Reading 1995

January February March

We Have Never Been Modern, Bruno Latour

Resisting Representation, Elaine Scarry

Violet Trefusis, John Phillips & Philippe Jullian (biography)

Lipstick Traces, Greil Marcus (rr)

Dr Jeckyll and Mr Hyde, Robert L.Stevenson

Practicalities,  Marguerite Duras

War After War (City Lights anthol. of writing in response to Gulf War)

Letters of Mistress Henley Published by her Friend Isabelle de Charriere

Stories of Sickness, Brody

The Gutenberg Elegies: The Fate of Reading in an Electronic Age, Sven Birkerts

Lettres d'une Péruvienne, Francoise de Graffigny

Protocols of Reading, Robert Scholes

Flow: the Psychology of Optimal Experience, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi *

April May June

Gender, Ivan Illich *

To Begin Again, MFK Fisher

Of Woman Born: Motherhood as institution and Experience, Adrienne Rich

poetry: Charles Simic; James Merrill; Tess Gallagher, John Ashbery, Elizabeth Bishop

The Hurried Child

I'm OK You're OK (rr)

The Sense of an Ending, Frank Kermode

Horse Crazy, Gary Indiana

Bath, Edith Sitwell

Selected Essays 1934-1943, Simone Weil

Representations of the Intellectual,  Edward Said

A River Sutra, Gita Mehta

Sa Femme, Emmanuele Bernheim

The Waters of Thirst, Adam Mars-Jones

The Origin of Humankind, Richard Leakey

Turnaround,  Milos Forman

Crack Wars: Addiction, Literature, Mania, Avitall Ronell

Finding the Center, V.S. Naipaul

July August September

The Man of Jasmine & other writings, Unica Zurn *

Palais-Royal, Richard Sennet

The Ledge Between the Streams, Ved Mehta

Ageless Body, Timeless Mind, Deepak Chopra

The Very Rich Hours of Adrienne Monnier: An Intimate Portrait of

Literary and Artistic Life in Paris Between the Wars, Richard McDougall

Meeting the Great Bliss Queen: Buddhists, Feminists & the Art of the Self, Anne C. Klein *

How Buildings Learn, Stewart Brand *

Glimpse After Glimpse, Sogyal Rinpoche **

The Fetishist, Michel Tournier

Witchcraze: A New History of the European Witch Hunts: Our Legacy of Violence Against Women, Anne Llewellyn Barstow

The Age of Extremes, Eric Hobsbawm (history)

short stories, Saki (H.H. Munro)

Astoria, Bob Viscusi *

Postmodern Genres, Marjorie Perloff

A Year in Provence, Peter Mayle (rr)

Primitive Rebels, Eric Hobsbawm

October November December

Passages, Elaine Sheehy

Three Lives, Gertrude Stein

How Your Child is  Smart,  Dawna Markova (cognitive learning modes)

Damascus Nights, Rafik Schami

There Never was a Rose Without a Thorn, Carla Harryman

The Play of the Eyes, Elias Canetti

The Body in Pieces: The Fragment as a Metaphor of Modernity, Linda Nochlin

The Absorbent Mind & other writings, Maria Montesssori *

Everyday Sacred, Sue Bender

Consuming Passions: the Anthropology of Eating, Peter Farb & George Armelagos

Thinking Green, Petra Kelly

Teaching Montessori in the Home, Elizabeth Hainstock

Living My Life Emma Goldman (vol. 1 of 2) **

Minima Moralia: From a Damaged Life, Theodore Adorno (1951)

Jihad versus McWorld, Benjamin Barber

READING  1996:

January February March

True North: a Memoir, Jill KerConway

Nowhere at Home: Letters from Exile, Emma Goldman & Alexander Berkman 

Sutra on the Full Awareness of Breathing, Thich Nhat Hahn

The Tenderness of the Wolves, Dennis Cooper

Jack the Modernist, Robert Gluck

Buddhist Yoga, Thomas Cleary

Money, Martin Amis

Human Diasporas, Luca Cavalli-Sforza *

My Own Country, Abraham Verghese

The First Buddhist Women, Susan Murcott

Collected Short Stories, Dorothy Parker

The Essential Tao (trans., Thomas Cleary)

Trees, Why Do You Wait: America’s Changing Rural Environonment, Richard Critchfield

Mindfulness in Plain English, Ven. Henepola Gunaratana ***

Faith & Practices: San Francisco Religious Society of Friends

Don't Just Do Something, Sit There, Sylvia Boorstein

Sabotage in the American Workplace, Martin Sprouse, ed.

The Prolific and the Devourer, W.H. Auden

April May June

The Spell of the Sensuous: Perception and Language in a More-than-Human World, David Abram  ***

Flexible Bodies the Role of Immunity in American Culture: from the Days of Polio to the Age of AIDS, Emily Martin 

The Heart Sutra (trans. & intro. by Mu Soeng)

Michael Kasper (his own designed and written chapbooks. Great !)

The Buddhist Bible

Games at Twilight, Anita Desai

Beginners Buddha, Jane Hope

various British chapbooks

Hotel du Lac, Anita Brookner

The Red Virgin, Fernando Arabal

July August September

Music and the Mind, Anthony Storr

Baumgartner’s Bombay, Anita Desai *

L’Alchimiste Paul Coelho [in French]

Essays, Margaret Visser

The Enigma of Arrival, V.S. Naipaul

Sacred & Profane Love Machine, Iris Murdoch

Quaker writings in Italian

Quatre Morceaux,  Giulia Niccolai

Frost in May, Antonia White

The Painter of Signs, Narayan

The Italian Girl, Iris Murdoch

Love and Death in a Hot Climate, Naipaul

Behind the Waterfall, Chinatsu Nakayama

Native Realm: a Search for Self-Definition, Czeslaw Milosz

Heart of Understanding, Thich Nhat Hahn

The Visible and the Invisible, Maurice Merleau-Ponty

October November December

The Gift: Imagination and the Erotic Life of Property, Lewis Hyde *

Migrant Souls, Arturo Islas

The World is Round, Iva Pekarkova

Restoration,  Rose Tremain *

Guide to the Buddhist Path, Ven. Henepola Gunarata

To Meet at the Source: Hindus and Quakers, Martha Dart

Small Salvations  & The Woman without Experiences,  Patricia Dienstfrey

The Holy Man, Susan Trott

Life in the Rainbow, Richard Horan

Compassion for the Stranger, Nancy C. Alexander

Four Doors to Meeting for Worship, William Taber (PH306)

150 Freq. Asked Questions about Menopause, Ruth Jacobowitz

The Silent Passage, Gail Sheehy

Ways of Knowing: The Reality Club 3 (essays)

The Established & the Outsiders: a Sociological Enquiry,  Norbert Elias & J.L. Scotson

Estrogen, Is It Right for You? Paula Dranov

Anatomy of Restlessness, Bruce Chatwin

Managing Your Menopause, Ruth Jacobowitz & Wulf Utian

The Menopause Industry, Susan Coney


January February March

Coming Through Slaughter, Michael Oondatje

Marina Tsvetayeva,  Elaine Feinstein  (biog.)

Smilla’s Sense of Snow, Peter Hoeg

Portrait of My Body, Phillip Lopate

Listening to Prozac, Peter Kramer

The Pyramid, Ismail Kadare

The Flora of Hawaii

Coming to Our Senses, Morris Berman

Angels Fear: Toward an Epistemology of the Sacred, Gregory & Mary Catherine Bateson*

Approaching Eye-Level, Vivian Gornick

Discipline with Love, Fitzhugh Dodson

New Italian Women (short stories)

Positive Discipline A-Z

Raising your Spirited Child: a Guide for Parents, Mary Sheedy Kurcinka

Indian Thought and its Development. In relation to maybe working on  film about the Gita Govinda, I'm comparing Octavio Paz's writings on India with Albert Schweitzer's earlier work. It's fascinating in its complexity and contrast with western philosophical tradition, especially as Vedic-Hindu thoughts forms the root and provides basic terminology for buddhist philosophy. And looking again at Satyajit Ray's trilogy with older eyes.

A Perfect Vacuum, Stanislaw Lem

Summer of the Great-Grandmother, Madeleine L’Engle

The Practice of Freedom, Joseph Goldstein

Hands of Light, Barbara Ann Brennan

Nowhere at Home: Letters from Exile of Emma Goldman & Alexander Berkman

April May June

Red Earth and Pouring Rain, Vikram Chandra

Talking Back to Prozac, Peter Breggin

House as  Mirror of Self, Mary Marcus Cooper

The Highly Sensitive Person, Elaine Aron *

Secret Life of Plants, Attenborough

Divided Planet: The Ecology of Rich and Poor, Tom Athanasiou *

The Only Investment Guide You’ll Ever Need, Andrew Tobias

The Concert, Ismail Kadare

Operating Instructions, Anne Lamott

The Mistress of Spices, Chitra Divakarundi

Garden & plant books

Living a Mindful Life, Charles T. Tart

The Holder of the World

Book of First Wealth, A. David Silver

The White Castle, Orhan Pamuk

The Translator, Justin Ward

Complaints & Disorders: Sexual Politics of Sickness, Barbara Ehrenreich & Dierdre English

Sutra on Emptiness, Mikky

Essays on the Anthropology of Reason, Paul Rabinow

July August September

The Black Book, Orhan Pamuk

The Hollow Hills, Mary Stewart

Fear of Falling: the Inner Life of the Middle Class, B. Ehrenreich (rr) **

Voodoo, Kyle Kristos

Blind date, Jerzy Kosinski

Islamic Science: an Illustrated Study, Seyyed Hussein Nasr

Innocence, Penelope Fitzgerald

Jewel Ornament of Liberation, Kalu Rinpoche (rr) *

Time Space, and Knowledge, Tarthang Tulku

Start Where You Are, Pema Chodron

The Blue Flower, Penelope Fitzgerald

The Measure of Reality: Quantification: Western Europe from 1250-1800, Alfred Crosby

Fierce Attachments, Vivian Gornick

Stories, Isaac B. Singer

Arranged Marriage, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

The Miracle of Mindfulness, Thich Nhat Hahn

Pitch Dark , Renata Adler

The Scent of the Gods, Fiona Cheong

Children/Discipline bks

Do What You Love: Discover Your Right Livelihood, Marsha Sinetar

Granta 57 India: the Golden Jubilee

Strange Invasion, Michael Kandel

The Sensitive Child, Janet Poland

India, Jean Filliozat (& other books on India)

Right/Left Brain hand book (title?), Lucia Picchione

October November December

Autobiography of a Generation: Italy 1968, Luisa Passerini

Delicious Laughter Rambunctious Teaching Stories from the Mathnawi of Jellaluddin Rumi, version by Coleman Barks

Wisdom of the Idiots, Idries Shah *

The God of Small Things, Arundahati Roy

Culture Shock India, Gitanjali Kolanad

Entering the Diamond Way My Path Among the Lamas, Ole Nydahl

Starting Small Investing Smart, Donald R. Nichols

The Practice of Perfection: Paramitas from a Zen Perspective,  Robert Aitken

Born Remembering, Elise Boudling (Quaker pamphlet)

Encounters with Transcendence, Scott Crom 

Harnessing Pegasus: Inspiration and Meditation, Elizabeth Gray Vining

Words Wordlessness and the Word, Peter Bien

Hinduism, Louis Renou 

Rain Forest in Your Kitchen: the Hidden Connection Between Extinction and Your Supermarket, Marvin Teitel (foreword Jeremy Rifkin)

The Bookshop, Penelope Fitzgerald

Snakes and Ladders, Gita Mehta

The Woman and the Ape, Peter Hoeg

Reader’s Block, David Markson

Inter Ice Age 9, Kobo Abe

Karma Cola, Gita Mehta

Hotel Moenjodaro & other stories, Ghulan Abbas

Immediatism, Hakim Bey **

Gesture of Balance, Tarthang Tulku

Reading 1998

January February March

Under the Tuscan Sun, Frances Mayes. Lovely descriptions of meals and remodeling details of an old house in Cortona.

Indian Thought and its Development, Albert Schweitzer (rr)

poems, Kamala Das

Secret Teaching of the Vedas

Commodify Your Dissent: The Business of Culture in the new Business Age. An anthology of articles published originally in a highly obscure, neo-anarchist and absolutely brilliant periodical called The Baffler. Highly coherent and well-informed rants about ... well, the ravages of corporate global commodity culture, what else? Maybe there is a streak of anarchism in every Italian who doesn't have a streak of fascism, and vice versa?

Dharma Family Treasures: Sharing Buddhism with Children

City Life: Urban Expectations in a New World, Witold Rybczynski

The Necessity of Experience, Edward Reed. Succinct, jargon free philosophy.

books on investing & personal finances, etc.

Nietzsche in Turin, Lesley Chamberlin. Interesting if a bit long: it examines how the places where Nietzsche lived are reflected in and coincide with his ideas, books, moods, health and madness; she also argues, and to some extent shows, how Nietzsche's dovetailing with Nazi ideology was largely a mythology constructed by his sister, who was was left to manage his literary estate as she wished after his death and wasan Aryan supremacist.

Frozen Desire The Meaning of Money, James  Buchan

Primordial Experience. Dzogchen Meditation

The House of Mirth, Edith Wharton. Acute insights into human motivation and subtle character shifts. Like Henry James but much less turgid.

Jackson’s Dilemma, Iris Murdoch

April May June

Repeating the Words of Buddha

The Lure of the Local: Senses of Place in a Multicentered World, Lucy Lippard

The Resurgence of the Real, Charlene Spretnak

Home: a Short History of an Idea, Witold Rybczynsky.  Urban architecture and social change as well as the history of ideas like comfort, privacy or fashion; just the right amount of background and information.

Ama Adhe: The Voice that Remembers, Told to Joy Blakeslee by a Tibetan woman who spent 25 years in Chinese prisons.  *

Meditations on the Six Realms and Five Dakinis,  Ken McLeod

Venice and the Grand Tour, Bruce Redford

Making Waves, Mario Vargas Llosa essays

The Last Barbarians, Paul Peissel. A French-British explorer searches for the sources of the Mekong river among the peaks of Tibet. He also discovers living horses, once believed to be extinct, that resemble the ones painted inside the caves at Lascaux.

Basic Buddhist Concepts, Ken McLeod

Good Natured: the Origins of Right and Wrong in Humans & Other Animals, Frans de Waal * Fascinating primate studies on the behaviour that de Waal believes underlies the capacity for morality. Very well written.

The Romans Their Lives & Times, Michael Sheridan

Damascus Gate, Robert Stone. A political thriller set in 1980s Jerusalem. Looks at the mystical strain in all religions and people's search for and adherence to the visions. (Sex, drugs, jazz, political intrigue and religious fanaticism, what more could you ask for?)

The Others: How Animals Made Us Human, Paul Shepard  Beautifully written poetic philosophy (what used to be called "natural history".) Shepard was a highly respected biology professor. I first saw this book on Scott Fisher’s bookshelf in San Francisco

The Silent Duchess, Dacia Maraini. This novel by a major Italian feminist writer (she was also Pasolini's pal and Moravia's lover (just to be precise, here) is about a Sicilian duchess in the 17th century who is deaf-mute (and a bit of a mind-reader.) It turns out this is as a result of being raped by an uncle when she is 5 years old. Her father takes her to witness an execution when she is 8, hoping, apparently, that the 2nd trauma will un-do the first. It doesn't. Then he marries her at age 13 to that same uncle, who is 40 years old.  The inner mental world of the duchess, who becomes a scholar and writer, is incredibly vivid.

July August September

Your Inner Physician, Upledger (Craniosacral Therapy)

Being Nobody, Going Nowhere, Ayya Khema

Anatomy Illustrated, Emily Blair Chewning

Dismantling Reactive Emotional Patterns, Ken McLeod

The Owner of the House, Latifa Zayyat (novel, Egyptian)

books on investing & personal finances, etc.

The Human Body: Its Structure and Operation, Isaac Asimov

The First Man, Albert Camus

International Book of Trees, Hugh Johnson

The 37 Practices of Boddhisattvas, Geshe Sonam Rinchen

Human physiology, Guyman & others

Bodhgaya Interviews, Dalai Lama

How to Buy a House in California

The Difficult Child, Stanley & Leslie Tucker

Interviewing how-to book

Celestine Prophecy

October November December

Shooting Gallery and other stories, Yuko Tsushima 

Open Heart Clear Mind, Thubten Chodron

Haiku of Richard Wright

Mornings Like This, Annie Dillard

Understanding Wall Street, Little & Rhodes

Being There:Putting Brain, Body and World Together Again, Andy Clark

I Sweep the Sun Off Rooftops, Hanan al-Shaykh

Coming Into Being: Artifacts and Texts in the Evolution of Consciousness, William Irwin Thompson

The Drowning of an Old Cat & other stories, Hwang Chun-Ming

Silk, Alessandro Baricco

Dreams of My Russian Summers, Andrei Makine

The Luneburg Variation, Paolo Maurensig

Stuff: The Materials the World is Made of, Ivan Amato

The Fall of a Sparrow, Robert Hellenga

Travel books on Greece and Turkey

The Flame and the Light, Hugh Fausset

The Ottoman Empire, Lord Kinross (rr)


Reading 1999 

January February March

Music in A Foreign Language, Andrew Crumey

The Hostage, Zayd Mutee Dammaj

Displaced Person, John Clellan Holmes

Tropical Classical, Pico Iyer

Pfitz, Andrew Crumey

Thought Contagion: The New Science of  Memes, Aaron Lynch

Meditation the Buddhist way of Tranquility & insight, Kamalashila

The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony, Roberto Calasso *

Women’s Work: the First 20,000 Years: Women, Cloth and Society in Early Times, Elizabeth Wayland Barber **

Transcendental Style in Film: Ozu Bresson Dryer, Paul Schrader

April May June

Tarkovsky: Cinema as Poetry, Maya Turovskaya *

The History Atlas of Asia, Ian Barnes & Robert Hudson

Ingenious Pain, Andrew Miller

Laws of Media, Marshall and Eric McLuhan

Eight Months on Gazzah Street, Hilary Mantel *

What the Buddha Taught, Walpola Ruhala

The Giraffe, Marie Nimier

The First Moderns: Profiles in the Origins of 20th Century Thought, William Everdell

Annam, Christophe Bataille

Brother of the More Famous Jack,  Barbara Trapido

Concerning the Spiritual in Art, V. Kandinsky

July August September

Idiots First, Bernard Malamud

Book of Memories, Peter Nadas

The Ground We Share, Robert Aitken & David Steindl-Rast

Woodcutters, Thomas Bernhard

Living Buddha Living Christ, Thich Nhat Hahn

Handwriting, Michael Oondatje

Dzogchen on Tibetan buddhist practice

Italian Education, Tim Parks

Gesture of Balance, Tarthang Tulku

Italian Fever, Valerie Martin,

A History of Reading, Roberto Manguel

October November December

Requiem for a Spanish Village, Barbara Norman Makanowitzky

Contemporary Art in Southern California, Mark Johnstone

On Penelope's Island: A Sicilian Journal, Mary Taylor Simeti *

poems, Isabella Morra

American Eclipses, Flavia Pankiewicz

A Book of Fears, Lewis Turco poems

Living My Life, Emma Goldman 2 vols.

Rebel in Paradise: A Biog of Emma Goldman, Richard Drinnon

A Guide to Exiles, Expatriates & Internal Emigres, Mary McCarthy

(NY Review of Bks XVIII March 9, 1972)

Turkish Reflections, Mary Lee Settle

The Last Barrier, Reshad Field

The March of Folly: From Troy to Vietnam, Barbara Tuchman *

Noble Strategy, Ajahn Thanissaro

Simple Passion, Annie Ernaux

Pillars of Salt, Fadia Faqir (Jordan)

Dinner with Persephone, Patricia Storace *