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John Cleese's Dearest Books

John Cleese's Dearest Books

By John Cleese

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About the list

This book list was created for you by Friendspire on 15 January 2020 based on a list by John Cleese.

Ever wonder what makes reading so special? Maybe it's the smell of an old paperback or the weight of its pages. Whatever it is, reading has the power to take us somewhere else entirely. Whether it's through historical novels or fantasy, there's nothing better than getting lost in a book. Of course, you can always watch the mov
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Why is the brain divided? The difference between right and left hemispheres has been puzzled over for centuries. In a book of unprecedented scope, Iain McGilchrist draws on a vast body of recent brain research, illustrated with case histories, to reveal that the difference is profound—not just this or that function, but two whole, coherent, but incompatible ways of experiencing the world. The left hemisphere is detail oriented, prefers mechanisms to living things, and is inclined to self-interest, where the right hemisphere has greater breadth, flexibility, and generosity. This division helps explain the origins of music and language, and casts new light on the history of philosophy, as well as on some mental illnesses. In the second part of the book, McGilchrist takes the reader on a journey through the history of Western culture, illustrating the tension between these two worlds as revealed in the thought and belief of thinkers and artists, from Aeschylus to Magritte. He argues that, despite its inferior grasp of reality, the left hemisphere is increasingly taking precedence in the modern world, with potentially disastrous consequences. This is truly a tour de force that should excite interest in a wide readership.

Karl Popper has been hailed as the greatest philosopher of all time and as a thinker whose influence is ackowledged by a variety of scholars. This work demonstrates Popper's importance across the whole range of philosophy and provides an introduction to the main themes of philosophy itself.

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Anna Karenina (Modern Library Classics)

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ANNA KARENINA by Leo Tolstoy (Modern Library Classics) Anna Karenina (Russian: «Анна Каренина», IPA: [ˈanːə kɐˈrʲenʲɪnə]) is a novel by the Russian author Leo Tolstoy first published in book form in 1878 and widely considered one of the greatest works of fiction ever written.A complex novel in eight parts, spread over more than 800 pages (depending on the translation) typically contained in two volumes, Anna Karenina touches on themes of betrayal, faith, family, marriage, Imperial Russian society, desire, and rural vs. city life. A complex work with more than a dozen major characters, it was initially released in serial installments from 1873 to 1877 in the periodical The Russian Messenger.Regarded as one of the finest examples of realist fiction, Tolstoy called Anna Karenina his first true novel (he called his other major work of fiction, War and Peace, more than a novel). His contemporary, the Russian author Fyodor Dostoyevsky, declared it "flawless as a work of art, " an opinion later shared by Vladimir Nabokov. American writer and Nobel Prize laureate William Faulkner, also described it as "the best novel ever written."The plot of centers on an extramarital affair between Anna and dashing cavalry officer Count Alexei Kirillovich that scandalizes the social circles of Saint Petersburg and forces the young lovers to flee for Italy in a futile search for happiness. Returning to Russia their lives further unravel. A second major plotline follows Levin, a character loosely based on Tolstoy himself, who rejects glitzy city life and those same social circles for his rural farm but struggles with both his love for Kitty, who has rejected him, and with his Christian faith.Trains are a recurring motif throughout the novel, which take place against the backdrop of rapid transformations as a result of the liberal reforms initiated by Emperor Alexander II of Russia, with several major plot points taking place either on passenger trains or at stations in Saint Petersburg or elsewhere in Russia.

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ANNA KARENINA by Leo Tolstoy (Modern Library Classics) Anna Karenina (Russian: «Анна Каренина», IPA: [ˈanːə kɐˈrʲenʲɪnə]) is a novel by the Russian author Leo Tolstoy first published in book form in 1878 and widely considered one of the greatest works of fiction ever written.A complex novel in eight parts, spread over more than 800 pages (depending on the translation) typically contained in two volumes, Anna Karenina touches on themes of betrayal, faith, family, marriage, Imperial Russian society, desire, and rural vs. city life. A complex work with more than a dozen major characters, it was initially released in serial installments from 1873 to 1877 in the periodical The Russian Messenger.Regarded as one of the finest examples of realist fiction, Tolstoy called Anna Karenina his first true novel (he called his other major work of fiction, War and Peace, more than a novel). His contemporary, the Russian author Fyodor Dostoyevsky, declared it "flawless as a work of art, " an opinion later shared by Vladimir Nabokov. American writer and Nobel Prize laureate William Faulkner, also described it as "the best novel ever written."The plot of centers on an extramarital affair between Anna and dashing cavalry officer Count Alexei Kirillovich that scandalizes the social circles of Saint Petersburg and forces the young lovers to flee for Italy in a futile search for happiness. Returning to Russia their lives further unravel. A second major plotline follows Levin, a character loosely based on Tolstoy himself, who rejects glitzy city life and those same social circles for his rural farm but struggles with both his love for Kitty, who has rejected him, and with his Christian faith.Trains are a recurring motif throughout the novel, which take place against the backdrop of rapid transformations as a result of the liberal reforms initiated by Emperor Alexander II of Russia, with several major plot points taking place either on passenger trains or at stations in Saint Petersburg or elsewhere in Russia.

The Bonfire of the Vanities is a 1987 satirical novel by Tom Wolfe. The story is a drama about ambition, racism, social class, politics, and greed in 1980s New York City, and centers on three main characters: WASP bond trader Sherman McCoy, Jewish assistant district attorney Larry Kramer, and British expatriate journalist Peter Fallow. The novel was originally conceived as a serial in the style of Charles Dickens' writings: It ran in 27 installments in Rolling Stone starting in 1984. Wolfe heavily revised it before it was published in book form. The novel was a bestseller and a phenomenal success, even in comparison with Wolfe's other books. It has often been called the quintessential novel of the 1980s.

When Maurice Nicholl was studying in Zurich, he met Jung, and Ouspensky. He went on to study with Gurdjieff, and from 1931 to his death in 1953, he began at Ouspensky's request, a programme of work devoted to passing on the ideas he had received. Reissued in hard cover, these five unedited commentaries are taken from the weekly lectures and talks Nicoll gave to his students in England and which were recorded verbatim; the sixth volume is an index produced by the Gurdjieff society Washington DC. These differ from Nicholl's more polished works - they are more concerned with directly applying certain deep ideas to daily life.

This is the story of Jim Dixon, a hapless lecturer in medieval history at a provincial university who knows better than most that "there was no end to the ways in which nice things are nicer than nasty ones." Amis's scabrous debut leads the reader through a gallery of emphatically English bores, cranks, frauds, and neurotics, with each of whom Dixon must contend in one way or another in order to hold on to his cushy academic perch and win the girl of his fancy. Regarded by many as the finest, and funniest, comic novel of the twentieth century, Lucky Jim remains as trenchant, withering, and eloquently misanthropic as when it first scandalized readers in 1954.

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