XERXES



 


That's not me.  (I'm over here.)  It's Xerxes in her best Sunday dress.
This week she has been reading James Robertson's The Testament of Gideon Mack.
 
 
A young man, only moderately rebellious, sits with his girlfriend in his father's house.
He has brought her home to meet his parents and has been dreading the encounter
with his controlling and larger-than-life father, an old-school minister, not quite a bully
but not quite not a bully, either.  To look strong and confident in front of his lover, the
young man, Gideon, goads his father (who hopes that Gideon might also become a
minister some day) by talking about leaving to teach in America (from rural Scotland,
where the action of our story takes place).  Predictably, a tug-of-war of ensues:
 
"'What is so wrong with America?'
 
'What is so wrong with America,' he repeated, as if it was the title of a lecture.
As indeed it was.  He stood in front of the fire, blocking the heat, hands clasped
behind him, and I could hear the back of one slapping into the palm of the other . . .
'The Americans sentimentalize anything they touch,' he said.  'And because they
dominate the world, they have done their best to sentimentalize our understanding
of it.  This will not do.  It enfeebles the intellect.  It gives the most banal aspects of
human existence a spurious significance purportedly on a level with, or surpassing,
the great truths of revealed religion.' . . . 'Stupidity is rife in this world, and its
wellspring is the United States of America.  This stupidity and this sentimentalism
derive from a document which says that humans have an inalienable right to the
pursuit of happiness.'  He paused, as if to see if there was anybody in the room
stupid or sentimental enough to defend the Declaration of Independence.  'They
don't.  The chief end of mankind is to glorify God.' . . . 'There is nothing more
terrible than that you lose your faith.'
 
'Yes, there is,' I said.  'You can lose your humanity.  That is far more terrible.'
 
'Fine words, Gideon,' my father said, 'but they mean nothing.  You go to
America, and that is what they will tell you there.  It won't help you when
you have to confront your own immortality.'
 
Jenny and I glanced at each other, but we'd heard correctly:  immortality
was the word he had used.  I have never forgotten that phrase."
 
Xerxes knew in advance that this book was (roughly) about a minister (for
Gideon does, indeed, follow in his father's footsteps) who does not believe
in God but who nevertheless has an encounter with and definitely does come
to believe in the devil.  Now, Xerxes doesn't mind her a good devil-story, and
she reads nearly every one she can find, but nearly three-quarters of the way
into the book nothing spooky or supernatural had really happened yet.  She was
just working through an entertaining and psychologically-insightful novel.  How,
she wondered, is the author going to manage to make this story turn in that
direction at such a late stage without completely jarring the reader who does
not know what Xerxes knew going in?  And then it was all carried off expertly.
 
 
***

 

Any comments you might have for Xerxes
can be sent to Hud[dot]Hudson[at]wwu[dot]edu.
I will see to it that she receives them.
 
***
 
 
Xerxes' Ninth Year
 
 
Last week Xerxes was reading Neil Postman's Amusing Ourselves to Death
The week before Xerxes was reading J.M. Coetzee's Disgrace
The week before Xerxes was reading Wayne Booth's The Art of Growing Older
The week before Xerxes was reading James Baldwin's Giovanni's Room
The week before Xerxes was reading George Santayana's Lucifer: A Theological Tragedy
The week before Xerxes was reading Jorge Luis Borges's The Book of Sand and Shakespeare's Memory
The week before Xerxes was reading Jorge Luis Borges's In Praise of Darkness and Brodie's Report
The week before Xerxes was reading Nathaniel Hawthorne's Mosses from an Old Manse
The week before Xerxes was reading Jorge Luis Borges's The Aleph and The Maker
The week before Xerxes was reading James Baldwin's The Fire Next Time
The week before Xerxes was reading Jorge Luis Borges's A Universal History of Iniquity and Fictions
The week before Xerxes was reading Stella Gibbons's Cold Comfort Farm
The week before Xerxes was reading Stefan Zweig's Confusion
The week before Xerxes was reading Carlos Fuentes's Inez
The week before Xerxes was reading Bram Stoker's Dracula
The week before Xerxes was reading Wilkie Collins's The Woman in White
The week before Xerxes was reading Robert J. Hutchinson's The Book of Vices
The week before Xerxes was reading Taylor Caldwell's Dialogues with the Devil and The Listener
The week before Xerxes was reading Tosca Lee's Demon: A Memoir and Havah
The week before Xerxes was reading William Peter Blatty's The Exorcist
The week before Xerxes was reading Julian Barnes's A History of the World in 10 ½ Chapters
The week before Xerxes was reading Anita Brookner's Hotel Du Lac
The week before Xerxes was reading Charles Simmons's Wrinkles
The week before Xerxes was reading Ta-Nehisi Coates's Between the World and Me
The week before Xerxes was reading Matthew Lewis's The Monk
The week before Xerxes was reading Thomas Bernhard's The Woodcutters
The week before Xerxes was reading William Shakespeare's Hamlet
The week before Xerxes was reading John Gardner's Grendel
The week before Xerxes was reading Kingsley Amis's Lucky Jim
The week before Xerxes was reading Jonathan L. Howard's Johannes Cabal the Necromancer
The week before Xerxes was reading J.D. Salinger's Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour, an Introduction
The week before Xerxes was reading Tillie Olsen's Tell Me a Riddle
The week before Xerxes was reading Philip P. Hallie's The Paradox of Cruelty
The week before Xerxes was reading Knut Hamsun's Mysteries
The week before Xerxes was reading Scott Cheshire's High as the Horses' Bridles
The week before Xerxes was reading John Cheever's Oh What a Paradise it Seems
The week before Xerxes was reading Carson McCullers's The Ballad of the Sad Café
The week before Xerxes was reading Lars Svendsen's A Philosophy of Boredom
The week before Xerxes was reading Christopher Hamilton's Middle Age
The week before Xerxes was reading Myra Cohn Livingston's Why Am I Grown So Cold
The week before Xerxes was reading Russell Hoban's The Lion of Boaz-Jachin and Jachin-Boaz
The week before Xerxes was reading Thomas à Kempis's The Imitation of Christ
The week before Xerxes was reading Kent Haruf’s Plainsong
The week before Xerxes was reading Rebecca Konyndyk DeYoung’s Vainglory
The week before Xerxes was reading George MacDonald’s At the Back of the North Wind
The week before Xerxes was reading Homer’s Iliad
The week before Xerxes was reading Thomas Love Peacock’s Nightmare Abbey
The week before Xerxes was reading George Sand’s The Devil's Pool
The week before Xerxes was reading Gary Dexter’s Poisoned Pens
 
 
Xerxes' Eighth Year
 
 
The week before Xerxes was reading Hannah Tillich’s From Time to Time
The week before Xerxes was reading Edith Wharton’s Ethan Frome
The week before Xerxes was reading John Bunyan’s The Life and Death of Mr. Badman
The week before Xerxes was reading Peter De Vries’s The Tunnel of Love
The week before Xerxes was reading August Strindberg’s By the Open Sea
The week before Xerxes was reading Robert Louis Stevenson’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
The week before Xerxes was reading Anatole France’s The Revolt of the Angels
The week before Xerxes was reading William Barrett’s Irrational Man
The week before Xerxes was reading Leo Tolstoy’s The Death of Ivan Ilyich and Confession
The week before Xerxes was reading Julie Schumacher’s Dear Committee Members
The week before Xerxes was reading Randall Munroe’s What If
The week before Xerxes was reading Gene Wolfe’s Peace
The week before Xerxes was reading John Williams’s Stoner
The week before Xerxes was reading François Mauriac’s Viper's Tangle
The week before Xerxes was reading Neil Gaiman’s The Ocean at the End of the Lane
The week before Xerxes was reading Orhan Pamuk’s My Name is Red
The week before Xerxes was reading Sherman Alexie’s Flight
The week before Xerxes was reading Oscar Wilde’s De Profundis
The week before Xerxes was reading Oscar Wilde’s Reading Gaol
The week before Xerxes was reading Ted Chiang’s The Stories of Your Life and Others
The week before Xerxes was reading Thomas Cole and Mary Winkler’s The Oxford Book of Aging
The week before Xerxes was reading Joseph Fink’s Welcome to Night Vale
The week before Xerxes was reading Arthur Schopenhauer’s Essays and Aphorisms
The week before Xerxes was reading Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s Maxims and Reflections
The week before Xerxes was reading Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird
The week before Xerxes was reading Kelly Dean Jolley’s Stony Lonesome
The week before Xerxes was reading C.S. Lewis’s Mere Christianity
The week before Xerxes was reading Mark Twain’s The Mysterious Stranger
The week before Xerxes was reading Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s Faust
The week before Xerxes was reading Javier Marías’s All Souls
The week before Xerxes was reading Hermann Hesse’s The Dwarf
The week before Xerxes was reading Laurence Sterne’s Tristram Shandy
The week before Xerxes was reading José Saramago’s All the Names
The week before Xerxes was reading Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
The week before Xerxes was reading Sarah Gerkensmeyer's What You Are Now Enjoying
The week before Xerxes was reading Jack Handey's The Stench of Honolulu
The week before Xerxes was reading Jessica Burr and Matt Opatrny's Lying
The week before Xerxes was reading Robert Jordan's The Eye of the World
The week before Xerxes was reading Philip Koch's Bare Ruined Choirs and Essays from Autumn
The week before Xerxes was reading Allie Brosh's Hyperbole and a Half
The week before Xerxes was reading Kazuo Ishiguro's The Remains of the Day
The week before Xerxes was reading Ford Madox Ford's The Good Soldier
The week before Xerxes was reading Leonid Tsypkin's Summer in Baden-Baden
The week before Xerxes was reading W.J. Leatherbarrow's Dostoyevsky's The Brothers Karamazov
The week before Xerxes was reading Teresa of Ávila's Interior Castle
The week before Xerxes was reading Dante Alighieri's Inferno
The week before Xerxes was reading Frederick C. Crews's The Pooh Perplex
The week before Xerxes was reading Marguerite Yourcenar's That Mighty Sculptor, Time
The week before Xerxes was reading Simone de Beauvoir's All Men are Mortal
The week before Xerxes was reading Richard Brautigan's Sombrero Fallout
The week before Xerxes was reading Simon Critchley's The Book of Dead Philosophers
The week before Xerxes was reading Alice Miller's The Drama of the Gifted Child
 
 
Xerxes' Seventh Year
 
 
The week before Xerxes was reading J.R.R. Tolkien's Ainulindalë
The week before Xerxes was reading Umberto Eco's The Island of the Day Before
The week before Xerxes was reading Boethius's The Consolation of Philosophy
The week before Xerxes was reading Tina Fey's Bossypants
The week before Xerxes was reading G.K. Chesterton's The Innocence of Father Brown
The week before Xerxes was reading Russell Potter's Pyg: TheMemoirs of Toby, the Learned Pig
The week before Xerxes was reading Philip Roth's The Humbling
The week before Xerxes was reading Sam Savage's Firmin
The week before Xerxes was reading Russell Hoban's Turtle Diary
The week before Xerxes was reading Galatians through Revelation
The week before Xerxes was reading Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot
The week before Xerxes was reading Acts, Romans, 1 Corinthians, and 2 Corinthians
The week before Xerxes was reading Franco Bonera's Pigs: Art, Legend, History
The week before Xerxes was reading Satish Kumar's The Buddha and the Terrorist
The week before Xerxes was reading Terry Eagleton's On Evil
The week before Xerxes was reading Justin Evan's A Good and Happy Child
The week before Xerxes was reading Kurt Vonnegut's Timequake
The week before Xerxes was reading Linda Jacobs's LJ
The week before Xerxes was reading Alice Munro's Dear Life
The week before Xerxes was reading James Stephens's The Demi-Gods
The week before Xerxes was reading Walter M. Miller Jr.'s A Canticle for Leibowitz
The week before Xerxes was reading Anthony Marra's A Constellation of Vital Phenomena
The week before Xerxes was reading Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John
The week before Xerxes was reading Hermann Hesse's Steppenwolf
The week before Xerxes was reading M.R. James's Ghost Stories of an Antiquary
The week before Xerxes was reading Annie Dillard's Pilgrim at Tinker Creek
The week before Xerxes was reading Edgar Allen Poe's The Bells
The week before Xerxes was reading Ezekiel through Malachi
The week before Xerxes was reading Sherwood Anderson's Winesburg, Ohio
The week before Xerxes was reading William Butler Yeats's The Collected Poems of W.B. Yeats
The week before Xerxes was reading Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Lamentations
The week before Xerxes was reading Rachael Briggs's Free Logic
The week before Xerxes was reading Leon Garfield's The Ghost Downstairs
The week before Xerxes was reading Neil Gaiman's American Gods
The week before Xerxes was reading H.P. Lovecraft's At the Mountains of Madness
The week before Xerxes was reading Gita Mehta's A River Sutra
The week before Xerxes was reading Alberto Manguel's A History of Reading
 The week before Xerxes was reading Walter Wangerin, Jr.'s The Book of the Dun Cow
The week before Xerxes was reading Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Solomon
The week before Xerxes was reading James Joyce's A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
The week before Xerxes was reading  1 Chronicles, 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther
 The week before Xerxes was reading C.S. Lewis's Till We Have Faces
The week before Xerxes was reading George Gershwin's Summertime
The week before Xerxes was reading David Markson's Vanishing Point and The Last Novel
The week before Xerxes was reading David Markson's Reader's Block and This is Not a Novel
The week before Xerxes was reading 1 Samuel, 2 Samuel, 1 Kings, and 2 Kings
The week before Xerxes was reading Karl Knausgaard's A Time for Everything
The week before Xerxes was reading Joshua, Judges, and Ruth
The week before Xerxes was reading Georges Bernanos's The Diary of a Country Priest
The week before Xerxes was reading Hermann Hesse's The Journey to the East
The week before Xerxes was reading Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy
The week before Xerxes was reading Genesis and Exodus
 
 
Xerxes' Sixth Year
 
 
The week before Xerxes was reading H.G. Wells's The Time Machine
The week before Xerxes was reading Cormac McCarthy's The Sunset Limited
The week before Xerxes was reading Paul Gallico's Love of Seven Dolls
The week before Xerxes was reading Teilhard de Chardin's Le Milieu Divin
The week before Xerxes was reading Samuel Taylor Coleridge's The Rime of the Ancient Mariner
The week before Xerxes was reading Alexander Theroux's The Grammar of Rock
The week before Xerxes was reading Virginia Hamilton and Barry Moser's In the Beginning
The week before Xerxes was reading C.S. Lewis's The Problem of Pain
The week before Xerxes was reading Gene Wolfe's The Citadel of the Autarch
The week before Xerxes was reading Gene Wolfe's The Sword of the Lictor
The week before Xerxes was reading Gene Wolfe's The Claw of the Conciliator
The week before Xerxes was reading Gene Wolfe's The Shadow of the Torturer
The week before Xerxes was reading Gabriel Zaid's So Many Books
The week before Xerxes was reading Fernando Pessoa's The Book of Disquiet
The week before Xerxes was reading Rainer Maria Rilke's The Notebook of Malte Laurids Brigge
The week before Xerxes was reading Philip Koch's Solitude: A Philosophical Encounter
The week before Xerxes was reading Lord Dunsany's Fifty-One Tales
The week before Xerxes was reading Anneli Rufus's Party of One
The week before Xerxes was reading Thomas Carlyle's Sartor Resartus
The week before Xerxes was reading Sophocles's Antigone
The week before Xerxes was reading Sinclair Lewis's Elmer Gantry
The week before Xerxes was reading Primo Levi's The Periodic Table
The week before Xerxes was reading G.H. Hardy's A Mathematician's Apology
The week before Xerxes was reading Cees Nooteboom's The Following Story
The week before Xerxes was reading Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights
The week before Xerxes was reading James Thurber's The White Deer
The week before Xerxes was reading David Schnarch's Passionate Marriage
The week before Xerxes was reading Jim Finney's The Love Letter
The week before Xerxes was reading Jim Forest's The Wormwood File and Barbara Laymon's The Devil's Inbox
The week before Xerxes was reading Lord Byron's Heaven and Earth
The week before Xerxes was reading André Gide's The Immoralist
The week before Xerxes was reading A.G. Mojtabai's Autumn
The week before Xerxes was reading A.G. Mojtabai's Mundome
The week before Xerxes was reading J.L. Carr's A Month in the Country
The week before Xerxes was reading Blanche Ebbutt's Don'ts for Husbands and Don'ts for Wives
The week before Xerxes was reading Haruki Murakami's What I Talk About When I Talk About Running
The week before Xerxes was reading Rodgers and Hammerstein's Edelweiss
The week before Xerxes was reading Vladimir Nabokov's Pnin
The week before Xerxes was reading Alice Thomas Ellis's The Sin Eater
The week before Xerxes was reading Mary Doria Russell's The Children of God
The week before Xerxes was reading Mary Doria Russell's The Sparrow
The week before Xerxes was reading Olaf Stapledon's Star Maker
The week before Xerxes was reading Felix Gilman's The Half-Made World
The week before Xerxes was reading Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game
The week before Xerxes was reading Olaf Stapledon's Sirius
The week before Xerxes was reading Mark Rowland's The Philosopher and the Wolf
The week before Xerxes was reading Marie Corelli's The Sorrows of Satan
The week before Xerxes was reading Julian Barnes's Nothing to be Frightened Of
The week before Xerxes was reading Suzanne Collins's The Hunger Games
The week before Xerxes was reading Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House
The week before Xerxes was reading William Blake's The Marriage of Heaven and Hell
The week before Xerxes was reading Gordon Teskey's Norton Critical Edition of Paradise Lost
 
 
Xerxes' Fifth Year
 
 
The week before Xerxes was reading Xerxes' First, Second, Third, Fourth, and Fifth Years
The week before Xerxes was reading John Burnside's A Summer of Drowning
The week before Xerxes was reading Mervyn Peake's Complete Nonsense
The week before Xerxes was reading A.S. Byatt's A Stone Woman
The week before Xerxes was reading David Albert Jones's Angels
The week before Xerxes was reading John Sutherland's Bestsellers
The week before Xerxes was reading Denis Diderot's Jacques the Fatalist
The week before Xerxes was reading Darren Oldridge's Strange Histories
The week before Xerxes was reading Elizabeth Knox's The Vintner's Luck
The week before Xerxes was reading Italo Calvino's If on a Winter's Night a Traveler
The week before Xerxes was reading Salman Rushdie's Luka and the Fire of Life
The week before Xerxes was reading John Rogers's Milton
The week before Xerxes was reading Jim Crace's Quarantine
The week before Xerxes was reading Julian Barnes's The Sense of an Ending
The week before Xerxes was reading Russell Hoban's Riddley Walker
The week before Xerxes was reading Brian Greene's The Hidden Reality
The week before Xerxes was reading Gustave Flaubert's The Temptation of Saint Anthony
The week before Xerxes was reading Olaf Stapledon's Last and First Men
 The week before Xerxes was reading Richard Matheson's I am Legend
The week before Xerxes was reading Carter Dickson's The Reader is Warned
The week before Xerxes was reading Alexander Theroux's Darconville's Cat
The week before Xerxes was reading George R.R. Martin's A Game of Thrones
The week before Xerxes was reading Peter van Inwagen's Quam Dilecta
The week before Xerxes was reading Nicholas Wolterstorff's Lament for a Son
The week before Xerxes was reading Graham Greene's The Hint of an Explanation
The week before Xerxes was reading William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night
The week before Xerxes was reading Denis de Rougemont's The Devil's Share
The week before Xerxes was reading Marguerite Yourcenar's The Memoirs of Hadrian
The week before Xerxes was reading Vladimir Nabokov's Laughter in the Dark
The week before Xerxes was reading Ivan Turgenev's First Love
The week before Xerxes was reading Muriel Spark's Memento Mori
The week before Xerxes was reading Ronald B. Shwartz's For the Love of Books
The week before Xerxes was reading E.H. Gombrich's The Story of Art
The week before Xerxes was reading Jonathan Swift's A Modest Proposal
The week before Xerxes was reading T.S. Eliot's The Wasteland
The week before Xerxes was reading Edwin Abbott Abbott's Flatland
The week before Xerxes was reading Harold Pinter's The Homecoming
The week before Xerxes was reading Carson McCullers's The Heart is a Lonely Hunter
The week before Xerxes was reading Arnold Lobel's The Adventures of Frog and Toad
The week before Xerxes was reading Robert and Richard Sherman's My Own Home
The week before Xerxes was reading Christopher McDougall's Born to Run
The week before Xerxes was reading Hermann Hesse's A Child's Heart
The week before Xerxes was reading Francesco Petrarch's Triumphs
The week before Xerxes was reading Percy Bysshe Shelley's The Triumph of Life
The week before Xerxes was reading William Shakespeare's Troilus and Cressida
The week before Xerxes was reading Albert Camus's The Fall
The week before Xerxes was reading C.S. Lewis's Letters to an American Lady
The week before Xerxes was reading Stephen Prothero's God is not One
The week before Xerxes was reading Alvin Plantinga's Where the Conflict Really Lies
The week before Xerxes was reading Frederick Buechner's The Sacred Journey and Now and Then
The week before Xerxes was reading David Berlinski's The Devil's Delusion
The week before Xerxes was reading Philip Kitcher's Living with Darwin
The week before Xerxes was reading Bernard Suit's The Grasshopper: Games, Life and Utopia
 
 
Xerxes' Fourth Year
 
 
The week before Xerxes was reading Stanley Fish's Save the World on Your Own Time
The week before Xerxes was reading Mark William Roche's Why Choose the Liberal Arts?
The week before Xerxes was reading Thomas Hurka's The Best Things in Life
The week before Xerxes was reading a Carthusian monk's The Cloud of Unknowing
The week before Xerxes was reading Paulo Coelho's The Alchemist
The week before Xerxes was reading Eduardo Galeano's Mirrors: Stories of Almost Everyone
The week before Xerxes was reading Plato's Republic
The week before Xerxes was reading Elizabeth McCracken's An Exact Replica
The week before Xerxes was reading Saul Bellow's Ravelstein
The week before Xerxes was reading Henry David Thoreau's Reading
The week before Xerxes was reading Allan Bloom's The Closing of the American Mind
The week before Xerxes was reading Molière's Tartuffe
The week before Xerxes was reading Aristophanes's The Clouds
The week before Xerxes was reading Paulo Coelho's The Devil and Miss Prym
The week before Xerxes was reading Richard Russo's Straight Man
The week before Xerxes was reading Howard Jacobson's The Finkler Question
The week before Xerxes was reading Nicole Krauss's Great House
The week before Xerxes was reading Thomas Jefferson's Declaration of Independence
The week before Xerxes was reading Geshe Kelsang Gyatso's Universal Compassion
The week before Xerxes was reading Kazuo Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go
The week before Xerxes was reading Hermann Hesse's Narcissus and Goldmund
The week before Xerxes was reading George Bernard Shaw's Back to Methuselah
The week before Xerxes was reading Elizabeth Strout's Olive Kitteridge
The week before Xerxes was reading God's The Book of Job
The week before Xerxes was reading Dennis Potter's Hide and Seek
The week before Xerxes was reading Iris Murdoch's The Time of the Angels
The week before Xerxes was reading Mervyn Peake's Collected Poems
The week before Xerxes was reading José Donoso's The Garden Next Door
The week before Xerxes was reading Shel Silverstein's The Giving Tree
The week before Xerxes was reading Lisa Genova's Still Alice
The week before Xerxes was reading G.K. Chesterton's Manalive
The week before Xerxes was reading David Orr's Beautiful & Pointless
The week before Xerxes was reading A.A. Milne's Winnie-the-Pooh
The week before Xerxes was reading Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart
The week before Xerxes was reading Douglas Hofstadter's A Person Paper on Purity in Language
The week before Xerxes was reading C.S. Lewis's The Screwtape Letters
The week before Xerxes was reading William Butler Yeats's He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven
The week before Xerxes was reading Jonathan Swift's The Battle of the Books
The week before Xerxes was reading Jon Krakauer's Into Thin Air
The week before Xerxes was reading Niccolo Machiavelli's Letter to Francesco Vettori
The week before Xerxes was reading Henry David Thoreau's Life Without Principle
The week before Xerxes was reading Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman
The week before Xerxes was reading Mary Shelley's Frankenstein
The week before Xerxes was reading William Shakespeare's Measure for Measure
The week before Xerxes was reading George Orwell's Animal Farm
The week before Xerxes was reading Jonathan Safran Foer's Eating Animals
The week before Xerxes was reading Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's The Little Prince
The week before Xerxes was reading Muriel Barbery's The Elegance of the Hedgehog
The week before Xerxes was reading Joris-Karl Huysmans's Against Nature
The week before Xerxes was reading Sheridan Le Fanu's In a Glass Darkly
The week before Xerxes was reading Virginia Woolf's The Waves
The week before Xerxes was reading Mark Twain's Letters from the Earth
 
 
Xerxes' Third Year
 
 
The week before Xerxes was reading Mark Twain's A Dog's Tale
The week before Xerxes was reading Jean Anouilh's Becket
The week before Xerxes was reading James Goldman's The Lion in Winter
The week before Xerxes was reading Antonia Michaelis's Tiger Moon
The week before Xerxes was reading Pär Lagerkvist's The Dwarf, Barabbas, and The Sibyl
The week before Xerxes was reading Leonard Cohen's Dance Me to the End of Love
The week before Xerxes was reading Robin Robertson's Mortification
The week before Xerxes was reading Mark Twain's The Mysterious Stranger
The week before Xerxes was reading Jeffrey Burton Russell's Lucifer and Mephistopheles
The week before Xerxes was reading Jeffrey Burton Russell's The Devil and Satan
The week before Xerxes was reading Toni Morrison's Beloved
The week before Xerxes was reading Flann O'Brien's The Third Policeman
The week before Xerxes was reading Henry James's The Turn of the Screw
The week before Xerxes was reading C.S. Lewis's The Pilgrim's Regress
The week before Xerxes was reading Jeffrey Burton Russell's The Prince of Darkness
The week before Xerxes was reading Alexander McCall Smith's 2 1/2 Pillars of Wisdom
The week before Xerxes was reading Daniel Keyes's Flowers for Algernon
The week before Xerxes was reading Huston Smith and Philip Novak's Buddhism
The week before Xerxes was reading Michael Sells's Approaching the Qur'an
The week before Xerxes was reading Fyodor Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov
The week before Xerxes was reading Stephen Prothero's Religious Literacy
The week before Xerxes was reading Darby Conley's The Dog is Not a Toy
The week before Xerxes was reading T. Cathcart and D. Klein's Plato and a Platypus
The week before Xerxes was reading Rainer Maria Rilke's Stories of God
The week before Xerxes was reading Kazuo Ishiguro's Nocturnes
The week before Xerxes was reading Victor Hugo's Notre-Dame of Paris
The week before Xerxes was reading Leonard Nimoy's I Am Spock
The week before Xerxes was reading William Shatner's Up Till Now
The week before Xerxes was reading Charles Baudelaire's The Flowers of Evil
The week before Xerxes was reading Arthur Rimbaud's A Season in Hell
The week before Xerxes was reading Mikhail Bulgakov's The Master and Margarita
The week before Xerxes was reading Christopher Hitchens's God is not Great
The week before Xerxes was reading Philip Larkin's The Less Deceived
The week before Xerxes was reading J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit
The week before Xerxes was reading J.R.R. Tolkien's The Return of the King
The week before Xerxes was reading Voltaire's Candide
The week before Xerxes was reading Diane Setterfield's The Thirteenth Tale
The week before Xerxes was reading J.R.R. Tolkien's The Two Towers
The week before Xerxes was reading Mervyn Peake's Boy in Darkness
The week before Xerxes was reading A.E. Housman's A Shropshire Lad
The week before Xerxes was reading J.R.R. Tolkien's The Fellowship of the Ring
The week before Xerxes was reading William Shakespeare's The Tempest
The week before Xerxes was reading Owen Gingerich's God's Universe
The week before Xerxes was reading Jack Fincher's Lefties
The week before Xerxes was reading Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's The Children's Hour
The week before Xerxes was reading John Kennedy Toole's A Confederacy of Dunces
The week before Xerxes was reading Peter Beagle's The Last Unicorn and A Fine and Private Place
The week before Xerxes was reading Yann Martel's Life of Pi
The week before Xerxes was reading Hermann Hesse's The Glass Bead Game
The week before Xerxes was reading William F. May's A Catalogue of Sins
The week before Xerxes was reading Henry Fairlie's The Seven Deadly Sins Today
The week before Xerxes was reading Jorge Luis Borges's Ficciones
 
 
Xerxes' Second Year
 
 
The week before Xerxes was reading Gioconda Belli's Infinity in the Palm of Her Hand
The week before Xerxes was reading G.K. Chesterton's The Man Who Was Thursday
The week before Xerxes was reading Dante Alighieri's Purgatorio
The week before Xerxes was reading C.S. Lewis's The Four Loves
The week before Xerxes was reading Steven Schwartz's The Seven Deadly Sins
The week before Xerxes was reading Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett's Good Omens
The week before Xerxes was reading Neil Simon's Brighton Beach Memoirs
The week before Xerxes was reading Sy Safransky's Four in the Morning and Sunbeams
The week before Xerxes was reading Daniel Levitin's This is Your Brain on Music
The week before Xerxes was reading Alfred Lord Tennyson's In Memoriam
The week before Xerxes was reading Paul Woodruff's Reverence
The week before Xerxes was reading Richard Yates's Eleven Kinds of Loneliness
The week before Xerxes was reading Marilynne Robinson's Gilead
The week before Xerxes was reading Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking-Glass
The week before Xerxes was reading Jenny Bond and Chris Sheedy's Who the Hell is Pansy O'Hara?
The week before Xerxes was reading William Hjortsberg's Falling Angel
The week before Xerxes was reading Edward Gorey's Amphigorey: Fifteen Books
The week before Xerxes was reading Cornelius Plantinga's Not the Way It's Supposed to Be
The week before Xerxes was reading Mark Twain's A Cure for the Blues
The week before Xerxes was reading Herman Melville's Moby Dick
The week before Xerxes was reading G.K. Chesterton's Orthodoxy
The week before Xerxes was reading Frederick Buechner's Godric and The Alphabet of Grace
The week before Xerxes was reading Rebecca Konyndyk DeYoung's Portraits of Vice
The week before Xerxes was reading Paul Johnson's Intellectuals
The week before Xerxes was reading David Foster Wallace's A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again
The week before Xerxes was reading Alexander Pope's An Essay on Man
The week before Xerxes was reading Edgar Lee Masters's Spoon River Anthology
The week before Xerxes was reading Sara Gruen's Water for Elephants
The week before Xerxes was reading Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God
The week before Xerxes was reading Ingmar Bergman's Images: My Life in Film
The week before Xerxes was reading William Trevor's The Story of Lucy Gault
The week before Xerxes was reading Anonymous's Everyman
The week before Xerxes was reading Eugene Field's Little Boy Blue
 The week before Xerxes was reading David Maine's Fallen
The week before Xerxes was reading Stephenie Meyers's Twilight and New Moon
The week before Xerxes was reading Gordy Slack's The Battle Over the Meaning of Everything
The week before Xerxes was reading Nicole Krauss's The History of Love
The week before Xerxes was reading Wallace Stevens's Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird
The week before Xerxes was reading The Dalai Lama's An Open Heart
The week before Xerxes was reading William Shakespeare's Henry IV, Part II
The week before Xerxes was reading William Shakespeare's Henry IV, Part I
The week before Xerxes was reading William Shakespeare's As You Like It
The week before Xerxes was reading William Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra
The week before Xerxes was reading William Shakespeare's Macbeth
The week before Xerxes was reading Jelaluddin Rumi's The Essential Rumi
The week before Xerxes was reading Harold Bloom's Where Shall Wisdom Be Found?
The week before Xerxes was reading Anne Fadiman's The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down
The week before Xerxes was reading Leo Tolstoy's The Devil
The week before Xerxes was reading Colin McGinn's Shakespeare's Philosophy
The week before Xerxes was reading Jon Krakauer's Into the Wild
The week before Xerxes was reading Stephen Greenblatt's Will in the World
The week before Xerxes was reading Martin Buber's I and Thou, Meetings, and The Way of Man
 

Xerxes' First Year
 

The week before Xerxes was reading Allan Chinen's Once Upon a Midlife
The week before Xerxes was reading G.K. Chesterton's St Francis of Assisi
The week before Xerxes was reading Jean Toomer's Cane
The week before Xerxes was reading Ikhwān al-Safā's The Animals' Lawsuit against Humanity
The week before Xerxes was reading Patrick Süskind’s Perfume
The week before Xerxes was reading Lewis Carroll's The Hunting of the Snark
The week before Xerxes was reading John Milton's Paradise Regained
The week before Xerxes was reading Dylan Thomas's The Force that Through the Green Fuse Drives the Flower
The week before Xerxes was reading Stephen Crane's The Blue Hotel
The week before Xerxes was reading Gore Vidal's Creation
The week before Xerxes was reading A.S. Byatt's Possession
The week before Xerxes was reading C.S. Lewis's The Great Divorce
The week before Xerxes was reading Mitch Albom's The Five People You Meet in Heaven
 The week before Xerxes was reading Dennis Potter's Blackeyes
The week before Xerxes was reading David Suzuki and Wayne Grady's Tree: A Life Story
The week before Xerxes was reading James Hogg's Confessions of a Justified Sinner
The week before Xerxes was reading Alexander Theroux's Theroux Metaphrastes
The week before Xerxes was reading Mervyn Peake's Titus Alone
The week before Xerxes was reading Mervyn Peake's Gormenghast
The week before Xerxes was reading Mervyn Peake's Titus Groan
The week before Xerxes was reading Walter de la Mare's The Three Royal Monkeys
The week before Xerxes was reading John Collier's His Monkey Wife
The week before Xerxes was reading Lois Lowry's The Giver
The week before Xerxes was reading Rudyard Kipling's Mandalay
The week before Xerxes was reading Ralph Helfer's Modoc
The week before Xerxes was reading Stuart McLean's Home From the Vinyl Cafe
 The week before Xerxes was reading Ossie Davis's Purlie Victorious
The week before Xerxes was reading George MacDonald's The Portent
The week before Xerxes was reading Tom Stoppard's Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead
The week before Xerxes was reading Michael Phillips's George MacDonald - A Biography
The week before Xerxes was reading Christopher Moore's The Stupidest Angel
The week before Xerxes was reading Gordon Lightfoot's Minstrel of the Dawn
The week before Xerxes was reading Sun Tzu's The Art of War
The week before Xerxes was reading Robert Graves's I Claudius
The week before Xerxes was reading Philip Ardagh's A House Called Awful End
 The week before Xerxes was reading John Milton's Paradise Lost
 The week before Xerxes was reading Mervyn Peake's Mr Pye
The week before Xerxes was reading J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
The week before Xerxes was reading Riff Raff and Magenta's The Time Warp
 The week before Xerxes was reading William Shakespeare's Timon of Athens
 The week before Xerxes was reading J.R.R. Tolkien's The Silmarillion
The week before Xerxes was reading e.e. cummings's anyone lived in a pretty how town
The week before Xerxes was reading Sir Thomas Browne's Religio Medici
The week before Xerxes was reading C.S. Lewis's A Preface to Paradise Lost
The week before Xerxes was reading Stephanie Plowman's The Road to Sardis
The week before Xerxes was reading Alexander Theroux's Darconville's Cat
The week before Xerxes was reading Dennis Potter's The Singing Detective
The week before Xerxes was reading T.S. Eliot's The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock
The week before Xerxes was reading Matthew Scully's Dominion
The week before Xerxes was reading Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray
The week before Xerxes was reading the Prologue in Heaven from Goethe's Faust
The week before Xerxes was reading Christina Rossetti's Goblin Market