Literary Lacunae

Julian sends me this meme: “What 5 books are you vaguely embarassed to admit you haven't read?” Here goes:

(1) Max Weber, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. I keep suspecting that my intuitions about markets and culture are closer to a Weberian sociologist than to those of an economist, which makes me feel like I should really read this book and find out.

(2)Derek Parfit, Reasons and Persons. Some of the smartest people I know, such as Tyler and Julian, think this is a great work of philosophy. My former grad advisor Chris Morris gave me this helpful category: “Books I've read, but not by myself.” I've read so much secondary literature about Reasons and Persons that it seems like I've read it. I consider it among the books I've read, but just not by myself. But I suppose I should actually work my way through it.

(3)Carson McCullers, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter. This is my beloved housemate's favorite book (and number 17 on the Random House 100 best novels list) and I keep meaning to read it, but am ashamed to say, I cannot generate the motivation to do it.

(4) Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan. I sincerely believe that this is the most important work of political philosophy in the English language. So I should probably get around to reading the whole thing one of these days. I'm pretty sure I've read the good parts, but who knows!?

(5) Robert Nozick, Anarchy, State, and Utopia. This is truly shameful, but I've never actually gotten to Utopia. Again, I know what it says, but not because I've read what it says.

I pass the meme to Joanna Robinson, Tyler Cowen, and Alina Stefanescu.