Favorites of Human Culture

Written Word

Writers

Current favorites:

  • Patrick Rothfuss

All-time favorites:

  • James Baldwin
  • Marion Zimmer Bradley
  • Octavia Butler
  • Samuel Delany
  • Charles Dickens
  • E.M. Forster
  • Christopher Isherwood
  • James Joyce
  • Franz Kafka
  • Klaus Mann
  • Mary Renault
  • Anne Rice (aka A.N. Roquelaire)
  • Starhawk
  • Neal Stephenson
  • Mark Twain
  • Gore Vidal
  • Edmund White

Fiction

Current favorites:

  • Something in Between by Melissa de la Cruz
  • The Kingkiller Chronicle (The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man’s Fear) by Patrick Rothfuss

All-time favorites:

  • The Catch Trap by Marion Zimmer Bradley
  • The Naked Civil Servant by Quentin Crisp
  • Tides of Lust by Samuel Delany
  • A Single Man by Christopher Isherwood
  • The Faggots and Their Friends Between Revolutions by Larry Mitchell
  • 1984 by George Orwell
  • Woman on the Edge of Time by Marge Piercey
  • The Golden Compass trilogy (The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife, The Amber Spyglass) by Philip Pullman
  • The Last of the Wine by Mary Renault
  • The Persian Boy by Mary Renault
  • The Fifth Sacred Thing by Starhawk
  • The Uglies series (Uglies, Pretties, Specials, Extras) by Scott Westerfeld
  • Nocturnes for the King of Naples by Edmund White

Poetry

Current favorites:

  • None

All-time favorites:

  • “Howl” by Allen Ginsberg
  • “We Two Boys Together Clinging” and “Glimpse Between an Interstice Caught” by Walt Whitman

Non-Fiction

Current favorites:

  • Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
  • Runaway Inequality by Les Leopold

All-time favorites:

  • A Pattern Language by Christopher Alexander
  • The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
  • Biological Exuberance by Bruce Bagemihl
  • Christianity, Homosexuality, and Social Tolerance by John Boswell
  • Same-Sex Unions in Premodern Europe by John Boswell
  • Why Civil Resistance Works: The Strategic Logic of Nonviolent Conflict by Erica Chenoweth and Maria J. Stephan
  • Commitment and Community by Rosabeth Moss Kanter
  • The Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein
  • Mutual Aid by Peter Kropotkin
  • The Ego Tunnel by Thomas Metzinger
  • Small Is Beautiful by E.F. Schumacher
  • The Politics of Nonviolent Action by Gene Sharp

Theatre

Playwrights

Current favorites:

  • Martin Sherman

All-time favorites:

  • William Shakespeare
  • Oscar Wilde
  • Tennessee Williams

Plays

Current favorites:

  • Slowly Down the Stream by Martin Sherman

All-time favorites:

  • A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare (I did an adaptation called A Midwinter Afternoon’s Nightmare with the faeries)
  • The Nether by Jennifer Haley

Film / Movies / Television

Film Directors

Current favorites:

  • None

All-time favorites:

  • Pedro Almodóvar
  • Rainer Werner Fassbinder
  • Peter Greenaway
  • Derek Jarman
  • Stanley Kubrick
  • Ang Lee
  • Michael Moore
  • Sergei Paradjanov
  • Pier Paolo Pasolini
  • John Waters
  • Wim Wenders

Full-Length Films

Current favorites:

  • Angels in America
  • Born in 68
  • Hidden Figures
  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower
  • Pride

All-time favorites:

  • Arabian Nights
  • Avatar
  • Barry Lyndon
  • Beautiful Boxer
  • Cinema Paradiso
  • A Clockwork Orange
  • Crash
  • The Decameron
  • The Devil’s Backbone
  • Dorian Blues
  • The Dreamers
  • Eating Out
  • Eighteen
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • Harold and Maude
  • The Hawks and the Sparrows
  • In America
  • Johanna d’Arc of Mongolia
  • Johnny Got His Gun
  • Latter Days
  • Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont
  • Oedipus Rex
  • One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
  • Pink Flamingos
  • Rabbit-Proof Fence
  • Ride With the Devil
  • Running on Empty
  • Sebastiane
  • Something the Lord Made
  • Songcatcher
  • Stage Beauty
  • Sunshine
  • Teorema
  • Under Milk Wood
  • Whale Rider
  • What Have I Done to Deserve This?
  • What’s Eating Gilbert Grape
  • Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown

Documentaries

Current favorites:

  • The Square

All-time favorites:

  • Anarchism in America
  • Capitalism: A Love Story
  • An Inconvenient Truth
  • Iron Jawed Angels
  • Salt of the Earth
  • Sicko
  • The Take

TV Series

Current favorites:

  • Game of Thrones
  • The Good Doctor
  • Will

All-time favorites:

  • Coppers
  • Elementary
  • The Get Down
  • The Handmaid’s Tale
  • Orange Is the New Block
  • Orchid Black
  • Sense8
  • Shades of America
  • The Simpsons
  • True Blood
  • Underground

Other Visual Art

Painters

Current favorites:

  • None

All-time favorites:

  • Aubrey Beardsley
  • Friedensreich Hundertwasser
  • Gustav Klimt
  • Gustave Moreau
  • Pablo Picasso
  • Odilon Redon
  • Vincent van Gogh

Paintings

Current favorites:

  • None

All-time favorites:

  • Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I by Gustav Klimt
  • Buddha Walking Among the Flowers, The Druidess, Muse on Pegasus, Reflection, and Sacred Heart by Odilon Redon
  • Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh

Sculpture

Current favorites:

  • None

All-time favorites:

  • David by Donatello

Architecture

Current favorites:

  • None

All-time favorites:

  • Taj Mahal designed by Ustad Ahmad (a.k.a. Isa Khan)
  • Casa Battlo designed by Antoni Gaudi
  • Park Guell by Antoni Gaudi
  • La Sagrada Familia designed by Antoni Gaudi

Music

Classical Composers

Current favorites:

  • Sergei Prokoviev

All-time favorites:

  • Samuel Barber
  • Frédéric Chopin
  • Claude Debussy
  • George Enescu
  • Mikhail Ippolitov-Ivanov
  • Gordon Jacob
  • Erik Satie

Chamber Music

Current favorites:

  • Octet for Strings by George Enescu

All-time favorites:

  • Pastorale by Amy Beach
  • String Quartet No. 2, III. Notturno, by Alexander Borodin
  • Trio by Madeleine Dring
  • Octet for Strings by George Enescu
  • Cumberland Suite by Eric Ewazen
  • An Evening in Georgia by Mikhail Ippolitov-Ivanov
  • Sextet, especially Cortege movement, by Gordon Jacob
  • Sextuor by Francis Poulenc
  • Three Romances by Robert Schumann
  • Trio for Oboe, Horn, and Piano by Carl Reinecke
  • The Golden Canon by Nikola Resanovic

Classical Orchestral/Band Works

Current favorites:

  • Mtsiri by Mikhail Ippolitov-Ivanov

All-time favorites:

  • Adagio for Strings by Samuel Barber
  • Pictures of an Exhibition by Modest Mussorgsky (arranged by Maurice Ravel)

Popular Musical Artists

Current favorites:

  • The Black Angels

All-time favorites:

  • The Beatles
  • David Bowie
  • Cream
  • Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young
  • Brian Eno
  • Nina Hagen
  • Jimi Hendrix
  • Joni Mitchell

Popular Music

Current favorites:

  • “Currency” by The Black Angels

All-time favorites:

  • “Blue” by Joni Mitchell
  • “Woodstock” by Joni Mitchell (also version performed by Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young)