Sunday, February 22, 2015

Fun reading

While usually LitNav focuses on classic, beautiful prose and poetry, there is no denying that reading for pure, simple fun is also amazing. Some people enjoy YA literature, others like Amish romance, some read sci-fi or mystery series, or even fanfic.

Others plow through all the Tom Clancys and Clive Cusslers, or turn to super long epics like Neal Stephenson, Follett, Paul Anderson, Russian classics Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky and James Joyce's epic Irish novels. For nature lovers, getting your hands on copies of Thoreau's seasonal journals is worth it. They are very long and immerse you in the beauty of nature.

While Pynchon counts, there are so many times when people want to turn their minds off and enjoy a great story without using any critical thinking. It's fun to enjoy stories as they wash over you. Gothic favorites like dreamy, macabre yet elegant Anne Rice are fun. For more esoteric work, try the incredible Scarlet Imprint Press for interesting, complex books about the intangible world and historical magic and religious traditions.

Other light books to try are the slim, comic Jeeves and Wooster books and the Nero Wolfe mysteries by Rex Stout. The early Janet Evanovich romantic adventures with Stephanie Plum can be enjoyable. The long list of Ludlum's Jason Bourne books are a great, fun series as is the perhaps opposite one of Anne of Green Gables.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Rupert Brooke

One of the greatest modern [Great War era/early pre-Modernist, I mean] poets was British writer Rupert Brooke [1887-1915]. A great poem by him is "Beauty and Beauty", if you enjoy this be sure to try more of his work here. Brooke was exceptional at being a poet, even more for his early Great War poems--he blends the early trends of Modernism [concise style, ancient moods, Imagist hints] with an older, Romantic, Shelley-like style. His work is moving, lovely, subtle and also dark, eerie and draws you in:

When Beauty and Beauty meet
   All naked, fair to fair,
The earth is crying-sweet,
   And scattering-bright the air,
Eddying, dizzying, closing round,
   With soft and drunken laughter;
Veiling all that may befall
Where Beauty and Beauty met,
   Earth's still a-tremble there,
And winds are scented yet,
   And memory-soft the air,
Bosoming, folding glints of light,
   And shreds of shadowy laughter;
Not the tears that fill the years