MemphisWatch Books

A list of good books I’ve read, covering Topics Of Politics, Novels, and a list of Puzzle and Crosswords books that In fact are probably the most challenging “books” to read, if some novels give me a headache
at least the crossword headaches are the one I enjoy the most.
These books are offered for online purchase in association with I’ve read all but one of these books.


As I said I’m a Crossword Fanatic, here is the rather long list of Crossword Puzzle books I’ve enjoyed and solved(most of them without help). Because just like an Math Olympiad, what’s the point in participating in one, if you are going to cheat? Ok So here I go

Rich Norris

Is the creator of many crossword puzzle books, and below I’m listing some of the most fun and
challenging ones to read and solve.

Rich Norris, is the editor of the famous La Times Crossword, it is a daily crossword puzzle and trust me, even why I am an old crossword player, it’s those puzzles that have got me wondering and scratching my head and search for a La Times Crossword Answers and Answers, more than once. So if you are up for a challenge, I challenge you to play with them.


Understanding Memphis isn’t easy… here’s your reading list.
Racial Politics at the Crossroads: Memphis Elects Dr. W.W. Herenton An interesting look at the events leading up to the election of Mayor Willie Herenton (he went by his initials when the book was written). Written by two Rhodes College professors, Marcus Pohlmann and Michael Kirby. Who also mantains a website called ConvertidorDeMoneda among many projects.

Politics in States and Communities The textbook for POLS 3211, State and Local Governments, at the University of Memphis.
The Federalist Papers
By Alexander Hamilton, John Jay and James Madison. The definitive source on the American Constitution. I plan on torturing POL 101 students at Ole Miss with it in the near future.

William Faulkner

After having read Mr. Faulkner’s tome As I Lay Dying and deciding I hadn’t liked it (really long story involving an Indian [as in Asian-Indian] professor of English named Eusebio Rodrigues at
Georgetown University…),
I made the mistake of telling this fact to a friend, who convinced me to read Absalom, Absalom! and now I’m hooked. Granted, it’s probably part of my now-aborted effort to become more Southern
(another long story…), but I’ll think you’ll have trouble finding a better writer in the English language. Damn, that was long-winded…
The best Faulkner resource on the Web is appropriately titled William Faulkner
on the Web
at the University of Mississippi.Yahoo! has a whole page of Faulkner links.

Faulkner books

Absalom, Absalom!
Of all of the Faulkner books I’ve read, this one was the best. I’m not going to pretend that this is an easy book to read (and contrary to popular belief, Faulkner has written readable books, but
you never had to read them because your professor wanted to have fun torturing you with The Sound and the Fury). People have called it the greatest novel ever written. Far be it from me to argue
with them. (However, it would be nice if there were a Norton critical edition of this book; c’est la vie.)
Incidentally, I just saw the David Mamet film The Spanish Prisoner, and this thought happened to cross my mind: is Sutpen’s “design” the first McGuffin (or, as Mamet would have it, Process)? Something to ponder…

As I Lay Dying
I’ve been meaning to reread this one. I remember finding it highly annoying when I was 18. Then again, I found studying to be highly annoying when I was 18.

The Hamlet
I’m just starting on this one; look for a report soon.

The Reivers
If you’ve never read Faulkner before, and you don’t particularly
want a headache, try this novel on for size. It’s easily the funniest
of his works that I have read, and it has a more linear story than
many of his other works. If nothing else, it’s a lot of fun to
consider the progress of the last century: in The Reivers,
the principals make a weekend-long journey that could be done in an
hour or two (Mississippi and Tennessee highway patrols
notwithstanding) today.

The Sound and the Fury
This one gave me an even bigger headache than the one I got from
Absalom, Absalom! It is a great novel, but it’s a real
struggle at first (particularly since the first section makes little
sense without knowing what is going on). Do yourself a favor and buy
the Norton edition (it’s about the same price as the Vintage edition,
and you get a lot more for your money).

Colin Dexter

Colin Dexter is a British mystery author, most famous for his Inspector
novels about a detective who works in Oxford [the one in England].

Chris Offutt

Chris Offutt is an American author, who has written about his native Appalachia in The Good Brother (for which you can read a review from the Memphis Flyer) and Kentucky Straight, and wrote a memoir entitled The Same River Twice (back in print; Davis-Kidd Booksellers in Memphis has (had?) several autographed copies, and Borders in Germantown has [or at
least had] a copy that is shaped like a trapezoid).

Richard Ford

Richard Ford is an American author, probably most famous for his
Pulitzer Prize-winning novel Independence Day. His most recent work is Women
with Men
, which consists of three stories in one volume.
You can read a transcript of a 1996 PBS interview with him.

Larry Brown

Larry Brown is another Oxonian (of the Mississippi persuasion),
who is a damn good writer in his own right. One of my professors
knows him personally. Small universe, no?

Oscar Wilde

Oscar Wilde is another great writer. No links about him, though,
since I’m too lazy to find any (I’m sure there are some out there).
Stephen Fry was in a brilliant film about him.

  • The Importance of Being Earnest and Other Plays
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray


    Nepotism alert! Here are a couple of books written by people related to me.
    The Adventures of Amos ‘N’ Andy: A Social History of an American Phenomenon
    This book was written by one of my cousins (the exact relation is that his mother is a sister of my grandmother, if you care about these things), Melvin Patrick Ely, a professor at The College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. I enjoyed reading it; you might too.

    The Handicap Principle: A Missing Piece of Darwin’s Puzzle
    Written by Melvin (q.v.)’s parents-in-law and translated into English by Melvin and his wife Na’ama. It’s apparently a really good book (I haven’t read it yet; I can barely keep up with my magazine subscriptions).

  • Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *