Reading History: Dr. Gary Small

Authors share five books that have, in one way or another, influenced their lives and writing.


Dr. Gary Small, author of The Naked Lady Who Stood on Her Head – a collection of stories on his most bizarre psychiatric cases – lists four of his best reads.




The First and Last Freedom , J. Krishnamurti (1969)

This was my first exposure to Eastern thought, and it was a wake-up call that other cultures have completely different ways of experiencing the world. The writing is simple, direct and compelling.

The Road Less Travelled, M. Scott Peck (1992)

Peck makes an important point worth remembering: much of what defines our limitations is our inability to take the time to focus and work hard on a goal. I am not surprised that many copies of this book have had an impact around the world.


The Pillars of the Earth, Ken Follett (1997)

This is not Follett’s typical spy novel but the story of the building of an English cathedral spanning some 150 years. The characters are interesting though familiar. This is not Shakespeare but it is engrossing and fun.


Freedom, Jonathan Franzen (2010)

Reading a Jonathan Franzen novel is like listening to a great and complex orchestral piece. The characters are so engaging and deeply disturbed that it is hard to stop reading.



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