Library Shelf Listing

Finding new books is harder than it should be. Independent bookstores are closing shop, and big box stores who only carry whatever bribes their way past the exorbitant stock keeping fees. Databases and libraries become impossible to navigate unless you already know what you're looking for. Even with online resale, you can only search within your own vocabulary. Now rare are the times when one can simply look upon a bookshelf and see some hitherto unknown title.

I know I must not be the only one with this problem. So, I offer a listing of my own shelves, such that anyone may use my listing as reference for their own.

My books get divided into three categories: Fiction, Arts, and Sciences. ... however, what I classify as what depends more on my own idiosyncrasies and opinion of the book than anything else.

I will only list books that I liked, were interesting, or at least not terrible enough to be disowned. Self-authored books are not listed. Multiple copies in different languages are listed only under one entry. Scientific work that risks being quickly outdated are unlisted. Items are listed alphabetically, but not in the order in which I first read them, so inter-related lines of thought between multiple books may be listed in a confusing order.

I take recommendations for others, within reason.

Book of the Day

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead

Tom Stoppard

More Absurdism. I found this one to be in the middle between Ionesco's loud and over the top comedy and Beckett's dour depressionism.

The first version of this play I was able to get my hands on was through an academic library. Interestingly, while they only had one copy of the book, the version they stored was the screenplay of the movie of the same name. While it didn't matter much, considering both were penned by Stoppard's hand, I found the process of reading the screenplay against the stageplay to be rather enlightening. During my time in undergrad I was instructed to read several books about writing screenplays, which I found filled to the brim with all sorts of double standards. An editorial process rife with many “heads I win, tails you lose” means for sudden dismissals.

Despite that, the interesting point between the two of them can be pointed out in how the screenplay better captures the long passages of time between Shakespeare's multi-act, multi-scene Hamlet in the mise-en-scène of the film, while the highly-compressed three-act stage play promotes the sense that life is speeding past, high over the two titular characters' heads. It leads me to wonder which version of the story is more in line with its absurdist intentions...?

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