Picking Flowers

Between the English Department and the Comparative Literature Department I flooded my university schedule with classes in Twentieth Century Literature—American, English, French, Italian, German—specific author concentrations—Shakespeare, Milton, Blake, Pope, Cervantes, Dostoevsky—and several other survey courses—Restoration Drama, Romantic Poetry, Latin and Greek Drama, Medieval Literature. Add to this some supporting courses in Literary Criticism, Linguistics, Rhetoric, and I left the university with what I felt was an excellent understanding of literature.

Then I went to Graduate School and discovered I was woefully under read: It was like I had brushed across the petals of the flowers but never learned to dig in the roots, Unfortunately I was chased from the pursuit of my degree by the war in South-East Asia, a bad case of the heartbreak of psoriasis, and the need to buy groceries.

I traded in my Army fatigues for a three-piece suit and got a full-time job, but I still expected to go back and get that degree so I maintained an impressive level of reading. But it didn’t last. In as little as three years I found myself reading (gasp) Science Fiction and Detective Stories.

But now, being retired, I have resumed my reading. This time I try to enjoy the varieties of experience reading can provide: the fun of mysteries, the concentration of poetry, the demands of literature, new books, old books, even books with pictures.

This last month I have been intrigued by a number of titles which I have suggested daily. Here is a list of those suggestions:

08-01-21 – The Girl With the Louding Voice — Abi Dare
08-02-21 – Bukowski, A Life — Neeli Cherkovski
08-03-21 – Shuggie Bain — Douglas Stuart
08-04-21 – The Man of Feeling — Henry MacKenzie
08-05-21 – The Ten, Make That Nine, Habits Of Very Organized People. Make That Ten — Steve Martin
08-06-21 – Cam Girl — Isa Mazzei
08-07-21 – The Awkward Black Man — Walter Mosley
08-08-21 – Through a Glass Brightly: using science to see our species as we really are. — David P. Barash
08-09-21 – Adjacentland — Rabindranath Maharaj
08-10-21 – The Encyclopedia of Lawmen, Outlaws, and Gunfighters — Leon Claire Metz
08-11-21 – Gilliamesque — Terry Gilliam
08-12-21 – A Wild Winter Swan — Gregory Maguire
08-13-21 – A Certain Hunger — Chelsea G. Summers
08-14-21 – Wieland: Or, the Transformation, an American Tale — Charles Brockden Brown
08-15-21 – Seven Samurai Swept Away in a River — Jung Young Moon
08-16-21 – The Evening and the Morning — Ken Follett
08-17-21 – Piranesi — Susanna Clarke
08-18-21 – Plain Bad Heroines — Emily Danforth
08-19-21 – Where the Wild Ladies Are — Aoko Matsuda
08-20-21 – The Last Rectangle and Other Short Stories — Akram Najjar
08-22-21 – Some Rain Must Fall: My Struggle Book 5 — Karl Ove Knausgârd
08-23-21 – Lit Up — David Denby
08-24-21 – Why Does the World Exist?: An Existential Detective Story — Jim Holt
08-25-21 – The Official Historical Corrections — Danielle Evans
08-26-21 – The Blind Earthworm in the Labyrinth — Veeraporn Nitiprapha
08-27-21 – Bones: Discovering the First Americans — Elaine Dewar
08-28-21 – The Pilot; or, A Tale of the Sea — James Fenimore Cooper
08-29-21 – Hamnet — Maggie O’Farrell
08-30-21 – David Foster Wallace Ruined My Suicide and Other Stories — D. D. Miller
08-31-21 – Your Inner Fish: A Journey Into the 3.5-Billion-Year History of the Human Body — Neil Shubin

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