Odyssey Online

Entries Tagged as 'Recommended Book'

Chinua Achebe

March 22nd, 2013 · Comments Off on Chinua Achebe

The news was broken today that Chinua Achebe has died.  A Boston Globe tribute included this memorial:

‘It would be impossible to say how ‘Things Fall Apart’ influenced African writing,’’ the African scholar Kwame Anthony Appiah once observed. ‘‘It would be like asking how Shakespeare influenced English writers or Pushkin influenced Russians. Achebe didn’t only play the game, he invented it.’’

We have a good selection of Achebe’s works, including the following:

Tags: Books · Recommended Book

Book Stores and Holiday Reading

December 20th, 2012 · Comments Off on Book Stores and Holiday Reading

From our dynamic Collection Development Librarian, Michelle Gillie:Hoping to find an iPad or a Kindle in your stocking this year?   Don’t forget about OverDrive@SLU: our downloadable collection of e-books and audiobooks that you can enjoy on your shiny new e-reader, tablet, iPod, or other mobile device.   Use your SLU ID number to select and access titles whenever you like, for a loan period of up to three weeks.   Click here for more information about this service.

If you prefer to leave the wired world behind when you’re not at work, pay a visit to the ODY Browsing Collection located near Special Collections on ODY’s main level. Whether you’ve been naughty or nice, you’ll find plenty of bestsellers, award-winners, biographies, travel books, contemporary poetry, humor, and other popular fiction and nonfiction to relax with over the break. If you don’t see what you’re looking for, contact Michelle Gillie at ODY (mgillie@stlawu.edu or x5834).  We always welcome suggestions for new titles from the SLU community.

Also, I wrote of Atlantic Magazine being a great source for information on books, book recommendations, and Benjamin Schwarz has put forth their best books of 2012 list.  It’s a good list, and we have most of them.   Recommending a book is a great Holiday activity, well, it’s a great activity in the summer to, one part reflection, one part bravado (I know books and I’m going to make sure you know too), and one part verbal correspondence. When you are recommending a book you are giving a little bit of yourself, you are making a statement the way you might in a letter and just like a letter you have to wait for a response.  In talking with the digitally-oriented youth who prowl and patrol this northerly campus one of the aspects of letter writing they find alien is waiting on a response–that you don’t get with the send command a reply.  Same with recommending a book, you have to wait until the person to whom you’ve recommended  the book reads it.  So I suppose, taking my own logical postal, that the trip to the book store is itself letter writing…of a kind…a correspondence with an imagination out, above and below immediate experience.  Here’s hoping there are plenty of books in your holiday…




If you don’t see what you’re looking for, contact Michelle Gillie at ODY (mgillie@stlawu.edu or x5834).  We always welcome suggestions for new titles from the SLU community.


Tags: Books · Recommended Book

On Bookstores, Shakespeare and Company

November 26th, 2012 · Comments Off on On Bookstores, Shakespeare and Company

…with the holiday’s upon us it seems like a good moment to contemplate bookstores. Independent bookstores.  They are, of course, cousins to libraries, and when they work they exhibit a purpose and collection that functions much as one hopes a library works in a given locale.  Much of the reading one might do in the news on bookstores and their fate would be pretty grim going…tales of closures and “creative destruction.”  However, there is a literature connected about bookstores that speaks to the higher calling therein.  Some Monday morning reading in the Sewanee Review (Fall 2012 issue) and I came across a captivating piece by Seymour I. Toll, “Shakespeare on the Left Bank.” It is a recounting of Sylvia Beach and her Paris bookstore Shakespeare and Company.  Toll’s essay not only details Beach’s involvement with the Hemingway, and Joyce, and other modern writers who frequented her shop, he writes about the bookstore as a bookstore–important in that one can accurately say that Shakespeare and Company perhaps holds a status of the Camelot of bookstores, the once and future king…

…more on bookstores anon.  In our collection we have Sylvia Beach’s memoir Shakespeare and Company, and a collection of her letters, 2012, Columbia UP, edited by Keri Walsh.

Tags: Books · Essay on Bibliography · Recommended Book

Autumnal Reading, Rereading

October 15th, 2012 · Comments Off on Autumnal Reading, Rereading

…sampling (again!) Patricia Meyer Spacks book On Rereading and came upon this lovely phrase in her chapter “The Pleasure Principal,””Both the surprises and the other gratifications of rereading typically come in bits and pieces: not grand new interpretations so often as glimpses of possibility” (129).  This speaks I think to the inherent optimism of sustained reading (that is reading books versus the reading news-seeking asks us to do).  When we embark to read we embark–there are expectations, there are hope, and these are realized (or no).  “Glimpses of possibility” speaks wonderfully to how reading is self-revelation, and how quickly and fleetingly that comes. Though this is extended reading–this is throw yourself in the book reading, this is trusting yourself to read.




Tags: Books · Essay on Bibliography · Recommended Book

Summer Reading Suggestions

June 28th, 2012 · Comments Off on Summer Reading Suggestions

…this summer we haven’t blogged the reading suggestions as we’ve done in summer’s past (see the link for Recommended Book to review what we’ve suggested), but in my blog wandering I can upon 101 Things to Read This Summer Instead of ’50 Shades of Grey.’ A flow chart of mood, life moment, type of book, theme of book, size of book, and need to read all marvelously interrelated.  Truly one of the great (I’m gushing I realize) graphical representations of choosing a book published on the Web.  Lots of good advice, too, so in lieu of home gardened recommendations, use 101 Things to Read…more on the libraries soon!

Tags: Books · Recommended Book

F. Scott Fitzgerald in the News

May 21st, 2012 · Comments Off on F. Scott Fitzgerald in the News

The online version of Esquire Magazine is republishing the essays that made F. Scott Fitzgerald’s book, The Crack-Up. Included in the online version are images of the original publication in Esquire in 1936.  To my mind Fitzgerald is the quintessential image of the modernist writer as tragic figure: haunted by success, substance abuse, turbulent marriage. To read Fitzgerald is to somehow think about THE WRITER in block caps–he still projects a life lived for literature still.  Some of the more recent things about Fitzgerald in the collection include:

Tags: Books · Recommended Book

Friday Blogging, New Poetry

April 20th, 2012 · Comments Off on Friday Blogging, New Poetry

…not a great deal of blogging this month about it being National Poetry Month, and with the end of the semester drawing close maybe not all that much time for recreational reading, but, soon? So with that in mind a quick overview of some of the new collections of poetry in our Browsing Collection:

Tags: Recommended Book

Friday Blogging, On Rereading

March 25th, 2012 · Comments Off on Friday Blogging, On Rereading

…I realise it’s Sunday just after lunch…where I have just finished Ian Donaldson’s new biography, Ben Jonson A Life, having spotted a positive review in the New York Times Book Review.  A contemporary of Shakespeare, and maybe, just maybe, the best playwright of that era after Shakespeare, Jonson is someone I studied as an undergrad and graduate student those many years ago.  Reading Donaldson’s fine new book was not only a reacquaintance with Jonson the man, but with memories of myself as a reader.  So if not exactly an exercise in rereading, an exercise in treading where a reader as trod.  For an overview of Jonson the writer try the Oxford Standard Authors, Ben Jonson edited, coincidentally enough, by Ian Donaldson (I’ll return the biography and it will be back in the Browsing Collection Monday…)

Tags: Books · Recommended Book

Two to Reread

March 9th, 2012 · Comments Off on Two to Reread

…with last weeks post about rereading in mind I found myself thinking of two books that would be very much worth a reread.  The first is William Maxwell’s book The Outermost Dream.  It is a book about books, and I suppose it is a book about Maxwell as a reader, and one of the titles he details is Laurie Lee’s book The Edge of Day: A Boyhood in the West of England, first published in 1959. I bought the Maxwell title from Birch Bark Books in Colton New York, not knowing it or Maxwell from birch bark but these are both subtly beautiful books–like those sounds in nature that please: bluster through spruce, rain on porch roofs, summertime wind chimes.  Worth rereading.

Tags: Books · Recommended Book

Friday Blogging, On Rereading

March 2nd, 2012 · Comments Off on Friday Blogging, On Rereading

…I noticed in our happening Browsing Collection (other side of the goat, right in front of Special Collections), On Rereading by Patricia Meyer Spacks.  On page nine she writes:

In rereading, demands on memory multiply…reading something for the first time may also evoke past selves, inasmuch as we recall bygone experience, of books and of life outside books, when vicariously experiencing the lives of imaginary others.  Rereading brings us more sharply in contact with how we–like the books we reread–have both changed and remained the same.  Books help to constitute our identity. They also, as we reread them, measure identity’s changes with the passage of time.

A thought for yet another gray Friday this gray winter…a perfect day to reread a book that matters…

Tags: Books · Recommended Book

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