Required Reading

Here is my premise (you may have whatever premise you want...yes, this means you Gina!):

Assume you are majoring in "Joke," this would be the required reading:

Freshman Year
Code of the Woosters by PG Wodehouse
A Treatise Into The Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith
The Federalist Papers by James Madison
Harry Potter 1-6 by JK Rowling
Balsamic Dreams by Joe Queenan
Wodehouse is crucial to understanding my self-view, whereas the Smith/Madison thing is crucial to understanding my worldview. Harry Potter is just cool; and coolness is crucial to understanding me.

Sophomore Year
Westward, HA! by SJ Perelman
The Sign of the Four by Arthur Conan Doyle
The White House Mess by Christopher Buckley
Joy In The Morning by PG Wodehouse
Alice, Let's Eat by Calvin Trillin
If You're Talking To Me, Your Career Must Be In Trouble by Joe Queenan
SJ Perelman is crucial to understanding how I view others and Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes is, in my estimation, the best reading anyone can do to achieve proficiency as a reader. It's like a workout for your reading muscle. Calvin Trillin (even though he has written for the verrrry odious The Nation) is my favorite food writer, and this book informs my outlook on all things yummy. Christopher Buckey slaughters sacred cows. Joe Queenan treats the sacred cows like factory-farmed veal and then eats 'em black-n-blue.

Junior Year
The Right Stuff by Tom Wolfe
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
Bulfinch's Mythology by Thomas Bulfinch
Don Quijote by Miguel de Cervantes

Tom Wolfe informs the way I look at achievment and thought and unintended consequences. Lewis Carroll fuels my love for the absurd, while Bulfinch's is practically a classical education in and of itself. Cervantes is key...but it really does lose SO MUCH in translation. Starting with teh letter "J."

Senior Year
Night of the Avenging Blowfish by John Welter
Through The Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll
The Road to Serfdom by Friedrich von Hayek
Beard on Cookery by James Beard
John Welter is the funniest American novelist in memory.

Master's Level
Orthodoxy by GK Chesterton
The Ignatius Bible
The Annotated Gilbert & Sullivan by Isaac Azimov
Democracy in America by Alexis de Tocqueville
A Woman of No Importance by Oscar Wilde
The Wild West by Lucious Beebe
Gilbert & Sullivan are crucial, because so many of my sensibilities intersect thereat. Lucius Beebe also chronicled a certain bygone time, and this was his magnum opus. The Chesterton needs no introduction, save to explain how I began to fossilize so young.

Doctoral Level
From Bauhaus To Our House by Tom Wolfe
The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis
Tales of the Alhambra by Washington Irving
The Liar by Stephen Fry
Continuing Education
Anything by PG Wodehouse, Christopher Buckley, SJ Perelman, Arthur Conan Doyle and Joe Queenan.

A few of these books are rather ponderous reading, but they are nonetheless important to getting your degree in Joke. A great hunk of them are hilarious.


P.S. Jujube reminded me I neglected Douglas Adams and the 6-part Hitchhiker's trilogy


BabelBabe said…
I get it now - required reading for US. Not just generic. I like it. Give me a few days though - I didn't get to it over the weekend.

H is reading The Road to Serfdom right now, and liking it very much. He says it's "enlightening."
Gina said…
I love Screwtape, and I feel weird saying that.

I'm still not sure about the premise I'll choose, but I'm going to work on my list. I like the idea of majoring in Gina . . .
Sarah Louise said…
Oh, you're good. I may have to revise my format for future postings...
Joke said…

In my case, it'd be "required reading for 'you'" but you can choose whatever you bloody well want. Required reading for people who aspire to coolness, required reading for people who want to be well read, required reading for guys who want romantic success with bookish girls...whatever. Your list, your call.


P.S. Gina, the book is great on audio (read by John Cleese).
jujube said…
I'm up.
Badger said…
I was too busy beating my children about the head(s) and neck(s) with broken bottles to do this today, but tomorrow! For sure!

Confirmation word: txhps. Texas hips. Nice. Bite me, Blogger.
Gina said…
I don't know if you're checking comments on posts this old, but I've been working on my reading list . . . and I've been having HUGE Blogger issues . . . but I'll get there.
Joke said…
I always check on comments.


P.S. You see that blinking cursor? That's my nose.

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