Tuesday, March 13, 2012

What to read next?

As indicated in my last post, I finished reading War Letters. Now I'm looking for the next read. I have my reading "pile," arranged almost three years ago, rearranged several times when I obtained other volumes that I couldn't wait to read, and slowly chipped away at. The next one in the pile is Last Chance for Victory, a 500 or more page book about the Civil War, especially a Southern perspective on the Battle of Gettysburg. Do I really want to read that next? I started reading it when I got it, read 20 or so pages and found it quite interesting, but it's a long book. I think I'll read the Introduction before making up my mind.

Then there's The Complete Short Stories of Mark Twain. I began reading them a couple of years ago, as I reported in this blog, but pulled off them. I found reading them to be tiresome. Each one is good, but I'm convinced they were not written to be read one after the other. I might read one or two more before tackling my next book, and make that a practice till I finish them.

I need to be reading a book on the writing craft. I have several in my library, and will look into them over the next couple of days.

Although I've slowed down on my book purchases, even used books, I have several that I've picked up over the last six months that I could incorporate into the reading pile and read next. These are:
  • Henry James: The Imagination of Genius, a Biography, by Fred Kaplan. I know nothing about Henry James, other than that he is well regarded in literary circles.
  • Stories by O'Henry. Since I'm writing some short stories, I figured I'd better read some by the master.
  • The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner. I've read little of Faulkner, and must someday fill that gap in my literary makeup.
  • John Keats Selected Poetry and Letters I may actually have this one, and the volume I recently bought would be a duplicate. But this one is older and will look better spine-out on the shelf. I don't plan on reading this soon. I've read a fair amount by Keats, both poems and letters, though more of him awaits my reading future.
  • Leonardo da Vinci: The Tragic Pursuit of Perfection. Who couldn't stand to read more about da Vinci? Actully, this will go to the bottom of the pile. I mainly bought it because it appears to be a 1938 first edition. I have the reference book to research this, and will do so after I get the book home.
  • The Changing American Voter by Nie, Verba, and Petrocik. It's a 1976 book, so a little older, but I figure this might be worthwhile research for The Candy Store Generation.
  • Reminiscences of a Stock Operator by Edwin Lefevre. This one is really for Lynda, though I'll probably read it at some point.
  • The Reagan Diaries by Brinkley and Reagan. I would love to get into these, but I usually find diaries and journals too intense to read straight through. I've already started Reagan in his Own Hand, but found it too intense to finish. I should finish that before I start something else by Reagan.
  • The Federalist Papers. This is my second copy of them: one to keep at home and one at the office. I should read some more in this for future editions of Documenting America. I also think I might need to read a few for TCSG.
How many of these might come to the top of my reading pile? I'll let you know soon.

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