The alternative magazine Utne Reader prepared "a smorgasbord of books, movies, plays, telebvision shows, and works of music that broaden, deepen, or define the experiemce of being alive.... We creared this list out of thousands of recommendations from authors, activists, professors, book club members, spiritual leaders, and bemused observers of the human condition. It's offered not as a checklist to measure your intellectual standing, but as an inspiration, to give you an incentive to pursue your own blissful course of study." The section of the list labeled "Written Works" is as follows. The works are arranged in loose chronological order but sometimes with related titles ordered together.


Isaiah  The Book of Isaiah (ca. 8th - 2nd centuries B.C.E.) 
Various  The Zohar (ca. 1275) 
Lao Tzu  Tao Te Ching (3rd century B.C.E.) 
Chuang Tzu  Chuang Tzu (3rd century B.C.E.) 
Thucydides  History of the Peloponnesian War (431-404 B.C.E.) 
Hesiod  Works and Days (ca. 700 B.C.E) 
Various  Mahabharata (ca. 400 B.C.E. - 200 C.E.) 
Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj  I Am That 
Marcus Aurelius  Meditations (ca. 2nd century) 
Lucius Apuleius  The Golden Ass (ca. 2nd century) 
Hildegarde of Bingen  Scivias (1141-1151) 
Elaine Pagels  The Gnostic Gospels (1979) 
Jalal ad-Din ar-Rumi  The Divan of Shams-i-Tabriz (13th century) 
Margaret Smith  Rabi'a (1994) 
Francois Rabelais  Gargantua and Pantagruel (1532-1546) 
Wu Ch'eng-en  Monkey (or, Journey to the West) (1592) 
William Shakespeare  Coriolanus 
Samuel Johnson  Rambler, Adventurer, and Idler Essays (1750-1760) 
Freya Stark  The Journey's Echo (1920s - 1960s) 
William Blake  The Book of Unizen (1794) 
Allen Ginsberg  Illuminated Poems (1996) 
Jane Austen  Persuasion (1818) 
Lady Murasaki  The Tale of Genji (ca. 1000) 
Henry David Thoreau  Walden (1854) 
Mary Oliver  New and Selected Poems (1992) 
Walt Whitman  Song of Myself (1855) 
Muriel Rukeyser  A Muriel Rukeyser Reader (1935-1976) 
Leo Tolstoy  Anna Karenina (1875-77) 
Alexander Herzen  My Past and Thoughts (1852-53) 
Mohandas Gandhi  The Gandhi Reader (1900s - 1950s) 
Paulo Freire, Myles Horton  We Make the Road by Walking (1990) 
Encyclopedia Britannica  11th edition (1910) 
Bill Bryson  Made in America (1994) 
Marcel Proust  Remembrance of Things Past (1913-1927) 
E.M. Forster  Howard's End (1910) 
Rainer Maria Rilke  Duino Elegies (1923) 
Tu Fu  Poems (8th century) 
Subcomandante Marcos  Shadows of Tender Fury (1995) 
Pablo Neruda  Canto General (1938-1950) 
Clarice Lispector  The Hour of the Star (1977) 
James Agee, Walker Evans  Let Us Now Praise Famous Men (1941) 
John Berger           Pig Earth (1979) 
Gore Vidal  United States, Essays (1951-1990) 
Howard Zinn  A People's History of the United States (1980) 
Simone de Beauvoir  The Second Sex (1952) 
Mary Daly  Gyn, Ecology (1978) 
Ralph Ellison  Invisible Man (1952) 
Nathaniel Mackey  Bedouin Hornbook, Djbot Baghostus's Run (1986-1993) 
James Baldwin  Collected Essays (1955-1986) 
Cornel West  Race Matters (1993) 
Satyajit Ray  The Apu Trilogy (1955-1959) 
Naguib Mahfouz  The Cairo Trilogy (1956-57) 
Pramoedya Ananta Toer  The Buru Quartet (1969-1979) 
John Sayles  The Secret of Roan Inish (1995) 
Chinua Achebe  Things Fall Apart (1958) 
Edward Said  Culture and Imperialism (1993) 
Jane Jacobs  The Death and Life of Great American Cities (1961) 
Christopher Alexander, et al  A Pattern Language. 1977 
Rachel Carson  Silent Spring (1962) 
Lynn Margulis, Dorion Sagan  What Is Life? (1995) 
Thomas Kuhn  The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. (1962) 
James Gleick  Chaos (1987) 
Kenneth Rexroth  An Autobiographical Novel (1965) 
Harvey Pekar  New American Splendor Anthology (1991) 
Gabriel Garcia Marquez  One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967) 
Tony Kushner  Angels in America (1993) 
Michael Murphy  Golf in the Kingdom. 1972 
E. F. Schumacher  Small Is Beautiful 
Ivan Illich  Tools for Conviviality (1973) 
Ursula Le Guin  The Dispossessed (1974) 
Starhawk  The Fifth Sacred Thing (1993) 
Leslie Marmon Silko  Ceremony (1977) 
John G. Neihardt  Black Elk Speaks (1932) 
Anais Nin  Delta of Venus (1977) 
Margo Anand  The Art of Sexual Ecstasy (1989) 
Mario Fo  Accidental Death of an Anarchist (1980) 
Caryl Churchill     Cloud Nine (1981) 
Pier Paolo Pasolini  Poems (1982) 
Kenji Miyazawa  Spring and Asura (1924) 
Riane Eisler  The Chalice and the Blade (1987) 
Susan Griffin  Woman and Nature (1978) 
Toni Morrison  Beloved (1987) 
Zora Neale Hurston  Dust Tracks on a Road (1942) 
August Wilson Joe Turner's Come and Gone (1987) 
Anna Deavere Smith  Twilight, Los Angeles 1992 
Jamaica Kincaid  A Small Place (1988) 
Gloria Anzaldua  Borderlands, La Frontera (1987) 
Noam Chomsky, Edward Herman  Manufacturing Consent (1988) 
Charlotte Joko Beck  Everyday Zen (1989) 
Sogyal Rinpoche  The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying (1993) 
Viana La Place  Verdura - Vegetables Italian-Style (1991) 
Erich Schiffmann  Yoga - The Spirit and Practice of Moving into Stillness (1996)
Julia Cameron  The Artist's Way (1992) 
Brenda Ueland  If You Want to Write (1938) 
Dorothy Allison  Bastard Out of Carolina (1992) 
Sharon Olds  The Dead and the Living (1984) 
James Hillman Ventura, Michael Ventura  We've Had a Hundred Years of Psychotherapy - and 
Alice Miller  The Drama of the Gifted Child (1983) 
Rupert Sheldrake  Seven Experiments That Could Change the World (1995)
mm Kulthum  Al-Ataal (1966) 
David Abram  The Spell of the Sensuous (1996) 
Fritjof Capra  The Web of Life (1996) 
Paul Hawken  The Ecology of Commerce (1993)