I like to read
But I also like to think and my thinking carries me in a lot of different pathways. Therefore I can rarely read one book at a time. I used to go to coffee shops with a bag of a dozen books as my mind would take me in and out of a book. It may take me a year to finish a book because I've been reading thirty other books at the same time. I may go a page with a book in one sitting, or six chapters. Depends on the ideas.
Some of my favorite books (non ranked)
The Story of Philosophy
Will Durant's work is a classic. He taught philosophy at a junior college in a blue-collar town to people who worked at steel mills and didn't want to sit by and listen to ivory tower weirdness. He puts the ideas in plain language. Great book.
Spinoza is my all-time favorite philosopher. I've plugged away at parts of this work off and on over the past decade. If I had to pick just one book to take with me on a deserted island, this would be that book. I consider this book a greater treasure than most holy books. I would not swear upon the Bible, or Koran, or any other such book in a court of law, but I would this one. Here is a very simple paper on Spinoza’s notion of mind and body as written for someone who doesn’t like philosophy.
The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious
I have been profoundly influenced by Carl Gustav Jung since I first came across him in the early 90's. I've wrestled, and still do, with the concepts of the archetypes. A criticism against Jung, or at least some Jungians, is that of dogma. Such cannot be further from the truth. It was dogma aided in the split with Freud. Jung emphasized many times the need to start with fresh eyes when working with a new patient, never assuming anything, and adjusting the theory if empirical evidence suggested otherwise.
The Legacy of Luna
I took a 'literature of place' class in Houston to fill an open space. It dealt with ecocriticism. I saw this book in a bookstore and bought it, though it wasn't part of the class. I delved into this book and read it in one sitting without quitting. This tiny book was a spark that created a flame. This book prompted me to move to Oregon. I've met Julia once, briefly, in Houston during a rally. I have great respect for her. She is one of my heroes.
Those are just some of my favorite books. I've many more that I am quite fond of and there are authors who's works I'll read anything by them. But these hold a special place in my heart and to truly understand me is to know why I love these books on this short list.