Thursday, December 30, 2010

Michael Silverblatt interviews Jaimy Gordon

If you missed Jaimy Gordon's appearance at KPL, you might enjoy listening to this interview of her by legendary reader Michael Silverblatt of KCRW's Bookworm podcast as they discuss Lord of Misrule and her reaction to winning the National Book Award.
You'll also find a list of novels Gordon recommends and an excerpt of her book to read.

14 New Year's Resolutions from Shakespeare

Before we leave Avon for the Mississippi, Shakespeare has a few words of advice for us as we begin the new year. This list was compiled by a very well-rounded Tax Lawyer.

  1. Spend more time with the people you loveAbsence from those we love is self from self – a deadly banishment.” – Two Gentlemen of Verona, Act III, Scene i
  2. Make fewer excuses for failing to meet goals“And oftentimes excusing of a fault doth make the fault the worse by the excuse.” – King John, Act IV, Scene ii
  3. Do what you fear“Boldness be my friend. Arm me, audacity, from head to foot.” -  Cymbeline, Act I, Scene vi
  4. Accept what you cannot changeExceeds man’s might: that dwells with the gods above.” – Troilus and Cressida, Act III, Scene ii
  5. Love your enemiesHeat not a furnace for your foe so hot that it doth singe yourself.” – Henry VIII, Act I, Scene i
  6. Be helpful to others - How far that little candle throws its beams! So shines a good deed in a naughty world.” – Merchant of Venice, Act V, Scene i
  7. Be patient -How poor are they that have not patience! What wound did ever heal but by degrees?” – Othello, Act II, Scene iii
  8. Be postive -It is neither good nor bad, but thinking makes it so.” – Hamlet, Act II, Scene ii
  9. Use time more wiselyI wasted time, and now doth time waste me.” – Richard II, Act V, Scene v
  10. Be tolerant of othersIf you prick us do we not bleed? If you tickle us do we not laugh? If you poison us do we not die? And if you wrong us shall we not revenge?” – Merchant of Venice, Act III, Scene i
  11. Question your premisesModest doubt is called the beacon of the wise.” – Troilus and Cressida, Act II, Scene, ii
  12. Learn from your mistakesSweet are the uses of adversity which, like the toad, ugly and venomous, wears yet a precious jewel in his head.” – As You Like It, Act II, Scene i
  13. Carpe DiemThere is a tide in the affairs of men, which taken at the flood, leads on to fortune. Omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and in miseries. On such a full sea are we now afloat. And we must take the current when it serves, or lose our ventures.” – Julius Caesar, Act IV, Scene iii
  14. Enjoy the journeyThings won are done, joy’s soul lies in the doing.” - Troilus and Cressida, Act I, Scene ii

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Suggestions for 2011-2012 Season?

If you have any suggestions for next year's slate of classics titles to read, you may post them here as a comment, or email them to Caitlin, David, or me, or mail them to us in care of the library. We've invited all our participants to submit a short list of two or three titles they'd especially like to read, including, if they wish, a longer book for the "Long Summer Read."

Friday, December 10, 2010

On Sitting Down to Read King Lear Once Again

O golden-tongued Romance with serene lute!
    Fair plumed Syren! Queen of far away!
    Leave melodizing on this wintry day,
Shut up thine olden pages, and be mute:
Adieu! for once again the fierce dispute,
    Betwixt damnation and impassion'd clay
    Must I burn through; once more humbly assay
The bitter-sweet of this Shakespearian fruit.
Chief Poet! and ye clouds of Albion,
    Begetters of our deep eternal theme,
When through the old oak forest I am gone,
    Let me not wander in a barren dream,
But when I am consumed in the fire,
Give me new Phoenix wings to fly at my desire.

--John Keats