of Tang dynasty

· King Solomon--Author, according to Judeo-Christian tradition, of the Song of Songs.

· John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester -- British 17th Century libertine

[edit] Autobiography

· Emmanuelle Arsan, author of Emmanuelle

· Vanessa Duriès, author of Le lien

· Nancy Friday

· Henry Spencer Ashbee, author of My Secret Life

· Frank Harris, multiple-volume memoir My Life and Loves

· Catherine Millet, author of The Sexual Life of Catherine M.

· Georges Simenon

· Xaviera Hollander, author of The Happy Hooker

publishing organizations pornographic books.

Black Lace

Greenery Press

Grove Press

Nexus Books

Carnal Comics

Olympia Press see also *Maurice Girodias

The Missing Texts of the Sixty Four Arts


The Unknown Authors


Known Texts of the Sixty Four Arts

Abhidharmakosakarika by Vasubandhu (translated into
English by Leo M. Pruden-1989)
Anangaranga by King Kalyanamala (translated into
English by Sir Richard Burton and F. F. Arthbuthnot-1885)
Kalavilasa by Kashmiri Kshemendra (translated into German
by Richard Schmidt-1914)
Kamashastra by Gedun Chopel (translated into English
by Jeffrey Hopkins-1992)
Kamasutra by Mallanaga or Mallinga or Mrillana Vatsyayana
(translated into English by Sir Richard Burton and F. F.
Arbuthnot and S. C. Upadhyaha)
Kandarpacudamani by King Virabhadra.
Pancasayaka by Jyotirisha or Maithila Jyotrishvara.
Ratirahasya a.k.a. Kokashastra by Kokkoka (translated into
English by S. C. Upadhyaya-1965)
Ratiratnapradipika by Devaraja (translated into English by
Rangaswami Iyengar-1923)
Ratisastra by Nagarjuna (translated into English
by A. C. Ghose-1904)

The Secret Methods of the Plain Girl
Handbook of Sex of the Dark Girl
Recipes of the Plain Girl
Secret Prescriptions for the Bedchamber
Principles of Nurturing
Secrets of the Jade Chamber