Winter Book Recommendations

Lisbeth reading by Carl Larsson, 1904. (via WikiArt)

Lisbeth reading by Carl Larsson, 1904. (via WikiArt)

Happy holidays, Corelings! Finals have at last come to an end, and now we have surfaced the ocean of studies and stress. Planes, trains, and cars are rapidly arriving to whisk us back home (for those of us returning home for winter break), and–oh no. You’ve forgotten to purchase gifts for your beau, your belle, your mom and dad, your beloved feline friend. Have no fear! We at Core have compiled a list of twelve books of poetry, fiction, and non-fiction that would make wonderful gifts for the scholars in your life. Provided are the titles, authors, blurbs, and, conveniently, links where you may acquire these works.

  1. The Complete Fiction of H. P. Lovecraft
    The Complete Fiction of H.P. Lovecraftcollects the author’s novel, four novellas, and fifty-three short stories. Written between the years 1917 and 1935, this collection features Lovecraft’s trademark fantastical creatures and supernatural thrills, as well as many horrific and cautionary science-fiction themes, that have influenced some of today’s writers and filmmakers, including Stephen King, Alan Moore, F. Paul Wilson, Guillermo del Toro, and Neil Gaiman. Included in this volume are The Case of Charles Dexter Ward, “The Call of Cthulhu,” “The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath,” “At the Mountains of Madness,” “The Shadow Over Innsmouth,” “The Color Out of Space,” “The Dunwich Horror,” and many more hair-raising tales.” (Link)
  2. Edgar Allan Poe: Complete Tales and Poems
    “InEdgar Allan Poe: Complete Tales and Poemsfans may indulge in all of Poe’s most imaginative short-stories, includingThe Fall of the House of Usher, The Murders in Rue Morgue, The Tell-Tale Heart, LigeiaandMs. In a Bottle. His complete early and miscellaneous poetic masterpieces are here also, includingThe Raven, Ulalume, Annabel Lee, Tamerlane, as well as select reviews and narratives.” (Link)
  3. The Dark Eidolon and Other FantasiesbyClark Ashton Smith
    “Clark Ashton Smithautodidact, prolific poet, amateur philosopher, bizarre sculptor, and unmatched storytellersimply wrote like no one else, before or since. This new collection of his very best tales and poems is selected and introduced by supernatural literature scholar S. T. Joshi and allows readers to encounter Smiths visionary brand of fantastical, phantasmagorical worlds, each one filled with invention, terror, and a superlative sense of metaphysical wonder.” (Link)
  4. If Not, Winter: Fragments of Sappho translated by Anne Carson
    “Of the nine books of lyrics the ancient Greek poet Sappho is said to have composed, only one poem has survived complete. The rest are fragments. In this miraculous new translation, acclaimed poet and classicist Anne Carson presents all of Sapphos fragments, in Greek and in English, as if on the ragged scraps of papyrus that preserve them, inviting a thrill of discovery and conjecture that can be described only as electricor, to use Sapphos words, as thin fire . . . racing under skin.Carson is in many ways [Sappho’s] ideal translator….Her command of language is hones to a perfect edge and her approach to the text, respectful yet imaginative, results in verse that lets Sappho shine forth.” (Link)
  5. The Poems of Catullus
    “Of all Greek and Latin poets Catullus is perhaps the most accessible to the modern reader. Dealing candidly with the basic human emotions of love and hate, his virile, personal tone exerts a powerful appeal on all kinds of readers. The 116 poems collected in this new translation include the famous Lesbia poems and display the full range of Catullus’s mastery of lyric meter, mythological themes, and epigrammatic invective and wit.” (Link)
  6. Byron: Poems
    “To the nineteenth-century reader, George Gordon, Lord Byron (1788-1824), was the archetype of the Romantic literary hero, a figure admired and emulated as much for the revolutionary panache with which he lived his life as the brio and allure of his verse. Our century has seen him more clearly as a poet whose intellectual toughness, satiric gifts, and utter inability to be boring have made him one of the great comic spirits in our literature.” (Link)
  7. Selected Lettersby John Keats
    “These extraordinary letters give the fullest and most poignant record we have of John Keatss aspirations as a poet, his life as a literary man about town, his close relationship with his siblings, and, later, his passionate, jealous, and frustrated love for Fanny Brawne. With an insightful introduction and notes by renowned Keats scholar John Barnard, this is an indispensable companion to the works of one of the greatest poets of all time.” (Link)
  8. The Aeneid by Virgil, translated by David Ferry
    “‘I sing of arms and the man . . . ‘ So begins theAeneid, greatest of Western epic poems. Virgils story of the journey of Aeneas has been a part of our cultural heritage for so many centuries that its all too easy to lose sight of the poem itselfof its brilliantly cinematic depiction of the sack of Troy; the monstrous hunger of the harpies; the intensity of Didos love for the hero, and the blackness of her despair; and the violence that Aeneas and his men must endure before they can settle in Italy and build the civilization whose roots we still claim as our own. This new translation brings Virgils masterpiece newly to life for English-language readers. Its the first in centuries crafted by a translator who is first and foremost a poet, and it is a glorious thing. David Ferry has long been known as perhaps our greatest contemporary translator of Latin poetry, his translations of VirgilsEcloguesandGeorgicshaving established themselves as much-admired standards.” (Link)
  9. The Odyssey by Homer, translated by Emily Wilson
    “The first great adventure story in the Western canon,The Odysseyis a poem about violence and the aftermath of war; about wealth, poverty, and power; about marriage and family; about travelers, hospitality, and the yearning for home. In this fresh, authoritative version―the first English translation ofThe Odysseyby a woman―this stirring tale of shipwrecks, monsters, and magic comes alive in an entirely new way. Written in iambic pentameter verse and a vivid, contemporary idiom, this engrossing translation matches the number of lines in the Greek original, thus striding at Homers sprightly pace and singing with a voice that echoes Homers music. WilsonsOdysseycaptures the beauty and enchantment of this ancient poem as well as the suspense and drama of its narrative. Its characters are unforgettable, from the cunning goddess Athena, whose interventions guide and protect the hero, to the awkward teenage son, Telemachus, who struggles to achieve adulthood and find his father; from the cautious, clever, and miserable Penelope, who somehow keeps clamoring suitors at bay during her husbands long absence, to the complicated hero himself, a man of many disguises, many tricks, and many moods, who emerges in this translation as a more fully rounded human being than ever before.” (Link)
  10. Autobiography of Red by Anne Carson
    “The award-winning poet reinvents a genre in a stunning work that is both a novel and a poem, both an unconventional re-creation of an ancient Greek myth and a wholly original coming-of-age story set in the present. Geryon, a young boy who is also a winged red monster, reveals the volcanic terrain of his fragile, tormented soul in an autobiography he begins at the age of five. As he grows older, Geryon escapes his abusive brother and affectionate but ineffectual mother, finding solace behind the lens of his camera and in the arms of a young man named Herakles, a cavalier drifter who leaves him at the peak of infatuation. When Herakles reappears years later, Geryon confronts again the pain of his desire and embarks on a journey that will unleash his creative imagination to its fullest extent. By turns whimsical and haunting, erudite and accessible, richly layered and deceptively simple, Autobiography of Red is a profoundly moving portrait of an artist coming to terms with the fantastic accident of who he is.” (Link)
  11. The Women of Paris and Their French Revolution (Studies on the History of Society and Culture) byDominique Godineau and Katherine Streip
    “During the French Revolution, hundreds of domestic and working-class women of Paris were interrogated, examined, accused, denounced, arrested, and imprisoned for their rebellious and often hostile behavior. Here, for the first time in English translation, Dominique Godineau offers an illuminating account of these female revolutionaries. As nurturing and tender as they are belligerent and contentious, these are not singular female heroines but the collective common women who struggled for bare subsistence by working in factories, in shops, on the streets, and on the home front while still finding time to participate in national assemblies, activist gatherings, and public demonstrations in their fight for the recognition of women as citizens within a burgeoning democracy.” (Link)
  12. Tequila Mockingbird: Cocktails with a Literary Twist byTim Ferdele
    (For our readers of drinking age only!) “From barflies to book clubs,Tequila Mockingbirdistheworld’s bestselling cocktail book for the literary obsessed. Featuring 65 delicious drink recipes paired with wry commentary on history’s most beloved novels,Tequila Mockingbirdalso includes bar bites, drinking games, and whimsical illustrations throughout.” (Link)

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