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Thank you, poemless, for this diary.  It goes on my hotlist for future reference.  Already some suggestions have gone on my wishlist.  Others better read than I will fill out your dream syllabus, but if I might I'd like to make a couple of suggestions.

If I were to recommend one book, particularly for a younger person, it would be Ishmael by Daniel Quinn.  Some might consider it juvenile fiction.  After all, the principle character is a telepathic gorilla with the wisdom of Solomon.  Still, it won the Turner Tomorrow book award.  It was the first book in a very long time that I literally could not put down.  I stayed up well past my bedtime on a work night to finish it.  Quinn, through the voice of Ishmael the gorilla, examines the development of human civilization from a decidedly different perspective.  Some have dismissed Ishmael as warmed-over Malthus, but I think it is a good deal more than that.  I know I will never look at what we call civilization or progress quite the same again.

I would also recommend The Masks of God by Joseph Campbell.  In a four-volume set Campbell examines Primitive Mythology, Oriental Mythology, Occidental Mythology, and Creative Mythology.  A book on mythology might easily be dry and dull, let alone a four volume set, but I found Campbell's wit delightful and his insights fascinating.

We all bleed the same color.

by budr on Fri Feb 10th, 2006 at 10:01:18 PM EST

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