The OF Blog: Early 2014 purchases, including World War I-related books

Friday, February 21, 2014

Early 2014 purchases, including World War I-related books

It's been a long time since I've posted some book porn, so here are some of the books that I've purchased this year that might be of interest to readers and/or will be reviewed later this year:

 One of my few collecting hobbies is getting as many translations of all/parts of the Bible as possible.  I can read Latin with little difficulty (I studied it for two years in college in the 1990s) and the Stuttgart Vulgate is an edition I've wanted to own for some time.  Just so happens that the day I receive it in the mail (this past Wednesday), I also happened to find the 27th edition of the Nestle-Aland Greek New Testament.  Soon (maybe 1-2 years from now?) I hope to be able to concentrate on learning Koine Greek and this will be of great value for that end.

I've been reading Kyle Minor's latest collection, Praying Drunk, one story at a time over the past week or so.  Planning on writing a review in the next 1-2 months.  Adam Thorpe's Still I bought as a recommendation from Felix Gilman and I plan on reading it in the near future.

I plan on reading Mark Thompson's National Book Critics Circle Award biography finalist, Birth Certificate:  The Story of Danilo Kiš, in the next few weeks.  Kofi Awoonor's posthumous collection, The Promise of Hope, will be read and reviewed in May or June.

The Library of America edition of Wiliam Wells Brown's writings just came out this week.  I will read it at some undetermined date in the future (I have dozens of LoA editions to read through at some point).  I bought Robert Fitzgerald's translation of The Aeneid to read in tandem with my own translation notes on Book I of Vergil's famous work.

These are two books to read in the near future:  Julio Navarro's Dime Quién Soy and Dominique Rolin's Lettre à Lise.  The premises of both intrigue me.

Now for the World War I-related books:  First up is Alexander Soltzhenitsyn's August 1914 and Jessica Gregson's The Angel Makers.  Both will be reviewed sometime in mid-to-late 2014.

The two books that have occupied most of my so-called "reading time" this month (more like slow, careful looking up of words in two languages):  Liviu Rebreanu's Pădurea spânzuraților (Forest of the Hanged) and Miroslav Krleža's Hrvatski Bog Mars (Croatian God Mars).  Both shall take several more months each to complete, but when I do, there will be reviews written of both.

An anthology and a cultural history:  Tim Cross's anthology of WWI-related material, The Lost Voices of World War I, contains several writers that I haven't yet encountered in English or any other language.  Alan Kramer's Dynamic of Destruction:  Culture and Mass Killing in the First World War, is very good so far and I'll likely review it around May-June.

A play and a novel:  R.C. Sherriff's Journey's End and Joseph Boyden's Three Day Road.  Both are very likely to be read at some point this year.

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