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Swann's Way
Marcel Proust, Lydia Davis
Norman Rush
The Unknown University
Roberto Bolaño, Laura Healy
Postmodern Belief: American Literature and Religion since 1960 (20/21)
Amy Hungerford
The Fun Stuff: And Other Essays
James Wood
Candide - Voltaire, Gita May, Henry Morley, Lauren Walsh

3.5 stars rounded up for its Classic-ness.

Everyone knows this story, don’t they? A gentle-hearted and dimwitted pretty boy has his life turned upside-down, repeatedly, and in the most reprehensible ways—not just him, everyone he knows or admires or loves—all for the love of a woman* whose name is, presumably, premised on a joke, a pun, for female genitalia.

Yes, folks, a charming little picaresque which, in addition to being an extended opportunity for risqué jokes, afforded Voltaire a much-needed opportunity to vent and rail against every philosophy, religion, nationality, public official, and cleric which or whoever had cause enough to offend him. Well done, sir. Glad you got that off your chest.

Now my own minor rant—Barnes & Noble Classic Editions. Don’t get me wrong, in many ways I love them (even if most are the public domain versions of classics). At least B&N has the decency to include often-valuable Introductions chock-full of insight and SPOILERS. In my experience, these introductions are best-read after reading the work(s) they precede when reading the title for the first time unless one is reading as an assignment when there’s no expectation of enjoying the work contained.

But, alas, now I must cultivate my garden—brown and withered though it may be.

* Straight people, right? As much as I’d like to think so, (blame, point fingers, taunt, etc.) when I look around, I’m kinda stuck thinkin’ : People.