Thursday, July 30, 2009

more books on my list

Well as I reported yesterday, I scored a cheap copy of The Great Gatsby. I had a nice time reading the first two chapters on my commute - I almost missed my stop coming home, I was so absorbed in the narrator's first meeting with Gatsby.

So here are more books on my must-have list, although I don't expect I'll find copies at a Goodwill...

  • Filthy Shakespeare: Shakespeare's Most Outrageous Sexual Puns: "Divided into chapters on lesbianiasm, homosexuality, virginity, sexual diseases, impotency, whores, pimps, brothels and other topics that shall here remain nameless, this jaw-dropping, giggle-inducing text proves both the Bard's enduring relevance and the fact that today's popular entertainment isn't nearly as debased as some might think..."

  • The State of Jones: "Make room in your understanding of the Civil War for Jones County, Mississippi, where a maverick small farmer named Newton Knight made a local legend of himself by leading a civil war of his own against the Confederate authorities. Anti-planter, anti-slavery, and anti-conscription, Knight and thousands of fellow poor whites, army deserters, and runaway slaves waged a guerrilla insurrection against the secession that at its peak could claim the lower third of Mississippi as pro-Union territory..."

  • The Making of a Sonnet: A Norton Anthology: "...his illuminating anthology follows the sonnet through its various moments and makers over five and a half centuries. Edward Hirsch and Eavan Boland, two of our foremost poets, focus on vicissitudes, paying particular attention to how individual poets—from Shakespeare to Strand—have claimed these fourteen lines: lengthened them, shortened them, elaborated on them, and, in turn, been defined by them..."

  • The Wordy Shipmates: "essayist and public radio regular Vowell (Assassination Vacation) revisits America's Puritan roots in this witty exploration of the ways in which our country's present predicaments are inextricably tied to its past. In a style less colloquial than her previous books, Vowell traces the 1630 journey of several key English colonists and members of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Foremost among these men was John Winthrop, who would become governor of Massachusetts. While the Puritans who had earlier sailed to Plymouth on the Mayflower were separatists, Winthrop's followers remained loyal to England, spurred on by Puritan Reverend John Cotton's proclamation that they were God's chosen people..."

  • Reagan's Victory: The Presidential Election of 1980 And the Rise of the Right: research for my latest full-length play, which is semi-autobiographical from my semi-hippie days in Palmyra NJ

  • Regency Buck: OK, I'm not really into romance novels (and no, "Jane Eyre" does not count, although it is sometimes considered an early work of the genre) but I found the title intriguing...