Books that I found hard to put down

I was a voracious reader as a youngster, sometimes borrowing as many as a dozen books a week from the local public library. Most of my selections were non-fiction. Most of the fiction that I did read was science fiction, I am afraid, which at least helped improve my English (there were few SF books available in Swedish), but of course I also read all the Swedish classics in the course of my school work: Lucidor, Stiernhielm, Bellman, Kellgren, Geijer, Tegnér, Runeberg, Fröding, Snoilsky, Karlfeldt, Lagerlöf, Strindberg, and many others.

Strangely enough we did not read much foreign literature in school; in German just Goethe's Faust, in French nothing I can remember except some short pieces by Daudet and Maupassant, although of course we had all read Dumas and Verne in translation. In English, there were some Shakespeare excerpts and some short stories. I read many classics such as "1984", "Brave New World", Pearl Buck, Hemingway, Steinbeck, and in translation Dostoyevsky, and post-war German writers, but not as part of the school curriculum. - Later in life, I read fewer books, preferring news and science magazines and trade journals (and more recently: on-line articles).

Below is a list of some books that I would like to comment upon and/or bring to the attention of my visitors. The list is in no particular order. It may expand or contract depending on my whims :-)

Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid - Douglas Hofstadter
Nuclear Weapons and Foreign Policy - Henry Kissinger
Science and Sanity - Alfred Korzybski
Men and the Matterhorn - Gaston Rébuffat
The Demolished Man - Alfred Bester
Der Prozess (The Trial) - Franz Kafka
Aniara - Harry Martinson
The Exploration of Space - Arthur C. Clarke
The End of Eternity - Isaac Asimov
A Study of History - Arnold J. Toynbee
Mr Tompkins in Wonderland - George Gamow
Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus - Ludwig Wittgenstein
The Mind's I: Fantasies and Reflections on Self & Soul - Douglas Hofstadter, Daniel C. Dennett (Ed.)
Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History - Stephen Jay Gould
A Brief History of Time - Stephen W. Hawking
Love in the Time of Cholera - Gabriel García Márquez

Schachgenie Aljechin (Chess Genius Alekhine) - Hans Müller
Papillon - Henri Charrière
Slaughterhouse 5 - Kurt Vonnegut
The Passover Plot - Hugh J. Schonfield
Language in Thought and Action - Samuel I. Hayakawa
Men of Mathematics - E. T. Bell
The Conquest of Space - Willy Ley, Chesley Bonestell
Hur man spelar schack (How to play chess) - Fritz Wigforss
Darkness at Noon - Arthur Koestler
The White Spider - Heinrich Harrer
Logarithm tables - Wackerbarth
Carrying the Fire - Michael Collins
The World of Null-A - A. E. van Vogt
Kennedy - Theodore Sorenson
Fermat's Last Theorem - Simon Singh
The Soul of a New Machine - Tracy Kidder
Spandauer Tagebücher (Spandau Diaries) - Albert Speer
Ich will Zeugnis ablegen bis zum letzten, 1933-1945 (I Will Bear Witness 1933-1945) - Victor Klemperer.
The Prophet - Kahlil Gibran
East of Eden - John Steinbeck
The Art of Computer Programming - Donald Knuth

One can often find interesting reader comments to these and other books by looking them up at

    Last edited or checked August 17, 2013.  

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