essays

Denny O’Neil’s Recommended Reading List

Illustrated reading list by Denys CowanIn the letters section of his award-winning late-80s Question series, Denny O’Neil published a monthly recommended reading that came to be almost as popular as the series itself. The books suggested were always meant to expand reader’s minds. Sometimes they fit with the theme of the story, sometimes they just represented a foray into Eastern religion or hardboiled crime novels or humanist philosophy or baseball or comic books.

Without further adieu, here’s the list from The Question 1-36 and the first three Question Quarterlies, in alphabetical order according to author. Print out a copy, take it to your local library, and enjoy!

This list is still incomplete. Hopefully, I’ll be able to finish this list soon, with Amazon links so that you can buy these books from the comfort of your own living room!

  • Zen Without Zen Masters by Camden Benares
  • Zen Driving by K.T. Berger
  • The Users of Enchantment by Bruno Bettelheim
  • Iron John by Robert Bly
  • Jane Brody’s Good Food Book by Jane Brody
  • The Hero With a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell
  • The Power of Myth by Joseph Campbell
  • The Tao of Peace by Diane Dreher
  • Gateway to a Vast World by Deng Ming Dao
  • The Motion of Light in Water by Samuel R. Delany
  • Through a Scanner Darkly by Philip K. Dick
  • Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
  • The Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
  • Be Your Own Detective by Greg Fallis and Ruth Greenberg
  • Chop Wood, Carry Water: Finding Spiritual Fulfillment in Everyday Life by Rick Fields
  • Adventures in the Screen Trade by William Goldman
  • The Miracle of Mindfulness by Thich Nhat Hanh
  • Steppenwolf by Herman Hesse
  • The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff
  • Carry Tiger, Return to Mountain by Al Huang
  • Zen and the Martial Arts by Joe Hyams
  • Movements of Magic: The Spirit of Tai Chi Chuan by Bob Klein
  • Any of the Eighty-Second Precinct novels by Ed McBain
  • Way of the Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman
  • Watchmen by Alan Moore/Dave Gibbons
  • Golf in the Kingdom by Michael Murphy
  • Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig
  • The Curious Case of Sidd Finch by George Plimpton
  • Gumshoe: Reflections in a Private Eye by Josiah Thompson
  • Shambala by Chongye Trungpa
  • Tao Te Ching by Lao Tse
  • The Art of War by Sun Tzu
  • Palm Sunday by Kurt Vonnegut
  • The Crone by Barbara Walker
  • The Philosopher’s Diet by Richard Watson
  • Grijpstra and deGier detective novels by Janwillem van de Wettering
  • Zen to Go by Jan Winoker

Leave a Reply