Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Adventures in Reading

Readers may be interested in the following books which have been added to stock at Galway City Library:

What I Loved, by Siri Hustvedt
The ardent exchange of ideas underlies all manner of passionate action in this dark tale of two intertwined New York families. After
buying an astonishing painting in a SoHo gallery, art historian Leo Hertzberg tracks down the artist, Bill Wechsler, and they launch a lifelong friendship with all the attendant joys and sorrows. Hustvedt is terrific at evoking the milieu of the haute bourgeoisie—the house in Vermont and the wine-drenched meals. A remarkable achievement of Siri Hustvedt's prose, with its attention to nuance and intricacy, is its demonstration that friendship is a powerful form of intelligence.

Albert Camus: A Life, by Olivier Todd, Da Capo Press

This is a rich description of Camus's life in colonial Algiers, wartime Paris, and his relationship with his immediate family, wives, and lovers. Todd's use of personal correspondence, interviews with family members, and previously unused public records reveals a complex man who was a philosopher, novelist, literary editor, and journalist at odds with fellow French intellectuals over his political beliefs. This is a fine portrait of a man whose ideas on freedom, nationalism, and violence are as necessary today as they were half a century ago.

The Questions of Life: An Invitation to Philosophy, by Fernando Savater, Polity
Savater is one of Spain's most eminent philosophers. He believes that books make education a truly liberating experience. He has stated that reading is fundamental in one’s educational development. "Education concerns all citizens because it undergirds human relationships, participation and tolerance. In this regard, reflective reading—in its role as a basic tool in the learning process—is essential to sustaining the health and resilience of the social fabric. Without falling into elitist attitudes, we have to recognize that the ability to read a book has an educational and even moral dimension that cannot be ignored."

No comments: