Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Books I should have read

Will Baude passes me the baton and asks for five books I am vaguely embarrassed not to have read.

1. Moby Dick. It's the source of the tagline for this blog and I don't even think I've ever read a word of it. Even worse, I didn't even get the specific meaning of the allusion in the first line until last month.

2. Kant, Critique of Pure Reason. As a former Randroid, I swallowed the Kant = evil bit, but even in my most orthodox days Rand's criticisms unsettled me because they didn't sound anything like what I understood Kant to say. The dozen or so pages of Kant we had to read in Civ 10 didn't sound that bad either. But even after I discarded my Objectivist prejudices, I was still too lazy to buckle down and read Kant just for fun.

3. Mill, On Liberty. I've read pieces of this, but despite owning a copy and believing that the harm principle should be ensconced in the constitution, I have never sat down and read the whole thing.

4. Nozick, Anarchy, State, and Utopia. A popular choice in this game. I had to use this book for my senior thesis, but I just flipped straight to the parts I needed to cite (yay for indices) and didn't bother reading the rest. Bad me.

5. Any Russian author, Any Russian novel. I studied Russian in college. However, I could not get through a single Russian novel in English and thus the prospect of spending my junior year reading them in Russian was awful. Anna Karenina? The Gulag Archipelago? Crime & Punishment? All dropped partway through. The closest I've come to reading a Russian novel is Nabokov, and he hardly counts.

I pass to CM, cd, and PG. Don't stand me up this time, Christiana!
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