In August I posted three random books to enjoy during the summer. Now that we’re in the middle of autumn, it’s time for another book break.
I hit the used bookstores pretty heavily, and I have run across some old jewels you might still be able to find and drink for a little cool escapism and old world knowledge.
The Fantastic Imagination: An Anthology of High Fantasy
I love anthology series. You can pick up a story for a quick read or jump around. This set of fantasy short stories compiled by Robert H. Boyer and Kenneth J. Zahorski was first published in 1977. It has some heavy hitters, too, between J.R.R Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Peter S. Beagle and even the man who was a big influence on the likes of Lewis, George MacDonald. I really enjoyed Alexander Grin’s The Loquacious Goblin as a quick bit of humor among the high-thinkers.
A Perry Mason Omnibus
A worthy collection of three of Erle Stanley Gardner’s Perry Mason mysteries before this cool fictional lawyer’s stories became twisted in seven different ways via the magic of television. The Case of the Velvet Claws is the earliest work from 1933, and very much a fall story. The other two, The Case of the Sun Bather’s Diary and The Case of the Demure Defendant are both from the 50s There is a definite character evolution in them both. Perry Mason, like Sam Space or Hercule Poirot, is one of those characters for whom you need to read at least one book. Entertaining page turning stories that still hold up.
Bushido: The Soul of Japan
Inazao Nitobe gave us this brief look at the code of the Japanese knighthood and samurai ethics in 1900 and it is still relevant today. He discusses the important of feudal Japan’s equivalent of chivalry with timeless values like honor, sincerity, self-control, politeness and courage. There are also a few concepts from honor suicide to the position of women some modern readers may find a little, well, harsh. No matter, this book needs to be read by every man and woman lamenting the sad and lonely stage of the sexes today. If you feel the latest generation of men are misguided, put this in their hands and set them on a more honorable path. Nitobe noted at the end of his book the power of Bushido will not perish, but like a flower “after it is blown to the four winds, it will still bless mankind with the perfume with which it will enrich life.”
Hunting and gathering is a primal trait we human will never leave us. Get out and hunt for these titles, and gather some reading enjoyment in the process.