Monday, April 3, 2023

Books finished in March 2023

For some reason I have been putting a monthly account of completed books on Twitter, where it is a common practice, although mostly with photographs of book stacks.  I am not sure why I have not put the lists here as well.  I guess I am not sure any of this is interesting.

Soon, I hope, I will write long overdue posts on Seneca, Xenophon, and Plato.  But until then, there is this.


Greater Hippias




Phaedo, 4th C. BCE, Plato

Recollections of Socrates

Shorter Socratic Dialogues, 4th C. BCE, Xenophon




Thyestes (tr. Heywood, 16th C.)

The Trojan Women

The Madness of Hercules (tr. Gioia)

Hercules Furens (tr. Heywood, 16th C.), all 1st C., Seneca



The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter (1940)

Reflections in a Golden Eye (1941)

The Ballad of the Sad Café (1943)

The Member of the Wedding (1946), Carson McCullers

Tell Me a Riddle (1961), Tillie Olsen

The Day of the Owl (1961), Leonardo Sciascia

Women of Messina (1964), Elio Vittorini

With luck I will visit Sicily this fall, so I have been reading more Sicilian and Italian books.  Tne Vittorini novel is by a Sicilian writer and has a Sicilian title but was not Sicilian at all.  Or perhaps just allegorically.  A dirty trick, but a good novel anyway. 



Deaths and Entrances (1946), Dylan Thomas

Piercing the Page: Selected Poems 1958-1989, Antonio Porta

Olives (2012), A. E. Stallings

Seren of the Wildwood (2023), Marly Youmans - another strange Youmans poetry fantasy, an event.



Les faux-monnayeurs (1925)

Journal des faux-monnayeurs (1927)

Journal 1925-1927, André Gide

A Marvelous World: Poems 1921-52, Benjamin Peret, the perfect Surrealist

O Roubo do Punhal Sagrado (2009), Amâncio Leão, a silly juvenile novel



  1. That's some serious reading even if many of those are shorter pieces. Quite the variety too. Good on you. Sicily? Serious good on you! Did you enjoy The Day of the Owl? I think that's my favorite of the Sciascia fiction I've read so far although it's been a while. His nonfiction The Moro Affair is another standout for me--not that anybody asked exactly. Cheers.

  2. I hope you can visit Sicily soon. So much history, such great food.

  3. If you're off to Sicily, can I recommend Peter Robb's splendid book Midnight in Sicily? It's not just about Sicily (there's a lot about Naples, too, where Robb lived); the post-war intersection between politics and the mafia is the main theme, but there are passages on food, literature, ancient history. The jaw-dropping account of the death of the painter Renato Guttuso is like something out of a Pirandello play.

  4. Naples and Palermo, that is the trip. Perfect recommendation; thanks.

    The tickets are purchased and so on, but after the last few years I always add "with luck" to travel plans.

    I hope to get to The Moro Affair. Besides Owl i have read Equal Danger, To Each His Own, and The Wine-Dark Sea. I've liked them all a lot. I am reading an early collection now (Sicilian Uncles), before Sciascia's discovery that detective novels suited him, that is also quite good. Maybe all his books are good.

    1. I second the recommendation of the Robb book. I read it a few years back and enjoyed it so much that I'd thought about rereading part or all it this year. "Splendid" is the right word for it.

  5. So what did you think of Les faux-monnayeurs? I read it some years ago but had no idea what to say about it, or really even how to think about it. An impressive book, at any rate.

  6. You know, I think I have enough notes to knock out 500 words on Les faux-monnayeurs. So I think I will write it up, as one of my old 5 part series crushed into a single post.

    It is a head-scratcher, that is for sure.