Happy Birthday

DZEFg20VMAEpQbmI grew up in the 1950s, in San Diego, went to a Los Angeles university in the 1960s, and am proud to admit that my most memorable professor was Jack Hirshman. Add Hirshman to an early (and frequent) exposure to James Joyce, Samuel Beckett, and S. I. Hayakawa, and it isn’t too much of a stretch to learn that my first young-adult visit to a famous landmark in San Francisco was not Carol Doda, but rather the City Lights Bookstore.

Lawrence Ferlinghetti was a personal local favorite. Back when I could only afford to nurse a single cup of coffee until the wee hours (ten cents a cup), I actually owned at least two volumes of Ferlinghetti’s poetry. Jack Hirshman was honored as Poet Laureaate of San Francisco and before that Lawrence Ferlighetti held the honor.

Does your town or city have a Port Laureate?

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Literary Sundae: Fruit, Nuts, a Little Whipped Topping

candied-coconut-sundaejpg-01b9a12712b7c5acIt’s a cold, rainy day here and I find myself reviewing some of my reading from the last twenty some-odd years. I notice that several of my most well-thought-of titles were read more than once, generally because of an online reading group selection or possibly a new translation or even reading in the original as well as in translation. I suppose it’s possible I reread a book or two just for the fun of it but that would be unusual since I tend to discard or trade-away anything I’ve already read.

I thought it would be interesting to make a list of the top four titles I read for each year. I won’t vouch for the ranking or even whether a book would interest me today, but generally I consider most of these books to be highly recommended.

What do you think? The full list of twenty titles per year is at Best-By-Year.

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