Don Quixote was originally published in two volumes, in 1605 and 1615. Accordingly, this year marks the 400th anniversary of the complete novel's publication. In celebration, Restless Books has published a new edition of the Ormsby translation.
Many of my readers have asked which books I would recommend that offer fundamental insights into the drive for personal power, and the way it affects individuals. Numerous authors have tackled this subject in memoirs, novels and plays.
As bookshelves (and e-readers) continue to groan with knock-offs of Seth Grahame-Smith's knock-off, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, it seems worth asking: are zombies and ninjas the only way to make the novels of previous centuries relevant again?
How did reading get to be such a faster-pussycat-hurry-up activity? We listen to favorite songs over and over without apology or distraction. They make us feel good, no explanation necessary. But with books, there's this myth that it takes a "long time".
I realize that continuing to slog through a novel that says "stop reading me" after 100 pages may pay dividends when I reach the end of the book. Dense can turn into sophisticated, confusing into illuminating.
They were unplanned "Five-Year Plans" for the ages: the amazing proliferation of classic novels published from 1846 to 1851 and from 1922 to 1927. And, believe it or not, one author had a book in both those periods!