Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Xmas Present From Work

In what is a nice gesture in these times of cut backs, everyone where I work was given a $100 gift card for Christmas. From my earlier post, you know I love me my gift cards! I haven't spent the whole thing yet, but here's what I have purchased so far:

Captain Blood by Rafael Sabatini. This sea adventure is a piece of romanticist literature in the tradition of Dumas and Sienkiewicz. Sabatini wrote a bunch of adventure stories, and I thought this would be a good place to start to see what he's got.

The Zen Teaching Of Bodhidharma, translated by Red Pine. You know I like this guy! See my zen entries to find out why. This book contains translations of the four 'sermons' attributed to him. It's a bilingual edition, which is kind of neat. Even if I can't read Chinese at all. (I know it must be hard to learn Chinese, but being a visual person I wonder if I'd had any easier of a time with it?).

Melville: His World and Work by Andrew Delbanco. Slowly, slowly, slowly I am coming to the end of Moby Dick. Can't believe how long it's taking me this time. Okay, I admit that I got distracted by Kathy Griffin's 'memoir', which Jim got me for Christmas. She makes me laugh, and I love her. So poor Hermie has to suffer yet another indignity...being placed on the backburner for a D-List comedian. Anyway, this is a biography and literary analysis of Melville and his work. Should be intriguing to read after plowing through six of Melville's novels this past year.

Beat to Quarters by C.S. Forester. I believe this is one of the more popular books of the Horatio Hornblower series. Another sea adventure. If I like it, maybe I'll snag some of the other books in the series. I had tried Patrick O'Brian's Master and Commander a while back and found it a bit dry. Hard to find books that strike that golden balance of literary merit and the taut writing and pacing needed for a great adventure novel. Hopefully this one's a keeper.

The Transcendentalists by Barbara L. Packer. Analysis and history of the movement that spawned and influenced some of the greatest writers and thinkers in early American literature. Could be an interesting read.

Roadhouse Sun - Ryan Bingham. I do not like much country music, and I'm not sure Bingham is really country. I file him under 'roots' on my ipod, where I put denim and leather jacket music that is sung by guys who sound like they've lived an awful lot of life. Ryan's raspy voice is exactly how I'd like to sound if I could sing, and he writes great songs too. Loved his first album Mescalito, and I hope this one's just as good.

Great to kick of 2010 with lots of new stuff to explore!

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