My faculty colleagues across the Rosary College of Arts and Sciences have put together this list of recommended texts, organized by academic discipline. We're not claiming that these, much less only these texts are absolutely essential for the various disciplines in the College. We're not creating the ultimate eternal canon! Indeed, many of these texts have sparked great intellectual controversy and continue to do so. Such textual provocations may have much to teach us. We're simply offering, as educators, our considered suggestions for some of the texts we think students, prospective students and lifelong learners would do well to consider. We hope you'll engage many of them as conversation partners throughout your educational journey, and we hope you'll add to the list with your own insights and discoveries.
Dean, Rosary College of Arts and Sciences
The list seems to really go all over from mathematics to theology to literature. I will admit that some books are out of what I consider my reader's profile. Nevertheless, I figure it is important to be exposed to new ideas. At the risk of embarassing myself, here are the titles from the list that I have personally read:
- Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart
- W.E.B. DuBois, The Souls of Black Folk
- Steven D. Levitt, Freakanomics
- Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed
- Howard Gardner, Multiple Intelligences: The Theory in Practice
- Jonathan Kozol, Savage Inequalities (actually, I have read most of Kozol's books).
- Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales (in Middle English, mind you. To this day, I can recite the opening lines of the Prologue thanks to a professor who made us memorize them).
- William Faulkner, As I Lay Dying
- Langston Hughes (while I have not read Collected Poems, I have read most of his poetry)
- William Shakespeare, Hamlet (actually, read a good portion of his plays and sonnets. My personal favorite is Henry V.)
- John Milton, Paradise Lost
- Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (read Tom Sawyer too)
- W.B. Yeats, (while I have not read his Collected Poems, again, have read a good portion of his poetry)
- Thucydides, A History of the Peloponnesian War
- Niccolo Machiavelli, The Prince
- Dante Aligheri, The Divine Comedy
- Giovanni Boccaccio, The Decameron
- Cathechism of the Catholic Church (hey, I went to Sunday school and Catholic high school, what did you expect? Still, doing my best to recuperate)
- Austin P. Flannery, ed., Documents of the Vatican II (while I did not read this particular edition, I did have to read some of those too back when).
- William James, The Varieties of Religious Experience
- Plato, Republic
- Eduardo Galeano, The Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent
- Karl Marx, The Communist Manifesto
- Isabel Allende, La Casa de los Espíritus
- Jorge Luis Borges, Ficciones
- Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quijote de la Mancha (senior year in high school, and recently last year)
- Ruben Darío, Azul
- Benito Pérez Galdos, Misericordia (read this in middle school. Hated every page. Think of the one book you had to read in school that was forced).
- El Poema de El Cid (now, this was cool, even in archaic Spanish, back in 10th grade).
- Federico Garcia Lorca, Romancero Gitano
- Gabriel García Marquez, Cien años de soledad (in case I have not mentioned it before, this is my all time favorite book)
- The Holy Bible (yes, the whole thing. Catholic version, so I got the Apocryphal books the Protestants skip).
A hat tip to Laura Crossett of LISDom.