As mandated by the culture of podcasts and media, we have created an end of-the-year best-of list. Bill, Richard and guest Kostis Kourelis discuss the 3 or 4 books we read this year and found most thought-provoking and interesting. Without any collusion or prior discussion of our choices, we have created a list that includes non-fiction, fiction, surreal realism, pleasant works, painful works, old works, new works, short works, and long works. Get reading!
William Caraher’s Top 3 + [1 bonus]:
- Given, M., Knapp, A.B., Noller, J., Sollars, L., and Kassianidou, V. (2013) Landscape and Interaction: The Troodos Archaeological and Environmental Survey Project, Cyprus, Vols 1 and 2 (2013).
- Rathje, W.L., Shanks, M., et al. Archaeology in the making: conversations through a discipline (2013).
- Lippard, L.R. Undermining (2013).
- [Kuh, G, Ikenberry, S. et al. Using Evidence of Student Learning to Improve Higher Education (2015).]
Kostis Kourelis’ Top 4 + [1 bonus]:
- Claris Lispector, The Complete Stories (2015).
- Harold Koster, The Ecology of Pastoralism in Relation to Changing Patterns of Land Use in the Northeast Peloponnese (1977).
- Howard Eiland and Michael Jennings, Walter Benjamin: A Critical Life (2014).
- Hal Foster, Bad New Days: Art, Criticism, Emergency (2015), esp. ch. 5, “The Archive”.
- [Annie Liontas, Let Me Explain You (2015). We didn’t discuss this novel, but the title alone is too great to omit it.]
Richard Rothaus’ Top 3 + [1 bonus]:
- Allan Sekula, Fish Story (1995).
- John Williams, Stoner (1965).
- Louis Aragon, Paris Peasant (1926).
- [Laurie Wilkie, The Lost Boys of Zeta Psi (2010).]
Bill makes a wonderfully obscure reference to a “Borgesian Nightmare.” He is referencing the Jorge Luis Borges short story “On Exactitude in Science.” You can listen to the story here. (Also, please note, we delivered a podcast that spontaneously included Louis Aragon, Walter Benjamin, and Jorge Luis Borges, and we challenge you to find another podcast that has done that).
Bruno Latour got an explicit reference, but you should note that he is frequently lurking in the background.
We rashly promised a podcast vel sim along the lines of “Bakken Mancamps in 100 (or maybe 25) Objects,” inspired by Richard Kurin, The Smithsonian’s History of American in 101 Objects (2013).
The erudite Dr. Kourelis also mentioned all of these:
- Susan Alcock, Graecia Capta: The Landscapes of Roman Greece (1996)
- Tjeerd H. van Andel and Curtis N. Runnells, Beyond the Acropolis: A Rural Greek Past (1987)
- Susan Buck Sutton, Contingent Countryside: Settlement, Economy, and Land Use in the Southern Argolid Since 1700 (2000)
- Cecil L. Striker and Y Dogan Kuban, Kalenderhane in Istanbul I & II: Final Reports on the Archaeological Exploration and Restoration at Kalenderhane Camii 1966-1978 (1998, 2007)
And, don’t forget to mark your calendars and get your plane tickets for the UND Writers Conference, April 6-8, 2016. Bill and Richard will be there, and we can recommend K.S. Robinson’s Red Mars as a thoughtful and enjoyable science fiction work about exploration, society, and more (and Mars).