Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Summer Reading

When I was book tagged
I neglected, according to a couple of readers, to mention any fiction. What fiction do I like? What would I recommend for good summer reading?
Well, the first I ever read (and re-read many times) are Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn. Before age ten I also read Uncle Tom’s Cabin and Last of the Mohicans. I like almost everything Mark Helprin writes, A Soldier of the Great War is the favorite. I like Willa Cather, especially Death Comes to the Archbishop, and am currently reading A Lonely Lady. I like Jerry Pournelle’s science fiction, especially, Higher Education and The Mote in God’s Eye. Cormac McCarthy’s All the Pretty Horses is excellent (although made into a bad movie).
Michael Shaara’s The Killer Angels is worth reading. So is Ralph Ellison’s Juneteenth. Maybe something amusing? If you have never read any P.G. Wodehouse you should immediately shoot yourself, or, if a coward, then just go out and get any of his. Also glance at Peter De Vries, say, The Blood of the Lamb. It’s about a onetime Calvinist and his search, a kind of tragicomic Pilgrim’s Progress. I remember laughing a lot when I first read it. In a different vein, any Flannery O’Connor story, maybe "A Good Man is Hard to Find." I recently read Sandor Marai’s Embers and thought it a very good book, balanced like a good wine; nice slow pace to it. Take your time with it. Almost any Elmore Leonard novel for a good, well crafted story that will never bore and always makes you smile. Leonard is at home with words. Charles Johnson’s Middle Passage is a good read. So is almost anything by Alan Furst, kind of spy novels, taking place in the dark and subtle Europe of the 30’s and 40’s. I also liked Marilynn Robinson’s Gilead; a preacher about to die, writes to his son about himself, his father, and his father’s father, back to before the Civil War. Man and God, and war and mercy. Thought inducing and graceful. If you want to do a good turn for your ear (you know I favor reading aloud), and be mesmerized by a great story, listen to Derek Jacoby read The Iliad, while you look at the words in front of you. Wonderful.

Discussions - 10 Comments

You meant P.G. WODEhouse, right?

Yes, of course. I fixed it.

How about some cowboy books?

Can we change the subject and talk about Batman? I’m really excited about the new movie, and all of this wonky politics talk has me SO bored.

Camden, there’s lots of other blogs and bulletin can talk Batman until you puke.

Personally, in a society where a fine movie like "Kingdom of God" languishes at the box office while "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" pegs the sales meter, I just wonder about the future. When no one is interested in "wonky political talk" or history or civics or philosophy, then the elites do it all...and our fine old Republic crumbles.

Dain, since Batman hasn’t even been released yet (as of this posting), you obviously haven’t seen it! So that means you don’t know if it’s good or not! It could definitely be a lot better than Mr. and Mrs. Smith!

It’s summer, so let’s talk Batman and have some fun!

Hold on there, Dain!! I thought the "elites" are the red-staters, the Kerry voters, liberals, DEMOCRATS?? Are THEY the only ones delving into history, civics or philosophy, or has the membership of the "elites" dramatically shifted in a very short time? Do you consider yourself part of the elite?? Just curious, bud!

I’m not much of a Batman guy, but I’d be happy to talk about the Fantastic Four! I must say that I’m not happy with the liberties they’re taking with Doctor Doom’s origins. Huh, he was on the same spacecraft as the Four? When did he find the time to become dictator of Latveria?

Not to change the subject away from Batman, but just thought I’d mention that both Cormac McCarthy and Mark Helprin will release new books this summer.

McCarthy’s is No Country for Old Men. Helprin’s is Freddy and Fredericka (a parody!). Both seem eminently worth checking out when they’re published next month.

Dave...much of the Right hasn’t spent enough time inculcating the values of our forefathers, which includes civics, philosophy, and so on. Indeed, the whole Enlightenment needs to be reevaluated by the Right (and partially repealed). The Leftist elites, on the other hand, have been busily rewriting and twisting those traditions to fit their own needs. That’s what I meant.

Batman...well, as a comic book reflection of certain values he’s OK. I’ve just never understood the American fascination with superheroes.

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