The OF Blog: New blogging endeavor and books bought for review there

Saturday, December 17, 2011

New blogging endeavor and books bought for review there

Those of you who follow me on Twitter (@Squirrelpunkd) already know this, but for those who don't, very shortly Paul Smith and I are going to be launching a new literary review/discussion blog called Gogol's Overcoat.  It will be an outlet for both of us to discuss at length non-genre fiction, non-fiction, histories, poetry, and the other arts patronized by the Muses.  There will be guest writers and several features that hopefully will make our site worth visiting regularly.

In preparation for that, I've been stocking up on certain books that I want to cover that deserve more than the 850-1200 word reviews that I typically write here (don't worry, I plan on keeping this blog updated frequently).  Here are some of the books I've bought the past week or so (including a McKay's run today) that will almost certainly be covered in some form or the other over at Gogol's Overcoat (minus the Easton Press edition of George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion and Candida that I inexplicably forgot to photograph):

The first four books are part of the American Poets Project, published by Library of America (I have their Theodore Roethke edition ordered).  I am thinking of doing a monthly poetry feature, if not a biweekly one, since a love of poetry has been in at least three generations of my family.  Found two more Hesse books in German, so those will be read sometime in 2012, provided I free up the time to brush up on my German.  I was almost shocked to see the Portuguese edition of José Saramago's The Duplicated Man when I was at McKay's today.  Even more surprising was that it was only $1.50 (I rarely can get a Portuguese edition online for under $25).  I am thinking of reviewing several Saramago volumes, either for here or Gogol's Overcoat (or possibly both).  And yes, I picked up a beginner's level Chinese textbook.  I think it would be a good challenge over the next several years to learn at least a few hundred Chinese characters so I could make a stab later at learning how to read in that language.

I've also been buying a lot of new and used Library of America editions lately in preparation for a possible regular feature on Gogol's Overcoat.  I've read the majority of these stories and poems before, but I value the notes and presentation of the Library of America editions.

Notice the diverse titles published under the Library of America aegis.  The sermons have been interesting so far (ending with the sermon Martin Luther King, Jr. gave just before his assassination was chilling) and Ambrose Bierce was a delight to read.  F. Scott Fitzgerald is one of my favorite 20th century writers.  Haven't read any of Charles Brockden Brown's novels, so this will be a discovery for me, or so I hope.


Harry Markov said...

I approve of this project as popular Internet meme says. I think it will be quite interesting to read a more non-genre blog and possibly add a few hundred more books for me to read. I'm looking forward to seeing, who your guest writers will be and I hope that you take your time to get a new design ready to go.

Larry Nolen said...

Well, it's possible some of the guests may be individual Serbian reading squirrels, each of whom deserve the spotlight ;)

Seriously though, there will be some surprises along the way. Paul and I are already planning on covering certain authors in a way similar to how I covered Borges in July 2010. The American Civil War in memoirs, fiction, and poetry will also be covered at some point.

Harry Markov said...

I hope that said Serbian reading squirrels will have Serbian warrior-sounding names.

I do hope you do that. I'd like to see Nabokov covered, along with his autobiography 'Speak, Memory'.

I hope that The American Civil War will be covered with 'Gone with the Wind'.

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