Monday, August 25, 2008

This Week in Reading August 24 - 30

Already back in school or still on vacation? This week's list of authors offers mostly older names you might encounter in liberal arts college studies. For example there are philosophers John Locke and Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel you'll have to read and perhaps you'll run into Howard Zinn's take on history. If you study anything about fairy tales and folklore you'll encounter Bruno Bettelheim. Humanities students will read the plays of Johann Wolfgang van Goethe and the poetry of Robert Herrick, the main novels of Jorge Borges and Theodore Dreiser, and maybe in elective courses run across the avant garde poetry of Gullaume Apollinaire and the novels and stories of Jules Romains, Christopher Isherwood, Roberston Davies, Martin Amis, and Paul Coelho.

This Week's Question: Like many a reader casually looking to find something to read on a trip one of this week's authors ran across a three volume set of books in a used bookstore that quite incidentally inspired a character that this author used eleven times for a very successful series of novels. Who was it?

Answer to Last Week's Question: Several authors from last week's list had stories published in the New Yorker. Annie Proulx has had several. But the very first one was by the Algonguin Round Table's Dorothy Parker who was a friend of Harold Ross, the original publisher. The magazine had a hard time starting and the offices were so small that Parker quipped when she was seen elsewhere during the daytime that the reason she was not in the office was that "Someone else is using the pencil."

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