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The Art of Fiction: A Guide for Writers and Readers
Ayn Rand, Tore Boeckmann, Leonard Peikoff
The Name of the Rose
Umberto Eco
David Mitchell
To the Lighthouse
Virginia Woolf
The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
Edward Gibbon, Daniel J. Boorstin, Gian Battista Piranesi, Hans-Friedrich Mueller
Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid
Douglas R. Hofstadter
Perfect Wrong Note - Learning to Trust Your Musical Self
William Westney
The Prince
Niccolò Machiavelli
The Varieties of Religious Experience
William James
Twenty Questions: An Introduction to Philosophy
G. Lee Bowie, Robert C. Solomon

The Bhagavad Gita: According to Gandhi

Bhagavad Gita According to Gandhi(tr) - Mahatma Gandhi, Michael N. Nagler This was the first time I've read the Gita. I'm glad I happened to read this version which includes Gandhi's comments--without them I don't think I would have gotten a whole lot from it, with them, I found it to be a beautiful and peaceful book.One of the problems I've had with my limited attempts at understanding Eastern philosophy is how to reconcile the Eastern idea non-striving with the Western values of action and ambition. Both, in their proper context, seem appealing and right. The Bhagavad Gita is interesting in how it addresses the necessity of action and physical improvement but how these activities should be engaged in without striving explicitly for results, but instead focusing on the value that is intrinsic to the action itself. Thinking about the problem of action like this was helpful--I understood it to mean that practice and improvement are important and necessary (Western), but it they should be taken with a sense of non-attachment to the outcome if one is to gain the most from them (Eastern). There are tons of names scattered throughout (Ishvara, Bharatarshabha, Kaunteya, Mahabahu, Purushottama etc. etc.), I didn't make any effort to keep them straight or figure out if they are gods or people or something in between. Even without making an effort to understand any of the historical and Sanskrit Hindu context, I found the text rewarding and very much worth reading.