BYU Honors Program reading list (mid-1970s)

It is, of course, fashionable to mock BYU as somehow being parochial or backwards, even (especially!) among the Bloggernacle. Having attended BYU in the 1970s and taught there in the 1980s, I don’t really buy that. BYU students as a body have more real-world exposure to international culture, language and politics — not to mention genuine third-world poverty — than any other major US university. Also, as I have written here before, my freshman Honors English class was actually “composition and reasoning”, and we had to learn to construct and defend a logical argument, a skill sadly lacking in current public discourse, especially in academia and politics (and, frankly, religion).

Scrounging through my files after an e-mail exchange on reading lists with a good friend (hi, Linsey!), I ran across an “HONORS PROGRAM RECOMMENDED READING LIST” from my undergraduate years (1971-72, 74-78). I don’t know exactly when this was compiled; some analysis of the articles cited might establish a “no earlier than” date. But I had this before I graduated in 1978, since I didn’t have a lot of interaction with the Honors Program during my two years of teaching at BYU (1985-87; I was an instructor in the Computer Science department).

So, here’s what the Honors Program recommended back in the 1970s that we as undergraduates read. I’ve reformatted it a bit (and corrected a few typos, though probably introduced a few of my own; this was most likely typed upon on a typewriter on a mimeograph stencil), but the overall structure is still the same. Note that the original takes up seven pages, two columns per page. I’ve put in a few notes in italics and brackets. The list itself contains occasional duplications (e.g., Captial/Das Kapital by Karl Marx shows up in two different places); I’ve left those intact.

Given that this list was complied 30 years ago, what would you add or drop? What entries surprise you the most? [UPDATE: Here is the current BYU Honors “Great Works” list.]

LITERATURE

I. Narrative

  • Genesis; Exodus; I & II Samuel; I Kings; Job; Psalms; Ecclesiastes; the Four Gospels (King James Version)
  • Bhagavad-Gita
  • Metamorphoses — Ovid (tr. Horace Gregory)
  • Iliad; Odyssey — Homer (tr. Lattimore and Rieu, resp.)
  • Aeneid — Virgil (tr. Lind)
  • The Song of Roland
  • Tristan and Iseult
  • The Romance of the Rose — deLorris and deMeung
  • Canterbury Tales – Chaucer (tr. Coghill)
  • Gargantua and Pantagruel — Rabelais
  • Don Quixote — Cervantes (tr. William Starkie)
  • Rasselas – Johnson
  • Paradise Lost – Milton
  • Pilgrim’s Progress — Bunyan
  • Robinson Crusoe – Defoe
  • Gulliver’s Travels — Swift
  • Pamela (Part I) — Richardson
  • Tristam Shandy – Sterne
  • Tom Jones – Fielding
  • Émile — Rousseau
  • Candide — Voltaire
  • The Sorrows of Young Werther — Goethe
  • Michale Kholhaas — Kleist
  • Pride and Prejudice; Emma — Austin
  • Ivanhoe – Scott
  • Wuthering Heights — Brontë, E.
  • Jane Eyre — Brontë, C.
  • David Copperfield; Oliver Twist; Great Expectations; The Pickwick Papers; Hard Times — DIckens
  • Vanity Fair – Thackery
  • Adam Bede; The Mill on the Floss; Middlemarch; Silas Marner — Eliot
  • Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland — Carrol
  • The Egoist — Meredith
  • Jude the Obscure; The Mayor of Casterbridge; Return of the Native; Tess of the d’Ubervilles — Hardy
  • “The Apple Tree” — Galsworthy
  • “Fall of the House of Usher”; “The Cask of Amontillado” — Poe
  • The Scarlet Letter — Hawthorne
  • Moby Dick; Billy Budd — Melville
  • Huckleberry Finn — Twain
  • The Red Badge of Courage, “The Open Boat” — Crane
  • The Red and the Black — Stendhal
  • Old Goriot; Eugéne Grandet; Gobseck — Balzac
  • Madame Bovary; A Sentimental Education; The Three Tales — Flaubert
  • René — Chateaubriand
  • Les Miserables — Hugo
  • Nana; L’Assomoir; Germinal; The Masterpiece — Zola
  • Remembrance of Things Past (particularly “Swann’s Way) — Proust (tr. C. Scott Moncrieff)
  • The Betrothed — Manzoni
  • Eugene Onegin — Pushkin (tr. Walter Arendt, Vladimir Nabokov)
  • Dead Souls — Gogol
  • The Brothers Karamazov; The Idiot; Crime and Punishment — Dostoevsky
  • War and Peace; Anna Karenina; “The Death of Ivan Ilych” — Tolstoy
  • Short Stories — Chekhov
  • Heart of Darkness; Lord Jim; Nostromo — Conrad
  • Women in Love; Sons and Lovers — Lawrence
  • Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man; Ulysses — Joyce
  • A Passage to India — Forster
  • “The Lotus Eater”; “The Verger”; “Mr. Know-It-All”; “The Colonel’s Lady” — Maugham
  • The Power and the Glory; The Heart of the Matter; The Quiet American; A Burnt-Out Case — Greene
  • The Ambassadors; Portrait of a Lady; The Wings of the Dove; The Golden Bowl; Daisy Miller — James, H.
  • My Antonia — Cather
  • The Trial; The Castle; “The Judgment”; “Metamorphosis”; “In the Penal Colony”; “The Hunger Artist” — Kafka
  • Steppenwolf – Hesse
  • The Magic Mountain; Joseph and His Brothers — Mann
  • “The Necklace” — Maupassant
  • The Immoralist; The Counterfeiters — Gide
  • Man’s Fate — Malraux
  • The Stranger — Camus
  • Claudine’s House — Colette
  • Nausea – Sartre
  • The Erasers — Robbe-Grillet
  • Bread and Wine — Silone
  • The Tin Drum; Local Anesthetic — Grass
  • Mist – Unamuno
  • The Greek Passion — Kazantzakis
  • Doctor Zhivago — Pasternak
  • Pale Fire — Nobokov
  • “Materna’s Home”; One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich; The First Circle; Cancer Ward – Solzhenitsyn
  • The Great Gatsby — Fitzgerald
  • An American Tragedy; Sister Carrie — Dreiser
  • Main Street; Babbit – Lewis
  • Absalom, Absalom!; The Sound and the Fury; “The Bear” — Faulkner
  • A Farewell to Arms; Short Stories — Hemingway
  • The Grapes of Wrath; Short Stories — Steinbeck
  • The Ox-Bow Incident; “The Portable Phonograph” — Clark
  • “Flowering Judas”; “He”; Other Short Stories — Porter
  • The Good Earth — Buck
  • The Naked and the Dead — Mailer
  • Native Son – Wright
  • A Death in the Family — Agee
  • The Catcher in the Rye — Salinger
  • Short Stories; Rabbit Run — Updike
  • “Gimple the Fool” — Singer
  • “The Assistant”; “The Magic Barrel” — Malamud
  • Short Stories — O’Connor
  • Herzog – Bellow
  • The Chosen — Potok
  • Catch 22 — Heller

[Editorial note: we’re just getting started here. We’re only about 20% of the way through the list]

Oriental

  • The Floating World of Japanese Fiction (ed. Hibbett)
  • Kojiki (tr. Donald Phillip)
  • Tales of Ise (tr. McCollough)
  • The Pillow Book — Sei Shonogon
  • The Tale of the Genji — Murasaki
  • The Love Suicide at Amijima — Chikamatsu
  • Kokoro — Soseki (tr. Ediwn McClellan)
  • Snow Country — Kawabata
  • The Makioka Sisters — Tanizaki
  • An Anthology of Chinese Literature (tr. Cyril Birch)
  • All Men Are Brothers — Lo Kuan-Chung
  • Monkey – Wu Ch’eng-en
  • The Dream of the Red Chamber — Ts’ao Hsueh-ch’in
  • Six Yuan Plays
  • The Jade Mountain (tr. Witter Bynner)

Latin America

  • The Modern Trend in Spanish American Poetry (ed. Craig)
  • Dom Casmurro – Assis
  • One Hundred Years of Solitude — Garcia, M.
  • Don Segundo Sombra — Guiraldes
  • The Underdogs — Azuela
  • Rebellion in the Backlands — Cunha
  • The Lusiades — De Camoes

II. Drama

  • The Oresteia — Aeschyulus (tr. Lattimore)
  • Oedipus Rex; Oedipus at Colonus; Antigone — Sophocles
  • Media; The Trojan Women; The Bacchae (tr. Grene and Lattimore) — Euripedes
  • The Frogs — Aristphonanes
  • Abraham and Isaac; The Second Shepherd’s Play; Everyman — Anonymous
  • Life Is A Dream — Calderon
  • The Tragic History of Doctor Faustus; Tamburlaine the Great– Marlowe
  • Hamlet; Macbeth; Othello; King Lear; Julius Caesar; Romeo and Juliet; The Tempest; Richard III; Henry V — Shakespeare
  • Volpone – Jonson
  • The Way of the World — Congreve
  • School for Scandal — Sheridan
  • The Cid — Corneille
  • Athalie; Phedre — Racine
  • Tartuffe; The Misanthrope; The Would-Be Gentleman; The Imaginary Invalid; The Miser — Moliere
  • Hernani — Hugo
  • Faust I, II — Goethe (tr. W. Kaufman)
  • Wallenstein; Maria Stuart — Schiller
  • Uncle Vanya; The Seagull; The Three Sisters; The Cherry Orchard — Chekhov
  • Miss Julie — Strindberg
  • Peer Gynt; Ghosts; A Doll’s House; Hedda Gabler; The Wild Duck — Ibsen
  • The Importance of Being Ernest — Wilde
  • Man and Superman; Candida; St. Joan – Shaw
  • The Playboy of the Western World — Synge
  • Gas; The Citizens of Calais — Kaiser
  • Mother Courage; The Caucasian Chalk Circle — Brecht
  • The Flies; No Exit — Sartre
  • The Bald Soprano; Rhinocerous — Ionesco
  • The Balcony; The Maids — Genet
  • Antigone; Beckett — Anouilh
  • The Visits; The Physicists – Duerenmatt
  • Waiting for Godot — Beckett
  • Right You Are If You Think You Are; Six Characters in Search of An Author — Pirandello
  • Yerma; Blood Wedding; The House of Bernarda Alba – Lorca
  • Long Day’s Journey Into Night — O’Neill
  • Our Town — Wilder
  • The Glass Menagerie; A Streetcar Named Desire — Williams
  • Death of a Salesman — Miller
  • Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? — Albee
  • The Room; The Homecoming — Pinter

III. Poetry

  • Psalms
  • Pindar
  • Sappho
  • Homer (tr. Lattimore)
  • Virgil
  • Geoffrey Chaucer
  • Edmun Spenser
  • William Shakespeare
  • John Donne
  • John Milton
  • John Dryden
  • Alexander Pope
  • Thomas Gray
  • William Blake
  • Robert Burns
  • William Wordsworth
  • Samuel Taylor Coleridge
  • Lord George Byron
  • Percy Bysshe Shelley
  • John Keates
  • Alfred Lord Tennison
  • Robert Browning
  • Rudyard Kipling
  • William Bulter Yeats
  • T. S. Eliot
  • W. H. Auden
  • A. E. Houseman
  • Gerard Manley Hopkins
  • Dylan Thomas
  • Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
  • John Greenleaf Whittier
  • Sidney Lanier
  • Edgar Allen Poe
  • Walt Whitman
  • Emily Dickenson
  • Robert Frost
  • Carl Sandburg
  • Ezra Pound
  • Wallace Stevens
  • Wolfgang Goethe
  • Frederick Schiller
  • Heinrich Heine
  • Ranier Maria Rilke
  • Françios Villon
  • Charles Baudelaire
  • Ral Verlaine
  • Stephane Malarmé
  • Arthur Rimbaud
  • Paul Valery
  • Guillaume Appollinaire
  • Francesco Petrarch
  • Dante Alighieri
  • Lodovico Ariosto
  • Pablo Neruda
  • Aleksandr Pushkin
  • Mikhail Lermontov
  • Aleksandr Blok
  • Vladimir Majakovsky
  • Boris Pasternak
  • Anna Akhamatova
  • Andrej Voznesensky

Non-Fiction

Classical History

  • Persian Wars — Herodotus (Tr. Rawlinson)
  • History of the Peloponnesian Wars — Thucydides
  • The Early History of Rome — Livy
  • Annales; Germania – Tacitus
  • Jewish Wars — Josephus
  • Ecclesiastical History — Eusebius

Biography

  • Lives of Noble Greeks; Lives of Noble Romans (tr. Edmund Fuller) — Plutarch
  • The Life of Thomas More — Chambers, R. W.
  • Diary of Samuel Pepys — Pepys, S.
  • Admiral of the Ocean Sea — Morrison, E.
  • Young Man Luther — Erikson, E.
  • Life of Samuel Johnson – Boswell, S.
  • Napoleon — Ludwig, E.
  • Joseph Smith, An American  Prophet — Evans, J. H.
  • Autobiography – Pratt, P. P.
  • Frederick Jackson Turner — Billington, R.
  • Lincoln – Sandburg, C.
  • Karl Marx — Berlin, I.
  • My Life — Trotsky, L.
  • Hitler, A Study in Tyranny — Bulloch, A.
  • George C. Marshall: Organizer of Victory, 1943-1945 — Pogue, F. C.

New Views on the Human Legacy

  • The Chrysanthemum and the Sword — Benedict, R.
  • The Russian Idea — Berdyaev, N.
  • New Testament History — Bruce, F. F.
  • The Masks of God — Campbell, J.
  • Gods, Graves and Scholars – Ceram, C. W.
  • Civilization – Clark, K.
  • The Lessons of History — Durant, W. & A.
  • The Sacred and Profane: The Nature of Religion, Cosmos and History — Eliade, M.
  • The U.S. and China — Fairbank, J. K.
  • The Road to Pearl Harbor — Fies, H.
  • Madness and Civilization — Foucoult, M.
  • The Golden Bough — Frazer, J. G.
  • The New Industrial State — Gailbraith, J. K.
  • The Dead Sea Scrolls and the New Testament — LaSor, W.
  • Structural Anthropology — Levi-Strauss, C.
  • Capital – Marx, K.
  • Japanese Society — Nakane, C.
  • The World and the Prophets — Nibley, H.
  • Anthropology and Art — Otten, C.
  • Japan: Story of a Nation — Reischauer, E.
  • Language: An Introduction to the Study of Speech — Sapir, E.
  • The Decline of the West — Spengler, O.

Interpretations of American and Mormon Culture

  • Mormonism and American Culture — Allen, J. B. and Cowan, R. O.
  • “Circumstantial Confirmation of the First Vision through Reminiscences”, BYU Studies (Spring 1969) — Anderson, R. L.
  • Great Basin Kingdom — Arrington, L.
  • Go Tell It on the Mountain – Baldwin, J.
  • Constitution of the United States — Barnes, W. R.
  • The Declaration of Independence — Becker, C.
  • The End of Ideology — Bell, D.
  • The Americans: The National Experience; The Image: A Guide to Pseudo-Events in America – Boorstin, D.
  • Soul on Ice — Cleaver, E.
  • The God That Failed — Crossman, R.
  • Custer Died for Your Sins — DeLoria, V.
  • Time on the Cross: The Economics of American Negro Slavery — Fogel, R. and Engerman, S.
  • The Affluent Society — Gailbraith, J.
  • The Best and the Brightest — Halberstam, D.
  • Quest for Empire — Hansen, K.
  • Anti-Intellectualism in American Life — Hofstadter, R.
  • The American Political Tradition and the Men Who Made It — Hofstadter, R.
  • The Limits of Intervention — Hoopes, T.
  • “The Early Accounts of Joseph Smith’s First Vision,” BYU Studies (Spring, 1969) — Jessee, D. C.
  • The Agony of the American Left — Lasch, C.
  • Politics: Who Gets What, When, How — Lasswell, H. D.
  • American as a Civilization – Lerner, M.
  • Autobiography of Malcolm X — Malcolm X
  • The Restoration Movement: Essays in Mormon History – McKiernan, M., et al.
  • Understanding Media – McLuhan, M.
  • An American Dilemma: The Negro Problem and Modern Democracy — Myrdal, G.
  • The Mormons (particularly Chapter 9 and the Epilogue) — O’Dea, T. F.
  • The Status Seekers — Packer, V.
  • The God of Economic Growth – Phelps, E.
  • The Lonely Crowd — Riesman, D.
  • Readings in Economics — Samuelson, P.
  • The Time of Illusion — Shell
  • “The Prophet Puzzle”, Journal of Mormon History I (1974) — Shipps, J.
  • The Road to Serfdom — Von Hayek, F.

Impact of Science on Man’s World View

  • The Wellsprings of Life — Asmiov, I.
  • Science and Religion — Barbour, I.
  • The Universe and Doctor Einstein — Barnett, L.
  • The Restless Universe – Born, M.
  • Science and Human Values; The Ascent of Man — Bronowski, J.
  • The Challenge of Man’s Future — Brown, H.
  • Violent Universe: An Eyewitness Account of the New Astronomy — Calder, N.
  • Readings in General Psychology — Snow[?], C. & A.
  • Problems of Knowledge: Philosophy, Science and HIstory — Cassirer, E.
  • The Language of Science – Dantzig, T.
  • The Origin of Species; Voyage of the Beagle — Darwin, C.
  • The Physics and Chemistry of Life — Editors, Scientific American
  • The Evolution of Physics — Einstein & Infield
  • Darwin’s Century: Evolution and the Man Who Discovered It — Eiseley, L.
  • Man and the Changing Environment — Franke
  • A General Introduction to Psychoanalysis; The Interpretation of Dreams — Freud, S.
  • An Introduction to Language — Fromkin, V.
  • Great Essays in Science – Gardner, M.
  • The Strange Story of the Quantum — Hoffman, B.
  • Man in the Modern World — Huxley, J.
  • Noam Chomsky — Lyons, J.
  • Motivation and Personality — Maslow, A.
  • The Origins of Life on Earth — Miller & Orgel
  • Life on the Planet Earth — Morowitz
  • Landmark Readings — Scientific American
  • The Web of Life — Storer, J. H.
  • The Natural History of Man — Swanson, C. P.
  • The Phenomenon of Man — Teilhard de Chardin, P.
  • On Growth and Form — Thompson, D.
  • Earth in Upheaval — Velikovsky, I. [ack! thppf! I can’t believe someone snuck this on the list]

Contemporary Social Isuses and Ethical Challenges

  • The Origins of Totalitarianism — Arendt, H.
  • Silent Spring — Carson, R.
  • Where Do You Draw The Line? An Exploration into Media Violence, Pornography and Censorship – Cline, V.
  • The Closing Circle — Commoner, B.
  • The Second Sex — de Beauvoir, S.
  • The Wretched of the Earth: Toward the African Revolution — Fanon, F.
  • Man’s Search for Meaning — Frankel, V. E.
  • Escape from Freedom — Fromm, E.
  • The Third Force: A Psychology of Abraham Maslow — Goble, F.
  • The True Believer — Hoffer, E.
  • Social Behavior: Its Elementary Form — Homans, G.
  • Children of Sanchez — Lewis, O.
  • Limits to Growth: A Report for the Club of Rome’s Project on the Predicament of Mankind — Meadows, D. & D, et al.
  • Obedience to Authority — Milgram, S.
  • Environment, Power, and Society — H. T.
  • Beyond Freedom and Dignity — Skinner, B. F.
  • The Gulag Archipelago — Solzhenitsyn

Religious Perspectives

[note: some selections you may expect to find here are actually in the next section]

  • Bible
  • Book of Mormon
  • Doctrine & Covenants
  • Pearl of Great Price
  • Confessions – Augustine
  • Matthew Cowley Speaks — Cowley, M.
  • Freedom of the Will — Edwards, J.
  • Young Man Luther — Erikson, E.
  • Fear and Trembling and the Sickness unto Death — Kierkegaard
  • The Miracle of Forgiveness — Kimball, S. W.
  • Screwtape Letters; Mere Christianity — Lewis, C. S.
  • Eternal Man; Four Essays on Love; Christ and the Inner Life — Madsen, T. G.
  • Gospel Ideals — McKay, D. O.
  • The Seven Storey Mountain — Merton, T.
  • Lehi in the Desert and the World of the Jaredites; Since Cumorah; The Message of the Joseph Smith Papyri: An Egyptian Endowment; “What is a Temple” — Nibley, H. W.
  • A Comprehensive History of the Church; The Gospel; New Witness for God, Vol. 1 — Roberts, B. H.
  • History of the Church; “Sixth Lecture on Faith”; Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith — Smith, J.
  • Doctrines of Salvation – Smith, J. F.
  • Jesus the Christ — Talmage, J. E.
  • Dynamics of Faith – Tillich, P.
  • “Socialization, Self-Deception, and Freedom through Faith” — Warner, C. T.
  • A Rational Theology — Widtsoe, J. a.
  • Discourses of Brigham Young — Young, B.

Philosophy, Politial Theory and Speculation

  • Sections from the Summa Theologica — Aquinus
  • Nichomachean Ethics — Aristotle
  • City of God — Augustine
  • Ideas and Man — Brinton, C.
  • The Analects — Confucius
  • Discourse on Method — Descartes, R. (tr. Wollaston)
  • Democracy in America — deToqueville, A.
  • Human Nature and Conduct — Dewey, J.
  • The American Scholar — Emerson, R. W.
  • The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire — Gibbon, E.
  • The Federalist Papers — Hamilton, J. & M. (ed. A. Hacker)
  • On History — Hegel
  • Leviathan — Hobbs, T.
  • An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding — Hume, D.
  • Varieties of Religious Experience; Pragmatism — James, W.
  • Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysic…; Critique of Pure Reason — Kant, I.
  • The Economic Consequences of the Peace — Keynes, J. M.
  • Tao Te Ching — Lao Tzu (tr. D. C. Lau)
  • Philosophy and the Modern World — Levi, A.
  • Second Treatise on Government — Locke, J.
  • Of the Nature of Things — Lucretius
  • The Prince — Machiavelli
  • Mediation — Marcus Aurelius
  • Early Writings; Das Kapital; The Communist Manifesto — Marx, K.
  • On Liberty – Mill, J. S.
  • Essays – Montaigne, M.
  • Spirit of the Laws — Montesquieu, C. (tr. Thomas Nugent)
  • Thus Spake Zarathustra — Nietzche, F. (tr. Kaufman)
  • Pensées — Pascal, B.
  • Republic; Apology — Plato
  • The Social Contract — Rousseau, J.-J.
  • The Lost Puritan — Santayana, G.
  • Wealth of Nations — Smith, A.
  • The Decline of the West — Spengler, D.
  • Walden; Duty of Civil Disobedience – Thoreau, H. D.
  • Science and Sentiment in America; Social Thought in America; The Revolt against Formalism — White, M.

Aesthetics

  • The Mirror and the Lamp — Abrams, M. H.
  • Poetics – Aristotle
  • Mimesis – Auerbach
  • Aesthetics and History in the Visual Arts — Berenson, B.
  • The Rhetoric of Fiction — Booth, W. C.
  • Shakespearean Tragedy — Bradley, A. C.
  • The Creative Process — Brewster, C.
  • What to Listen for in Music — Copland, A.
  • Arts and the Man — Edman, I.
  • Theatre of the Absurd — Esslin, M.
  • Anatomy of Criticism — Frye, N.
  • The Painter’s Eye – Grosser, M. R.
  • Deeper into Movies — Kael, P.
  • Letters – Keats, J.
  • Poesis – Kitto, D. H. F.
  • The Wheel of Fire — Knight, G. W.
  • The Great Tradition — Leavis, F. R.
  • The Gates of Horn: A Study of Five French Realists — Levin, H.
  • Film as Film — Perkins, V. F.
  • Practical Criticism — Richards, I. A.
  • The Sense of Beauty – Santayana, G.
  • Death of Tragedy; Language and Silence — Steiner, G.
  • Four Stages of Renaissance Style; Rococo to Cubism in Art and Literature — Sypher, W.
  • Concepts of Criticism; Theory of Literature — Wellek, R.
  • Axel’s Castle; The Triple Thinkers — Wilson, E.
  • Primitive Art — Wingert, P. S.

Whew! And we’re done. So how many of these have you read?  How many have you even heard of? ..bruce..

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2 thoughts on “BYU Honors Program reading list (mid-1970s)

  1. This is a great list for standards that all kids should be reading. I guess the question is what would have added since the 1970’s to a current list. I would definitely think Friedman’s works on globalization and maybe Rough Stone Rolling. Do you think they still have suggested readings like this?

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