Odyssey Online

Entries from July 2009

Summer Reading

July 24th, 2009 · Comments Off on Summer Reading

…we have a new edition of Tolkien in the collection, The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun, his retelling in verse of  two Norse myths (edited by Christopher Tolkien).  Spending time in the pleasant summer months (c’mon,  a few days have been pleasant) reading and rereading Tolkien is certainly summer time spent well, and with Odyssey Online about to take a two week vacation, I thought I’d recommend new materials about Tolkien that we’ve got in the collection.  We’ve been working to build the collection of scholarship on Tolkien, and these books ought to tide everyone over until we’re back to making recommendations in mid-August:

Tags: Recommended Book

Recommended Reading

July 21st, 2009 · Comments Off on Recommended Reading

…tomorrow night I’ll be conducting a seminar on writing haiku for area teens at the Rensselaer Falls Branch of the Canton Free Library, and, with that in mind I thought I’d recommend some newer anthologies of haiku that look interesting:

And don’t forget the Baseball Haiku I recommended, what was it, last week?

Tags: Recommended Book

Summer Reading

July 20th, 2009 · Comments Off on Summer Reading

…Ted Hughes was mentioned here a couple of weeks back, and while Hughes has an impressive body of work, one cannot think about him without thinking about his first wife, Sylvia Plath.  Plath’s life tragic death and all the intersections with Hughes are a story in-and-of-themselves, but of note to Plath and poetry enthusiasts is a new edition of Ariel, her master-work, which contains a facsimile edition of the poems. The book provides a glimpse of Plath the poet at work, and is worth some time for that reason alone.

Tags: Recommended Book

Summer Reading

July 16th, 2009 · Comments Off on Summer Reading

…certainly middle July is midsummer, and this means it is the perfect time, right to the day, to read (reread I’m sure) Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream (this link is to the Arden Edition of the play, voluminous notes…).

We also have a number of film versions of the play.  While our work here in Odyssey Online is to recommend books, we can take a slight break from that to recommend two versions of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, notably the 1935 Max Reinhardt and William Dieterle version of the play which is a great “Classic Hollywood” movie featuring James Cagney and Olivia De Havilland, as well as the great “hipster-1960’s” (for want of a better way to put it) 1968 Peter Hall directed version, starring Derek Godfrey, Barbara Jefford, Nicholas Selby, Hugh Sullivan, David Warner, Diana Rigg, Michael Jayston, Helen Mirren, Judi Dench, Ian Holm. As Shakespeare himself says:

I know a bank where the wild thyme blows,
Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows,
Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine,
With sweet musk-roses, and with eglantine…

Tags: Recommended Book

Summer Reading

July 14th, 2009 · Comments Off on Summer Reading

…even better than golf is baseball!  There is a fine tradition of writing about baseball, and this little gem should be right there with the old glove that you take to the game: Baseball Haiku: The Best Haiku Ever Written About the Game edited by Cor van den Heuvel and Nanae Tamura. It’s as simple as a knuckleball; a collection haiku about baseball by American and Japanese poets.  Here are two by Imai Sei:

the baseball stadium’s
ten-thousand empty seats
the first swallow

a ground-rule double
any ball that’s hit into
the green onion field

All star game is tonight, a perfect choice for such a day!

Tags: Recommended Book

Summer Reading

July 9th, 2009 · Comments Off on Summer Reading

…another popular pastime up here (at least I know a few people who play) is golf.  We have a number of fun books about golf, things to read, I guess, when idling between rounds at the club house?

The Jenkins book is a novel about women’s professional golf and is, like anything Jenkins writes, a little rauncy in places, but rauncy in the best sense of the word…the Updike collection is illustrated by Paul Szep whose work you’ll recognize the instant you see it.

Tags: Recommended Book

Summer Reading

July 7th, 2009 · Comments Off on Summer Reading

…one of the great pleasures of summer in the north country is canoeing! Canton was home, of course, to Rushton canoes and the many rivers, from the Racquette to the Grasse to the mightly St. Lawrence provide for wonderful paddling. We have our share of interesing materials on canoeing, starting the the Paul Jamieson archival collections (Jamieson’s work on Adirondack conservation is extremely important) and here are four recommended titles on canoes from our collection, starting with one by SLU alum and Canton resident Chris Angus:

McPhee’s book is about Maine and the Raffan book is obviously about Canada, but are those canoe places or what! Happy paddling and happier reading…

Tags: Recommended Book