Your New Reading List: Susan Wolf’s Picks

Susan Wolf, author of Meaning in Life and Why it Matters, advocates a healthy reading diet – one should not strictly adhere to pure academia, nor should one solely stick with what she calls “pure pleasure, the literary equivalent of eating candy.”

Instead, follow a plan that makes you break a mental sweat while still allowing you to indulge – see what she recommends below:

“A conference in Iceland this summer led me to Nobel-prize winning Iceland author Halldor Laxness’s Independent People, an epic of an Icelandic man and his family’s struggles with the harsh Icelandic land, and climate, the gentry and the resident demons. It is a powerful and gripping book, emotionally engaging, and utterly different form anything I have read. It also gives one a vivid sense of Icelandic history and culture. Not summer reading – it’s long and full of darkness and depression – but a masterpiece.”

“On the opposite end of at least one continuum, is Anthony Powell’s A Dance to the Music of Time, a 12-novel work that presents a picture of England from between the World Wars through about the 1960’s, through the eyes of an upperclass Englishman (who is in ‘public school’ in volume one), who keeps running into the additional characters throughout the entire work. Beautifully written, very funny, it is, for Anglophiles like me, pure pleasure, the literary equivalent of eating candy. (I allow myself only one novel at a time, alternating it with more demanding and probably more educational reading.) Not to be recommended for those who want much of a plot – almost nothing happens in the novels but conversation.”

So, readers, nourish yourself with a healthy reading regimen.

What do you think of Susan’s list? Comment below, find us on Facebook, or Tweet us!