Reddit reviews: The best cultural criticism books

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u/[deleted] · 6 pointsr/infj

I like Camus a lot, but his prose is super hard to read sometimes. I don't really like Nietzsche; he's a massive fucking dick. I like Camus leagues more because Camus explains things and leads you to his conclusion while Nietzsche just preaches and rambles on about how much he hates this or that and how stupid this or that is.

Not all of these called themselves philosophers, but here's some I like:

I'm not stoic by any means, but I love Marcus Aurelius's Meditations. I think it's interesting how someone could write musings that are relevant millennia later.

John Milton wrote Paradise Lost, but he has a ton of prose too. Here's a book full of it along with annotations and modernized grammar. Milton wasn't the most satisfactory person, but his writing is incredible.

I haven't read this myself, but a friend of mine really liked Man's Search for Meaning by Frankl. Some of his friends called him pretentious for reading the book though (I wasn't one of them).

If you like Camus, you'll probably like Sartre's Existentialism is a Humanism. Again, I haven't read it myself, but it was also recommended to me because I like Camus.

Jean-Paul Marat was a journalist during the French Revolution, but his writings sometimes crossed into philosophical territory. He was a huge populist, and I love his work when he's not calling for the deaths of hundreds of people. You can read some of it here.

I'm huge into theology, so I love Thomas Aquinas. He wrote a lot about theology and Christianity and was a major Christian apologist. He also dabbled in theodicy. Smart man.

And to mix it up, here's one I haven't checked out but is top on my list: Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz's Selected Works. She was a writer and a nun from Spain who was self-taught--all qualities you usually don't find in philosophers, so she'll be a unique read.

u/scdozer435 · 2 pointsr/askphilosophy

>I didn't know continental vs analytical terms are outdated.

Dated perhaps isn't the right term, but just know that they do have certain limits.

As for post-WWII philosophy, there's a lot, but I'm going to let you know that much of it can't be well-understood without a basic understanding of Heidegger, much of whose thought was pre-WWII. His best known work is Being and Time, but it's one of the most challenging texts in the western canon. For an easier introduction to prep you for it, I'd recommend some of his early lecture material, such as The Hermeneutics of Facticity and The History of the Concept of Time. This could just be me, but I've found his lectures to be generally easier than his primary texts. If you want to trace the development of his thought, much of which was post-WWII, the Basic Writings anthology has a number of essays by him. While nothing really eclipsed Being and Time, much of his later thought is still studied. I'd say the most significant work of his later career was his Contributions to Philosophy, which took the form of briefer aphorisms and anecdotes, more similar to Nietzsche in style, but still grounded in much of his own thought and terminology.

If you want to move away from Heidegger, some of the big texts would be Gadamer's Truth and Method (Gadamer was a student of Heidegger's, so the former's thought is very deeply influenced by the latter), Sartre's two texts Being and Nothingness and Existentialism is a Humanism (note the similarity to Sartre's title with Heidegger's Being and Time, and also note that Heidegger would respond rather critically to Sartre's Existentialism with an essay in the Basic Writings), and Simone de Beauvoir's The Second Sex (a key feminist work heavily influenced by Sartre and Heidegger).

Beyond this my knowledge is a bit scattered, as I've only just completed undergrad. I really would recommend David West's text as a decent overview that will guide you in what the key texts are, as well as good secondary sources. I've not brought up Derrida, who was also huge, as well as Alain Badiou, Slavoj Zizek, Michel Foucault and Charles Taylor just to name a few. On top of those, there's a ton of pre-WWII stuff that's hugely important for understanding these thinkers, such as the ideas of Kant, Hegel, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Husserl, and the whole field of psychoanalysis (Freud, Jung and Lacan). Then there's postmodernism, postcolonialism, the various strands of feminism, and tons more. The more I type, the more I'm just reminding myself how little I know about this area (even though it's the area I'm most interested in).

Let me know if there's anything more you need to know or if you want to know a decent secondary source.

u/Thelonious_Cube · 3 pointsr/books

Classics: Tristram Shandy, Moby Dick, The Great Gatsby, Pride and Prejudice, The Grapes of Wrath. All wonderful in their own ways. Tristram Shandy is very 'post-modern' in feel depite being from the 1700's

I'm also rather fond of 'classic' short stories, so I can reccommend various collections like this or this or this - all collections I've read and enjoyed. Cheever, O'Hara, Chekov, Carver are all well worth your time.

Borges is fascinating and strange - a great conversation starter.

Mystery/Thrillers: James Ellroy's LA Quartet, George V. Higgins (The Friends of Eddie Coyle, etc.), Chandler's The Long Goodbye, Ross MacDonald's The Chill, Jim Thompson's The Killer Inside Me...

There's loads of great sci-fi out there - start with a Gardner Dozois "Best of" and branch out. Philip K Dick (Ubik is a good start). Charles Stross Accelerando. William Gibson. Collections of short stories are great: Rewired, Mirrorshades, various 'best of' collections. Swanwick, Sterling, Egan.

As mentioned Douglas R Hofstadter's stuff is great non-fiction (philosophy? linguistics? cogsci? AI?) with a decidedly playfull streak that makes it a joy to read.

u/angstycollegekid · 3 pointsr/askphilosophy

Sartre presented a lecture called "Existentialism and Humanism," which can now be found in print as Existentialism is a Humanism. It's almost like an Existentialism manefesto, per se. The Myth of Sisyphus by Albert Camus is a good treatise on existentialism (Absurdism, really, but it'll do).

I would not hesitate to start reading fiction novels that have Existentialist themes. Camus' The Stranger, Sartre's Nausea, and Dostyevsky's Notes From the Underground are just a few that will find your studies well.

As for secondary literature, the only text I can knowledgeably recommend is Existentialism For Dummies, as I'm currently working my way through it. It's actually not as bad as you might think coming from the "For Dummies" series. It doesn't go too in-depth, and ideas are very concise and oftentimes humorous.

I have also heard good things about David Cogswell's Existentialism For Beginners, though I have never read it myself.

If your niece feels comfortable with this level of writing and philosophical examination, it is almost imperative to read Kierkegaard's Either/Or and Fear and Trembling, Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil: Prelude to a Philosophy of the Future, and Sartre's Being and Nothingness, among others. It is good to have some background understanding of Kant and perhaps have a few essays by Schopenhauer under your belt leading up to the more rigorous academics like Heidegger and Hegel.

Good luck, and happy reading!

u/hishtafel · 2 pointsr/Random_Acts_Of_Amazon

This is probably weird, but the most fun I have is when I am planning something. (An event/party with friends or family, curriculum for a class, a date.) Related, I think, is that I really enjoy experimenting with flavor combinations in foods/baked goods/cocktails. On a more normal level, I like to read, hike, and reddit.

Simple pleasures for me? Sleep, coffee, chocolate. Ooh, and bubble bath. My perfect summer day would be sunny, warm but definitely not hot, spent in a coffee shop with the windows open to a quirky town's Main Street.

Here's a book from my WL, because you've gotta have a book with your coffee!

Pandora's Mystery Summer Box of Goodies

u/McQueeny · 3 pointsr/labrats

I don't think this is exactly what you're looking for, but At The Bench - A Laboratory Navigator has a 10-page chapter about keeping a lab notebook.

Here's a brief Google Books preview; unfortunately it does not cover the relevant chapter.

This presentation(PDF link) cites a book called Writing the Laboratory Notebook by Howard Kanare, which (based on the Amazon reviews) might be more geared towards industry labs but could still be pretty useful in a general sense. You can find out for yourself, since I managed to find a full text copy online(PDF link). I don't think I'm accessing this through any proxies, so it does seem like it's freely available.

For a more thorough investigation of what's out there, you should consult your institution's library; I'm sure someone will be happy to help track down the exact book you are thinking of, or something functionally equivalent.

edit - here's a PDF link to another presentation, just for fun

u/j0h0 · 2 pointsr/books

Note: This comes from my interpretation and quotes from "A Commentary on The Stranger" by Jean-Paul Sartre, which can be found in the book Existentialism is a Humanism also by Jean-Paul Sartre.

> In The Myth of Sisyphus... Camus provided us with a precise commentary on his work: his hero was neither good nor bad, neither moral nor immoral. Such categories do not apply to him. He belongs to a very particular species for which the author reserves the name "absurd."

Sartre goes on to explain that "absurd" as used in Camus' work represents both a factual state and the lucid awareness that some people acquire from that state. By this reading, Meursault is Camus' attempt to throw us headfirst into the feeling of the "absurd".

>"For the absurd man, the ideal is the present and the succession of present moments before an ever-conscious spirit." Confronted with this "quantitative ethic," all values collapse. Projected into this world, the absurd man, rebellious and irresponsible, has "nothing to prove."

>And now we fully understand the title of Camus's novel. The stranger he wants to portray is precisely one of those terrible "idiots" who shock a society by not accepting the rules of its game. He lives among strangers, but he is a stranger to them too.

>Meursalt does not seem to be indignant about his death sentence. He was happy, he did as he liked, and his happiness does not seem to have been affected by any inner gnawing so frequently mentioned by Camus in his essay, which stems from the blinding presence of death. His very indifference often seems like indolence, for instance on that Sunday when he stays home out of pure laziness, and admits to having been "a little bored." The character thus remains singularly impenetrable, even from a vantage point of the absurd... He is there before us, he exists, and we can neither understand nor quite judge him. In a word, he is alive, but his fictional density is the only thing that can make him acceptable to us.

I hope some of that helps! I really enjoyed reading Sartre's commentary on The Stranger and I felt as though it made me appreciate Camus's work more than my first reading. Somewhere inside the commentary Sartre explains that Meursalt is much less a key player in the events of the story as an impartial observer and that to truly live the "absurd" is simply to experience it. He likens the events in the book to our looking in on them through a window in which we can see what is happening, but are completely cut off from the context and meaning of such events.

I haven't read The Myth of Sisyphus yet, but Sartre claims that it amounts to Camus's spelling out of his theory of the absurd. The Stranger attempts to expose us to the "feeling" of the absurd, while TMoS attempts to expose us to the "idea" of the absurd in a much more philosophical way. If you're interested in Camus's ideas, I would probably have to second his recommendation.

u/hipsterparalegal · 27 pointsr/books

The rise of "literary fiction" as a genre and belief that it is the sole genre of literary merit can be described by a multi-stage process:

  1. The Modernist idea that art should be difficult. The Modernists had contempt for the common man and thus set out to create art works that required education to understand. Joyce, Le Corbusier, abstract expressionism (read Clement Greenberg on art and kitsch) all fit in this category. See John Carey's The Intellectuals and the Masses for more on this: http://www.amazon.com/The-Intellectuals-And-Masses-Intelligensia/dp/0897335074

  2. After WWII, the GI program resulted in tons and tons of money being poured into universities. MFA programs like the Iowa Writers' Workshop became popular during this time. The professors at Iowa and these other universities were schooled in Modernism. At the undergrad level, "arts appreciation" courses also taught the Modernist conception of cultural history. Look at the way 19th century Academic painting is still dismissed in favor of the Impressionists.

  3. The rise of databases to track sales to bookstores. Bookstores began categorizing their inventory like never before. Science Fiction, Romance, Erotica, Westerns, Fantasy, Fiction, Classic Fiction, Literary Fiction, etc.

  4. The impact of movies. In many ways, movies are a far more emotionally engaging storytelling medium than novels. Novels are pages and pages of black and white text. Movies offer story, photography, music, actors, production design, and editing to present an overwhelming sensory experience. Just as the impact of photography hit painting hard (and was a big influence on the rise of nonrepresentational art) so too movies hit novels hard. Instead of focusing on story and character, things that in many ways movies do just as well as novels, writers began to focus on language at the sentence level.

    All of these trends together created the genre of "literary fiction" as we know it.
u/blackstar9000 · 2 pointsr/books

On the basis of Indian Creek Chronicles, I'd say there's a good chance you'd get a great deal out of The Outermost House, one of the classics of modern American naturalist non-fiction. The premise if very simple -- the author, Henry Beston, spent a year living in virtual solitude on the easternmost house on the American coast, keeping notes on what he observed. The result is a brief, zen-like meditation on nature's movement through a single place over a single cycle of the seasons. Highly influential.

Since it looks like you're interested in the cultural conflict between modernity and tradition, I'd suggest The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, which follows the treatment of a young Hmong girl whose immigrant parents struggle with the California health care system in dealing with her undiagnosed seizures.

Great to see John McPhee on your list -- hands down one of my favorite non-fiction writers. Just about anything he's written will be compulsively informative and shift the way you think about his chosen topic. Levels of the Game is a brilliant depiction of a single game between Arthur Ashe and Clark Graebner, that delves into the way in which personal biography informs how an athlete plays and ultimately contributes to the meaning of the game.

Along similar lines, Yusanari Kawabata's The Master of Go deals with damn near close to all of the themes at heart in the books listed above, and will likely teach you a little about the ancient game of Go, if you have any interest in that. An idiosyncratic pick, perhaps, but it's one of my favorite novels.

u/WhitePolypousThing · 4 pointsr/Lovecraft

For criticism of HPL's works i would highly recommend:

Dissecting Cthulhu

A Subtler Magick: The Writings and Philosophy of H.P. Lovecraft

Lovecraft: Disturbing the Universe
or any volume in the Lovecraft Annual

For Biography on Lovecraft:

H.P. Lovecraft: A Life

...or the expanded version of the above I Am Providence

And Lovecraft's letters (edited and compiled by Joshi) are really the best way to get deep into Lovecraft, although I'll warn you, you really are reading HPL's conversations with his friends, so there is a tremendous amount of biographical detail, but not a terrible amount in the way of talk about his own work. Some of the best:

Letters to James F. Morton

A Means to Freedom: The Letters of H.P. Lovecraft and Robert E. Howard

O Fortunate Floridian: H.P. Lovecraft's Letters to R.H. Barlow

u/Thadius · 1 pointr/DoesAnybodyElse

It is actually very interesting the way Webster proposed to change the language and in reality the logic is admirable. A Lot of people think that Americans changed the spelling of English deliberately to make themselves different from England. Webster however was already in the process of proposing the changes before the Revolution occurred. The Revolution perhaps helped to shed light upon his efforts and lend them support, but it was not in itself a cause for the changes.

If you like the idea of the history of the language an easily readable book on it is called The Adventure of English and though it sounds geek supreme, it is actually and easy read that teaches a lot.

u/kbergstr · 2 pointsr/ELATeachers

What's wonderful and frustrating about the English language is that there's no single standard and all of those books out there that try to tell you that there's one absolute rule of English are full of it.

The English language is amazing because of its ability to adapt, change, absorb other languages and remain fluid-- I'd recommend checking out Bragg's Adventure of English to anyone interested in the history of the language as it paints a wonderful picture of the language being in flux.

While I was trained in a "prescriptivist" approach to grammar, I've now fallen fairly firmly in the "descriptivist" camp. That doesn't mean that we should accept anything that anyone writes as being "correct"; it means that there's a purpose and logic behind grammar and that understanding how language works gives you power to communicate more effectively.

Grammar should help illuminate the author's purpose, add meaning, and clarify ambiguities-- not drive us all insane. We should think of grammar as a set of tools to use, not a set of laws to be obeyed and feared.

I believe that the oxford comma generally clarifies the meaning of a sentence, so I use it. But if I'm reading something that's perfectly clear that doesn't use it, I'd be in no way offended, and I don't think anyone else should be.


u/chewingofthecud · 1 pointr/taoism

Accurate might not be what you're after.

If you mean "accurate" in terms of "reflects the idiosyncracies of the original text", then a translation by a Victorian scholar like Herbert Giles or James Legge would be good. I actually find this type of translation to be very helpful, especially if it's annotated which Legge's is. When he does use the word "God", he always explains that it's an interpolation based on the context in which the quote is found.

If you mean "accurate" in terms of "reflects the style and character of the original text", then a more modern translation like that of D.C. Lau might be good.

Burton Watson's Complete Works of Chuang Tzu leans more toward the former, and although I haven't read it, I've been told that Victor Mair's Wandering on the Way: Early Taoist Tales and Parables of Chuang Tzu leans more toward the latter. Both are reputed to strike a good balance between literal accuracy and the spirit of the text.

u/wineBot · 1 pointr/bicycling

http://www.bicycles.net.au is one I failed to mention, there's also the other bicycling subreddits - /r/bicycletouring and /r/fixedgearbicycle are my favourite. I'm more interested in the touring side of cycling, so I can recommend a few good touring nooks:

"Full Tilt: Ireland to India by Bicycle," by Dervla Murphy is a great read

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Psychogeography-Will-Self/dp/0747590338 <-- not quite a bicycle touring book, but I know that Will Self rides a brompton and this is a book about travelling

Also, a book called "The rider" by (I think) Tim krabbe. That's more of a racing book, but it is an excellent one.

Click through links, google and generally read around and you'll stumble on more resources. Happy hunting :)

u/avenirweiss · 7 pointsr/books

I know I must be missing some, but these are all that I can think of at the moment.


Collected Fictions by Jorge Luis Borges

The Stranger by Albert Camus

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon

White Noise by Don Delilo

A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan

The Waste Land by T. S. Eliot

Everything that Rises Must Converge by Flannery O'Connor

His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman

The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon

Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson

Brief Interviews with Hideous Men by DFW

Infinite Jest by DFW

Of these, you can't go wrong with Infinite Jest and the Collected Fictions of Borges. His Dark Materials is an easy and classic read, probably the lightest fare on this list.


The Music of the Primes by Marcus du Sautoy

Chaos by James Gleick

How to be Gay by David Halperin

Barrel Fever by David Sedaris

Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls by David Sedaris

Secret Historian by Justin Spring

Of these, Secret Historian was definitely the most interesting, though How to be Gay was a good intro to queer theory.

u/thornybacon · 3 pointsr/lotr


I've got both versions and I'd say yes, The Annotated Hobbit has lots of interesting annotations/notes on the text, reprints several rare/unpublished writings by Tolkien (including the longest version of The Quest Of Erebor which had only portions published in Unfinished Tales), more than 150 illustrations and it includes the 1937, and 1951 versions of the text (including the original Riddles In The Dark Chapter) in the sidebars, alongside the 3rd edition text (which is the standard text of all modern editions from 1966+) making it easy to compare the various versions.

If you are interested in learning more about The Hobbit I'd also recommend The History Of The Hobbit by John D Rateliffe which publishes the early drafts of The Hobbit and traces its evolution over the years, with extensive commentary and essays on the characters and themes of the novel:


(Of the three editions, I'd recommend the 2011 one volume hardback, at 960 pages long, it has substantially more content than the other editions):


u/imsoeffingtired · 1 pointr/AskReddit

If you are interested in Watts' idea of nothingness you might be interested in the philosophy of Existentialism. If you want this idea put in layman's terms Existentialism is a Humanism is a great place to start. Honestly though, I would steer away from Alan Watts, although he is interesting, after reading a few of his books his philosophy seems rather empty and repetitive... Kierkegaard, Camus, and Sartre are all very interesting reads. Despite our resentful convo you should check them out.

u/CapBateman · 15 pointsr/askphilosophy

In general, academic philosophy of religion is dominated by theistic philosophers, so there aren't many works defending atheism and atheistic arguments in the professional literature.

But there are still a few notable books:

  • J.L Mackie's The Miracle of Theism is considered a classic, but it's a bit outdated by now. Although Mackie focuses more on critiquing the arguments for God's existence rather than outright defending atheism, he is no doubt coming from an atheistic point of view.
  • Michael Martin's Atheism: A Philosophical Justification is a lengthy book with the ambitious goal of showing atheism is the justified and rational philosophical position, while theism is not.
  • Nicholas Everitt's The Non-existence of God is maybe one of the most accessible books in the "case for atheism" genre written by a professional philosopher. He even presents a new argument against god's existence.
  • If you're more into debates, God?: A Debate between a Christian and an Atheist is a written debate between atheist philosopher Walter Sinnott-Armstrong and famous Christian philosopher and apologist William Lane Craig. It's far better than any debate WLC had with any of the New Atheists in my humble opinion.
  • On the more Continental side of things, there a few works that could be mentioned. There's Michel Onfray's Atheist Manifesto: The Case Against Christianity, Judaism, and Islam (although I must admit I didn't read it myself, so I can't attest to how good it is) and of course any work by the atheist existentialists, a good place to start will by Jean-paul Sartre's Existentialism Is a Humanism.

    I didn't add him because others have already mentioned him, but everything written by Graham Oppy is fantastic IMO. He is maybe the leading atheist philosopher in the field of philosophy of religion. A good place to start with his writings is his 2013 paper on arguments for atheism.
u/eremiticjude · 56 pointsr/tolkienfans

this, more or less. the Hobbit, in its original conception, is basically Tolkien deconstructing Faerie stories and making his supercut of all the most classic elements. he just happened to slip in a bunch of references to his own world as well to make it sound unique. Then when it took off, and the publisher wanted more "hobbit stories" he tried to sell them the Silm. They weren't having it, so we got LOTR, and he found himself having to wrap a work he'd not intended originally to be in Middle-earth into his world. he ended up justifying the revised second edition as being the "truer" version of events that Bilbo told Gandalf, while the first is the one he told the dwarves, in order to explain why the ring is passed off as just a bauble in the first edition. but the other discrepancies (stone giants, the staggering differences in behavior you see in the elves, etc) you just have to chalk up to how the piece was conceived.

if this is an interesting topic for you, i cannot recommend enough John D Rateliff's The History of the Hobbit which is i think the single most exhaustive and best researched work on the Hobbit. The history of Middle-earth has great stuff on it too, but Rateliff goes into the wider context of how it was conceived as a faerie story, rather that just its place within the context of middle-earth and the various iterations of its development.

edit: i should have replied to OP, as the person i'm replying to probably knows at least some of this.

u/Evan42 · 2 pointsr/Norse

Ok well I tried harder and I found a few on amazon, I'll share links in case someone else has trouble and googles something like the name of this thread.

Egil's saga in monolingual old norse

A series of dual language sagas I have one of these, It's ok but I should mention that while it's dual-lingual, the languages are not parallel. the Norse version is in the back. Another thing is that some of them are actually modern Icelandic, though that shouldn't make a huge difference because the language used is still archaic, just with updated spellings (og vs ok, hestur vs hestr)

Here's a good one, The poetic Edda in parallel text old-Norse and English That's the version I have and I think it's a really nice, high quality volume, but one thing I should mention is it's a scan of an older edition. Personally I don't mind that, I actually think it's kind of cool, but if that idea bugs you maybe check out this version which I don't have so I can't speak for the quality of it but it seems to be newly printed instead of scanned.

u/spectrometric · 2 pointsr/AskReddit

fun fact: we use the french term because of when the french invaded/conquered england in 1066. all the aristrocrats spoke french, while their servants spoke english. so the english servants would be all talking about cows, but when the meat got to the table the french would call it boeff (sp? my french is rusty). neat eh? i read that in a book called "the adventure of english" by melvyn bragg. very neat book if you're into etymology.


u/Chameleon256 · 3 pointsr/languagelearning

Thanks! Right now I am still trying to build a basic vocabulary by learning some Anki decks, but eventually I hope to move on to reading ynet and haaretz, and then eventually writing. I am also thinking about buying https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/0764137484/ref=cm_cr_arp_mb_bdcrb_top?ie=UTF8 and https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B01LZ8RQTH/ref=mp_s_a_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1516171666&sr=8-6&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_QL65&keywords=hebrew+grammar&dpPl=1&dpID=41kWZonU27L&ref=plSrch. I already try to listen to כאן (via TuneIn) daily, even if I can still only pick out a few words like אכשיו, בקר, לילה תוב (:. At the moment I only listen ג (mostly music), but hopefully in the future I will be able to listen to and actually understand most of what is said on א!

u/Surtrlljos · 2 pointsr/asatru

these are from what i found. i haven't read them yet but i'm getting to them.



Amazon costs more, this is from publisher:

edit: The Edda saemund sigfusson olive bray, there is a free PDF you can find on google but i don't remember how i got to it.

HA!! i found it!

u/theoldkitbag · 5 pointsr/ireland

The Táin is one of our greatest national epics - you can find an excellent translation by Kinsella (a famous Irish poet) online, no problem.

As a more pop-friendly alternative, Irish artist Jim Fitzpatrick (the guy who designed the famous Che Guevara image) produced two illustrated volumes of the Book of Conquests - the founding mythology of Ireland. They are the Book of Conquests and The Silver Arm

Irish legends are primary sorted into what are called 'cycles'. There are four: the Mythological Cycle, the Ulster Cycle, the Fenian Cycle, and the Cycle of Kings. Each has a different flavour and revolve around different characters. You may enjoy one more the other. Our most commonly known heroes come from the Ulster and Fenian Cycles.

u/Graptoi · 3 pointsr/taoism

Its my understanding that modern mandarin differs from the ancient mandarin the text was written in to such an extent that you might as well read it in English since that is your native tongue; and I would recommend the D.C Lau or Jonathon Starr english translation. That being said, the copy you were given is likely just fine and there are a few Etymologists that hang around here that are qualified to say that with any certainty. There is a reading material link on the side-bar you should check out, but I guess the major texts you're going to need in addition to your TTC are the Zhuangzi, the Liezi (Liezi is somewhat controversial but definitely worth the read), and the Huiananzi (This is a much later Han Dynasty text that is optional but interesting). I would also recommend getting several different translations of the TTC and the Zhuangzi in order to see the different ways in which people have interpreted the text.

u/lehuric · 2 pointsr/ireland

I'm in the same boat. My work involves a lot of academic reading and I had got out of reading for pleasure in the past couple of years because it was such a slog during the day. I've started again recently, beginning with short story compilations to make it easier to keep my attention. It also gives me an idea of authors whose work I'd like to explore further.

The Oxford Book of American Short Stories

That Glimpse of Truth

u/amazon-converter-bot · 1 pointr/FreeEBOOKS

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u/laspopo · 5 pointsr/poland

I have a good book edited by Czesław Miłosz that is a collection of a shit ton of Polish Poetry (with some of Miłosz's poetry in it as well). I put an amazon link to it at the end of my post.

Also I really suggest Wisława Szymborska. She and Miłosz are the two most known in western culture - both received the Nobel Prize in Literature, and Miłosz taught at UC Berkeley.

One other great one is Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz.

Also Bruno Schulz if you're looking for some prose.


u/catnik · 1 pointr/books

The Oxford Book of American Short Stories - A lot of classics, and a range of genres and styles.

More Classics - and it contains "To Build a Fire" which is one of my all-time favorite short stories.

I prefer my sci-fi in neatly digestible bites - there are some great ones in The Oxford Book of Science Fiction Stories if you want some genre options.

u/Mattyocrazy · 2 pointsr/suggestmeabook

The Norton Edition of "The Wasteland" comes with critical commentaries, essays, copious footnotes, and Eliot's own dubious footnotes to the piece. Pretty good if you really want to dive into Eliot's masterpiece.


u/sabu632 · 2 pointsr/Anthropology

Basso is phenomenal. I also always recommend The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down. Both superb ethnographies.

u/TFnarcon9 · 1 pointr/zen

You can read about wuzhu in wendi adamek's book. https://www.amazon.com/Teachings-Master-Wuzhu-No-Religion-Translations/dp/0231150237

She's tite if you haven't read her. The book covers the text itself and encounters well questions of its 'legitimacy'

And yeah, part of the thing is his 'lineage' or student line or whatever didn't last. He was very clever, right along hueneng in changing around words to be more about mind and less about practice, and was certainly iconoclastic in speech (and practice, there is a funny passage about monks begging him to do normal stuff), but there was no predecessor clever enough to withhold the contradiction as well as he did.

u/FabesE · 1 pointr/IAmA

Kierkegaard makes for dense reading, real dense.

Existentialism is a Humanism by Sartre is my go-to recommendation for an entrance into Existentialism. It's actually a lecture, so it reads like an essay; it's short, so it is manageable; and it is significantly less dense than Kierkegaard. "Existence precedes essence". Such a simple and wonderful idea that needn't scare or lead to malaise.

Edit (to include links):

Wall of text version

Affordable paperback version

u/anthropology_nerd · 3 pointsr/Anthropology

A good popular anthropology book for summer reading is 1491: New Revelations About the Americas before Columbus.

A good medical anthropology-like book is The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down about epilepsy in recent Hmong immigrants to the U.S.

I'm a little tired and that is all I've got right now.

u/commodore84 · 3 pointsr/worldnews

If you're interested in the Hmong, read The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down. Fantastic book and discusses the plight of the Hmongs in detail.

u/RoarK5 · 1 pointr/books

Tough call. Eliot and Emerson are both in my top 20. I think I'd go with the Eliot one though, Pound is way more fun than Nietzsche. Also, I recommend this copy of The Wasteland.

Edit: Fixed link

u/ihamsa · 1 pointr/hebrew

Hmm. Why do you need one? I haven't used any, but this one looks pretty solid.

u/small_far_away · 1 pointr/ireland

My gf has

A Handbook of Irish Folklore for college. I don't know if it is really academic or not.
She also has The Táin.

Hope that is useful for you.

u/FFSausername · 4 pointsr/AcademicBiblical

I did a little google searching and found [this book] (http://www.amazon.com/Textual-Criticism-Quran-Manuscripts-Keith/dp/0739177532) which seems relevant to your question. I'd also check out the Journal of Qur'anic Studies which, from my observation, has received praise. It certainly exists.

u/ninjininja · 1 pointr/unt
u/apostrotastrophe · 2 pointsr/booksuggestions

I haven't actually read it yet, but it's burning a hole on my bookshelf and looks really good - Psychogeography by Will Self and Ralph Steadman.

u/cathalmc · 1 pointr/booksuggestions

Joyce Carol Oates edited The Oxford Book of American Short Stories (1994 edition). I studied it in college and found it a great introduction to the short story in general.

u/PipettesByMouth · 1 pointr/chemistry

Writing the Laboratory Notebook is a very good resource, though possibly in excess of what your class requires.

The ACS puts its name on it, for whatever that's worth.

u/CBFisaRapist · 1 pointr/todayilearned

Just click the other options. You can get a hardcover for $30.

It's a GREAT set if you're interested in this sort of thing.

If you only want it for those three chapters, though, take a pass. Not sure if they're out there somewhere, but I wager someone has scanned them.

u/ohmanchild · 3 pointsr/askphilosophy

Thanks. I actually ordered Meditations right after I read Epictetus. Is this the other book? How do you apply reason when you talk to people and look at tasks you need to do so it's not so overwhelming?

u/justanumber2u · -2 pointsr/islam

Unless you want purely faith-promoting works, I suggest looking at the academic side of Quranic studies:
You can read some interesting articles in the Journal of Qur'anic Studies by Edinburgh University Press.
Keith Small’s Textual Criticism and the Qur’an Manuscripts looks at small textual variants over the centuries. It hasn’t been updated yet with the recent find of one of the oldest known text that was found.
Another academic scholar to look into is Christopher Luxenberg (who writes under a pseudonym due to death threats) that looks at the Quran through textual and linguistics analysis. His book most popular book is The Syro-Aramaic Reading of the Koran: A Contribution to the Decoding of the Language of the Quran.
For history, Patricia Crone’s Hagarism: The Making of the Islamic World and From Arabia Tribes to Islamic Empire are very good. She summarized much of her research here.

u/missiontodenmark · 1 pointr/suggestmeabook

BTW, the ebook versions are all free on Amazon.

u/Peralton · 3 pointsr/steampunk

"What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew: From Fox Hunting to Whist-the Facts of Daily Life in Nineteenth-Century England"


It's a reference book of all the mundane info you need to write a living, breathing world. You need to know the rules before you cnasteampunk them.


This review describes it nicely: https://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-reviews/R15YUTEEGOWF7V/ref=cm_cr_dp_d_rvw_ttl?ie=UTF8&ASIN=0671882368



u/the_unfinished_I · 2 pointsr/books

Existentialism is a humanism, by Jean Paul Sartre. Very short, easy to understand, and (speaking personally) quite life-affecting.

u/montereyo · 3 pointsr/Anthropology

My ubiquitous recommendation for medical anthropology is The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, about a Hmong family in California whose newborn daughter has epilepsy. It's well-written and engaging.

u/muckomatt · 2 pointsr/literature

My personal favorite, somewhat obscure find: Post War Polish Poetry edited and compiled by Lithuania poet Czeslaw Milosz. This collection completely changed how I write poetry. The Poles have a rich history of punctual experimentation, mind-blowing personification, and plenty else. Here's a taste of some polish poesy: Anna Swir

u/eatcrayons · 5 pointsr/LateStageCapitalism

Here's "The Intellectuals and the Masses," which is just on the opinions of "the masses" by people in the literary world in the late 1800s, early 1900s.

u/ApoIIon · 1 pointr/Lovecraft

If you do not want to commit to the full length Joshi biography this might be a good alternative. An earlier, more compact version of Joshi's biography.

u/smellephant · 1 pointr/zen

Are you sourcing this from The Teachings of Master Wuzhu: Zen and Religion of No Religion ? I've put it on my wishlist.

"No merit whatsoever" is just as good as "void and nothing holy" in my book. What does either leave to cling to?

u/rjmaway · 1 pointr/DebateReligion

>Are you not aware of the History of both the Quran and the ahadith?

Well aware. It appears that you aren't.

There is no full manuscript that is from the time of the Prophet, and our first fragments of hadith collections come much later.

I have read many books on this topic, for example:




Resources for you:




u/SF2K01 · 2 pointsr/AcademicBiblical

Like I said, there isn't much, and your ability to read them will depend on your capabilities. Keith Small's Textual Criticism and Qur'an Manuscripts is one example of an effort to apply textual critical studies to the Quran as well as Quranic Studies: Sources and Methods of Scriptural Interpretation which is a much more difficult read, but even more foundational (or you could even go and track down Geiger's original work, "Was Hat Mohammed aus dem Judentume Aufgenommen?" (Bonn, 1834)).

u/williamsates · 2 pointsr/conspiracy

Islam is no different here from Christianity and Judaism, there are textual variants present in earlier manuscripts making the reconstruction of the original text impossible.


u/BonkTink · 2 pointsr/Existentialism

"Man first of all exists, encounters himself, surges up in the world—and defines himself afterwards"

—Jean-Paul Sartre

From Existentialism and Humanism (later published in English as Existentialism is a Humanism)

u/grndfthrprdx · 1 pointr/AskReddit


I read that book. It is a biography/history of one family of Hmong, and the Hmong in general. One of the stories is that since they are so used to farming, they tend to plant crops in their house in the US or whatever country they are moved too.

u/Trotter999 · 2 pointsr/tolkienbooks

You could also look at the one volume hardback edition, instead of the paperbacks, as an alternative, as suggested by thornybacon.


u/1000m · 2 pointsr/LearnJapanese

I think it's Japanese Vocabulary (Quick Study Academic) http://amzn.com/1572229195