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Mary Karr's Bookcase

Mary Karr (born January 16, 1955) is an American poet, essayist and memoirist. She rose to fame in 1995 with the publication of her bestselling memoir The Liars' Club. She is the Jesse Truesdell Peck Professor of English Literature at Syracuse University.

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Written on the front lines in Vietnam, Dispatches became an immediate classic of war reportage when it was published in 1977.

From its terrifying opening pages to its final eloquent words, Dispatches makes us see, in unforgettable and unflinching detail, the chaos and fervor of the war and the surreal insanity of life in that singular combat zone. Michael Herr’s unsparing, unorthodox retellings of the day-to-day events in Vietnam take on the force of poetry, rendering clarity from one of the most incomprehensible and nightmarish events of our time.

Dispatches is among the most blistering and compassionate accounts of war in our literature.

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An Autobiography Revisited

Speak, Memory, first published in 1951 as Conclusive Evidence and then assiduously revised in 1966, is an elegant and rich evocation of Nabokov's life and times, even as it offers incisive insights into his major works, including Lolita, Pnin, Despair, The Gift, The Real Life of Sebastian Knight, and The Defense.

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The unforgettable novel of a childhood in a sleepy Southern town and the crisis of conscience that rocked it, To Kill A Mockingbird became both an instant bestseller and a critical success when it was first published in 1960. It went on to win the Pulitzer Prize in 1961 and was later made into an Academy Award-winning film, also a classic.

Compassionate, dramatic, and deeply moving, To Kill A Mockingbird takes readers to the roots of human behavior - to innocence and experience, kindness and cruelty, love and hatred, humor and pathos. Now with over 18 million copies in print and translated into forty languages, this regional story by a young Alabama woman claims universal appeal. Harper Lee always considered her book to be a simple love story. Today it is regarded as a masterpiece of American literature.

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An epic novel of the violence and depravity that attended America's westward expansion, Blood Meridian brilliantly subverts the conventions of the Western novel and the mythology of the "wild west." Based on historical events that took place on the Texas-Mexico border in the 1850s, it traces the fortunes of the Kid, a fourteen-year-old Tennesseean who stumbles into the nightmarish world where Indians are being murdered and the market for their scalps is thriving.

Publisher's Note: The 25th Anniversary Edition has been reset, causing the text to reflow. Page references based on earlier editions will no longer apply, so Vintage Books has compiled the following chart as a conversion aid. Download the chart by copying and pasting the following link into your browser: http://knopfdoubleday.com/marketing/BloodMeridianPageReference.pdf

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A modern-day Confessions of Saint Augustine, The Seven Storey Mountain is one of the most influential religious works of the twentieth century. This edition contains an introduction by Merton's editor, Robert Giroux, and a note to the reader by biographer William H. Shannon. It tells of the growing restlessness of a brilliant and passionate young man whose search for peace and faith leads him, at the age of twenty-six, to take vows in one of the most demanding Catholic orders--the Trappist monks. At the Abbey of Gethsemani, "the four walls of my new freedom," Thomas Merton struggles to withdraw from the world, but only after he has fully immersed himself in it. The Seven Storey Mountain has been a favorite of readers ranging from Graham Greene to Claire Booth Luce, Eldridge Cleaver, and Frank McCourt. Since its original publication this timeless spiritual tome has been published in over twenty languages and has touched millions of lives.

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One Hundred Years of Solitude tells the story of the rise and fall, birth and death of the mythical town of Macondo through the history of the Buendía family. Inventive, amusing, magnetic, sad, and alive with unforgettable men and women -- brimming with truth, compassion, and a lyrical magic that strikes the soul -- this novel is a masterpiece in the art of fiction.

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Larkin's final collection of poems shows, as does all his best work, his ability to adapt contemporary speech rhythms and everyday vocabulary to subtle metrical patterns and poetic forms. Many of the poems in the collection, which includes some of his best-known pieces ("The Old Fools", "This Be the Verse", "The Explosion", and the title poem) show the preoccupation with death and transience that is so typical of the poet. Rather than words comes the thought of high windows: The sun-comprehending glass, And beyond it, the deep blue air, that shows Nothing, and is nowhere, and is endless. - from "High Windows".

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The must-have Pevear and Volokhonsky translation of one of the greatest Russian novels ever written

Described by William Faulkner as the best novel ever written and by Fyodor Dostoevsky as “flawless,” Anna Karenina tells of the doomed love affair between the sensuous and rebellious Anna and the dashing officer, Count Vronsky. Tragedy unfolds as Anna rejects her passionless marriage and thereby exposes herself to the hypocrisies of society. Set against a vast and richly textured canvas of nineteenth-century Russia, the novel's seven major characters create a dynamic imbalance, playing out the contrasts of city and country life and all the variations on love and family happiness.

While previous versions have softened the robust and sometimes shocking qualities of Tolstoy's writing, Pevear and Volokhonsky have produced a translation true to his powerful voice. This authoritative edition, which received the PEN Translation Prize and was an Oprah Book Club™ selection, also includes an illuminating introduction and explanatory notes. Beautiful, vigorous, and eminently readable, this Anna Karenina will be the definitive text for fans of the film and generations to come. This Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition also features French flaps and deckle-edged paper.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

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Whether writing about waiting as a child in a dentist's office, viewing a city from a plane high above, or losing items ranging from door keys to one's lover in the masterfully restrained "One Art," Elizabeth Bishop somehow conveyed both large and small emotional truths in language of stunning exactitude and even more astonishing resonance. As John Ashbery has written, "The private self . . . melts imperceptibly into the large utterance, the grandeur of poetry, which, because it remains rooted in everyday particulars, never sounds ‘grand,' but is as quietly convincing as everyday speech."

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In his work as a physician, Williams had learnt the skill of objective observation which he applied to his poetry, examining, as he said, 'the particular to discover the universal'. Marked by a vernacular American speech and direct observation of the landscape and people of his native New Jersey, his poetry explores the 'raw merging of American pastoral and urban squalor. Emotionally restrained but rich in sensory experience, the poems were written according to the guiding concept: 'no ideas but in things' and those 'things', a red wheelbarrow, a group of trees, a river, convey the local and the particular with a vivid intensity.

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After more than a generation and despite its many imitators, The Riverside Shakespeare remains the Shakespeare of choice for scholars and general readers alike. Recently revised to reflect the last quarter century of literary scholarship, it is now available in a deluxe edition - two volumes, bound in full cloth, in a handsome, four-color slipcase. The new, revised version of The Riverside Shakespeare retains all the features that made the first edition so popular - the invaluable notes, the wide-ranging introduction, and the brilliant critical prefaces to the individual works. Additions include the history play Edward IIIand the poem "A Funeral Elegy," both recently claimed for Shakespeare by computer-aided textual analysis. The original appendices have been updated and expanded and are joined by two new essays, "Twentieth-Century Shakespeare Criticism" and "Shakespeare's Plays in Performance: From 1970," the latter accompanied by eight pages of full-color photographs.

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The life of Keats provides a unique opportunity for the study of literary greatness and of what permits or encourages its development. Its interest is deeply human and moral, in the most capacious sense of the words. In this authoritative biography--the first full-length life of Keats in almost forty years--the man and the poet are portrayed with rare insight and sympathy. In spite of a scarcity of factual data for his early years, the materials for Keats's life are nevertheless unusually full. Since most of his early poetry has survived, his artistic development can be observed more closely than is possible with most writers; and there are times during the period of his greatest creativity when his personal as well as his artistic life can be followed week by week.

The development of Keats's poetic craftsmanship proceeds simultaneously with the steady growth of qualities of mind and character. Mr. Bate has been concerned to show the organic relationship between the poet's art and his larger, more broadly humane development. Keats's great personal appeal--his spontaneity, vigor, playfulness, and affection--are movingly recreated; at the same time, his valiant attempt to solve the problem faced by all modern poets when they attempt to achieve originality and amplitude in the presence of their great artistic heritage is perceptively presented.

In discussing this matter, Mr. Bate says, "The pressure of this anxiety and the variety of reactions to it constitute one of the great unexplored factors in the history of the arts since 1750. And in no major poet, near the beginning of the modern era, is this problem met more directly than it is in Keats. The way in which Keats was somehow able, after the age of twenty-two, to confront this dilemma, and to transcend it, has fascinated every major poet who has used the English language since Keats's death and also every major critic since the Victorian era."

Mr. Bate has availed himself of all new biographical materials, published and unpublished, and has used them selectively and without ostentation, concentrating on the things that were meaningful to Keats. Similarly, his discussions of the poetry are not buried beneath the controversies of previous critics. He approaches the poems freshly and directly, showing their relation to Keats's experience and emotions, to premises and values already explored in the biographical narrative. The result is a book of many dimensions, not a restricted critical or biographical study but a fully integrated whole.,

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Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky, the highly acclaimed translators of War and Peace, Doctor Zhivago, and Anna Karenina, which was an Oprah Book Club pick and million-copy bestseller, bring their unmatched talents to The Selected Stories of Anton Chekhov, a collection of thirty of Chekhov’s best tales from the major periods of his creative life.

Considered the greatest short story writer, Anton Chekhov changed the genre itself with his spare, impressionistic depictions of Russian life and the human condition. From characteristically brief, evocative early pieces such as “The Huntsman” and the tour de force “A Boring Story,” to his best-known stories such as “The Lady with the Little Dog” and his own personal favorite, “The Student,” Chekhov’s short fiction possesses the transcendent power of art to awe and change the reader. This monumental edition, expertly translated, is especially faithful to the meaning of Chekhov’s prose and the unique rhythms of his writing, giving readers an authentic sense of his style and a true understanding of his greatness.

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The adventures of Christopher Robin, Winnie-the-Pooh, and all their friends in the storied Forest around Pooh Corner. "This is an example of a sequel in which there seems to be no letdown, and from all sides I catch echoes of most joyous reaction to it." --- New York Herald Tribune, 1928

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Ezra Pound has been called "the inventor of modern poetry in English."

The verse and criticism which he produced during the early years of the twentieth century very largely determined the directions of creative writing in our time; virtually every major poet in England and America today has acknowledged his help or influence. Pound's lyric genius, his superb technique, and his fresh insight into literary problems make him one of the small company of men who through the centuries have kept poetry alive―one of the great innovators.

This book offers a compact yet representative selection of Ezra Pound's poems and translations. The span covered is Pound's entire writing career, from his early lyrics and the translations of Provençal songs to his English version of Sophocles' Trachiniae. Included are parts of his best known works―the Chinese translations, the sequence called Hugh Selwyn Mauberly, the Homage to Sextus Propertius. The Cantos, Pound's major epic, are presented in generous selections, chosen to emphasize the main themes of the whole poem.

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Authored

The dazzling, prizewinning, wickedly funny tale of Mary Karr’s hardscrabble Texas childhood—the book that sparked a renaissance in memoir

When it was published in 1995, Mary Karr’s The Liars’ Club took the world by storm and raised the art of the memoir to an entirely new level, as well as bringing about a dramatic revival of the form. Karr’s comic childhood in an east Texas oil town brings us characters as darkly hilarious as any of J. D. Salinger’s—a hard-drinking daddy, a sister who can talk down the sheriff at twelve, and an oft-married mother whose accumulated secrets threaten to destroy them all. Now with a new introduction that discusses her memoir’s impact on her family, this unsentimental and profoundly moving account of an apocalyptic childhood is as “funny, lively, and un-put-downable” (USA Today) today as it ever was

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