For my first Hesse ever, I recently read The Glass Bead Game: (Magister Ludi). I found it to be a pretty provoking read that seems still quite relevant today — certainly a valuable read for anyone considering a deep investment in higher education. And I found the structure of the book (intro to the game; biography; posthumous writings of Knecht) interesting and a break from the typical structure of most novels.
Clearly the book has some obsessive fans — just search the web for “Magister Ludi”, “Joseph Knecht”, or “Glass Bead Game” (I think these people miss the point of the book).
I had a goal earlier this year to read a new and different magazine each week — this book made me drop that goal. It was a compelling piece of writing, and made me realize that most magazines consist of a bag of ads interspersed with whatever articles were available at deadline. OK that is a little cynical but I still think I’ll use my reading time to read more substantial and provoking works.