Arguments Worth Having

Art = Absurdity = Provocation = Contemplation = Wisdom = Love

The Recommended Lists

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Many classics deserve to be so, and they include Crime and Punishment, The Great Gatsby, Jane Eyre, Heart of Darkness, Huckleberry Finn, Moby Dick,  and To Kill a Mockingbird to name a few. Here’s my list of personal favorites, literary and cinematic, some obscure, some well-known:

Film

Carne Tremula – Pedro Almodovar’s best.

Cidade de Deus – Gripping look at the favelas of Rio de Janeiro.

Gran Torino – Surprisingly effective film about a crusty Korean Vet and his relationship with Laotian neighbors.

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest – Author Ken Kesey never saw the movie version of the film, and despite his objection that it did not make the Native American the protagonist, it is a classic on its own.

Once Were Warriors – This film about an urban Maori family in New Zealand is brutal and stunning.

Religulous – Hilarious.

Tsotsi – A troubled and violent boy, living in Soweto township in South Africa, and his redemption through tragedy.

Apocalypse Now – Coppola’s epic based loosely on Conrad’s Heart of Darkness.

Slumdog Millionaire – Worthy of all the publicity.

Waltz with Bashir – A harrowing look at Israeli recollections of the sabra and shatila massacres. Documentary and animation, an amazing cinematic feat.

Literature

Butler, Robert Olen – A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain

Camus, Albert – The Stranger

Chang, Jung – Wild Swans

Fawcett, Brian – Cambodia: A Book for People Who Find Television Too Slow Stunning.

Gold, Jerome. Paranoia & Heartbreak: Fifteen Years in a Juvenile Facility

Haddon, Mark – The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Hedges, Chris – War Is a Force that Gives Us Meaning

Heller, Joseph, Catch-22

Hitchens, Christopher, The Missionary Position Mother Teresa…saint?

Kim, Richard E., The Martyred Obscure yet gripping look at The Korean War.

Kingsolver, Barbara, The Poisonwood Bible

Kosinski, Jerzy, The Painted Bird

Krakauer, Jon, Under the Banner of Heaven, Into Thin Air

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Llosa, Mario Vargas, ¿Quién mató a Palomino Molero? Murder mystery & look into political corruption.

Malan, Rian, My Traitor’s Heart Great combination of literature & journalism.

Mandelman, Avner, Talking to the Enemy

Maugham, W Somerset, The Razor’s Edge, The Moon and Sixpence

Naipaul, VS, The Return of Eva Peron – With The Killings in Trinidad

O’Brien, Tim, The Things They Carried

Shriver, Lionel, We Need to Talk About Kevin

Varella, Dráuzio, Estação Carandiru A doctor, specializing in AIDS, works at the since-closed Carandiru, Brazil’s largest and most notorious prison.

Watson, Larry, Montana 1948: A Novel

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Written by Caleb Powell

March 2, 2009 at 5:23 am

One Response

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  1. I love this list Caleb! There are a lot of my favorites on here! …and many I will now have to check out.

    Perri

    March 8, 2011 at 5:03 pm


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