Thursday, January 15, 2009

Books and Music 2009

Dear Lovers of Books and Music,

This year, as last, I've decided to keep a record of books I've read and significant pieces of music that I have listened to.

I am not a fast reader, so this list won't grow quickly. However, I like keeping a record. Perhaps, this year, I will add brief reviews as I build the list.

I'm rather committed to keeping most of my reading on a classic level. By that I mean that I am way behind in my reading of the best literature in all the world, so I am trying to catch up. Plus, I really do prefer books that have a lot of substance, even when I miss some of the points, which I often do.

Other readers sometimes help me understand, and for their insights I am grateful. Regrettably, I don't have too many musician friends to help me with my musical passion, save Elizabeth who occasionally helps to keep me on my operatic track.

Note: It will be from this listing that the Ellstrom Award for Literature 2010 will be chosen. The 2009 award is soon to be announced. (See 2008.)


Seraph on the Suwanee by Zora Neale Hurston
The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde
So You Don't Want to Go to Church Anymore by Wayne Jacobsen and Dave Coleman
Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce
Falling Man by Don DeLillo
Voices from Chernobyl: The Oral History of a Nuclear Disaster by Svetlana Alexievich
20th Century American Fiction (Part II) by Arnold Weinstein
20th Century American Fiction (Part III) by Arnold Weinstein
Omon Ra by Victor Pelevin
Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy
Blink by Malcolm Gladwell
20th Century American Fiction (Part IV) by Arnold Weinstein
Lost in a Good Book by Jasper Fforde
Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Glory by Vladimir Nabokov
King Lear by William Shakespeare
The Well of Lost Plots by Jasper Fforde
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
Henry James' Portrait of a Lady - Lecture series by Elliot Engel
Beowulf by ?? but Translated by Francis B. Gummere
The Hamlet by William Faulkner
The Shipping News by E. Annie Proulx.
Nostromo by Joseph Conrad
Shiloh by Shelby Foote
Slaughterhouse Five or the Children's Crusade a Duty Dance with Death by Kurt Vonnegut
The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man by James Weldon Johnson
My Day by Jean Rhys
The Lemon Tree: An Arab, a Jew, and the Heart of the Middle East by Sandy Tolan
The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
The Hammer of God by Arthur C. Clarke
The Death of Ivan Ilych by Leo Tolstoy
Breakfast of Champions or Goodbye Blue Monday by Kurt Vonnegut
The Quest of the Silver Fleece by W.E.B. DuBois
Miss Liberty? by John Digby
The Rabbi's Cat by Joann Sfar
Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser
Labyrinths by Jorge Luis Borges
Bayou by Jeremy Love
A Day of Pleasant Bread by David Grayson
Giving Up: The Last Days of Sylvia Plath by Jillian Becker
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
Everyman by Philip Roth
Mother Courage by Bertolt Brecht
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Other Jazz Age Stories by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Winter's Gift by Jane Monroe Donovan
My Cousin Rachel by Daphne Du Maurier
The Birds' Christmas Carol by Kate Douglas Wiggin
The Story of the Other Wise Man by Henry Van Dyke
Maus a Survivors Tale: My Father Bleeds History Vol I by Art Spiegelman

Barber: Prayers of Kierkegaard/Bartok: Cantata profanna/Vaughan Williams: Dona nobis pacem by Samuel Barber, Bela Bartok, and Ralph Vaughan Williams
La Rondine by Giacomo Puccini - This live in HD broadcast from the Metropolitan Opera was most beautiful with a stellar cast, both the lead singers Angela Gheorghiu and Roberto Alagna, but also the comic secondaries Lisette Oropesa and Marius Brenciu with Samuel Ramey as the not too wicked foil to boot. The best know aria of the opera is sung by Gheorghiu here-Chi il bel sogno di Doretta.
Erwartung by Arnold Schoenberg with Jessye Norman
Lucia di Lammermoor by Gaetano Donizetti
La Cenerentola by Gioachino Rossini (Take a listen:
The Saint of Bleecker Street by Gian Carlo Menotti
Christmas Oratorio (L’Enfance du Christ) by Hector Berlioz


cadh 8 said...

This is a good idea. I should do this too. Although, most of my reading comes from "" so my list is already there on the computer in the form of my playlist! :) But it would be interesting to look back on all the ones I have done and add the very few that I actually read. My Antonia is my first for 2009. Did your discs work for you? I loved that book as much the second time as the first.

brd said...

I would love for you to post your books on Letters and Surveys also. Then we can discuss. Perhaps you would like to offer a nomination for the Ellstrom Award? As a genetic Ellstrom your opinion should be taken into consideration.

My Antonia should have been next on my list, but it has been supplanted by Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, just because its due date is fast approaching.

Note: In spite of my commitment to classic lit, you can see that my second read of the year was pure (but delightful, I must say) silliness! It is an LOL book. At least 1 1/2 thumbs up.

brd said...

Oh, dear. I missed an opportunity to plug a true source of musical encouragement and one of my favorite blogs--Aworks::"New" American Classical Music and they even trackbacked me in regard to the Samuel Barber work. Thanks so much Aworks for all your thoughts on the contemporary classics.

cadh 8 said...

I didn't realize that you have been adding to this all year!! Wow! I also read the curious case of Benjamin Button and other stories. Very odd. And I actually understood the movie LESS after reading the book! :)