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Structured Reading, Part 3

A while back I started an occasional project called Structured Reading, in which I would abandon my usual willy-nilly process of selecting which books to read (usually just trawling my shelves to see what looks interesting at the moment) in favor of a more cohesive approach. Under this method, I pick three books which are thematically connected, with the idea that each book will enlighten, echo or comment on the others. So far I've done non-fiction books on the Depression and collections by great American satirists.

Recently I started my third such effort, this time with old-school Jewish writers: Isaac Bashevis Singer's Conversations With Isaac Bashevis Singer, Sholom Aleichem's Selected Stories (a very cool 1956 Modern Library edition) and Aharon Appelfeld's The Iron Tracks. I've finished and greatly enjoyed Singer's book and am already loving Aleichem, whom I've never read before. And though Appelfeld is still quite alive and writing (which might seem to preclude grouping him with the other two writers) from what I know of him, he seems rather old-school and traditional in style and subject matter, so I think he'll be a good fit. When I'm finished with the three books (a few weeks from now) I'll post a recap here.

November 7, 2011 in Books | Permalink


I'm eager to hear your reaction. I'd read a lot of Singer some years ago, and I believe I've read at least a little of Aleichem, but I don't think I've ever touched Appelfeld.

Posted by: Paul at Nov 8, 2011 5:33:41 AM