This holiday season Emma over at Book Around the Corner and Guy over at His Futile Preoccupations came up with a fantastic idea. Bloggers would participate in the Humbook Christmas Gift Event. A participating blogger would choose a fellow blogger as their copinaute, or blogger friend. Each copinaute will choose two books for their friend who will in turn choose two books for their counterpart. Emma and Guy will also choose a book for each participant. Each participant will purchase their own books and read and post commentary on them sometime in 2013.
Himadri at the The Argumentative Old Git choose yours truly as his copinaute! Reading his outstanding blog one will quickly realize that Himadri is not as combative as the title of his site implies. However I did think to myself that Himadri might be tough person to choose books for. He seems to love the classics, Shakespeare, Russian and English literature, etc. However he seems to have also read everything! A perusal of his site will also lead a reader conclude that he has definite opinions about what he does and does not like. Some criteria behind my picks were to select books that I had read and liked and that of course, I believe Himadri will like.
After some thought I believe that I have come up with good choices. They are as follows.
Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human by Harold Bloom.
I am going a little bit out on a limb with this one. It is after all a book of criticism. Not everyone enjoys this stuff. But I know that Himadri loves Shakespeare as does Bloom whose enthusiasm overflows in this work. This book covers every Shakespeare play in separate article. Bloom presents lots of opinions, some of them controversial. Though I do not believe that Himadri, or for that matter anyone would agree with Bloom on all points, the writing here is amazingly thought provoking for the serious Shakespeare fan. I do not necessarily think that this book will be read cover to cover, rather it works very well as a reference to be consulted as one rereads or attends a performance of a play. I would give Himadri a big pass on posting a single comprehensive review of this work. Maybe he will write some commentary on it in conjunction with a play or two as the year goes by and as he explores its intricacies. Of course based upon Himadri’s encyclopedic knowledge of the Bard and his works, maybe he will decide to read this from cover to cover!
Les Misérables by Victor Hugo
I thought of this one early in my selection process. I know that Himadri is partial to big, classical, complex novels filled with well - crafted characters. Much great Russian literature fits this bill too, but Himadri seems to have already read most of the that! The question was, had he read this book already? A search of his blog turned up a comment indicating that he had not!
Merry Christmas, happy Hanukah, and happy holidays to Himadri, Emma, Guy as well as to all of my fellow bloggers and readers. I hope that Himadri enjoys these books and I would love to know what he thinks when he reads them.
I cannot wait to see what tomes were chosen for me!