For those who are interested in this sort of thing, here’s what is currently on my reading list (we just got Barnes & Noble gift cards for birthday presents, and I couldn’t resist running out and purchasing new things)…
Perfume (Patrick Suskind) – translated from German, this is a very strange psychological murder mystery about a man born with no scent, who interprets the world by smell, and ends up becoming a master perfumer and a distiller of human essence (yep, that’s where the murder comes in). A fascinating book, until recently out of print but now available again.
The Story of my Experiments with Truth: The Autobiography of Mohandas K. Gandhi – a very humble retelling of Gandhi’s early life (basically up to his return to India from South Africa and the beginning of the Indian Independence struggle). He was very honest about his own faults, and this book was the inspiration for most of the world’s civil rights struggles since its publication.
I, Claudius (Robert Graves): I had a friend in high school who was always carrying this book around, but I never read it. I saw the PBS version (I think Derek Jacobi was Claudius?). It’s an interesting counterpoint to Gibbon’s Decline and Fall, which I’m also reading. And ever since I read the White Goddess, I have loved Graves’ writing style and point of view. Trivia: Robert Graves was the first cousin of Lady Olivia Robertson, the founder of the Fellowship of Isis.