Reading Nobel Prize Winners

Posted by | September 11, 2021 | Learning, Reading | No Comments

I like to read books written by Nobel Prize winners. I figure they know things I do not.

Mostly I read books by individuals who won the Nobel Prize in Literature.

The Nobel winner with the most books I have read is Ernest Hemingway. I may have read his whole collection. My favourite: For Whom the Bell Tolls. I can picture myself at the end of the story squeezing the trigger of a machine gun in a hopeless cause.

Next comes Kazuo Ishiguro. I have read three of his books, starting with The Remains of the Day and most recently Klara and the Sun. Kazuo thinks things I never would – if I hadn’t read his books. The future he describes is one to avoid.

I bet you have read Lord of the Flies by William Golding. That book helped propel him to the Prize.

The book Siddhartha did the same for Hermann Hesse. I hope someday a person will ask me what I could do as an employee. I will answer, as Siddhartha did, that I can think, I can wait, and I can fast.

Steinbeck wrote great books, including The Grapes of Wrath, a book that did more to increase my empathy for others than anything else I have read.

During our own plague, I read Albert Camus’ Year of the Plague about a bad time in Algeria.

Bob Dylan won the Prize for his songs, such as Like a Rolling Stone. When I listen to them, I think he earned that prize.  

Individuals who win a Nobel Prize in other fields sometimes write outstanding books. Daniel Kahneman, a psychologist who won the Prize in Economics, wrote Thinking, Fast and Slow, a brilliant explanation of our brain‘s two modes of thinking. We use the fast mode for pressing or routine matters and the slow mode for complicated matters.

Richard Feynman, who won the Prize in Physics, wrote two outstanding books about his life: Surely You Are Joking, Mr. FeynmanAdventures of a Curious Character and What Do You Care What Other People Think? I want to live like him.

Looking now at a list of all Nobel Literature winners, I realise that I have missed the books of almost all of them. It is time for me to stop watching episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and get on with my informal education. How about you?

 

Photo by Seven Shooter on Unsplash

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