Endless Literary Labor

The Collector continues to unpack. Were there time for that sort of thing, your professional reader would commandeer the entire blog for the week and just blog that gigantic shipment of books about which was blogged last week. Because really, isn’t that what Stacked should be about? Cycling is important. We do not disagree. But we like to think that cycling is something one does so that one can get home to one’s club chair and read, absentmindedly downing King Oscar sardine fillets on Zesta crackers until the eyes give out. Surely you agree.

More from that shipment:

“In forsaking, in these poems, the sexual triangle, Shakespeare mimics erotic bondage in its pure form, where infidelities with others, on either side … are not at all the heart of the matter. The moral crux is the fact that one ‘loves’ the agent of degradation more than one hates self-degradation.”

That’s a bit from Helen Vendler’s workup of Sonnet 148 in The Art of Shakespeare’s Sonnets, carefully chosen to titillate those who are go first for the naughty bits. The Vendler weighs in at several pounds. It’s 672 pages of nothing sonnet analysis and commentary bought with the Library’s Walnut Street Poetry Society in mind but of course available to any of the rest of the membership who might want to bail out of the twenty-first century and spend time in the Renaissance when there were no talk shows or primaries. And, yes, we know that there was plague and the Spanish Inquisition, but still… (There’s a cd of Helen Vendler reading sonnets tucked on the back board. All in all, an exceptional value)

John J. Muth used Cincinnati for some of the artwork in his graphic novelization of Fritz Lang’s classic thriller M. The book is also M. One sharp eyed member elbowed the Collector out of the way, grabbed M and quickly pointed out the dome of St. Paul’s church on Spring Street and an old Cincinnati street. The artwork is hypnotic.

Library member Sally Moore, an attorney, writes romances under the name Ann Christopher, and we have scouted out and laid in all of her titles we could find, including Trouble, which has a cast of young lawyers, which should be of interest not just to the many young lawyers in the Library but to the many lawyers of advanced years who wonder just what it is those energetic associates are up to.

Prizewinning author John Banville, had a hit last year with Christine Falls, a dark crime novel set in mid-twentieth century Dublin and Boston. To his discredit, he used a pen name, suggesting that Banville was for the good stuff and Benjamin Black was for the mass market. But we in the mass market will forgive him, however grudgingly, as long as the books are as good as Christine Falls. His new Benjamin Black is the Silver Swan, featuring the cranky pathologist Quirke whom we liked a lot.

One of our members whose wife awaited eye surgery thought it would be a good idea to build up the large print collection and made a handsome gift to the Mercantile to put the idea into action. One of the books bought with that gift is Elizabeth Noble’s Things I want My Daughters To Know which we, as the father of two, think may be the most useful title of the year. It’s a novel. Not a self-help deal.

Finally, for this week, The Miracle at Speedy Motors, the new novel in Alexander McCall Smith’s immensely popular No 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series has arrived. Come and get it.

-Nemo Wolfe

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Published in: on May 14, 2008 at 4:34 pm  Leave a Comment  

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