Alex G.

Alex G.

Library Services Assistant

Alex is originally from California but considers herself to be a 'citizen of the world'. She studied Comparative Literature and French Language. She spends most of her time at parks reading, taking naps under trees and listening to music.

Would you like other recommendations? Email me at staff+alexg@strandbooks.com

Latest Review

Jude the Obscure

By Thomas Hardy

My high school English professor said Jude the Obscure was the most depressing book he ever read, so I read it (partly because I liked depressing books but mostly because I was intrigued by a book that aroused such a strong opinion*), and I loved it. I respectfully disagree Dr. P*******, it is beautifully tragic.

This summer I endeavored to read all of Thomas Hardy’s novels, “The Summer of Hardy!” I proclaimed it. Of the nine or so that I read Jude remains my favorite.

Jude became obsessed with the idea of becoming a scholar after his teacher left his small village school to pursue higher education. He studies intensely every evening, teaching himself Latin and Greek, with the hopes of entering the university in nearby Christminster. This passion for learning (like Faust before he got bored), continues throughout his adult life; it survives past his jobs, marriages and children. He eventually moves to Christminster to be closer to the University where he falls in love with modern, free-spirited,willfull, intelligent, beautiful, irrational Sue Bridehead. Then... life happens, and Hardy tells it soo well.

I’ve coerced many friends of mine to read this book, by talking about it constantly and reading passages out loud, I liked what Blake had to say, “I like the way he has particular moments of individual psychological clarity.” It’s true! Hardy’s creates these characters that are really psychologically developed. He also writes excellent female characters, something I’m surprised no one ever mentions.

I can see why some people label this book as depressing; certain events in the book are unpleasant. However, Hardy is not interested in the shock value of difficult situations but rather how his characters, how people, react to them. In this respect I consider him to be a very modern and important author.

*William How, an English Bishop, also felt strongly about this book; he burned it publicly the year it was published.

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Jude the Obscure

By Thomas Hardy

Our Price: $4.95
Hey-hey Jude lovers! The idealist and dreamer who's a prisoner of his physical nature remains one of the most haunting and desperate of all of Hardy's creations. But it's still a great read. 379p.
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The Magic Mountain

By Thomas Mann

Our Price: $8.50 - $17.10
In his novel, The Magic Mountain, Nobel Prize for Literature laureate (1929) Thomas Mann uses a sanatoriuim in the Swiss Alps - a community deveoted exclusively to sickness - as a microcosm for Europe, which in the years before 1914 was already exhibiting the first symptoms of its own terminal irrationality. To this hermetic yet intrigue-ridden world comes Hans Castorp, a 'perfectly ordinary' young man who arrives for a short visit and ends up staying seven years. Here, Hans will succumb both to the lure of eros and to the intoxication of ideas. One of the most acclaimed novels of twentieth entury literature. 706p.
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Best-selling author and irrationality advocate Dan Ariely selects the year's best science and nature writing.
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This is the authorized canon of one of the world's most beloved poets - a collection of every poem Yeats approved for publication during his lifetime. Newly revised & grouped by the work in which each poemfirst appeared. Notes; Index to First Lines. 592p.
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