"Love follows knowledge."
"Beauty above all beauty!"
– St. Catherine of Siena

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

2013 Reading List: Update #3

You can read about my previous 2013 progress updates here and here and here.  This is the third quarter update, now heading for the last three months of the year. 
As you can see since the last update I've completed seven short stories, two short books of the Old Testament, an encyclical by the Holy Father which came this year and was unplanned, and two works of non-fiction, ifferisms, my one annual read on writing, and Pitching in a Pinch, a book on baseball by the great pitcher, Christy Mathewson.
What is not reflected in completed list is that I’ve spent a good deal of time with Dante’s Purgotorio.  It’s been two months since I started it and I’ve gotten stuck at Canto 26, which is exactly three quarters way through the 33 Cantos.  Perhaps “stuck” is the wrong word.  It is not a quagmire where one’s heart prevents any kind of further progress.  It’s more of a need to take a breather.  I’ve actually been reading two translations, which makes it double the read.  I’ll explain that when I post on it.  And so as a breather I’ve been reading quite a few fun short stories: a father Brown mystery by Chesterton, a short, short story by Borges, a horror story by Stevens, and a detective story by Dashiell Hammett. 
The Currently Being Read list has been altered since last quarter.  I continue to make tiny progress in the Rome and Jerusalem and Imagist poetry books.  I’ll have to find time to knock them off.  I mentioned my progress on Dante.  I’ve decided to push off Hugo’s Les Misérables until next year.  I’m not doing it justice.  I’m done for the Old Testament for the year but I’ve moved up Acts of the Apostles. 
Upcoming plans have not changed.  I am getting a feeling I may not complete them all by the end of the year.  What I need to do is take a few days off from work to just read.  Not sure I can do that, though.  I’m roughly on track for my typical amount of reading for the year.  I’ve completed 19 short stories, seven book length works (three novels, a biography, and three other non-fiction works, of which I include the encyclical), and a few hundred pages of a number of books from the Old Testament.
As I’ve said before, if there is a work I’ve read that I haven’t blogged on, or a work I plan to read that you really want my thoughts on, please let me know.  I’ll be glad to accommodate.

“A Star Trap,” a short story by Bram Stoker.
“Grandfather and Grandson,” a short story by Isaac Bashevis Singer. 
The Man Who Was Thursday: A Nightmare, a novel by G.K. Chesterton.
“Feathers,” a short story by Raymond Carver.
The Cossacks, a novel by Leo Tolstoy.
“In Another Country,” a short story by Earnest Hemingway.
First Book of Chronicles, a book of the Old Testament, KJV.
Catherine of Siena, a biography by Sigrid Undset.
“The Masque of Red Death,” a short story by Edgar Allan Poe.
“William Wilson,” a short story by Edgar Allan Poe.
“A Descent into Maelstrom,” a short story by Edgar Allan Poe.
“The Lovely Lady,” a short story by D.H. Lawrence.
“Hills Like White Elephants,” a short story by Earnest Hemingway.
“The Killers,” a short story by Earnest Hemingway.
Second Book of Chronicles, a book of the Old Testament, KJV.
“The Fall of the House of Usher,” a short story by Edgar Allan Poe.
“The Waste Land,” a long poem by T.S. Eliot.
A Soldier of the Great War, a novel by Mark Helprin.
“The Shawl,” a short story by Cynthia Ozick.
Completed Since Last Quarter:
ifferisms: An Anthology of Aphorisms That Begin With the Word if, a work of non-fiction by Dr. Mardy Grothe.
“Rip Van Winkle,” a short story by Washington Irving.
The Book of Ezra, a book of the Old Testament, KJV.
“Chi Ti Dice La Patria?” a short story by Earnest Hemingway.
Lumen Fidei, an Encyclical of the Roman Catholic Church.
The Book of Nehemiah, a book of the Old Testament, KJV.
“Pillar of Salt,” a short story by Shirley Jackson.
“The Shape of the Sword,” a short story by Jorge Luis Borges.
“The Body-Snatcher,” a short story by Robert Lewis Stevenson.
Pitching In A Pinch: Baseball From The Inside, a non-fiction book on baseball by Christy Mathewson.
“The Blue Cross,” a Father Brown mystery short story by G. K. Chesterton.
“Who Killed Bob Teal?” a short story by Dashiell Hammett. 

Currently Being Read:
Acts of the Apostles, a book of the New Testament, KJV & NAB.
Rome and Jerusalem: The Clash of Ancient Civilizations, a non-fiction history by Martin Goodman.
Imagist Poetry: An Anthology, a collection of poetry edited by Bob Blaisdell.
Purgatorio, 2nd part of the epic poem of The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri.

Upcoming Plans:

Life on the Mississippi, a memoir by Mark Twain.
Washington Square, a novel by Henry James.
MacBeth, a play by William Shakespeare.
Cannery Row, a short novel by John Steinbeck.
Les Misérables, a novel by Victor Hugo. (2014)


  1. Replies
    1. *smile* I never know what you're going to say. ;)

    2. Let that be a lesson to you then.

    3. Let that be a lesson to you then.


  2. I am interested in the Dasheill Hammett writings. Are they difficult at all? I may try one.

    1. Not hard at all. The short story I read was part of a compilation of 100 short stories they were selling really cheap for Barnes and Noble Nook reader. I'm not sure where you can get it, and as far as short stories go, while it was enjoyable, I wouldn't consider it a great work. It was more or less an detective novel length story shrunk down to 12 pages. What you should get is Hammett's The Maltese Falcon. It's a great novel with outstanding writing. You've probably seen the movie. The movie pretty much follows the book. But it's a better read than the movie, which was a good movie in its own right. Any public library should have The Maltese Falcon. I've read that novel a few times now. I think I read one other of Hammett's novels when I was young, but I have no memory of it now. His novels have a reputation of being among the best in that genre. I would say The Maltese Falcon transcends the genre in that the character of Sam Spade develops a philosophy of dealing with a chaotic modern world.

    2. I definitely will get that one. I have not seen the Maltese falcon on film! So will come to the book fresh, lol.