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Books That Have Influenced Me The Most

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Books That Have Influenced Me The Most

Inspired by Chris over at Smart Football (who got it from Marginal Revolution). I'd love to see the rest of the Packers Blogosphere (not to mention our "legit" beat guys and gals) take a crack at this as well. And any and all should feel free to leave theirs in the comment section or link to their blog containing their list.

Much like Marginal, this is very much a "gut list," rather than the "I've thought about this for a long time" list.

1. When Pride Still Mattered: A Life Of Vince Lombardi by David Marainss

Simply one of the greatest biographies ever written, sports related or no. I must have gone into Barnes & Noble, or Borders or Coliseum Books (RIP) about a hundred times just to hold it, flip through it and peruse the treasure within. The chapter where Maraniss begins with a description of the Lombardi family's drive from New York to Green Bay, and the silent somberness that overtook their car as they rounded Chicago and made their way up through winter-bound Wisconsin is classic. The book also illustrates, or did to me the first time I read it, the way football can transcend its brutish persona and can, dare I say it, become almost religious in context.

2. Lolita by Valdimir Nabokov

Forget the taboo ghosts that have grown up around not only the story but the author and the movies made based on the book. This is, quite simply, one of if not THE greatest uses of the English language I have ever witnessed - which is made all the more remarkable when you think about the fact that he was writing in his second language. It's laugh out loud funny as well, which no one ever seems to remember and it is a lesson for anyone who wants to write about anything - humor can and SHOULD be found anywhere.

3. Nobody's Perfect by Anthony Lane

The only reason to still subscribe to the New Yorker, Anthony Lane has been a personal hero for as long as I can remember. And I have to admit, having his book on this list is a bit of a cheat since most of the writing contained inside was actually influencing me within the pages of the magazine, rather than when I was reading the book. But Lane is, beyond a doubt, the writer that made me look at the world around me and demand better. From everyone and everything. Yes, Lane owes a great deal to Pauline Kael - every critic of anything writing today does. But Kael was prevalent JUST before I started paying attention to such things. Sure, I've gone back and read her and I realize she was, beyond compare, the Master. But Lane was perfectly timed for me to discover him.  And, again, he is howlingly funny. (His take down of the Phantom Menace is worth the price of the book alone)

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

Let's just get it out of the way, shall we? Yes, I was one of "those kids" who was holed up either in the library or in his bedroom on a bright, sunny summer afternoon, reading my way through the book (Tolkien originally wrote it as one book) that would define much of my imagination as a young man. Yes, between Middle Earth and that galaxy far, far away it was pretty much destined that I would go through much of junior high school playing Dungeons and Dragons and being made fun of at school. And you know what? I wouldn't change a thing. Imagination, the vibrant and fearless kind, is a dying quality in not only society but in children. It always amazes me how kids today want to pretend to be grown today's world. When I was eight years old, I was busy pretending to escape from the Death Star (the garage) or climb Mount Doom to destroy the One Ring (a big hill at a local park) - now? You're lucky if they're kids for more than five or six years before they start talking about the latest tech or web developments. It's sad.

5. Instant Replay by Jerry Kramer and Dick Schaap

I mean, seriously. If you're a Packers fan and you haven't devoured this book and it hasn't shaped your life in some way...well, you're just not a real die hard fan of the Green Bay Packers. Period.

6. Stalingrad by Antony Beevor

The book covers barely a year of time during World War II, but I learned more about the conflict that shaped our world today from reading Beevor's book than I ever learned in school. His attention to detail combined with a master's use of storytelling interwoven with historical fact was a revelation for this son of a History teacher that probably found the subject boring just because it was what his old man taught and, well, we all know it's the sons duty to thumb his nose at the old man, even if only a little bit.

7. God Is Not Great by Christopher Hitchens

Simply put: The book that let me know that I was not alone and that I should not only be confident on my feelings regarding religion but that I should never be ashamed to voice them.

8. Short Stories by Ernest Hemmingway

"The Killers" is still, to this day, my favorite short story of all time. It beats out both the "The Tell Tale Heart" by Poe and "Lady With the Little Dog" by Chekhov if only for one reason: Hemmingway's uncanny ability to convey vast emotional complexities with an incredible economy of language. It's my favorite type of writing. Truth be told, I love all the Nick Adams stories, but this one, by far, is my favorite.

Alright, I could go on and on. I won't bore you further. Thanks again to Chris for the idea. Hope you will all leave your lists in the comments or on your blogs. Be sure to come here and link to your lists if you do.


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Ruppert's picture

Great list. Must be the dead time of the offseason. In response, I would like to offer 8 beers, in no particular order, that have greatly influenced me.
1. Tucher Urfrankisches Dunkel. When it was available in the US, it was one of the best dark beers imagineable. Cheers to "The Casino" Bar in La Crosse.
2. Wurzburger Maibok. Not really a Maibok according to the BJCP style guidelines, but a fantastic beer nonetheless.
3. Hacker Pschorr Munich Gold. Currently available on tap all over. This is the best German beer currently available in the States unless I missed something only available regionally. I strongly urge everyone to go find a bar with a keg that gets poured from frequently, and enjoy a few litres.
4. Big Swede--Swedish Style Imperial Stout. Made by the tiny Viking Brewery in Dallas, WI, this beer is more of an experience than a drink. Trust me.
5. Delirium Tremens Belgian Strong Ale. It got the name for a reason. Very light in color, very bubbly, and extremely high in alcohol.
6. Celis Grand Cru. Once made in Texas, now made in Michigan, this is a fantastic beer, and is the main reason I got into homebrewing. I got to meet Pierre Celis, too.
7. Ayinger Altbairisch Dunkel. Old Bavarian Dark. Available in half litre bottles. Buy some.
8. Last but not least, Miller Genuine Draft. When there is no good beer available, I always go for MGD. It's still made in Wisconsin (as far as I know), and it was the first beer we bought in excess from the local crooked liquor store owner in lovely Juneau County when I was in high school. Cheers.

Pieter's picture

I love Hacker Pschorr, but I'd have to go with the Hefe Weiss

PackersRS's picture

I know I'm only aware of the major companies, but Hacker Pschorr Munich Gold better than Erdinger??? I must prove it.

And, btw, if you want a beer with a different taste, try Hoegaarden (Belgium). When you reach the bottom, instead of that last-drop-taste, you get a fruity, banana-like sensation. Yeah, I know, what a great professional-beer-taste-description, but it is really good!

bogmon's picture

I think that a New Glarus beer needs to be on that list. Far and away the best local beer product that WI has to offer!

Ruppert's picture

Hey, I only had room for 8. Good call on the New Glarus. I like Uff Da Bock. As far as Hacker Pschorr Munich Gold, it's at the top of Pilsner-style, or Munich Helles style beer available. Hard to even compare to a Weissbier because they're so different. Looking back, I wish I would have put a Weiss on the list. Erdinger Weissbier is very good. So is Sprecher Hefe Weiss, speaking of WI beer. I've had Hoegaarden Wit before. It's a good import for a hot day. I tried to brew a cherry Witbier once with some tart cherries off a tree my neighbor in Michigan had. It was okay, but I wish I had used twice as many cherries.

nerdmann's picture

What's Weiss or Weissen? It's got a ton of yeast in it I guess. I liked that beer.

PackersRS's picture

Weiss is stronger than Pilsen, that's all I know. Never heard of yeast. Only of wheat beer, and is good, but I'd rather have a Weiss...

Never drank a german Pilsen. Didn't even know it existed!!! And I've been to Germany!

Pieter's picture

A weiss is a top fermented wheat-beer that uses a special yeast that gives that cloudy colouring and distinctive taste. Hacker Pschorr makes one of the best but Erdinger is very good, as is Schneider-weiss. I don't like Hoegarden as much because of the added flavour (clove? I think, and orange peel). If I want that extra tang I add a slice of orange myself, or grapefruit.

As for Munich Gold, I really like it, it's just that Hacker Pschorr is more known for it's weiss. I'd really love to go to Munich...Green Bay first though.

Ruppert's picture

Weiss just means "wheat." Most Wheat beers are indeed cloudy because they traditionally don't filter out the yeast. Pieter is right on with his comments below. There is a style of German wheat that is clear, Kristal Weiss. I know there is a brand available in the US...I had some at Cincinnati's Oktoberfest a few years ago. I can't remember, though.
As far as German Pils, or Pilsener, try Bitburger Pils, Veltins Pils, or Konig Pils. They are all available here in the US.

IPBprez's picture

SPATEN, Warzsteiner, Becks (not the imported version - I lived in West Germany in the mid-70's), Smithwigs.. to name a few.

LOTR (I have a copy of the 1966 printing)
Chronicles of Thomas Covenant (think of it as LOTR on steroids - by Stephen R Donaldson -
Kids book: Ghost of Dibble Hollow (read when I was 10). Read all the Mythologies (greek & roman). Read most of the Sports Biographies in Junior High, when we weren't playing basketball or throwing our shoulders out.
Atlas Shrugged (curious how she was reviled by Hollywood for decades, but suddenly now seems to be in vogue)
1984 (are you awake yet?)
Genesis (by Harbinson) Makes you wonder..
Gateway (Pohl) awesome sci-fi reading
My latest endeavors:
1. Creature from Jekyll Island
- You think you know American History? Try again!
2. The Gerson Method
- Cured people of Cancer in the early 1900's, over 80 cases completely documented; also cured Albert Schweitzer of diabetes - documented
3. The Sacred & Profane History of the World
- Like reading War & Peace only on a different level (4 books in all)
And, of course, Jimmy Buffet (5 books, so far)
That book on the Crystal Skulls that no one in the Scientific Community can explain, practically shoves you at the Mayan Calender issue.
I'm looking for the Classics now - usually at HalfPrice Books. Have several that were printed in the mid-1900's.

IPBprez's picture

Forgot two....

1. The Federalist Papers
2. Common Sense

nerdmann's picture

Ghost of Dibble Hollow, classic! You read the Three Investigators series? Jupiter Jones, baby!

Brett Cristino's picture

Bill Walsh "Finding the Winning Edge". Without a doubt the most detailed football book i've ever written, covers just about EVERYTHING in there. I've read it about 5 times, love "When Pride Still Mattered" too, great book.

IPBprez's picture

Jon Gruden's "Do You Love Football" ... is great readin, especially since he was with Holmgren early on, before heading to Philadelphia before Andy Reid went there.

I have 45 Packer Books so far - so listing them would be somewhat ridiculous. Can email XL upon request.

Reading "What A Game They Played" by Whittingham, right now.

Brett Cristino's picture

*Read, not written haha.

nerdmann's picture

1: Catch 22 by Joseph Heller. Read this when I was about 14. Helped me deal with the weird private schools I was forced to attend.

2: Poems and Fragments by Friedrich Holderlin, Michel Hamburger translator. Awesome. Read this in college. Especially The Death of Empedocles, which has now been published as a separate volume. I was a philosophy major, so this one had a big impact on me, as far as developing my aesthetic system and whatnot.

3: Flowers of Evil, Paris Spleen, both by Charles Baudelaire. Baudelaire is the master of style. "Decadent Aesthetics," if you will. Nietzsche said of Baudelaire that he was the only one to truly understand Wagnerian Opera.

4: Fear and Trembling, The Concept of Dread, Parables by Soren Kierkegaard. Essential to the development of my personal ethical world view. The Islamic version is Ibn al Ghazzali, The Book of Fear and Hope and Incoherence of the Philosophers.

5: Nietzsche: The Ouvre. Read Nietzsche over and over again. Very similar to Kierkegaard. Actually read Nietzsche first. Nietzsche writes about "quantitative" integrity, whereas Kierkegaard writes about "qualitative" integrity. That's what I call it anyway.

6: Kafka: Especially the Parables. A great illustration of "the absurd." Also a great exposition of "The Modern Period." Coincidence?

7: De Sade: Philosophy in the Boudoir, Justine, Juliette. A vastly underrated writer, and a philosopher of the first magnitude. Truly, the Goethe of France, but no one knows it, because every "other" scene is, shall we say, "pornographic?" Think of the dialogues of Plato, only with frontal nudity. Master of the French Grand Style, which started with Andreas Capellanus in The Art of Courtly Love, peaked in de Sade and had it's swan song in Baudelaire. Very influenced by the philosopher la Mettrie.

8: The Ego and It's Own by Max Stirner. If you liked Ayn Rand, you'll love Stirner. Basically, Ayn Rand with an extra 60 IQ points. Nietzsche without the breakdown. Just ignore the first part, about German racial superiority. That part's unproven at best. LOL. "The ultimate case for the individual against authority."

LOL, do I only get 8!? I found Nabokov to be insufferable, frankly. He's all right, but overrated. Journey to the End of the Night by Louis Ferdinand Celine and Andre Gide were both better, imo. Nabokov is better than Sartre and Camus, though.

packeraaron's picture

"imo" - exactly.

nerdmann's picture

Nabokov's not bad overall. I liked The Defense.

nerdmann's picture

9: Wilhelm Reich. Character Analysis and The Function of the Orgasm. Took what Kierkegaard and Nietzsche were saying and reinterpreted it from the standpoint of psychology. And grounded it in the body. Although that's not what he set out to do. He was merely taking Freud's theories and describing the "somatic core" of the neurosis. Perhaps the most important writer of the 20th century, only no one knows it.

10: Heidegger. Being and Time is his magnum opus, but you can just read his Introduction to Metaphysics for the short version. The thing was Heidegger is you have to differentiate the man from his philosophy. For instance, he wrote about "authenticity" and how you must find your own values as a unique individual, as he was joining the Nazi party in the 1930s.

11: Sexual Personae: Art and Decadence from Nefertiti to Emily Dickinson by Camille Paglia. I went to college during the Feminazi days, and Camille pretty much saved my life. What a breath of fresh air. Doesn't hate men. She's a lesbian, but she tells it like it is (for the most part) and gives credit where it is due. Christina Hoff Summers is great too, but doesn't have as much style.

Here's some stuff for the kiddies. Some great, very positively influential reading for young adults, according to the Nerdmann World View:

1: The Tyranny of Greece over Germany by E.M. Butler. To truly develop an appreciation of the classics, and show their importance in modern thought. Disgusts me that it's not in print. Should form the basis of high school curriculums everywhere. (Curriculi?) LOL.

2: Celebrated Crimes, by Alexandre Dumas. A wonderful and charming overview of the great scoundrels of history, written at what we would call a "6th grade level," for young French ladies, back in the day. But readable for both genders. English translation, of course.

3: The Sadean Woman, by Angela Carter. No, it's not about how to become slutty. It's about how to become an independent thinker and a strong person, from the standpoint of being a young woman.

Cuphound's picture

<I>Instant Replay</I> and <I>When Pride Still Mattered</I>--well, duh, Aaron. You're not a real Packers fan if you don't love those two. I grew up Catholic and got <I>When Pride Still Mattered</I> and a biography of St. Thomas More for Christmas 2000. Fascinating reading them both side by side.

Shakespeare's <I>Troilus and Cressida</I>. Screw Chaucer and everybody who says his version is better. I read this play over and over again between college and grad school. It's a good book for someone who's way too idealistic. It teaches you how to live in a fallen world. The poetry is fantastic. And I've always loved the Troy arc from Greco-Roman mythology.

<I>North Dallas Forty</I>, by Peter Gent. I love books about guys whose masculinity is more fucked up than mine. And I love Phil Elliott's strong passion and uncompromising Yankee individualism grate against the conformity of Texan "good old boy" culture and against the designs of his coach who ran football on a statistics-driven model.

<I>The Neverending Story</I>, by Michael Ende. Other books are safe. This one isn't.

<I>Alexander to Actium</I>, by Peter Green. The most beautiful academic voice I have ever encountered.

<I>The Remains of the Day</I>. One of the most technically brilliant novels I've ever read. No one passage, if read aloud, is particularly moving. Yet, read in sequence, it would break a heart of stone.

<I>Till We Have Faces</I>. C.S. Lewis, but not the products of intellect, of a philosophic mind, like his earlier books. This is the work of a mature and integrated soul. Lewis, once a thinker, writes this book as a lover with an understanding of loss. And it's in a female voice, too.

Sun-Tzu's <I>Art of War</I>. A book of profound compassion, startlingly enough. A book also with a sense of political responsibility, something that is so badly and baldly lacking over the past two decades of our history.

nerdmann's picture

Run to Daylight.

jerseypackfan's picture

Art Of War helped me mentally prepare for battle seeing that I was the lead vehicle for the entire 3rd Armored Division as we rolled across the desert to fight the Iraqi Republican Guard in Operation Desert Storm.

SleepyOtter's picture

I am a Lewis junkie... I even named my Dog Professor Lewis. But I really struggled through "Till we have faces" I enjoyed his Outer Space Trilogy more. Maybe I need to give TWHF another shot.

cow42's picture

lolita was disgusting.
stopped reading halfway through.

packeraaron's picture

Your loss.

cow42's picture

in your opinion.

nerdmann's picture

De Sade is disgusting. Nabokov? No way. Venus in Furs by Leopold von Sacher-Masoch is rather sublime as well.

Franklin Hillside's picture

"The Giving Tree" -Shel Silverstein

packeraaron's picture

GOD I love that book.

RockinRodgers's picture

I always wanted to read God is Not Great. I'll have to pick it up.

Alex's picture

The Long Walk - Richard Bachman

SleepyOtter's picture

Good call... I loved all "The Bachman books"

backslash's picture

Aaron, had we lived closer to each other growing up I'm sure my 10th level Dwarf fighter named Thorin would have been aided by you to battle Tiamat....just outed myself there too now I guess. As to books, I read a ton (every other week trips to Barnes &amp; Noble to restock) so it would take me the entire day to think back but at first thought:

Where The Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls - if you own a dog you must read, if you don't own a dog you'll get one after reading. I tear up at the end every time I read it.

Chesapeake by James Michener - I love all of Michener's historical novels but this one is by far, IMO, the best of the lot.

Cardinal of the Kremlin by Tom Clancy - I've been through all the Tom Clancy Jack Ryan books many, many times but this one always sticks with me as the best one from the standpoint of characters and story.

Zen &amp; the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance - I remember trying to read this once in college, got about a quarter way through it and put it down because I wasn't really enjoying it. About 5 years later I picked it back up again and found myself flying through it in a week. For me, it was a good example of how maturity changes your ability to comprehend &amp; enjoy what you couldn't before.

SleepyOtter's picture

Fun topic for the off-season, for sure! I read a bunch so it is hard to come up with just 8, but here goes...

1. The Bible. Not much need to be said here, certainly the most influential document in my life.

2. The Outer Space Trilogy and The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis. Lewis is always a great read, but these four particularly jump out at me as great fiction with thought provoking messages. (The OS Trilogy was specifically a response to the dangers of an "H.G. Wells/evolutionary worldview")

3. Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens. Maybe not his most famous work, but just superior writing and social commentary. Love it.

4. Desiring God by John Piper. Outside of the Bible certainly the most impactful book I have ever read. In summery, "God is most glorified in me when I am most satisfied in him."

5. Lord of the Flies by William Golding. Great read. The original Lost? (I don’t know, haven't seen the show). I first read this book in High School and it has been a favorite ever since. I was hooked on the social commentary in this book. There is some deep stuff in this small book about schoolboys.

6. LOTR by JRR Tolkien. Not much to say here that isn't known or already said. I read the trilogy about once every 2-3 years.

7. Darwin's Black Box by Michael Behe. This may not interest a lot of people, but was extremely helpful in my life for integrating my Biblical/Theological training and Christian Beliefs with my undergrad studies in Molecular Biology-Biochemistry. It is required reading for anyone who thinks that Intelligent Design is only for ignorant people.

8. Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. This book is excellent. Like the other Russian greats (Tolstoy, Chekov...) it can be difficult at times. But with the slew of social, ethical and moral themes and implications in this book one would have to be dead to not be influenced by it... So Good!


packeraaron's picture

Almost put Brothers Karamazov on there. Love almost all the Russian greats.

nerdmann's picture

Dosteovsky is one of the all time greats.

Jason Albert's picture

- The four stone-cold classic Faulkners (Absalom, Dying, August, Sound)

- Lolita, Nabokov

- The Things They Carried, Tim O'Brien

- Airships and Ray, Barry Hannah

- Big Bad Love, Larry Brown

- Suttree and Blood Meridian, Cormac McCarthy

- Fear And Loathing On The Campaign Trail '72, Hunter Thompson

- A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again, DFW

- The Right Stuff, Tom Wolfe

Ron LC's picture

All Bernard Cornwell's books.

PackersRS's picture

My favorite book collection is the trilogy "O Tempo e o Vento" by Érico Veríssimo. It's a great tale about a family of the early Rio Grande do Sul colonization, and it's ramifications. It's told in different time perspectives, as one chapter is situated in 1700, the other in early 1900, then the next in 1800. All of wish marvelously merged together to keep the reader fixed. It's one of the earliest books to use that technique...

Also pretty much every book by Machado de Assis, specially "O Alienista" and "Dom Casmurro". The first is one of the most clever and funny critics to the positivism, and "Dom Casmurro" has been compared to "Othello" by Shakespeare.

Yeah, I know, all Brazilian literature, but get some culture, people!!!

FITZCORE1252's picture

"Yeah, I know, all Brazilian literature, but get some culture, people!!!"


Go ahead and send some of those Brazillian chicks up here to Washington... I'll take all the culture they can give!


PackersRS's picture

It's just more advertised in here, man. US chicks are as hot as Brazilians...

It depends on what you like. Butt (am I allowed to say butt? If not, please someone mod my comment) is a national preference. In there, it's all about the boobs...

So the women kinda reflects the culture...

nerdmann's picture

Here are some recommended books:
Gold Wars: The Battle Against Sound Money as Seen from a Swiss Perspective by Ferdinand Lipps.
The Coming Collapse of the Dollar and How to Profit from It by James Turk and John Rubino.
The Creature from Jekyll Island: A Second Look at the Federal Reserve by G. Edward Griffin.
Empire of Debt by William Bonner
Financial Reckoning Day by Addison Wiggin and/or Crash Proof by Peter Schiff. Peter Schiff's podcast is Wall Streen Unspun. Wednesday Nights: Goldseek Radio is good too:
Surviving the Cataclysm by Webster Tarpley. Tarpley's solutions are all New Deal Socialism, but he gives the best, most in-depth historical analysis anywhere.

IPBprez's picture

Along with Jekyll Island - there's a DVD out called FIAT MONEY, that explains the rest. JMHO What's the saying? 3rd times, the charm?

Fair and balanced capitalism (?) is best when left alone and consumer driven - not shoved at you by an oppresive regime, no matter what label you put on it. Currently, the game is rigged and has been for a long long time.

I may read Tarpley - but, somehow I think I won't like it.

Have you heard of the new OIL? Lithium

nerdmann's picture

The Money Masters is great too, but it's about three and a half hours. What's the deal with lithium? Never heard of it used as an oil. In the next century, water resources will take the place of petroleum in importance and geopolitical significance.

nerdmann's picture

I may have a pdf of Tarpley's book, if you want me to look around.

wgbeethree's picture

My two's a four way tie between the bible, the torah, the koran, and on the origin of species...wether you believe in any all or none of these religious pillars they have had the greatest impact on the last few thousand years of mankind as a whole therefore all of us individually as well. the world would be an inconcievably different place without them

I feel I am much more influenced by music but as for some of my personal favorites which have invaribaly influenced my (un)usual thought processes I have pretty bland taste...Animal Farm, On the Road, Through the Looking Glass, Farenheit 451, Green Eggs and Ham, and the ''poetry'' of Charles Buckowski

nerdmann's picture

History of the Animals, by Aristotle.
Zoological Philosophy by Lamarck.
The Book of the Law by Aleister Crowley. LOL. This is fun, but everyone's gonna know why I picked the name Nerd. First one to say, "It was already apparent." wins a prize.

alfredomartinez's picture

i would say anythig by Jack kerouac, and im glad you dig Hemingway as well...lately (since the movie is coming out soon) THE RUM DIARY by hunter s. thompson is also a decent read...

nerdmann's picture

Kerouac is awesome, I like Burroughs, Ginsberg and Corso too. Flannery O'Connor. And of course Faulkner. Girlfriend likes him more than I do. I think Hemingway is somewhat overrated. Bit of a journalist, that one.

dustybricks6's picture

Loved the Hitchens shout-out. It's a nice warm feeling, finding others in the club, isn't it? Also recommend Dawkin's new book, 'greatest show on earth'

nerdmann's picture

Want to read something great by Christopher Hitchens? Get "The Missionary Position: Mother Theresa in Theory and Practice." LOL.

PackersRS's picture

Packers fans in here are so knowleadgeable it's disgusting...

Cmon, people! Lost is on TV!!!!

Cuphound's picture

Wally--If you like Cardinal of the Kremlin, take a look at Inside the Aquarium. Clancy pretty much ripped it off and it's actually more absorbing reading a real GRU agent's career.

WGB3: Green Eggs and Ham for sure. I have a lecture I do about Dr. Seuss and racism where I read the students Yertle the Turtle. Seuss may have been all too eager to march Japanese into internment camps in WWII, but I'll still love his books to the day I die.

Nerdmann: What's YOUR take on Wagnerian opera? Given your affinity for Nietzsche, I have to admit I'm curious.

nerdmann's picture

I agree with Nietzsche's latter views on Wagner. Nietzsche agrees with Baudelaire, but later changes his mind as to the his stance on that same evaluation.
We could say that, in the 1800s, there was a prevailing view that art was valuable in that it was an escape from reality. This is how both Baudelaire and Nietzsche interpreted Wagner. As a theatrical performance. Apollinian rather than Dionysian. The imagery was more important than the music.
Later, Nietzsche decided contra Schopenhauer that life could be "experienceworthy for it's own sake." Back then, this was a revolutionary thought. Their idea was to live a moral life, so that your afterlife would at least be experienceworthy.
This is the type of shit that drove Nietzsche insane, coming to terms with these realities in his own life.
Personally, I'm no expert on Wagner per se. Back then, there was no media like we have today. So really books and theater were to a large degree all they had. No internet, no cable, no radio, no ipods. Nowadays, we have much more choices about what we would like to expose ourselves to.

Cuphound's picture

I know more Wagner than I know Nietzsche. I find it hard to find <I>The Ring</I> as Apollonian, though. Wagner seems to me to be the very essence of German romanticism.

Jersey Al's picture

In no particular order:

Portnoy's Complaint
The Sun Also Rises
A Farewell to Arms
All Quiet on the Western Front
The Happy Hooker (LOL)
Instant Replay
Short Stories of Edgar Allen Poe
The Hobbit
Ball Four
A Clockwork Orange
Vince Lombardi on Football

IPBprez's picture

Have you read Alan Folsom?
- The Day After Tomorrow

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