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Primary Educational Resource for Humanities, Foundations I Honors, Creative Drama, and Theater Workshop

Humanities Supplemental Reading and Links

Students will choose at least one book from this list per quarter to read independently in conjunction with the required reading for the course.  You will take notes, write a critique (see Quarterly Critiques)and present your findings, questions, reactions, and connections to the class.  You may also find that your independent reading inspires your quarterly creative project (see Unit Creative Project).  Your written critiques will be published on this website for other students.

The Beginnings of Things:

Mircea Eliade, Myths, Dreams and Mysteries et. al.

Renee Weber, Dialogues with Scientists and Sages

Gerhard Staguhn, God’s Laughter: Man and His Cosmos

Michael Talbot, Mysticism and the New Physics

Joseph Campbell, The Hero of a Thousand faces, The Masks of God series, Myths to Live by et. al.

C.W. Ceram, Gods, Graves, and Scholars

Sir James George Frazer, excerpts from The Golden Bough

James Trefil, The Moment of Creation: Big Bang Physics

Frijit Capra, The Tao of Physics

Gary Zukav, The Dancing Wu Li Masters

Paul Davies, God and the New Physics, Superforce, the Mind of God: The Scientific Basis for a Rational World

A. Zee, Fearful Symmetry: The Search for Beauty in Modern Physics

H. Shapely, Beyond the Observatory

Robert Jastrow, Until the Sun Dies, The Enchanted Loom: Mind in the Universe

F.A. Wolf, Taking the Quantum Leap, Parallel Universes: The Search for Other Worlds

Jagjit Singh, Great Ideas and Theories of Modern Cosmology

Isaac Asimov, The Collapsing Universe

F. Hoyle, Of Men and Galaxies

W. Heinsenberg, Philosophical Problems of Quantum Physics

Stephen W. Hawking, A Brief History of Time

David Bohm, Unfolding Meaning

Max Born, Einstein’s Theory of Relativity

Eric J. Learner, The Big Bang Never Happened

David Darling, Deep Time

David Born & F. David Peat, Science, Order, and Creativity

John Briggs & F. David Peat, Turbulent Mirror

James Gleick, Chaos

Rudy Rucker, The 4th Dimension: Toward a Geometry of Higher Reality

Charles Darwin, Origin of the Species, Descent of Man

Irving Stone, The Origin (story of Darwin’s life in format of fiction)

Loren Eiseley, Darwin’s Century

Louis Leakey, Discoveries about Early Man, Adam’s Ancestors: The Evolution of Man and His Culture, Adam or Ape

Richard Leakey, Origins, People of the Lake

Donald Johanson & Maitland Edey, Lucy: The Beginnings of Humankind

Gordon Rattray Taylor, The Great Evolution Mystery

John Gribbin, Genesis: The Origins of Man and the Universe, Time Warps

Preston Cloud, Cosmos, Earth, and Man

Carl Sagan, Dragons of Eden, Cosmos, The Cosmic Code

Jacob Bronowski, The Ascent of Man

Hofstader, Godel, Escher and Bach

Human Nature


Ashley Montagu, Frontiers of Anthropology, The Nature of Human Aggression

Colin Renfrew, Before Civilization

Margaret Mead, Anthropology: A Human Science, et. al.

Stephen Gould, The Mismeasure of Man et. al.

Alexander Marshack, Roots of Civilization

Konrad Lorenz, On Aggression

Erich Fromm, The Anatomy of Human Aggression

John Nance, The Gentle Tasaday

Colin Turnbull, The Forest People, The Mountain People

Laurens van der Post, The Lost World of Kalahari

Ruth Benedict, Patterns of Culture

Karl Menninger, Whatever Became of Sin?

Rollo May, Power and Innocence

Desmond Morris, Human Zoo et. al.

Mark Twain, Assorted letters

Irving Stone, Dear Theo (letters of Vincent van Gough to his brother)

Robert Restak, The Brain, The Last Frontier et. al.

Judith Hooper, The 3-pound Universe

Isaac Asimov, The Human Brain

Richard Bergland, The Fabric of Mind

Kennith Brower, The Starship and the Canoe

J. Watson, The Double Helix

Loren Eiseley, The Star Thrower, Immense Journey, The Firmament of Time

R. Dubos, So Human an Animal

Albert Einstein, Ideas and Opinions

Sigmund Freud, Civilization and its Discontents on Creativity and the Unconscious, Moses and Monotheism, Psychology of Everyday Life, Dora: An Analysis of a Case of Hysteria, The Interpretation of Dreams, A General Introduction to Psychoanalysis

Calvin S. Hall, A Primer of Freudian Psychology

Alfred Adler, Problems of Neurosis, Understanding Human Nature

Cark Gustave Jung, Analytical Psychology: Its Theory and Practice, Modern Man in Search of a Soul, Psychology and Religion, The Undiscovered Self, Critique of Psychoanalysis, Psychology and the Occult, Man and His Symbols, On the Nature of the Psyche

Vincent Brome, Jung

Laurens van der Post, Jung and the Story of Our Time

Eric Berne, Transactional Analysis in Psychotherapy, Beyond Games and Scripts, A Layman’s Guide to Psychiatry and Psychoanalysis

Claude Steiner, Scripts People Love

Erikson, Dimensions of a New Identity

Viktor Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning, The Doctor and the Soul

Erich Fromm, The Art of Loving, The Sane Society, Man for Himself, Psychoanalysis and Religion

Elisabeth Kubler Ross, Death: The Final Stage of Growth, Questions and Answers on Death and Dying

R.D. Laing, The Politics of the Family

Abraham Maslow, The Farther Reaches of Human Nature, Toward a Psychology of Being

Rollo May, Love and Will, Man’s Search for Himself

Karl Menninger,  Man Against Himself

Carl R. Rogers, A Way of Being, Freedom to Learn

B.F. Skinner, Beyond Freedom and Dignity, Beyond Behaviorism

Carpenter, The Skinner Primer

F. Scott Peck, The Road Less Travelled


Aeschylus, The Oresteia

James Agee, A Death in the Family

Edward Albee, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, The Ballad of Sad Café

Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

Jean Anouihl, Antigone

Margaret Atwood, Lady Oracle, Life Before Men et. al.

Jane Austin,  Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, Northanger Abbey

Samuel Beckett, Endgame

Honore Balzac, Pere Goriot

Edward Bellamy, Looking Backward

Saul Bellow, Herzog, Henderson the Rain King

Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre

Emily Bronte, Wuthering Heights

John Bunyan, The Pilgrim’s Progress

Olive Ann Burns, Cold Sassy Tree

Samuel Butler, The Way of All Flesh

Albert Camus, The Plague, The Fall

Raymond Carver,  short stories

Cervantes, Don Quixote

Caucer, The Canterbury Tales

John Cheever, short stories

Joseph Conrad, Lord Jim

Anton Chekhov, The Sea Gull et. al.

Charles Dickens, David Copperfield, Bleak House, A Tale of Two Cities

Isak Dinesen, Last Tales, Anecdotes of Destiny

Fyodor Dostoievsky, Crime and Punishment, The Possessed, The Idiot, Letters from the Underground, Brothers         Karamazov

Theodore Dreiser, An American Tragedy

George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans), Mill on the Floss, Adam Bede, Middlemarch

Ralph Ellison, The Invisible Man

Louise Erdrich, Tracks

William Faulkner, As I Lay Dying, Light in August et. al.

F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Beautiful and Damned, This Side of Paradise, 

Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary

E.M. Forster, A Passage to India

John Galsworthy, The Forsyte Saga

John Gardener, Sunlight Dialogues, October Light et. al.

Andre Gide, Two Symphonies

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Faust, Elective Affinities, The Sorrows of Young Werther

Nikolai Gogol, Dead Souls, The Diary of a Madman

Graham Green, The Power and the Glory

Lisa Grunwald, The Theory of Everything

Thomas Hardy, Jude the Obscure, Far from the Madding Crowd, Tess d’Ubervilles, The

Mayor of Casterbridge

Nathanial Hawthrone, The Marble Faun, The House of Seven Gables

Joseph Heller, Catch 22

Lillian Hellman, Watch on the Rhine, The Little Foxes

Ernest Hamingway, Death in the Afternoon, Across the River and into the Trees, The Sun Also Rises, For Whom the Bell Tolls et. al.

John Hersey, The Wall

Hermann Hesse, Demian, Narcissus and Goldmund, Gertrude, *Magister Ludi (The Glass Bead Game)

Homer, The Illiad

Victor Hugo, Les Miserables, Hunchback of Notre Dame

Ionesco, Rhinoceros et. al.

Ishiguro Kazuo 

Henry James, The American, Daisy Miller, Washington Square, The Portrait of a Lady et. al.

James Joyce, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Ulysses

Franz Kafka, The Castle, The Trial

Nikos Kazantzakis, Zorba the Greek, The Greek Passion

Jack Kerouac, On the Road, Dharma Bums

Ken Kesey, One flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Sometimes a Great Notion

Barbara Kingsolver, The Bean Trees, Animal Dreams et. al.

Rudyard Kipling, The Lights that Failed

Arthur Koestler, Darkness at Noon

D.H. Lawrence, Sons and Lovers, The Rainbow, Women in Love

Sinclair Lewis, Main Street, Babbitt, Elmer Gantry

Thomas Mann, Death in Venice, Buddenbrooks, *Magic Mountain, Dr. Faustus

Bernard Malamud, The Fixer, The Assistant

Peter Matthiesen, Far Tortuga

William Somerset Maugham, The Moon and Sixpence, Of Human Bondage, The Razor’s Edge

Carson McCuller, The Member of the Wedding, The Ballad of Sad Café

Herman Melville, Billy Budd, Moby Dick

James A. Michener, The Source

Bharati Mukherjee, Jasmine, Wife

Arthur Miller, After the Fall, The Misfits, The Creation of the World and Other Business, All My Sons

John Milton, Paradise Lost

Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye, Song of Solomon

Moliere, Tartuffe, The Misanthrope

Thomas Moore, Utopia

V.S. Naipul, A Bend in the River

Sean O’Casey, The Plough and the Stars, The Silver Tassle

Eugene O’Neill, Long Day’s Journey into the Night, Mourning Becomes Elecktra, Desire Under the Elms, The Iceman Cometh

Frank O’Connor, short stories

John Osborne, Look Back in Anger, Luther

Boris Pasternak, Dr. Zhivago

Alan Paton, Cry the Beloved Country, Too Late the Phalarope

Harold Pinter, The Homecoming, The Caretaker, The Dumb Waiter

Robert Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Lila

Edgar Allen Poe, short stories

Marcel Proust, The Sweet Cheat Gone, The Captive, Within a Budding Grove

Pushkin, Eugene Onegin

Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead, Atlas Shrugged

Erich M. Remarque, All Quiet on the Western Front

William Saroyan, short stories

Jean Paul Sartre, The Age of Reason, The Reprieve, Troubled Sleep, The Wall, The Flies, Nausea

William Shakespeare, plays

Isaac Bashevis Singer, The Family Moskat, Gimple the Fool

Upton Sinclair, The Jungle, King Coal

Sophocles, the Oedipus trilogy

 Bernard Shaw, Pygmalion, Man and Superman, St. Joan, Hearbreak House, Major Barbara

Sholokov, The Don Flows Home to the Sea et. al.

B.F. Skinner, Walden Two

Lee Smith, Fair and Tender Ladies, Family Linen, Oral History

Solzhenitsyn, Cancer Ward, The First Circle

John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath, Tortilla Flat

Irving Stone, Lust for Life, The Agony and the Ecstasy, The Greek Treasure, The

Passions of the Mind, Depths of Glory

Jonathan Swift, Gulliver’s Travels

Sri Auribindo, plays and poetry

August Strindberg, The Dance of Death, The Father, Miss Julie

William Styron, Nat Turner’s Rebellion, Sophie’s Choice

J.M. Synge, Playboy of the Western World, Riders to the Sea

Rabindranath Tagore, plays and poetry

William M. Thackeray, Vanity Fair

Leo Tolstoy, The Death of Ivan Ilych, Anna Karenina, Virgin Soil, *War and Peace

Anthony Trollope, The Pallisers, The Last Chronicle of Barset

Ann Tyler, Tin Can Tree, Dinner at Homesick Restaurant et. al.

Leon Uris, Trinity, Exodus

Gore Vidal, Julian, Creation

Kurt Vonnegut, Cat’s Cradle, Slaughterhouse Five

Alice Walker, The Temple of My Familiar, Possessing the Secret of Joy

Robert Penn Warren, All the King’s Men

Edith Wharton, Ethan Frome, The House of Mirth, The Reef, Custom of the Country, Age of Innocence et al.

Elie Wiesel, Dawn, Night, The Testament, Zalmen or the Madness of God

Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray

Thornton Wilder, The Bridge of San Luis Rey

Tennessee Williams, The Glass Menagerie, Sweet Bird of Youth, The Rose Tattoo, The Night of the Iguana

Thomas Wolfe, Look Homeward Angel, You Can’t Go Home Again, Of Time and the River, The Web and the Rock

Emile Zola, The Human Beast, Germinal

Virgil, The Aeneid

The Mahabharata

The Ramayana

Regarding Truth and Reality

Huston Smith, The Religions of Man

Joseph Gaer, How the Great Religions Began

Weston, From Ritual to Romance

Julian Huxley, Religion without Revelation

Rabindranath Tagore, The Religion of Man

W. Fellows, Religions, East and West

Robert O. Ballou, ed. The Bible of the World (excerpts)

William James, The Varieties of Religious Experience

Mircea Eliade, The Sacred and the Profane: The Nature of Religion

Walter Kaufmann, Religions in Four Dimensions: Existential, Aesthetic, Historical, Comparative

Will Herberg, Judaism and Modern Man

Erich Fromm, You Shall Be As Gods

Martin Buber, The Way of Response: Selections from His Writings

The writings of Maimonides

St. Augustine, The City of God, Confessions

D. Bonhoffer, Creation and Fall, Letters and Papers from Prison, Ethics

Thomas Merton, The Seven Storey Mountain, The New Man

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Christianity and Evolution, The Future of Man

Jim Bishop, The Day Christ was Born

Hans Kung, On Being a Christian

Matthew Fox, Original Blessing: A Primer in Creation Spirituality, Meditations with

Meister Eckart, Illuminations of Hildegard of Bingen, The Coming of the Cosmic Christ

R. Niebuhr, The nature and The Destiny of Man (two volumes)

T.W. Lippman, Understanding Islam

A.S. Tritton, Islam: Belief and Practices

Alfred Guillaume, Islam

Robert C. Zaehner, Hinduism

The Vedas

J.C. Chatterji, The Wisdom of the Vedas

The Upanishads (two volumes, Muller, trans.)

Bhagavad Gita

C.H. Hamilton, ed. Buddhism, A Religion of Infinite Compassion

Allie M. Frazier, ed. Readings in Eastern Religious Thought: Chinese and Japanese Religions

Edward Conze, Buddhism: Its Essence and Development

D.T. Suzuki, Essays on Zen Buddhism

Eugen Herigel, Zen and the Art of Archery

Roshi, Philip Kapleau, The Three Pillars of Zen

The Tao te Ching

The Writings of Chuang Tzu

The Analects of Confucius (Kung Fu Tzu)

Waley, Three Ways of Chinese Thought

Alan Watts, The Ways of Zen, Tao, The Watercourse Way

The Great Philosophers

(You may read any books by the following philosophers)



Marcus Aurelius Antoninus



St. Tomas Aquinas


Francis Bacon

Rene Descartes



John Locke

David Hume

Jean Jacques Rousseau


Immanuel Kant

Arthur Schopenhauer

Soren Kierkegaard

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Friedrich Nietzsche

William James

Bertrand Russell

Albert Camus

Jean Paul Sartre

Ludwig Wittgenstein

 The above supplementary reading list is not meant to be all inclusive. If you find a book you consider relevant to the questions raised in class, please check with the teacher before reading and analyzing it.

This list is a compilation of WCSU, Brookfield High School, Greenwich High School, Fairfield University Humanities/Philosophy reading lists.  



Truth in Photography Powerpoint: Truth- Documentary Photography.ppt


Art ("Wide Open Doors" Site):http://www.wideopendoor

Art History:

Egyptian Art PowerPoint: Egyptian Art.ppt 

Brain Research:

Brain Research:

Brain Research History: 

Brains "Inside" Hands On: 

Class Participation Structure:

Class Participation (Socratic Seminar Structure Descriptions and Guides):


Einstein's Relativity:



Heisenberg and Quantum: 

Heisenberg and Quantum:


Humanities at Work:

Humanities in the World (Civic Responsibility):


Introduction to Philosophy (definitions and areas of focus):  

Kaku (Time Travel and Parallel Universes)

Time and Time Travel: 

Time Travel, Parallel Universes and Reality:


Perception (Changing Perceptions):

“Perception:  The Reality Beyond Matter”

Perception, Psychology, and Mathematics (and animation): 

“The External World” is Inside the Brain:

“It Is A Scientific Fact that the World Comes Into Existence In our   Brains”

“UCSD Study Shows How We Percieve World Depends On Precise Division of Labor Among Cells in Brain” 

Problem solving:

Mr Rodier's Problem solving in Engineering (Scientific Method):Final Engineering Powerpoint.ppt 

Mirror Neurons and Empathy: 




"Closer to the Truth, an Interdisciplinary Approach": 

Etymology, History, and Theories of Truth:

Lecture Part One (Validating a Proposition): 

Lecture Part Two (Probability and Possibility)