The Closing of the American Mind – Allan Bloom
No other popular work describes the West’s philosophic conundrum, or mounts a defense of true liberal education, with the clarity and vigor of Professor Bloom’s modern classic.
The Return of History and the End of Dreams – Robert Kagan
The most concise, compelling, and accurate overview of the power politics of the contemporary international scene.
Sexual Personae – Camille Paglia
An erotic history of Western art and literature by the academic queen of sex in her prime.
The Republic – Plato
The singular book of political philosophy in world literature.
Beyond Good and Evil – Friedrich Nietzsche
One of the most misunderstood books of modern times, and an exuberant celebration of the possibilities of the philosophic life — as well as a dressing-down of those who would drain life of its joyfulness and wonder, plus remarks on politics, religion, history, literature, and more.
The World As Will and Representation – Arthur Schopenhauer
Synthesizing the thought of Kant, Plato, and Hinduism, Schopenhauer’s philosophy is a challenging and stimulating approach to metaphysics and epistemology. His writings changed the young Nietzsche’s life for a good reason.
Oedipus the King – Sophocles
My favorite Greek tragedy. We cannot run from what we are.
The Theology of Medicine – Thomas Szasz
A literate, penetrating, and deeply compassionate critique of institutionalized psychiatry and the ever-increasing medicalization of human problems, as well as recommendations pointing toward a better way.
Democracy In America – Alexis de Tocqueville
Indispensable for understanding American social and political life, and an outstanding work of political philosophy.
Tao te Ching – Lao Tzu
A book upon which to constantly reflect. Its wisdom begins to reveal itself to the reader only after prolonged reflection and meditation.
My favorites in music are pop, metal, and trance. If someone were to ask me ‘Why do you love these genres?,’ I would recommend these albums:
Pop/Rock: ABBA – Gold, Britney Spears – Blackout, Femme Fatale; The Killers – Hot Fuss, Kylie Minogue – X, Lady Gaga – Born This Way, Madonna – Confessions On a Dancefloor, Ray of Light; MIA – Kala, My Chemical Romance – The Black Parade, Outkast – Speakerboxxx/The Love Below, Rihanna – Rated R, tATu – 200 km/h In the Wrong Lane
Metal: Dawn of Destiny – Praying to the World, Dream Theater – Awake, Emperor – Prometheus: the Discipline of Fire & Demise, Epica – Design Your Universe, Nightwish – Once, Wintersun – Wintersun, Within Temptation – The Heart of Everything
Trance (songs): Aly & Fila – City of Angels, First Sun; Andrew Rayel – How Do I Know? (Original Mix), Sacramentum (with Bobina), Senta 550 (Aether Mix); Armin van Buren – In and Out of Love, Serenity (with Andrew Rayel); Dart Rayne – Silhouette (Allen & Envy Remix); Dash Berlin – Man On the Run; Loverush UK – One & One (Protoculture Remix) Mark Eteson – The Hymn (Activa Remix); Masoud – Where Is the Sunlight? (Original Mix); Protoculture – Burning Bridges
Other: Andrew Lloyd Webber – Evita, Phantom of the Opera; anything by Bach, the dark ambient music of Dark Sanctuary; Enya – Paint the Sky With Stars, Sarah Brightman – Harem
I am not a movie buff, but some of my favorites are My Fair Lady, Rear Window, Silence of the Lambs, 28 Days Later, Lord of the Rings, Inception, 12 Angry Men, Some Like It Hot, and Minority Report.