Robin Johnson's Reading List
Favorites From My House
|Pilgrim | by Timothy Findley
Pilgrim is a man who cannot die, an astounding character in a novel of the cataclysmic contest between creation and destruction. The novel is typical of Findley's interest in Jungian psychology; in fact, Carl Jung himself is a major character. The novel's protagonist is Pilgrim, an immortal who is brought to Jung's clinic in Zurich after his latest suicide attempt. Pilgrim has lived through the ages, moving from one life to another, and claims to be tired of living.
|The Hours | by Michael Cunningham
In 1920s London, Virginia Woolf is fighting against her rebellious spirit as she attempts to make a start on her new novel. A young wife and mother, broiling in a suburb of 1940s Los Angeles, yearns to escape and read her precious copy of Mrs Dalloway. And Clarissa Vaughan steps out of her smart Greenwich village apartment in 1990s New York to buy flowers for a party she is hosting for a dying friend. The Hours recasts the classic story of Woolf's Mrs Dalloway in a startling new light. Moving effortlessly across the decades and between England and America, this exquisite novel intertwines the worlds of three unforgettable women.
|I Am Legend | by Richard Matheson
Robert Neville appears to be the sole survivor of a pandemic that has killed most of the human population and turned the remainder into "vampires" that largely conform to their stereotypes in fiction and folklore: they are blood-sucking, pale-skinned, and nocturnal, though otherwise indistinguishable from normal humans. Like traditional vampires, they also have an aversion to garlic and sunlight. The book was influential in the modern development of zombie and vampire literature and in popularizing the concept of a worldwide apocalypse due to disease.
|The Life of Elizabeth I | by Alison Weir
Perhaps the most influential sovereign England has ever known, Queen Elizabeth I remained an extremely private person throughout her reign, keeping her own counsel and sharing secrets with no one--not even her closest, most trusted advisers. Now, in this brilliantly researched, fascinating new book, acclaimed biographer Alison Weir shares provocative new interpretations and fresh insights on this enigmatic figure.
|American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America | by Colin Woodward
In American Nations, Colin Woodard leads us on a journey through the history of our fractured continent, and the rivalries and alliances between its component nations, which conform to neither state nor international boundaries. He illustrates and explains why "American" values vary sharply from one region to another. Woodard reveals how intranational differences have played a pivotal role at every point in the continent's history, from the American Revolution and the Civil War to the tumultuous sixties and the "blue county/red county" maps of recent presidential elections.
|Boots and Saddles or Life in Dakota with General Custer | by Elizabeth B. Custer|
The honeymoon of Elizabeth Bacon and George Armstrong Custer was interrupted in 1864 by his call to duty with the Army of the Potomac. She begged to be allowed to go along, thus setting the pattern of her future life. From that time on, she accompanied General Custer on all of his major assignments, aside from the summer Indian campaigns-- "the only woman," she said, "who always rode with the regiment." Her story, told by herself, is an absorbing adventure.
|One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest | by Ken Kesey|
Tyrannical Nurse Ratched rules her ward in an Oregon State mental hospital with a strict and unbending routine, unopposed by her patients, who remain cowed by mind-numbing medication and the threat of electric shock therapy. But her regime is disrupted by the arrival of McMurphy – the swaggering, fun-loving trickster with a devilish grin who resolves to oppose her rules on behalf of his fellow inmates.
|John Donne: The Complete Poetry and Selected Prose | by John Donne|
This Modern Library edition contains all of John Donne's great metaphysical love poetry. Here are such well-known songs and sonnets as "A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning," "The Extasie," and "A Nocturnall Upon S. Lucies Day," along with the love elegies "Jealosie," "His Parting From Her," and "To His Mistris Going to Bed." Presented as well are Donne's satires, epigrams, verse letters, and holy sonnets, along with his most ambitious and important poems, the Anniversaries. In addition, there is a generous sampling of Donne's prose, including many of his private letters; Ignatius His Conclave, a satiric onslaught on the Jesuits; excerpts from Biathanatos, his celebrated defense of suicide; and his most famous sermons, concluding with the final "Death's Duell."