Reading Like A Writer – Francine Prose
‘A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them’
A New York Times Book Review Notable Book of the Year
In her entertaining and edifying New York Times bestseller, acclaimed author Francine Prose invites you to sit by her side and take a guided tour of the tools and tricks of the masters to discover why their work has endured. Written with passion, humor, and wisdom, Reading Like A Writer will inspire readers to return to literature with a fresh eye and an eager heart- to take pleasure in the long and magnificent sentences of Phillip Roth, and the breathtaking paragraphs of Isaac Babel; to look to John le Carré for a lesson in how to advance plot through dialogue and to Flannery O’Connor for the cunning use of the telling detail. And, most important, Prose cautions readers to slow down and pay attention to words, the raw material out of which all literature is crafted.
Why I bought it::
I love a good writing book and have been avidly collecting them whenever I see them. When I flipped through this book in the store and saw the format – dissecting actual paragraphs and sentences from master works, I had to have it. Simple as that.
Bobcat and Other Stories – Rebecca Lee
See my review of this book here. (Coming Soon)
Rebecca Lee, one of our most gifted and original short story writer, guides readers into a range of landscapes, both foreign and domestic, crafting stories as rich as novels. A student plagiarizes a paper and holds fast to her alibi until she finds herself complicit in the resurrection of one professor’s shadowy past. A dinner party becomes the occasion for the dissolution of more than one marriage. A woman is hired to find a wife for the one true soulmate she’s ever found. In all, Rebecca Lee traverses the terrain of infidelity, obligation, sacrifice, jealousy, and yet finally, optimism. Showing people at their most vulnerable, Lee creates characters so wonderfully flawed, so driven by their desire, so compelled to make sense of their human condition, that it’s impossible not to feel for them with their fragile belief in romantic love, domestic bliss, or academic seclusion fails to provide them with the sort of force field they’d expected.
Why I bought it::
Basically I’ve wanted to start branching out a little bit away from standard fiction into some less explored territory, including collections of short stories. It’s not the first time I’ve read short stories, my favorite that I’ve read so far is The Facts Behind the Helsinki Roccamatios by Yann Martel – I highly recommend it.
This book, however, first showed up in an e-mail about up and coming work recommended by a bookseller, and when I saw it in the store for an additional 30% off, I decided to grab it up.
Sophocles I | Antigone, Oedipus the King, Oedipus at Colonus
Edited by David Grene & Richmond Lattimore
Forgive me for pronouncing Oedipus incorrectly – how in the world do you say it, anyway?
In the third edition of The Complete Greek Tragedies, Mark Griffith and Glenn W. Most have carefully updated the translations to bring them even closer to the ancient Greek while retaining the vibrancy for which the Grene and Lattimore version are famous. New introductions for each play offer essential information about its first production, plot, and reception in antiquity and beyond. Each volume also includes an introduction to the life and work of it’s tragedian and an explination of how the plays were first staged, as well as notes addressing textual uncertainties and a glossary of names and places mentioned in the plays. The result is a set of handsome paperbacks destined to introduce new generations of readers to these foundational works of Western drama, art, and life.
[This is the first volume, I’ve since bought the second Sophocles as well]
Why I bought it::
I went the the bookstore that day specifically for some Ancient Greek plays. I really wanted some more Aristophanes, but they didn’t have any in store. I did recognize Sophocles’ name, and this edition is so nice. You can’t really tell in the video, but this is a high quality edition. It’s heavy for only 238 pages, and the covers are striking and so smooth. Perhaps a bit rubberized? I’m not sure, but it smells amazing, too ;-)
Much Ado About Nothing
One of the most beloved romantic comedies of all time, Much Ado About Nothing is a classic story of love conquering all – despite one’s best intentions. The Barnes & Noble Shakespeare Much Ado About Nothing is based on the text of the First Quarto of 1600, providing a text as close as possible to the play Shakespeare wrote.
One of Shakespeare’s greatest tragedies, Othello’s portrayal of jealousy and deception remains as shocking today as when it was first written. The Barnes & Noble Shakespeare Othello is based on the text of the First Folio of 1623, providing a text as close as possible to the play Shakespeare wrote.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Shakespeare’s hilarious though often unnerving story of desire, confusion, and magic has delighted audience for 400 years. The Barnes & noble Shakespeare A Midsummer Night’s Dream is based on the text of the First Quarto of 1600, providing text as close as possible to the play Shakespeare wrote.
Widely regarded as Shakespeare’s most perfect comedy, Twelfth Night follows the twisting paths that lead to love. The Barnes & Noble Shakespeare Twelfth Night is based on the text of the First Folio of 1623, providing a text as close as possible to the play Shakespeare wrote.
Shakespeare’s compelling treatment of guilt and revenge in Hamlet has fascinated playgoers and readers for 400 years. The Barnes & Noble Hamlet is the first edition of the play based entirely on the Second Quarto of 1604, providing a text as close as possible to the play Shakespeare wrote.
Why I bought them::
Any book collector in the world would be proud to own their own entire collection of Shakespeare’s work. Alright, I already do (I own this copy already) – but these individual editions are full of helpful notes and will be much easier to digest as a lone reader. Also, as I mention in the video, I think these are brilliant covers and I hope to own the entire collection very soon.
An Object of Beauty – Steve Martin
‘I am tired, so very tired of thinking about Lacey Yeager, yet I worry that unless I write her story down, and see it bound and tidy on my bookshelf, I will be unable to ever write about anything else.’
So writes Daniel Franks, the narrator of a story about the woman he’s been unable to let go of for years in the latest novel by bestselling author and acclaimed entertainer Steve Martin.
Lacey Yeager is young, captivating, and ambitious enough to take on the notoriously demanding art world of New York City. Groomed at Sotheby’s and hungry to keep climbing the social and career ladders put before her, Lacey charms men and women, old and young, rich and even richer with her charisma and liveliness. Her career sends her zipping all over Manhattan, the east coast, and even St. Petersburg, and her self-manufactured allure makes the reader wonder if it is not she who is the object of beauty. Her ascension to the highest tiers of New York parallels the soaring heights – and, at times, the darkest lows- of the art world and the country from the late 190s through today. With twenty-two lush, four-color art reproduction throughout, An Object of Beauty is both a primer of the business of fine art collection and a close study of the personalities that make it run. With his latest novel Steve Martin once again displays his compassion and keen skills of observation and understanding.
Why I bought it::
I’ve seen this book everywhere for what seems like years. The price was right, and the cover is beautiful, and I’d be interested to read a book by Steve Martin, who I only know as an actor in movies like ‘Father of the Bride’. I’ve flipped through it now, and I love the paintings included. The chapters are ridiculously short, so it may be a quick read as well. Some day!