Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Book Suggestions for 2015

Suggestions from Jan Carter

Proust...Remembrance of Things Past


anything by Virginia Woolf, Wm Faulkner, or Robertson Davies

Graves...I, Claudius

Bellow....Henderson the Rain King

Bowles...The Sheltering Sky

Icelandic medieval....Njal's Saga

Suggestions from Leroy Seat

A selection from the Bible -- The Gospel of Mark or The Gospel of Luke. (All that has been read so far, except for Revelation, has been from the Old Testament.) If the former should be selected, perhaps some of us could augment the discussion with material from Ched Myers's "Binding the Strong Man: A Political Reading of Mark's Story of Jesus." 
[note by Clif: Mark was read in 2012]

A work of poetry -- I don't read much poetry, but I would be interested in Sylvia Plath's "The Colossus and Other Poems" (1960).

For the non-Western selection, how about "Cry, the Beloved Country" (1948) by South African Alan Paton?

For a selection by a female author, my suggestion is Virginia Woolf's "Mrs. Dalloway" (1925).

For a recent selection, I suggest John Steinbeck's "East of Eden" (1952), which someone else suggested.


Suggestions from Bo Smith:

Challenging & intriguing works; Pre 1700:
HYPNEROTOMACHIA POLIPHILI (The Strife of Love in a Dream) by Francesco Colonna, c. 1599, 1999 translation by Jocelyn Godwin 
THE PLUM IN THE GOLDEN VASE (also known as THE GOLDEN LOTUS; 2 volumes) (1610) by Jin Ping Mei
THE BLAZING WORLD (1666) by Margaret Cavendish, the Duchess of Newcastle

An example from European era was the building block for late 18th century & 19th century western literature:
CANDIDE (1759) by Voltaire (or another of the so often cited “great books” from the Age of Enlightenment; by figures including Locke, Rousseau, Diderot, Samuel Johnsons, et. al.)

The beginning of Romanticism:
THE SUFFERINGS OF YOUNG WERTHER (1774) by Goethe (written when Goethe was in his 20’s;  said by some to be the first “best seller”)

Influential 19th century:
MIDDLEMARCH (as the summer marathon or another, shorter novel by George Eliot at another time)
CRIME AND PUNISHMENT or a short (WHITE NIGHTS, say) by Dostoyevsky or some other rep from Russian lit

A Short Story or 2 from a collection, say
HOLDING PATTERN by Jeffrey Renard Allen

 World literature:
PALACE OF DESIRE (1953; volume 2 in THE CAIRO TRILOGY) by Naguib Mahfouz 

20th century European & American lit:

Commemoration of last year’s passing of key author opening American readers to treasures from Latin America:
CHRONICLES OF A DEATH FORETOLD (1981) by Gabriel Garcia Marquez 

World-noted contemporary lit:
PURPLE HIBISCUS (2003) by Chimimanda Ngozi Adichie
READING LOLITA IN TEHRAN (2003) by Azar Nafisi
THE YACOUBIAN BUILDING (2002) by Alaa Al Aswany

& here are 3 substantial books I’d love to share reading responses with others, all, highly stimulating, major works:
 THE PATAGONIAN HARE: a memoir by Claude Lanzmann (2009; English translation 2012); sure to be one of the most recognized books in its field
DIARY: volume one (1953-56) by Polish √©migr√© treasure, Witold Gombrowicz 
SONG OF THE SHANK (2014) by Jeffery Renard Allen

* or another recognized, though likely controversial, work from the Middle East; lots to choose from tho not that many that are easily available in our region. I’d prefer something from the last 100 years. Maybe by Egyptian Sonallah Ibrahim or Jordan/Iraqi Abdul Rahman Munif, or Syrian poet known as Adonis (or Adunis) (Ali Ahmad Said Esber), though these would be hard to find.


Submitted by Bernard Norcott-mahany:
[Bible] Book of Ruth, Acts of the Apostles

[Greeks] Sappho’s poems (If Not, Winter); Plato, Gorgias; Epictetus, Discourses; Apollonius of Rhodes, Argonautica

[Shakespeare] King Lear (HOASF 2015)

[Poetry] Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Sonnets from the Portuguese; Chaucer, Troilus and Criseyde; Sylvia Plath, Ariel

[Non-Western] Bhagavad Gita; Cao Xueqin, The Dream of the Red Chamber; Naguib Mahfouz, The Cairo Trilogy

[Female] Emily Bronte, Wuthering Heights; Sappho; E.B. Browning, Sonnets from the Portuguese; Sylvia Plath, Ariel

[Recent] Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange; Ludwig Wittgenstein, Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus; Sylvia Plath, Ariel; Sartre, Being and Nothingness; Heidegger, Being and Time; James Agee, Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, Faulkner’s Snopes Trilogy, Mahfouz’ Cairo Trilogy, and dos Passos’ USA trilogy

[Short] John Milton, Areopagiticus; Edward Albee, The Zoo Story; Wittgenstein, Tractatus; Marx and Engels, The Communist Manifesto, Henry David Thoreau, Civil Disobedience, Martin Luther King, Jr. Letter from a Birmingham Jail
Long Mahfouz, The Cairo Trilogy; Faulkner, The Snopes Trilogy; John Dos Passos, The USA trilogy

Submitted by Tim Thurman

The Myth of Sisyphus by Camus

The Mayor of Casterbridge/Hardy 
Bleak House/Dickens 




A Shropshire Lad/A.E. Houseman 
The Wasteland et al/T.S.Eliot 


Female author:  
The Awakening/Kate Chopin

Recent (1900-1964):  
Swann’s Way/Proust 
East of Eden/Steinbeck   
Tess of the d’Urbervilles/Hardy  

Shorter work:  
The Awakening/Kate Chopin

Longer work:  
The Snopes Trilogy/Faulkner 
Our Mutual Friend/Dickens 
Bleak House/Dickens 
The Sot-Weed Factor/John Barth 

Submitted by Donald E. Pepper

Lucretius-- "The Nature of Things"

George Santayana's only novel -- "The Last Puritan", and/or "The Life of Reason". Alternatively, any of his writings.

Kant -- "Critique of Pure Reason".

Salinger-- "The Catcher in the Rye".

"The Chronicles of NARNIA" by C. S. Lewis.

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