Pico Iyer is a Distinguished Presidential Fellow at Chapman University. He is the author of several books, including Video Night in Kathmandu, The Lady and the Monk, and The Global Soul. He is a frequent contributor to The New York Review of Books and other publications and his most recent book is The Man Within My Head.
Crossbones by Nuruddin Farah
Marshall McLuhan: You Know Nothing of My Work! by Douglas Coupland
To a Mountain in Tibet by Colin Thubron
The Colossus of Maroussi by Henry Miller, with an introduction by Will Self and an afterword by Ian S. MacNiven
The Museum of Innocence by Orhan Pamuk, translated from the Turkish by Maureen Freely
The Commoner by John Burnham Schwartz
The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett
The Religious Case Against Belief by James P. Carse
The Long Embrace: Raymond Chandler and the Woman He Loved by Judith Freeman
Divisadero by Michael Ondaatje
Devotion by Howard Norman
An End to Suffering: The Buddha in the World by Pankaj Mishra
Somerset Maugham: A Life by Jeffrey Meyers
Family Matters by Rohinton Mistry
Elvis in the Morning by William F. Buckley Jr.
Let Us Talk of Many Things: The Collected Speeches by William F. Buckley Jr.
Nuremberg: The Reckoning by William F. Buckley Jr.
A Pelican in the Wilderness: Hermits, Solitaries and Recluses by Isabel Colegate
The Diaries of Kenneth Tynan edited by John Lahr
The Glass Palace by Amitav Ghosh
When We Were Orphans by Kazuo Ishiguro
Life and Death on Mt. Everest: Sherpas and Himalayan Mountaineering by Sherry B. Ortner
Kundun a film directed by Martin Scorsese
Seven Years in Tibet a film directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud
Journey to Ithaca by Anita Desai
Reef by Romesh Gunesekera
India most happily changes the lives of those who have no thought of changing India.
The content of my dreams has long ceased to interest me; but their proportions, the way they rearrange the things I thought I cared about, the life I imagined I was leading, won’t go away.
It’s been startling to witness mass demonstrations in countries across the Middle East for freedom from autocracy, while, in the Tibetan community, a die-hard champion of “people power” tries to dethrone himself and his people keep asking him to stay on. Again and again the Dalai Lama (who tends to be more radical and less romantic than most of his followers) has sought to find ways to give up power, and his community has sought to find ways to ensure he can’t.