My Favorite Books and Stories

Limbo by Bernard Wolfe

This book may be hard to find, but is worth the hunt. Originally published in 1952. Set in 1990. I am not sure what to say about this one - it had and continues to have quite an effect on me. (Of course that may just be because I had been told I “would never walk again” and now I spend most of the day with a computer strapped to my side, I don't know…) If you have read it and want to discuss it, let me know!

Flatland by E. A. Abbott

This book is now available as a public domanain e-text from gopher:// and most e-text archives. However, it is still in print and under $5.00, so you should try to at least see a print copy for the illustrations. RFB has it on tape. There was an odd little animated film version I recall seeing in 7th grade, but it's not the same. Title page and preface from the Wiretap Edition.

The Art of Memory by Frances Yates

This book changed my way of viewing the world; let it do the same for you. Vassar Library has it, Barnes and Noble sells it, RFB has taped it. Here is the info from the Vassar Library Catalogue:

 AUTHOR       Yates, Frances Amelia.
 TITLE        The art of memory, by Frances A. Yates.
 IMPRINT      Chicago, University of Chicago Press [1966]
 DESCRIPT     xv, 400 p. illus. 23 cm.
 NOTE         Bibliographical footnotes.
 SUBJECT      Mnemonics --History.

Sefer Yetzirah

Learn how to breathe

Be careful, there are several translations out there, some of with have goals of their own; read a few, then decide. A good one to start with is in Volume One of Understanding Jewish Mysticism. Vassar Library Catalogue shows it as:

TITLE        Understanding Jewish mysticism : a source reader
[edited]                 David R. Blumenthal.
IMPRINT      New York : Ktav Pub. House, 1978-
DESCRIPT     xviii, 196p. ; 23 cm.
SERIES       The Library of Judaic learning ; v. 2.
             Library of Judaic learning ; v. 2.
NOTE         Includes bibliographies and indexes.
CONTENTS     [1] The Merkabah tradition and the Zoharic tradition
             [2] The philosophic-mystical tradition and the hasidic tradition.
SUBJECT      Cabala --Translations into English.
             Mysticism --Judaism --Translations into English.
ADD NA/TI    Blumenthal, David R.

Once you have worked with it for a while, do yourself a favor and check out the Aryeh Kaplan's book on Sefer Yetzirah.

The Seven Beggers by Nachman of Bratislav

As with Yetzeirah, you have to pick and choose to find good translations. My favorite is still the voice recording I have of R. Zalman Schacter-Shalomi telling the tale, but there are many translations in print. Look for collections of R. Nahman's tales. One at Vassar is:

AUTHOR       Steinsaltz, Adin.
TITLE        Beggars and prayers : Adin Steinsaltz retells the tales of Rabbi
                Nachman of Bratslav ; translated by Yehuda Hanegbi ...[et al.]
                ; edited by Jonathan Omer-Man.
IMPRINT      New York : Basic Books, c1979.
DESCRIPT     vi, 186 p. ; 22 cm.
SUBJECT      Parables, Hasidic.
ADD NA/TI    Nahman, of Bratslav, 1772-1811.

Database Nation by Simson Garfinkel

Meditation and Kabbalah by Aryeh Kaplan

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