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Reading List for Christmas 2016

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A funky reading list if you're maybe a 20 year old English lit student.

    The Complete Poems of Anna Akhmatova

    From the artistic passion of the St Petersburg poets and bohemians, to the collective suffering of a nation, Anna Akhmatova spoke to, and for, the soul of her people. This magnificent edition includes: more than 800 poems, half of them available in no other translated edition: translator's preface: biographical introduction by Roberta Reeder: more than 125 photographs, including a 65 page photo biography, and 'The Artist's Muse' images of Akhmatova in art: memoir by Isaiah Berlin: comprehensive notes to the poems: index of first lines: bibliography.

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    Powers of Horror

    Powers of Horror is an excellent introduction to an aspect of contemporary French literature which has been allowed to become somewhat neglected in the current emphasis on para-philosophical modes of discourse."

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    Float

    From the renowned classicist and MacArthur Prize winner: a new collection that explores myth and memory, beauty and loss, all the while playing with--and pushing--the limits of language and form. Anne Carson consistently dazzles with her inventive, shape-shifting work and the vividness of her imagination. Float reaches an even greater level of brilliance and surprise. Presented in an arrestingly original format--individual chapbooks that can be read in any order, and that float inside a transparent case--this collection conjures a mix of voices, time periods, and structures to explore what makes people, memories, and stories "maddeningly attractive" when observed in spaces that are suggestively in-between. One can begin with Carson contemplating Proust on a frozen Icelandic plain, or on the art-saturated streets of downtown New York City. Or journey to the peak of Mount Olympus, where Zeus ponders his own afterlife. Or find a chorus of Gertrude Steins performing an essay about falling--a piece that also unearths poignant memories of Carson's own father and great-uncle in rural Canada. And a poem called "Wildly Constant" piercingly explores the highs and lows of marriage and monogamy, distilled in a wife's waking up her husband from the darkness of night, and asking him to make them eggs for breakfast. Exquisite, heartbreaking, disarmingly funny, Float kaleidoscopically illuminates the uncanny magic that comes with letting go of expectations and boundaries. It is Carson's most intellectually electrifying, emotionally engaging book to date.

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    Bluets

    Suppose I were to begin by saying that I had fallen in love with a color ...A lyrical, philosophical, and often explicit exploration of personal suffering and the limitations of vision and love, as refracted through the color blue. With Bluets, Maggie Nelson has entered the pantheon of brilliant lyric essayists. Maggie Nelson is the author of numerous books of poetry and nonfiction, including Something Bright, Then Holes (Soft Skull Press, 2007) and Women, the New York School, and Other True Abstractions (University of Iowa Press, 2007). She lives in Los Angeles and teaches at the California Institute of the Arts.

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    Full-time English lit student. Occasional tambourine shaker.

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