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Best Book I Ever Read

The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down by Anne Fadiman.  It is a true
insight into how cultural differences can be the source of terrible mis-communication leading to potentially disastrous consequences.  A must read for anybody who interacts with people of cultural backgrounds other than their own, particularly those in the health care field. Submitted by lucerom@stjohns.edu

A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving. I went to catholic school all my life (grammar, high, college, I also work at a catholic university) nothing that anyone said or did could or never will convince me that there is a god. "A Prayer for Owen Meany" is the closest that anything has ever come. To really know ones mission in life is what we are all looking for. Some people say they do, most of them are liars. Submitted by Lee F. Dinnebeil.

Acres of Diamonds by Dr. Conwell, founder of Temple University. The synopsis is, "you have to know the territory." Submitted by Rev. James F. Dorr C.M., Chaplain College of Business, St. Johns University.

The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck. The author's illustrious portrayal of family life and culture in early china was riveting. At an early age it allowed me to appreciate the value of family, culture and recognizing it's various challenges. How we react and interact to these challenges is what makes life an adventure. Submitted by Chris Curry.

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. One of the best books I have ever read.  It was written from a young girl's perspective, which was innocent, funny and refreshing.  The story about people who are treated with injustice comes through without it being overly sweet.  The movie made from the book shows one of the best court room moments when the segregated balcony stood up for Gregory Peck as he walked out of the courtroom.  That scene evinces respect for lawyers of unpopular clients. Submitted by Robin Boyle. A story of coming of age, a tale of prejudice and the struggle for justice, a detailed period piece from the Depression years - it is all of these. But mostly it is a portrait of a decent man's struggle for dignity and justice in an unjust world and an undiginified time and place. I have had many literary heroes, and even some role models. But Atticus Finch has been my most important role model, because to me, he is the quintessential father figure, and one that I have always tried to emulate. Submitted by Ed Leahy.

A Separate Peace by John Knowles. Prose does not get any closer to poetry, characters were never more human and vulnerable,  regret and remorse never more melancholy, and the tragedy of a small act of seemingly insignifcant betrayal never more devastating. Like the taste of a good wine, Its imagery lingers on, and grows richer on the vines of memory as time passes. Submitted by EQDC24@aol.com .

Moby Dick.by Herman Melville. It has all the philosophy, humor, tragedy,   e.t.c. ,about human life---but without being messed up by the sex situation--practically no sex in Moby Dick (no pun intended). Submitted by Maurice Machover.

Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda. If you're looking to gain a refreshed and renewed perspective on life, read it and you'll see why it's simply one of the most powerful books on the planet. Submitted by Laura Bedford.

Dance of the Infidels by Francis Paudras. It is a memoir of a Frenchman. It encompasses the years he spent in France and New York with jazz legend Bud Powell.
Bud Powell was a singularly amazing person and writings concerning his music alone could fill volumes, but Paudras doesn't intend to create a simple technical treatise on the work of a musician, his intent is to give the reader a glimpse into the soul of both men and their relationship to the world, each other, and the world of music. It is an amazing work for a man of letters. It is even more amazing in light of the fact that Francis Paudras was no man of letters. He was simply a man who was lucky, or unlucky depending on your perspective, to have a relationship with a genius that transcended normal human emotions and who also possessed the ability to translate it into words. Words that I read with tremendous emotion, both joyous and sorrowful. This book was published by Da Capo Press in 1998. Bud Powell died of complications resulting from tuberculosis and alcoholism on July 31st, 1966. Francis Paudras took his own life shortly after the publication of his book. Submitted by Jason Renzi.

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Last modified: May 01, 2008