Nice list Hal R! The Beats and the Dead are responsible for my pursuing a degree in literature and my desire to become an English teacher. I've read so much over the years, a mere rote list would be too long and boring, so I'll try to list a few books that have really stood out for me, and that I think you all might enjoy:
The God of Small Things- Arundati Roy
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Klay- Michael Chabon
And You Shall Know Our Velocity!- Dave Eggers (Also anything by McSweeny's)
Collected Stories of T. C. Boyle
Little-- David Truer
--A few "Classics" I love--
One Hundred Years of Solitude-- Gabiel Garcia Marquez (possibly the greatest novel ever written)
Blood Meridian-- Cormac McCarthy
The Things They Carried- Tim O'Brian
Collected Works of Franz Kafka
Catch-22 Joseph Heller
Edith Hamilton's Mythology
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man-- James Joyce
Good 'ol Shakespeare!
History of Western Philosophy-- Bertrand Russell (He's bias and sometimes unfair, but you'll never read a more accessible and concise explanation of the great philosophers of the western tradition from one of the great philophers of the 20th century. Hey the guy popularized the peace sign).
The Elegant Universe-- Brian Greene (String Theory explained for novices!)
The Old Weird America-- Greil Marcus
No Logo-- Naomi Klein
Bill Moyer's interview with Joseph Campbell on PBS (Book titled: Masks of the gods)
I also enjoy reading websites like (this one!), Truthdig, and Salon.com. Actually, I think I've even read a few of Marye's articles on Salon!
Yo Soy Boricua!
I love to read and I love to listen to music especially the Grateful Dead.
Here are my favorites to read when listening to the Dead.
1. The Beats and their poetic descendents - the direct literary forefathers of our band
2... Tom Robbins
3. Other poetry besides the beats; Charles Bukowski, Robert Bly, Rilke, Blake,Vallejo, Neruda, Whitman
4. Herman Hesse
5. Henry Miller
5. Zippy the Pinhead commix
6. Ken Kesey
7. The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test.
8. Zen, other Buddhist and Taoist works, Chinese poetry during Dark Star and other Jams
9. Magazines. - Parabola, The Sun, Heron Dance, Orion, Revision
10. Philip K. Dick
Do I contradict myself?
Very well then I contradict myself,
(I am large, I contain multitudes.)
Walt Whitman-Song of Myself