The Gulag Archipelago
Originally published underground–by samizdat–in Soviet Russia, T.G.A. details the authors experience in the gulags with his reflections on how structures like that came to be and how easily they are still perpetuated.
Speaking of samizdat, read Infinite Jest. Not just to say you did. Not because it’s cool to name drop. Read it because David Foster Wallace is a literary genius and because—by his own design–it’s really, really hard to read this book well and to finish it. Consider it an exercise in virtue. It will change your understanding of humanity while you’re at it.
This is a foreign-language film that has a 97% rating on Rotten Tomatoes for a reason. A Parisian refugee becomes the cook for a pair of Puritan sisters in a remote coastal town in Norway. Aside from being a culinary delight, it’s a profound reflection on the nature of gifts.
This book is the first modern novel in history. It’s hilarious. But more than that, it’s true. Cervantes understands the mimetic nature of desire a well as anyone, and his account of the knight errant is more relevant today than ever.
Till We Have Faces
A myth retold. If you think you have a face, think again.