Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Some More Reading for the Summer

So, this is the third year in a row that Roy Christopher asked me to contribute to his Summer Reading List feature, where he compiles the recommendations of various scholars and intellectuals, based on the books they intend to read over the summer months. And of course, I'm happy to contribute, as this also gives me an excuse to pull out a set of volumes from the rather massive piles I have stored up all over the place. And being the kind of person I am, having made this commitment, I will be sure to complete the readings I've assigned myself, no matter the distractions or other readings that might join the batch.

You can read my selections, along with those of several others, over on Roy's blog and website, under the heading of Summer Reading List, 2014, which he posted on June 25th.  But for the record, here on my own blog of record, I will record my picks, complete with links to Amazon for ease of ordering in case you are so moved to do so:

At the top of my reading list for this summer is On Reflection: An Essay on Technology, Education and the Status of Thought in the Twenty-First Century (Canadian Scholars’ Press, 2013) by Ellen Rose, an outstanding scholar. And speaking of great scholars, I have Elizabeth L. Eisenstein’s most recent work, Divine Art, Infernal Machine: The Reception of Printing in the West from First Impressions to the Sense of an Ending (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011) high up on my stack as well.

I am also looking forward to reading B. W. Powe’s important study, Marshall McLuhan and Northrop Frye: Apocalypse and Alchemy (University of Toronto Press, 2014). This looks to be a summer for biographical and semibiographical works, as I also have lined up In Thought and Action: The Enigmatic Life of S. I. Hayakawa (University of Nebraska Press, 2011) by Gerald W. Haslam with Janice E. Haslam, and Appletopia: Media Technology and the Religious Imagination of Steve Jobs (Baylor University Press, 2013) by Brett T. Robinson, as well as The Science of Leonardo: Inside the Mind of the Great Genius of the Renaissance (Anchor, 2007) by Fritjof Capra.

I’ve picked up some second hand books that I intend to enjoy this summer, including two from Ralph Waldo Emerson. One is a stray volume of his collected works that combines two of his major publications, The Conduct of Life and Society and Solitude (Macmillan, 1910). The other is Essays And Journals (Programmed Classics, 1968), selected and with an introduction by Lewis Mumford (which alone is worth the price of purchasing the book). And then there’s Understanding Understanding (Harper & Row, 1974), by Humphry Osmond, with John A. Osmond and Jerome Agel, which I am understandably curious about.

For poetry, I can’t wait to delve into the long awaited volume from Dale Winslow, Tinderbox (NeoPoiesis, 2013). And in graphic novels, there’s The Walking Dead Volume 21: All Out War Part 2, real brain food that I’ll no doubt gobble up in one sitting when it comes out in a few weeks.

For the previous years' picks, you can take a look at my 2012 post, Some More Reading List, and last year's S'more Reading Listed.  Oh, and I almost forgot to mention, back over on Roy Christopher's Summer Reading List, 2014, he concluded with his own reading list, and can you guess which book he included? You got it, none other than Amazing Ourselves to Death: Neil Postman's Brave New World Revisited

Thanks, Roy! I hope you find it worth your while!

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