Book List


Presently reading Ronald Knox The Viaduct Murder. It is listed in one of the definitive lists (the Haycraft list) as one of the great works of detective fiction. I'm not far into it at this point, however, I do have high hopes for it.

Also reading Mandelbrot's The (Mis)Behavior of Markets. I think I've made sufficiently clear my deep admiration for the mathematics of Benoit Mandelbrot; although there seems to be about him a certain air of insecurity that demands frequent mention of "my work" and "my research." I shouldn't think he would have anything to be defensive about, but perhaps the world of economics research and scholarship is more cutthroat than I realize.

I'm also alternating between Ascent to Love and a book of short essays Carmelite Prayer. These were a thoughtful and utterly unexpected gift. And they are a magnificent way to start the New Year.

On deck, as it were, are a number of birthday and Christmas gifts.

Mr. Norrell and Jonathan Strange (Or vice versa, can't seem to keep in mind the order of the names
Will in the World Nominated for the national book award and splendidly written study of Shakespeare's "secrets."
And a large number of books by Evelyn Waugh including 9 travel books, the Men at Arms trilogy, Black Mischief, Scoop, and The Ordeal of Gilbert Pinfoil Waugh is, however, best taken in very small doses. I do have on my list for purchase as soon as it comes available a dual biography--Ronald Knox and Edmund Campion. (I have a copy of the Edmund Campion and remember reading it and not being terribly impressed, often having to read a single sentence seven or eight times to get the logic of the paragraph flow. I am now more used to Waugh's style and hope that the difficulty was merely unfamiliarity. Also, his biography of St. Helena is being reissued. I intend to read that as well. Waugh is perhaps my perfect counterfoil because his view of the world is so diametrically opposed to my own. I find what Waugh writes appealing, but a good deal less than hilarious most of the time. Even the "comic masterpieces" such as The Loved One do not really touch me with a sense of comedy. Perhaps it is too dark. Nevertheless, I find what he writes enormously appealing once I got over the Brideshead Revisited anomaly. Curiously unlike anything else I have read by him.

There are other books--I'm still reading in fits and starts Anna Karenina and intend to read other translations by these authors--most particularly Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov which I have heretofore found utterly impenetrable.

And so the list continues and unwinds.

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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on January 6, 2005 8:42 AM.

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