Showing posts from December, 2013


If there is one poet whose name has come to be associated with cliches of the genre, that would be Henry Wadsworth Longfellow"You're a poet / and you didn't know it / but your feet show it / they're long fellows!"  A sad pun which sums up most critics' opinion.  I am biased the other way - after reading a substantial selection of Longfellow's poetry, I was left overall impressed, even in a comparison with Wordsworth.  That is more or less how I decided to read Hyperion (1839), one of his more obscure, prose works.

The book follows a young American, Paul Flemming, on his travels through the scenery of Germany and Switzerland.  Recently in mourning for his childhood friend (girlfriend?), Flemming finds comfort in studying the lives of the people he meets, as well as in conversing upon philosophy and religion with his various travelling companions.  His life changes upon meeting the beautiful Mary Ashburton, an intellectual Englishwoman with a talent for d…

2013 Reads Recap

As I mentioned before, this was an unambitious year for reading.  My reading goals, such as they were:
The Prairie, J. F. Cooper - This was for school, so I read it and wrote a paper on it. One biography - Instead of reading a biog, I randomly decided to read my sister's library book, From the Ashes of Sobibor by Thomas Toivi Blatt.  I have read Holocaust memoirs before, and they were all worth it, but this one felt additionally unique.  It describes the author's childhood in Poland, the takeover by the Nazis, and his enslavement in, and eventual escape from, the death camp Sobibor.  A depressing but eye-opening book that I highly recommend.One political science book - For this I read America and the World by Brzezinski, Scowcroft, and Ignatius.  Again, this is not one I formally reviewed here, but it was interesting (though cursory regarding details).One philosophy book - I read three: Meditations by Aurelius, Notes from Underground by Dostoyevsky, and The Power of the Powerle…

Back to the Classics 2014 challenge

Updated 1/2/14
Back to the Classics, hosted by Karen
This is challenge is themed on books published during or prior to 1964.  For some of the categories, I will be overlapping with other challenges (because I'm not terribly ambitious!), but there are new to-read books on this list that I'm also looking forward to.


✓  A 20th Century ClassicThe Castle (1926, Kafka).  Alternative: 1984 (1949, Orwell) or The Great Gatsby (1925)The Old Man and the Sea (1952, Hemingway)✓  A 19th Century ClassicThe Masterpiece (1886), ZolaLord Jim (1899–1900, Conrad)A Classic by a Woman AuthorA Vindication of the Rights of Woman (Wollstonecraft)✓  A Classic in TranslationThe Brothers Karamazov (Dostoyevsky)A Wartime ClassicFor Whom the Bell Tolls (Hemingway) - Spanish Civil WarA Classic by an Author Who Is New To You:  Beneath the Wheel (Hesse) - subject to change, though I've been wanting to read Hesse for a while nowOptional Categories: An American ClassicThe Scarlet Le…

2014 Russian Lit Challenge

An addition to my previous post - the Russian Literature 2014 challenge hosted by o.  I will be reading Eugene Onegin plus 2-3 other books (probably The Brothers Karamazov, Memories of the Future, and/or In the First Circle).  Russian lit is a significant chunk of my reading list, so this is a very exciting challenge!

2014 Books & Challenges

Getting next year's reading mapped out has been fun in itself - mainly because I've read so few books this year.  It hasn't been a matter of less time or different priorities, just neglect.   That really has to change.  Approaching graduation, I want to keep the studying momentum that has been my frenemy for the past four years and transfer it to my own reading/studying in the future.


Books Lord Jim - by all accounts, Joseph Conrad's best long novel. High time to read it!The Magician's Nephew (Spanish trans.) - for a beginner's attempt at multilingual reading.  I know most of this book practically by heart, so this shouldn't be too hard.Lesser priority:
Empty my "to-finish" list - include Bleak House.  Decide whether to finish or not finish each book.Steampunk/Sci-Fi Reading List - any book(s)The Great GatsbyComplete Hornblower series - Hotspur and everything chronologically afterwardsThe Little White HorseOut of the Silent Planet (C. S. …

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