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New Serial Wednesdays: Myths, Poems, and Arctic Adventures

07/17/2019 · Michael Schmitt · permalink

As I type this the thermometer outside my window is threatening to cross 90 degrees. The weather report assures me it'll be 100 before the day is out. If you're in a similar predicament, take a moment and consider soaring to the ice cold Arctic pole in a fantastic turn-of-the-century flying machine built by the heroine of Arqtiq, a fascinating feminist utopia sci-fi novel from Anna Adolph.

Liza Daly writes of the 1899 book, in her excellent exploration of Adolph's novel, "it's the writing style that makes the book truly unique. The prose feels modernist—staccato, ungrammatical, weirdly punctuated—but with a hypnotic rhythm that lends the whole work a kind of dreamlike intelligibility... At times it reads like the output of a neural net—it resembles the contours of human prose, but is thoroughly alien."

Arqtiq
Anna Adolph
10 issues

Also new in Serial Reader this week are two new collection of poetry from William Blake and -- returning to the cold weather theme -- Robert W. Service with his "ballads of the Yukon."

The Marriage of Heaven and Hell
William Blake
4 issues
Songs of a Sourdough
Robert W. Service
11 issues

And finally take a dive into myths, sagas, and legends with Bulfinch's Mythology and James Stephens' Irish Fairy Tales. The former is one of the most popular collections of classical mythology, while the latter was described as "a work of true genius" by The Millions' Austin Ratner.

Bulfinch's Mythology
Thomas Bulfinch
99 issues
Irish Fairy Tales
James Stephens
22 issues

If you'd like to keep up with new book additions, check out the RSS feed and email newsletter. Until next week, happy reading!




New Serial Wednesdays: Sagas Old and New

06/19/2019 · Michael Schmitt · permalink

This week's collection of new books includes coming of age stories, sagas passed down through the ages, and at least one mystery to untangle.

Starting in the far past, Albert T. Clay's 1920 translation of "The Epic of Gilgamesh" is now available. Fast forward two thousand years or so and join Julius Caesar as he strives against the peoples in Gaul, the Rhine, and Britain in "Commentaries on the Gallic War" from 58 BC.

The Epic of Gilgamesh
Various
5 issues
Commentaries on the Gallic War
Julius Caesar
23 issues

Speaking of Britain, the other three new titles come from lauded authors of the British isles. Virginia Woolf's "Night and Day" and Catherine Carswell's "Open the Door!" both follow the romances, struggles, and lessons of women in early 20th century Britain. Finally, J.S. Fletcher's "Scarhaven Keep" travels to mysterious Scarhaven on the coast of England to untangle an actor's disappearance.

Open the Door!
Catherine Carswell
51 issues
Night and Day
Virginia Woolf
49 issues
Scarhaven Keep
J.S. Fletcher
29 issues

Until next week, happy reading!




New Serial Wednesdays: Hawaii Edition

06/05/2019 · Michael Schmitt · permalink

Houses of Kalanimoku, Prime Minister of the King, 1819

When adding new books to Serial Reader I often follow a theme that grabs my attention and this time it's Hawaii! I have family who live on the islands so I'm a little surprised at myself that it's taken this long to add some Hawaiian books.

These three titles are just the start - I have several more Hawaiian books I'm working through adding at the moment!

The Legends and Myths of Hawai'i
David Kalakaua
58 issues
The House of Pride
Jack London
11 issues
Hawaiian Folk Tales
Various
23 issues

Rounding out the rest of the new additions are some often-requested titles I'm happy to finally offer in Serial Reader:

Journal of the Plague Year
Daniel Defoe
27 issues
Bhagavad Gita
Anonymous
11 issues
The Conquest of Bread
Peter Kropotkin
23 issues

Until next week, happy reading!




New Serials: A cornucopia of updates from Shakespeare, Nietzsche, Dante, Virginia Woolf, Jules Verne and more

02/10/2019 · Michael Schmitt · permalink

I've been adding oodles and oodles of new books to Serial Reader over the past week or two and really need to take a break to highlight them all, before this becomes a blog post with like three dozen books! (Just checked and we're only at two dozen - whew.)

There's a few much-requested books I've finally added (sorry sorry sorry), including Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing" and the remaining installments in Dante's Divine Comedy:

Monday or Tuesday
Virginia Woolf
7 issues
Much Ado About Nothing
William Shakespeare
16 issues
Purgatorio
Dante
16 issues
Paradiso
Dante
15 issues

The poetry collection in Serial Reader has always been a little lacking so I've been on the hunt for great titles to add. Two new ones to report here, including works from William Blake and Gertrude Stein:

Songs of Innocence and of Experience
William Blake
7 issues
Tender Buttons
Gertrude Stein
8 issues

Some more perilous choices now available include the next installment in Tarzan's adventures, sci-fi exploits from Jules Verne and Carey Rockwell, and thrilling reads from the early days of America:

The Pathfinder
James Fenimore Cooper
59 issues
Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar
Edgar Rice Burroughs
22 issues
Five Weeks in a Balloon
Jules Verne
29 issues
Stand for Mars
Carey Rockwell
21 issues
A Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson
Mary Rowlandson
7 issues

And finally, there's a handful of new philosophical and religious books to choose from including works by Aristotle, Nietzsche, and Laozi:

Nicomachean Ethics
Aristotle
29 issues
The Created Legend
Fyodor Sologub
23 issues
Thus Spoke Zarathustra
Friedrich Nietzsche
29 issues
Tao Te Ching
Laozi
7 issues

Serial Reader now features more than 600 titles! If there's any books you'd like me to add, don't hesitate to reach out and let me know. Thanks for your support!




Stories of the First World War

01/20/2019 · Michael Schmitt · permalink

With the introduction of Edith Wharton's A Son at the Front to the public domain, it seemed a good opportunity to highlight the many World War I works available through Serial Reader.

They range from autobiographical - like E.E. Cummings' The Enormous Room and Henri Barbusse's Under Fire - to adventurous - such as in John Buchan's Richard Hannay series - to how the shockwave of war impacts those called to fight and their families as Rebecca West, Willa Cather, and Edith Wharton explore.

One of Ours
Willa Cather
53 issues
A Son at the Front
Edith Wharton
34 issues
The Thirty-Nine Steps
John Buchan
16 issues
The Return of the Soldier
Rebecca West
10 issues
The Enormous Room
E.E. Cummings
34 issues
Under Fire
Henri Barbusse
36 issues

Further reading:




Stories of Chicago

11/15/2018 · Michael Schmitt · permalink

Map of Chicago, 1938

Journey through Chicago's history - and a bit into a sci-fi future! - with this collection of Windy City books in Serial Reader!

They include the unforgettable descriptions of the stockyards from muckraking journalist Upton Sinclair and, from another journalist, a collection of treasured columns emblematic of the city. The big city threatens to overwhelm Caroline Meeber in Sister Carrie, some of the very same pressures Jane Addams sought to save people from through her social programs centered around the Hull House. Finally, Paul W. Fairman uses Chicago as the backdrop to a chilling '50s sci-fi adventure.

The Jungle
Upton Sinclair
66 issues
Sister Carrie
Theodore Dreiser
61 issues
Deadly City
Paul W. Fairman
6 issues
The Pit
Frank Norris
42 issues
Twenty Years at Hull House
Jane Addams
35 issues
1001 Afternoons in Chicago
Ben Hecht
29 issues



New Serials: Adventures Around the World & Living the Good Life

11/10/2018 · Michael Schmitt · permalink

Quite the selection of new books now available in Serial Reader! Travel through Africa in search of Livingstone, or with Mary Kingsley looking for scientific specimens (and smashing down Victorian norms for women). Or head further back in time with Tacitus’ histories. There’s a new play from Henrik Ibsen (author of “A Doll’s House”), novels from the Philippines and the old west, plus the handbook on living the Christian good life “The Imitation of Christ.”

How I Found Livingstone
Henry Morton Stanley
48 issues
The Agricola and The Germania
Tacitus
9 issues
The Imitation of Christ
Thomas à Kempis
28 issues
Noli Me Tángere
José Rizal
48 issues
The Beautiful Eyes of Ysidria
Charles A. Gunnison
5 issues
An Enemy of the People
Henrik Ibsen
13 issues
Travels in West Africa
Mary Kingsley
60 issues

Find them all in the Serial Reader app! And don’t forget to request books you’d like to see added soon!




New Serials: The Adventures of Arsène Lupin

05/06/2018 · Michael Schmitt · permalink

A collection of the adventures of France’s beloved gentleman thief and master of disguise Arsène Lupin are now available in Serial Reader!

Follow Lupin’s exploits as he robs the rich, evaded justice, seeks hidden treasure, and even takes on Sherlock Holmes, er, “Herlock Sholmes” (ah, copyright).

Arsène Lupin, Gentleman Burglar
Maurice Leblanc
18 issues
Arsène Lupin vs. Herlock Sholmes
Maurice Leblanc
17 issues
The Hollow Needle
Maurice Leblanc
22 issues



Mary Shelley's Slow Apocalypse

02/28/2018 · Michael Schmitt · permalink

Plague in Phrygia. Engraving by M. Raimondi after Raphael af Wellcome.

Writing in The Millions, Will Wlizlo discusses Mary Shelley's apocalyptic sci-fi novel The Last Man, in which a plague threatens to wipe out humankind. A slow-paced plague, that is. "The obliterating pandemic takes a dreadful seven years to finish us off. Can we imagine a slow apocalypse now?"

I found Shelley’s take on human extinction oddly refreshing. In The Last Man, the plague that throttles us—characterized as an "invincible monster"—exercises a wicked patience in its malice, and by extension we readers are given what feels like a rare opportunity to mourn our genuine achievements as a species before they are snatched away one by one... we are given the time and space to mourn the emotions that make us human.

Read Wlizlo's full article at The Millions.

Further reading:




New Serials: Father Brown, Gods of Mars, Southern Horrors and more

02/10/2018 · Michael Schmitt · permalink

I've been adding quite a few new serials lately, in part to support a fun new feature coming soon in the Serial Reader app. Here are eight recently added titles worth highlighting including English mysteries, American atrocities, adventures on Mars and more. Be sure to also check out the Black History Month collection of stories!

The House of the Dead
Fyodor Dostoyevsky
45 issues
Rilla of Ingleside
Lucy Maud Montgomery
40 issues
The Adventure of Wisteria Lodge
Arthur Conan Doyle
5 issues
The Innocence of Father Brown
G.K. Chesterton
25 issues
Southern Horrors: Lynch Law in All Its Phases
Ida B. Wells
4 issues
The Gods of Mars
Edgar Rice Burroughs
31 issues
Prester John
John Buchan
27 issues
Clotel; or, The President's Daughter
William Wells Brown
20 issues



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