Friday, December 31, 2010

#267. Reading List: 1812 - The War That Forged a Nation


The latest on the Reading List is:

1812: The War That Forged a Nation by Walter Borneman, which focuses on, of all possible surprises in the universe, the War of 1812, perhaps the most famous but least known conflict in US history. I've got a story based on it that I hope to at least have started by 2012 (and hopefully be published otherwise before then), so this is unofficially a bit of research material, but also keeping with the trend I was speaking of earlier in the List.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

#266. Reading List: Israel Potter


Next on the Reading List:

Israel Potter by Herman Melville, one of his last novels, which is partially based on a eal historical figure, a survivor of Bunker Hill, one of the defining conflicts of the American Revolution, who actually wrote his own story at the time of the monument that commemorates that battle, several decades earlier. The veracity of Potter's own narrative was suspect enough, but Melville weaves a story that may reflect on his own fallen literary status, but which provides a fascinating look into the formative United States experience. Melville himself was descended from distinguished members of this generation. Part of what's so fascinating for me is that, without intending it, I'm reading this book after Johnny One-Eye, a far more contemporary, but no less irreverent, look at the same period in history. Glossing over the rest of the Reading List, I'll be delving into a lot of interrelated works, and again, through no conscious intent.

...And I work in a bookstore where people can't even find a single book on their own...Speaking of which, I'm once again giving credit for this book (via linking) to my employer, which has the exact copy I'm reading readily available on its site, which Amazon hasn't. I may be using Borders more often for this blogging of my ongoing list...

Thursday, December 02, 2010

#265. Reading List: The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven, Mr. Palomar


Currently on the Reading List:

The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven by Sherman Alexie, a collection of interrelated short stories painting a portrait of life on an Indian reservation. I originally read Alexie in college, a book called Indian Killer, which wasn't very good, and as it turns out, not really all that reflective of his writing. This stuff's far better, and helps demonstrate how he'd become a noted literary voice.

Previously, I read Italo Calvino's Mr. Palomar, a series of existential observations, basically thought-provoking material. I may read the author's more famous If on a Winter's Night a Traveler, a book I was supposed to read in college, but didn't get around to, later on, when I've made it further along in the list (i.e. completed it).

Melville's Typee was pretty good, but far from his most literary work. It makes sense, what happened to his career, after reading it.


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