Autumn Book Haul

It’s that time of year again: our local library’s semi-annual book sale just passed and as usual, I came away with a huge stack of books. Here’s a quick list of them: do let me know if you’ve read any of them and what you thought!

  • Murder in the Cathedral by T. S. Eliot – Eliot’s famous verse drama about the 1170 assassination of Archbishop Thomas Becket of Canterbury.
  • World’s Fair by E. L. Doctorow – A semi-autobiographical coming-of-age story set in Depression-era New York. I’ve heard lots of good things about Doctorow, but I’ve never read him, so I’m looking forward to this.
  • The Road by Cormac McCarthy – The story of a father and son trying to survive in post-apocalyptic America. I’ve heard very high praise for this book and for McCarthy, so I’m looking forward to this too (dark as it sounds).
  • John Keats: Selected Poetry and Letters edited by Richard Harter Fogle – A very old (1969) but very nice edition of Keats’s poems and letters (most of them to family members and John Hamilton Reynolds). Admittedly, part of this book is rendered redundant by my fifth purchase, which was . . .
  • The Complete Poems of Keats and Shelley – I was able to find almost no publication information about this book, not even so much as the editor’s name. It’s just a big green book of Keats (and Shelley).
  • Canaan and The Orchards of Syon by Geoffrey Hill – Two books of poetry from a poet who is famous for being hard to understand. Wish me luck.
  • Seventeenth Century Poetry edited by Hugh Kenner – In case I haven’t mentioned it before, I am a huge fan of the Metaphysical Poets, so I was excited to find this collection, which is brim-full of poems by Donne, Marvell, and Herbert, as well as poets I haven’t read before like Abraham Cowley and Thomas Traherne.
  • The Three Theban Plays by Sophocles (translated by Robert Fagles) – This is a collection of three plays by Sophocles: Antigone, Oedipus the King, and Oedipus at Colonus. I can see this being useful for future school/reading projects.
  • The Norton Anthology of Poetry, Shorter Fourth Edition edited by Margaret Ferguson, Mary Jo Salter, and Jon Stallworthy – I picked this up with just a quick glance at the table of contents, but when I got it home, I realized how much great stuff there is in here: besides staples like Shakespeare, Eliot, the Romantics, etc., there are dozens of poets unknown to me, as well a few unexpected selections, like Bob Dylan’s “Boots of Spanish Leather” and W. S. Gilbert’s “I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major General.” There’s even a poem from Li-Young Lee, one of my favorite contemporary poets. Plus, where my other big poetry anthologies are a little lacking in poems by Donne, this one more than gives him his due. 🙂
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