Gordon’s Good Reads Christmas Picks

Classic books make thoughtful Christmas gifts. They can be paired to the personality and interests of the recipient and the  loves and likes of family and friends.  Classic books are unique gifts and will likely not be duplicated. You can find them in paperback for stuffing in Christmas stockings,  in original hard cover, collectors signed copies and of course digitally!  Some have been reviewed here in Gordon’s Good Reads.

To Kill a Mockingbird , Harper Lee

The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck

East of Eden, John Steinbeck

Memoirs of a Geisha, Arthur Golden

The Poisonwood Bible, Barbara Kingsolver

The Sun also Rises, Ernest Hemingway

Death in the Afternoon, Ernest Hemingway

Lonesome Dove, Larry McMurtry

Sons and Lovers ,D.H. Lawrence

The Wings of the Dove, Henry James

As I Lay Dying, William Faulkner

To the Lighthouse, Virginia Woolf

Elmer Gantry, Sinclair Lewis

There are classics for all ages

Spark  young persons interest in reading good books with Jack London’s Call of the Wild or Patricia Rawlings The Yearling  or Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird?  It is well worth the try!  

Any further suggestions? Let me here from you and I will be happy to post.


Conversations with friends can quickly lead to  book recommendations. A discussion of Tom Friedman’s That Used To Be Us, resulted in  a recommendation and  a gift copy of Robert Wright’s  NON ZERO SUM THE LOGIC OF HUMAN DESTINY. 

Heavy duty subject? Yes indeed! However, Wright presents the subject matter in a logical and understandable progression.  The basic  premise is that throughout the development of civilization, Non- Zero Sum cooperation, just the opposite of  Zero- Sum with only winners and losers, is what advanced our civilization from savages, barbarians, chiefdoms and tribes to a cooperative civilization.  Take a look at this quote from Wright. “Judging by history, the current turbulence will eventually yield to an era of relative stability, an era when global political, economic and social structures have largely tamed the new forms of chaos. The world will reach a new equilibrium. Or on the other hand, we could blow up the world.”

Or, “As history progresses, humans find themselves playing non-zero-sum games. Interdependence expands, and social complexity grows in scope and depth.”

“Innovate or die! Population density drives technological and social development not by creating opportunities, but by creating problems. Problems that must be solved  for the greater good!”

Not at all unlike many of Tom Friedman’s theories so ably expressed in The World is Flat,  Hot Flat and Crowded. and That Used To Be Us. Wright, like Friedman has the ability to take sweeping concepts and break them down into logical elements. He outlines how throughout history  man has managed to turn acute need and chaos into opportunity, not with a Zero-Sum  I win you lose approach, but with the concept of working together for a common good or what he calls Non-Zero!

Non-Zero is a tremendous exploration of how we have become who we are and the implication is clearly that the evolution of our civilization as a cooperative society will play a key role in what we become. 

Zero -Sum has no winners! With Non-Zero  everyone can win.  There are  many lessons here , especially in today’s political climate domestically and around the globe. If you have a friend in the U.S. House of Representatives or the U.S. Senate send them a copy!