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Stephin Merritt's Bookcase

Stephen Raymond Merritt (born February 9, 1965), better known as Stephin Merritt, is an American singer-songwriter, best known as the principal singer and songwriter of the band The Magnetic Fields. He is known for his distinctive and untrained bass voice.

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A Divine Guide to Good Behaviour

Quentin Crisp (born Denis Charles Pratt, 25 December 1908 - 21 November 1999), was an English writer and raconteur Manners from heaven : a divine guide to good behaviour offers insightful instructions for compassionate living. Directs mischievous wit toward proper etiquette for the eighties by caustically detailing the many facets of being polite in an impolite society.

Found via: Ideal Bookshelf

Celebrating the lively dance music that draws together generations of Polish Americans, "Polka Happiness" captures the energy, excitement, and shared sense of belonging embodied in polka sociability. With rich descriptive material and 150 historical and contemporary illustrations, the book focuses on the musicians, the fans and the cultural institutions that keep the polka party going. From family gatherings and weddings to local fan clubs, night spots and churches to national and regional festivals, the polka scene is a year-round carnival, full of high jinks, hilarity, ethnic pride and tears an intensely felt experience drawn from sources deep in Polish America. The testimony of musicians and fans, old timers and young enthusiasts, tells how polka culture has resisted the melting pot for more than a century. Interviews, memorabilia and photographs spotlight the stars of the polka world Li'l Wally, Walt Solek, Eddie Blazonczyk, Frankie Yankovic, the Dyna-Tones as well as the many regional favorites in Buffalo, Milwaukee and Chicago that have delighted millions of fans. "Polka Happiness" chronicles the immense popularity of the music in nineteenth century Europe and its enduring popularity in the United States. After tracing the history of polka's spread throughout the world, the authors focus on the emergence and intense rivalry of the Chicago and Eastern styles in the United States. The book also traces the role of the International Polka Association in establishing networks, promoting events and providing an environment in which Polish Americans can celebrate and nourish their cultural heritage. For twenty years, the authors have been part of the social world of polka music and dancing in the bars, church halls and ballrooms of Rust Belt America; their exuberant descriptions reflect the enthusiasm of wholehearted participants. Author note: Charles Keil is Professor of American Studies at State University of New York, Buffalo, and the author of "Tiv Song and Urban Blues". Angeliki V. Keil is a writer and researcher and the compiler of an autobiography of Markos Vamvakaris. Dick Blau is Professor of Film at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Found via: Ideal Bookshelf

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The Story of Franz Biberkopf

Alfred Döblin (1878-1957) studied medicine in Berlin and specialized in the treatment of nervous diseases. Along with his experiences as a psychiatrist in the workers' quarter of Berlin, his writing was inspired by the work of Holderlin, Schopenhauer and Nietzsche and was first published in the literary magazine, Der Sturm. Associated with the Expressionist literary movement in Germany, he is now recognized as on of the most important modern European novelists.

Berlin Alexanderplatz is one of the masterpieces of modern European literature and the first German novel to adopt the technique of James Joyce. It tells the story of Franz Biberkopf, who, on being released from prison, is confronted with the poverty, unemployment, crime and burgeoning Nazism of 1920s Germany. As Franz struggles to survive in this world, fate teases him with a little pleasure before cruelly turning on him. Foreword by Alexander Stephan Translated by Eugene Jolas>

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Century #2 1969

  • The new volume detailing the exploits of Miss Wilhelmina Murray and her extraordinary colleagues, Century is a 240-page epic spanning almost a hundred years. Divided into three 80-page chapters — each a self-contained narrative to avoid frustrating cliff-hanger delays between episodes — this monumental tale takes place in three distinct eras, building to an apocalyptic conclusion occurring in our own, current, twenty-first century.
  • Chapter one is set against the backdrop of London, 1910, twelve years after the failed Martian invasion and nine years since England put a man upon the moon. In the bowels of the British Museum, Carnacki the ghost-finder is plagued by visions of a shadowy occult order who are attempting to create something called a Moonchild, while on London's dockside the most notorious serial murderer of the previous century has returned to carry on his grisly trade. Working for Mycroft Holmes' British Intelligence alongside a rejuvenated Allan Quartermain, the reformed thief Anthony Raffles and the eternal warrior Orlando, Miss Murray is drawn into a brutal opera acted out upon the waterfront by players that include the furiously angry Pirate Jenny and the charismatic butcher known as Mac the Knife.

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A seventy-five-year-old King gets new vintage cover art for his anniversary!

Celebrate the 75th birthday of Dr. Seuss's classic treatise on the importance of a balanced life with our Anniversary Edition featuring cover art from the books original publication! A Seussian spin on a conventional fairy tale, The King's Stilts is as topical today as when it was first published in 1939. It's the story of a devoted king who works hard and plays hard—and whose entire kingdom is threatened when his beloved stilts are stolen and he is too distraught to do his job. Written in prose instead of rhyme (unlike Seuss's later works), The King's Stilts nevertheless addresses subjects that we know Dr. Seuss was passionate about throughout his life: duty (as in Horton Hears a Who and Horton Hatches the Egg); the abuse of power (as in The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins and Yertle the Turtle); deceit (as in The Bippolo Seed and How the Grinch Stole Christmas)--and even cats (as in The Cat in the Hat and I Can Lick 30 Tigers Today)! A perfect way to introduce new readers to an old classic, or to reward existing fans with a collectible new edition. Follow the Good Doctor's advice: After a hard day of work, have fun with a great book like The King's Stilts!

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Novellas and Other Writings

Collected here in one volume are six works that represent nearly a quarter century in the productive life of one of the most accomplished and admired of American writers. They explore the private worlds of our "Gilded Age." A once free-spirited American woman in Paris tries to extricate herself from her marriage to a French aristocrat in "Madame de Treymes." A divorced mother finds herself in a strange romantic triangle in "The Mother's Recompense." Repressed passions smolder in small town New England in the classic "Ethan Frome," a tale of unhappy marriage and desperate love which erupts in an act of shattering violence, and in "Summer," which Wharton called the "hot 'Ethan.'" Also included here are "Old New York," four linked novellas set in succeeding decades from the 1840s to the 1870s, Wharton's renowned autobiography "A Backward Glance," and "Life and I," a fascinating autobiographical fragment published here for the first time.

Found via: Ideal Bookshelf

Crowds and Power is a revolutionary work in which Elias Canetti finds a new way of looking at human history and psychology. Breathtaking in its range and erudition, it explores Shiite festivals and the English Civil war, the finger exercises of monkeys and the effects of inflation in Weimar Germany. In this study of the interplay of crowds, Canetti offers one of the most profound and startling portraits of the human condition.

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