In Praise of NYRB Classics
You’d think working in a library for most of my adult life, I’d never be at a loss for what to read next. However, perhaps just by the daunting scale of material available to me, I’m often overwhelmed by what should be next – is the book I want to read of significance? Is my life destined to be filled with great literature?
That’s where the NYRB Classics come into play. I know, based on their hard work, that a book will challenge and satisfy me, even if I will challenge their liberal use of the word “classic”.
From the mission statement of NYRB Classics:
“Taken as a whole, NYRB Classics may be considered a series of books of unrivaled variety and quality for discerning and adventurous readers…dedicated to publishing an eclectic mix of fiction and non-fiction from different eras and times and of various sorts. The series includes nineteenth century novels and experimental novels, reportage and belles lettres, tell-all memoirs and learned studies, established classics and cult favorites, literature high, low, unsuspected, and unheard of.”
In the past month, as I haven’t had the time to work my brain as to what I should be reading next, I’ve simply picked up a few of these titles and enjoyed each immensely, and for their own unique reasons:
The Dud Avocado
Act of Passion
A quiet doctor in a small town experiences his passions awakened when he meets a young woman named Martine.
The story of a casual love affair that becomes serious as soon it starts to fall apart.