What I’ve been reading

Gosh, I’ve been reading some great stuff recently.

  1. Truth Book by Joy Castro. Poetic memoir about her turbulent childhood. Written by college friend. I’ll post a review later.
  2. Solomon Scandals (unpublished) by David Rothman. Unpublished political intrigue novel by Teleread editor.
  3. Information Architecture for the WWW by Peter Morville and Louis Rosenfeld. Earlier editions were great; I am enjoying this version as well.
  4. Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame. My reading was rudely interrupted by the breaking of my ebookwise ebook reader. I want an ebook device…and I want it bad!
  5. If on a Winter’s Day a Traveler by Italo Calvino. Second time. As delightful as I remembered it.
  6. Chinese Ghost Stories for Adults by P’u Sung-Ling (tr. Tom Ma). Great lusty stories.
  7. What Video Games have to teach us about learning and literacy by James Paul Gee. Interestingly, this famous book has a lot of insights into reading as well.
  8. Memoirs of the Great and the Good by Alistair Cooke. Can’t get enough of these droll portrait essays. Love the one about Wodehouse!
  9. Flowering Tree and other Oral Tales of India by A.K. Ramanujan Great lusty stories (in India)

Now let me throw a few other things out.

I was ecstatic to hear that NYU Press was publishing a new series of Sanskrit Literature in Translation books (I heard it via literary saloon) . Amazingly though, almost none of the titles from the series (called Clay Sanskrit Library series) has been reviewed anywhere. I know it’s obscure, but not that obscure! (It’s not as if we’re talking about Malayam literature or Albanian literature!). Not complete review, not amazon.com, not anywhere. So I wrote to NYU for review copies, and I’ll certainly be posting some reviews of these titles soon.

Also, public domain-wise, I’ve been picking up some great recommendations. No, I haven’t started reading yet. Can’t remember if I already blogged about Our Nig by Harriet Wilson. This was the earliest recorded novel by an African-American randomly discovered by Henry Louis Gates.

From ficbot, I learned a little about John Kendrick Bangs, a little known but widely praised experimental writer from the 19th writer who was always doing these narrative tricks. His book A Houseboat on the River Styx apparently started a whole new literary genre, Bangsian fantasy which takes place almost entirely in the afterlife. I might try it sometime.

From Michael Blowhard, I have some Chesterton recommendations, including Man who was Thursday. Writers like Chesterton and Bangs or Max Beerbohm aren’t considered first tier writers, but the Project Gutenberg revolution widens our view of what constitutes notability (and causes us to reassess many works easily passed over). Consider the case of Lafcadio Hearn whose reputation I predict will only increase with time.







One response to “What I’ve been reading”

  1. Chakras Avatar

    You have a great list there. Sanskrit is a most interesting subject.

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