Saturday, May 27, 2006

Book Recommendation: From Dawn to Decadence

A young lady recently asked me for book recommendations. I feel a real responsibility to provide a recommendation since this young lady has actually read the books I have recommended in the past. But I have never been good at selecting a single book on the spur of the moment. I think I read too many books simultaneously to retain a distinct impression of any one of them in particular. Much of what I read is for graduate school and many of those writers are relegated to an academic anonymity in the dustbin of my mind.

This book is different. I have the greatest respect for its author, Mr. Jacques Barzun. Barzun is an author with authority. He has read much and meditated on it. His opinions are well reasoned and delivered in an engaging manner. I look forward to the post in which I explain why he is my hero.

I read this book over my last Christmas break. It met a standard I remember my father articulating: I looked forward to reading it when I wasn't reading it. Many books are enjoyable but certain books make you eager to enjoy them. For me, at least, this was that kind of book.

Encounter Barzun.


iessica said...

And Barzun shall be encountered! Thanks Magister, I'll look forward to reading that. Feel free to add any other reccomendations. Summer is an emptiness of time just waiting to be filled...erm...cum legendo libros (?)

Hansonius said...


Dare to be decadent.

With a gerund:
Legendo librorum oportet implere astatem.

With a gerundive:
Exopto ut aestas tua abundet libris legendis.

Let Miss Cunningham know that my kung-fu is better than hers.

iessica said...

Aaah! Fie upon thy inconsistency, Wheelock! I was going to write "legendo librorum" but when I looked it up in Wheelock the examples made me change my mind. Beshrew the examples.

Lucia said...

Any other reccomendations for history lovers? Both the Illiad and the Odyssey have already been devoured.

Hansonius said...

Plutarch - get yourself some Plutarch. March into Borders and look at the various translations and see which one appeals to you. Plutarch could still save the Western world if only we let him.

Regina Lucia said...

Ha, thats funny. I was just cleaning out my room and I found a book called "Lives of the Noble Greeks", yes, it was written by Plutarch. I got it for a mere price of one dollar at a used book festival type thing. It was the same place where I got you that book written by Aristotle on speech and that other crappy one that's really cool about Greek people/events. It's over 100 years old now! In this Plutarch book is Theseus, Lycurgus, Solon, Themmistocles, Pericles, Alcibiades, Timoleon, Alexander, and Demosthenes. Should I start now???