Stuff I’ve Read In 2024

Old Books

Check out my list of books from 2023!

Below you will find an ever-growing list of books, stories, and miscellany that I’ve read in 2024. But before we begin, please note why reading is such an important and valuable endeavor, as described by these famous personages:

Think before you speak. Read before you think.

—Fran Lebowitz

The reading of all good books is like conversation with the finest (people) of the past centuries.


A good book is an event in my life.


Once you have read a book you care about, some part of it is always with you.

—Louis L’Amour

What better occupation, really, than to spend the evening at the fireside with a book, with the wind beating on the windows and the lamp burning bright.

—Gustave Flaubert

A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway

A Farewell to Arms, first published in 1929, is a seminal work set during World War I, renowned for its powerful depiction of war, love, and tragedy. The story follows the experiences of Frederic Henry, an American serving as an ambulance driver in the Italian army, who falls in love with Catherine Barkley, a British nurse. Their passionate and tumultuous relationship unfolds against the backdrop of the war, reflecting themes of disillusionment, the harsh realities of combat, and the fleeting nature of happiness.

The Colossus by Sylvia Plath

Published in 1960, The Colossus marks Plath’s first major work in the realm of poetry, showcasing an early glimpse into the profound and intense exploration of the self that characterizes her later works. This collection of poems is a vivid showcase of Plath’s vivid imagery and deep emotional resonance. Plath delves into the complexities of the human experience, often weaving in references to her own life and struggles.

Orpheus Descending by Tennessee Williams

Orpheus Descending, first staged in 1957, is a gripping Southern Gothic drama that explores themes of passion, repression, and liberation against the backdrop of a small, oppressive Southern town. The narrative centers around Val Xavier, a drifter with a snakeskin jacket and a penchant for guitar-playing, who arrives in the town, seeking a fresh start. He finds work and solace in the company of Lady Torrance, a woman trapped in a loveless marriage to an ailing husband and haunted by the brutal legacy of her father’s lynching. Together, Val and Lady dream of escaping their pasts and the town’s suffocating norms.

The Secret Garden by Mahmud Shabistari

Written in the 14th century, The Secret Garden is a seminal work in Persian Sufi literature, encapsulating the essence of Sufi mysticism and philosophy. This poetic masterpiece, composed in the form of a didactic poem, delves into the profound depths of spiritual realization and the unity of being (Wahdat al-Wujud), articulating the Sufi path to divine knowledge and enlightenment.

The Idries Shah Anthology by Idries Shah

This anthology brings together a wide array of Shah’s writings, including excerpts from his books, articles, and lectures, covering topics from traditional Sufi tales and teachings to commentaries on the psychological and spiritual aspects of Sufism as it applies to modern life. Shah’s work is renowned for its accessibility, wit, and wisdom, bridging the gap between Eastern mysticism and Western pragmatism. Through his insightful interpretations of Sufi traditions and emphasis on universal values such as self-awareness, integrity, and compassion, Shah invites readers into a reflective exploration of human consciousness and the potential for personal transformation.

A Veiled Gazelle by Idries Shah

A Veiled Gazelle, part of Shah’s extensive corpus on Sufism, serves as a guide for understanding the hidden aspects of ourselves and the universe. Shah employs a diverse array of Sufi teaching stories, parables, and humor to convey complex spiritual truths, emphasizing the importance of seeing beyond the apparent to grasp the essence of reality. Through these narratives, Shah seeks not only to entertain but also to offer insights into the nature of spiritual search and discovery, inviting readers to engage in a journey of self-transformation and enlightenment.

Thinkers of the East by Idries Shah

Thinkers of the East by Idries Shah is a collection of parables, aphorisms, and anecdotes drawn from the rich tradition of Sufi wisdom. Shah compiled these thought-provoking stories and sayings to challenge conventional thinking and illuminate the Sufi approach to knowledge, understanding, and the pursuit of truth.

Reflections by Idries Shah

Unlike many of Shah’s books, which are compiled and translated from traditional and oral sources, Reflections is a collection of original stories, sayings, and thoughts by Idries Shah himself. Through anecdotes, parables, and philosophical reflections, Shah invites readers into a contemplative dialogue on the complexities of the human condition, emphasizing the need for self-study in the journey toward spiritual awakening.

Alone in Arabian Nights by Sirdar Ikbal Ali Shah

Alone in Arabian Nights by Sirdar Ikbal Ali Shah (the father of Idries Shah) is an evocative travelogue that offers readers a unique glimpse into the rich tapestry of Arabian culture and landscapes through the eyes of an intrepid explorer. Blending adventure with deep cultural insights, Shah recounts his solitary journeys across the Arabian Peninsula, immersing himself in the diverse traditions, languages, and spiritual practices of its people. His narrative is peppered with encounters that range from the mundane to the extraordinary. Shah’s profound understanding of Sufi philosophy enrich his observations, making this book not just a travel memoir but a reflective exploration of the intersections between journey, identity, and discovery.

Caravan of Dreams by Idries Shah

Caravan of Dreams by Idries Shah is a compilation of parables, sayings, and stories drawn from the rich cultural heritage of the Middle East and Central Asia, particularly from the Sufi tradition. Published in 1968, it blends humor, wisdom, and philosophical insights to explore human psychology and behavior, and offers readers a unique window into the Sufi path and way of life.

Tales of the Dervishes by Idries Shah

Tales of the Dervishes by Idries Shah is a collection of teaching stories and parables from the Sufi tradition, first published in 1967. These stories, which have been passed down through generations, serve as a tool for spiritual learning and reflection. The book is designed to offer insights into the nature of reality, perception, and the journey towards enlightenment, highlighting the Sufi path’s emphasis on inner knowledge, wisdom, and the transformation of the self.

The Subtleties of the Inimitable Mulla Nasrudin by Idries Shah

The Subtleties of the Inimitable Mulla Nasrudin by Idries Shah is a delightful and thought-provoking collection of stories featuring the humorous and often paradoxical exploits of Mulla Nasrudin, a legendary figure in Middle Eastern folklore. These tales serve not only as entertainment but also impart profound wisdom and insights into human nature and psychology. Shah presents these stories in a simple yet captivating style, inviting readers to ponder the deeper meanings behind Nasrudin’s seemingly absurd actions. Through clever humor and irony, the book explores themes of truth, perception, and human folly, making the wise fool Nasrudin a mirror reflecting the complexities and contradictions of life itself.

The Anthologies: Morocco by Tahir Shah

Anthologies: Morocco by Tahir Shah is a captivating collection that explores the rich tapestry of Moroccan culture through a series of essays and stories. Shah, with his profound connection to Morocco, delves into the heart of its cities and remote landscapes, uncovering the mystical and everyday aspects of Moroccan life. His narratives weave together the historical and the contemporary, portraying the vibrant markets, ancient traditions, and the diverse people who embody the spirit of this North African nation. The book not only offers an insightful glimpse into the complexities of Moroccan society but also reflects Shah’s personal experiences and interactions, making it a deeply personal as well as a broadly appealing journey through the multifaceted world of Morocco.