The Library Basement
Reading under ground

Readings for October 2012

Another month, another slate of good reads.

Rabbit, Run by John Updike

I once remarked that Updike is the most readable of the American "literary" authors. I think he proves that fairly well in his best-known work. What I like about this story is its plausibility combined with its avoidance of cliche. Rabbit Angstrom is a relatable if not likable character, and you want to know how his story unfolds thanks to Updike's storytelling. Recommended.

Shakespeare: The World as Stage by Bill Bryson

I won a medieval-England-themed basket at our church auction, and it included this as well as the next book (as well as one more not read this month). Bryson is of course a delightful author. The basic summary of the book is that we don't know much about Shakespeare's life, or even how he spelled his name. Thankfully Bryson reflects the paucity of evidence with brevity - it is a slim volume and a quick read. It is as good a Shakespeare biography as I've ever read (and the only), so it is recommended.

A Play of Heresy by Margaret Frazer

The next book in the basket was a major departure for me: a historical mystery, party of a long series. I liked Joliffe the player well enough as a character, but I don't think the series was for me.


  • Journal of Biblical Literature vol 131. no. 1: I finally got around to finishing my first issue of JBL delivered to my home. I was struck by how incredibly broad the field of biblical studies is, and how nice it is to have a survey like JBL to keep tabs on it.