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Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid
Douglas R. Hofstadter
On Intelligence
Sandra Blakeslee, Jeff Hawkins
The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Nonbeliever
John Updike, George Eliot, John Stuart Mill, Thomas Hobbes, Richard Dawkins, Daniel C. Dennett, Carl Sagan, Mark Twain, H.L. Mencken, Christopher Hitchens, Ian McEwan, Salman Rushdie, Joseph Conrad, Ibn Warraq, Martin Gardner, Karl Marx, Bertrand Russell, A.C. Grayling, Pe
Candide - Voltaire
The Brothers Karamazov (Pevear / Volokhonsky Translation)

If on a winter's night a traveler

If on a winter's night a traveler - Italo Calvino A modern classic in the metafiction genre! I read this book as Italo Calvino's meditations on the process of reading and writing. Some three-fourths of the way into the book, Calvino seems to confess how he came about writing this book in the first place. Throughout the book, he employs an imaginative and quirky story-telling style to take his readers for a ride, in more ways than one. The prose is often beautiful to the point of being poetic. Calvino shows us how he, like all authors, is really several authors rolled into one, just as every reader is also several readers at once. After a point though, I did tire of being repeatedly cheated out of any closure in the book. Also, the second person narrative style which was refreshing at first lost its charm for me midway through the book. That said, I did find the book hard to put down and enjoyed most of it. Recommended!

The Old Man and the Sea

The Old Man and the Sea - Ernest Hemingway Gripping! Hemingway exhibits his narrative mastery in this novella that feels racy even though for much of the time the action is only inside the protagonist's head. We learn about Santiago in small flashes amidst all the action, and learn to admire this truly remarkable lead character for, among other things, his grit, determination and simplicity. After a long time, a book that I've read almost all in one sitting! I'll need to read a second time to know for sure, but I think this book makes it to my all-time favorites list.

The Picture of Dorian Gray (Modern Library Classics)

The Picture of Dorian Gray - Oscar Wilde, Jeffrey Eugenides Great read. The first half is replete with Wilde's wonderful witticisms, especially Lord Henry's lines, and is a lot of fun to read. Towards the end, Dorian Gray's character grows considerably fleshier and more interesting, the book grows palpably darker, and this is where the real substance of the book lies. To sum up, great writing, with a little bit for everyone, all within a relatively small novel.

The Color of Magic (Discworld Series)

The Color of Magic - Terry Pratchett Funny and quirky in a very British way. I was a little disappointed in some of the writing, but liked the book on the whole enough to want to try some later Discworld novels by which time I expect Pratchett's writing would have improved too. That it is a short and light read is a bonus and tips the scales in this book's favor.

White Teeth

White Teeth - Zadie Smith Great read! The characters are quirky and the voice is genuinely funny. Zadie Smith does an amazing job in her debut novel writing about the lives of Bangladeshi immigrants in London. Looking forward to reading her later works.

Death at the Excelsior and Other Stories

Death at the Excelsior and Other Stories - P. G. Wodehouse Hadn't read Wodehouse since I was a child. Enjoyed it much more this time than the last. Great characters in Jeeves, Wooster and Peppers. And Wodehouse's British sense of wit and humour shining through in all the stories.