Thursday, March 16, 2006

An old favorites list

Looking for something else, I came across my old old old website (not from 1994, though, maybe I haven't been a web presence as long as I thought--this page was created in April 1996!). Here is something that was included there:

Some of my favorite books

  • The Collected Dialogues of Plato. (Check out other translations, or if you can afford the money and effort, get some of the Loebs -- bilingual editions. Best bet for your money though is still the Bollingen Series edition, edited by Edith Hamilton -- of Mythology fame -- and Huntington Cairns. It's handy to have them all together, even if Benjamin Jowett gets annoying.)
  • The Complete Book of Plant Propogation, by Graham Clarke & Alan Toogood. (If you love growing plants like I do, you can't survive without it. A dense 250 pages, published by Ward Lock Limited, out of London.)
  • Complete Poems of John Keats and Percy Bysshe Shelley. (I have an old Modern Library old it's not even dated.)
  • Complete Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe. (Modern Library again, but at least I'm certain this one's still in print. If you don't happen to be from the USA, or if you've just never tasted of his eloquence, try reading Descent Into the Maelstrom -- what a gorgeous word! -- Berenice, and Morella for tales; and Israfel, and Alone for poems.)
  • Essays and Letters by Percy Bysshe Shelley. (Never heard of them? Don't blame me. If you get a chance to check it out, read his essay On Love. It's great stuff! The volume I have was special ordered from an outfit with the all-too- innocuous name of Books for Libraries Press, Freeport, New York. Reprinted 1971.)
  • The Language Instinct, by Steven Pinker. (You just have to read it.)
  • Letters to a Young Poet, by Rainer Maria Rilke. (I have Stephen Mitchell's translation.)
  • The Little Prince, by Antoine de Saint-ExupĂ©ry. (Yes! The Classic. We have begun a collection, which now includes the original French, as well as English, Spanish, German, Czech and Slovak translations. Gift idea, anyone? I hear there are dozens more translations.)
  • Lucy: The Beginnings of Mankind, by Donald Johanson & Maitland Edey. (A good introduction to evolutionary theories.)
  • A Man Without Words, by Susan Schaller. (You'll never think the same way about thought or language.) Check out American Journal of Psychology Winter 1992, Vol. 105, no. 4, pp. 648-653, for a review by Carol A. Padden. I haven't read it yet, but intend to.
  • The Monadology, by Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz. (I have it in a larger volume pubished by Open Court Classics.)
  • A Natural History of the Senses, by Diane Ackerman. (She's also written A Natural History of Love. I'm halfway through it.)
  • Seeing Voices, by Oliver Sacks -- of Awakenings fame. (Be forewarned, his footnotes are as long as his text.) This book is included among a full list of books relevant to Deaf issues.
  • Winston Churchill's Afternoon Nap, by Jeremy Campbell. (A fascinating, and largely undiscovered masterpiece purportedly addressing the Nature of Time. If you've read Grammatical Man, don't let that turn you off. This one reads like a different author.)
Sorry, I had to remove all the old links, like my list of books relevant to Deaf issues (mostly because they are dead-ends now.) I confess, my tastes have changed a bit since then. Like, for instance, I've gained a much more critical attitude towards Steven Pinker... but nonetheless, the list is revealing. Pace, Dryden... I like Shelley. :) By the way, we still have our collection of The Little Prince (now totalling 17 volumes, one currently on loan to a friend, in 14 different languages).


Yr. Hmbl. & Obdt. said...

Shelley...shudder...well, to each his own, I suppose...I will give Percy this much: if we had to judge all artists and critics by what they produced in their extreme youth, we probably would think much less of many of the greats--had Percy bothered to take a few swimming lessons, I might think much more of him based on what he'd gone on to produce.

ArticulateDad said...

And, just think, if Mozart had lived another 20 years--surviving to the ripe age of 56 (he died a month before turning 36!)--perhaps he could have produced works as saccharin and boring as, say Edna St. Vincent Millay!

Apropos: Recuerdo has got to be the worst published poem of all time!