GLBT Literature / G&L Reading Group Jim's Film Website

Books, Music & Film – Highest Recommendations

I've received many inquiries from Website visitors about my favorite authors, composers, and filmmakers. Below are ten titles in each of three categories – books, music and film – which continue to enrich my life. Works are listed in chronological order. I hope these recommendations are more interesting than self-indulgent! A study like Rudolf Arnheim's Art and Visual Perception took months to read, but it taught me how to see in a new and richer way, much as Shakespeare, Dickinson, and Joyce revealed the immense flexibility of language, as J.S. Bach, Haydn (the most underrated of all great composers), and Beethoven did for music, and as Eisenstein, Dreyer, and Kubrick did for cinema.

I've included specific editions because of their excellence, respectively for annotations (books), performance (music), and image/sound quality (film on DVD). For instance, the profound vision of Dickinson's poetry, unpublished in her lifetime, is fully revealed only in the pricey Variorum Edition, which includes all of her evolving drafts. In a few instances, when an artist revolutionized an entire form, I include box sets, such as Haydn's limitlessly-varied symphonies (all 104 of them), Mozart's and Beethoven's complete works, Kubrick's masterpieces. For public domain books, in addition to Amazon.com, I also provide links – via titles – to free, unabridged online editions. Purchasing any items through my Amazon.com links helps support this Website at no additional cost to you: Thanks! I hope you enjoy these 30 recommendations.


Complete Plays & Poetry – Shakespeare


Leaves of Grass – Walt Whitman


Moby-Dick – Herman Melville


Complete Poetry (Variorum Edition) – Emily Dickinson


Poetry & Prose – Wallace Stevens


Ulysses – James Joyce


Art and Visual Perception – Rudolf Arnheim


Mimesis: The Representation of Reality in Western Literature – Erich Auerbach


The Gay & Lesbian Literary Heritage – edited by Claude J. Summers


The Dancing Wu Li Masters: An Overview of the New Physics – Gary Zukav

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Brandenburg Concertos – J.S. Bach (conducted by Benjamin Britten)


Mass in B Minor – J.S. Bach (cond. John Eliot Gardiner)


Haydn Edition (almost all of Haydn on 150 CDs)


Complete Masses – Haydn (cond. Richard Hickox)


Mozart Edition
(all 600+ compositions on 170 CDs – see my notes)


Beethoven Edition (often superb performances of complete works on 85 CDs)


Nocturnes – Chopin (pianist Artur Rubinstein)


Complete 9 Symphonies / Orchestral Song Cycles – Mahler (cond. Leonard Bernstein)


My Fair Lady – Lerner & Loewe (1956 Original Broadway Cast)


A History of Western Music [book] – Donald J. Grout, Claude V. Palisca, J. Peter Burkholder

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Battleship Potemkin – Sergei Eisenstein


The Passion of Joan of Arc – Carl Th. Dreyer


Man With the Movie Camera – Dziga Vertov


Bringing Up Baby – Howard Hawks


Citizen Kane – Orson Welles


Beauty and the Beast – Jean Cocteau


Tokyo Story – Yasujiro Ozu


North By Northwest – Alfred Hitchcock


Weekend – Jean-Luc Godard


Stanley Kubrick Collection: Dr. Strangelove / 2001: A Space Odyssey / A Clockwork Orange / Barry Lyndon / 4 more

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