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Hans Ostrom

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Officers & Gentlemen by EVELYN WAUGH

The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X

Visiting Langston by Willie Perdomo

The Moving Toyshop by Edmund Crispin

Mountain Lamb by Bill Hotchkiss

Part Song by Muriel Nelson

The Dead Sea Scrolls: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) by Timothy Lim

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Member: ostrom

CollectionsYour library (1,025)

Reviews154 reviews

Tagspoetry (181), Detective fiction (107), African American literature (60), British fiction (58), American fiction (53), Signed by author (38), Literary criticism (34), Teaching (32), Christianity (32), Philosophy (28) — see all tags

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About me

I write poetry, novels, screenplays, and a blog.

About my libraryIt's an eclectic assembly of books, authors, and topics, even as tags and clouds show preferences, obsessions, and distractions. Poetry comes first, but beyond that, I like books: detective fiction, African American literature, canonical fiction, obscure fiction, essays, languages, philosophy, theology, Swedish literature, religions, gardening, et alia. I'm an English professor, scholar, fiction-writer, and poet, so these vocations inform my library. Quirky books on arcane subjects are most welcome, as are arcane books on quirky subjects. I'm drawn to old paperbacks of almost any kind--the pulpier, the better. Can Library Thing bring order to the vortex of books that has accompanied my life? That is the question. As Al Davis (an English major) of the Oakland Raiders is alleged to have said once, "Just read, baby." Most of my books were recently paroled from storage; slowly they're finding their way to the LT catalogue.

My ratings of books are high for two main reasons: I tend not to hang on to books that I dislike intensely, and I know how hard it is to write a book--any book. If I give a book three stars, then I probably won't be in a hurry to read it again. Four stars mean the book is at least very good; sometimes they mean that I recognize the book is great but that it may simply not be the kind of book I treasure. For example, Alexander Pope was a great poet, a superb verse-technician, but I truly enjoy very little of his work. Five stars mean I think the book is excellent, and I usually have great affection (if for varying reasons) for most (but not all) of the five-star books.

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Groups18th Century British Literature, Baker Street and Beyond, BBC Radio 3 Listeners, BBC Radio 4 Listeners, Bloggers, Crime, Thriller & Mystery, Early Reviewers, EmilyDickinson, Favorite Bookstores, Felony & Mayhem Pressshow all groups

Favorite authorsW. H. Auden, James Baldwin, Coleman Barks, Matsuo Bashō, Wendy Bishop, Gwendolyn Brooks, Italo Calvino, Albert Camus, John le Carré, C. P. Cavafy, John Cheever, Anton Chekhov, Edmund Crispin, Countee Cullen, Charles Dickens, Emily Dickinson, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Arthur Conan Doyle, Jessie Redmon Fauset, Rudolph Fisher, Graham Greene, Dag Hammarskjöld, Dashiell Hammett, Gerard Manley Hopkins, A. E. Housman, Langston Hughes, P. D. James, Randall Jarrell, Robinson Jeffers, Pär Lagerkvist, Jay Macpherson, Henning Mankell, Claude McKay, Josephine Miles, Fae Myenne Ng, Henri J. M. Nouwen, Jack Olsen, Hans Ostrom, Blaise Pascal, V. S. Pritchett, Arnold Rampersad, Thomas Sanchez, Dorothy L. Sayers, Karl Shapiro, Georges Simenon, Stevie Smith, Stephen Spender, Benedictus de Spinoza, Rex Stout, Leo Tolstoy, Gore Vidal, Eudora Welty, Alan Williamson, Garry Wills (Shared favorites)


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Membership LibraryThing Early Reviewers/Member Giveaway

LocationPacific Northwest

Account typepublic, lifetime

URLs /profile/ostrom (profile)
/catalog/ostrom (library)

Member sinceNov 19, 2007

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May you awaken to the mystery of being here and enter the quiet immensity of your own presence.
May you have joy and peace in the temple of your senses.
May you receive great encouragement when new frontiers beckon.
May you respond to the call of your gift and find the courage to follow its path.
May the flame of anger free you from falsity.
May warmth of heart keep your presence aflame and may anxiety never linger about you.
May your outer dignity mirror an inner dignity of soul.
May you take time to celebrate the quiet miracles that seek no attention.
May you be consoled in the secret symmetry of your soul.
May you experience each day as a sacred gift woven around the heart of wonder.

~ John O'Donohue
you too!
You're welcome. I love the BBC!


Hi ostrom ~

I looked it up and found the program, 'Something Understood' on the BBC 4 website. The BBC has a feature which allows you to listen to programs for up to 7 days after they have been aired.

Go to

and click on 'Listen to the latest edition' to hear the program which was broadcast on August 17.

Skip to about 11:55 (just after the Fahrenheit 451 theme music) I think your poem is read then.

I can't guarantee that this edition will be available online for much longer as the 7 days is nearly up!


Ostrom, you must not have noticed that there is already a Musical Instruments thread on "List Five Books". The last message posted to it was on July 2nd. FYI, if you delete your message from your new thread it should disappear (as long as nobody else has posted to it), and then you can add your message to the earlier thread.
I had never heard of Petri, so I looked it up and found a CD of Bach's music. The flute sound was very different from what I am used to, it is not as smooth as I have been taught, it sounded more like bell tones, which is a different way to play Bach's music. I had never thought of that before and I liked it. Thanks for opening my ears to soemthing new!
Hi there

I do teach music at two elementary schools. I just love it. How long have you been teaching? What is your favorite book?
Hi there

It sounds like you teach at a college. I read, the book "In Our Time" in college and we used it for a ton of writing. I agree with your comment. Where do you teach at?
Thanks for the invitation to the Maigret Fans.

Recently I was involved in adding Hemingway's books to LT. Apparently he was a voracious reader of all things written. There are quite a few crime or mystery novels in his library, among them several Maigret books. I'd really like to know what he thought about them...
Thanks for your invitation to the Eighteenth Century group, Ostrom.
Thank you for inviting me to your eighteenth century group. I run a list called EighteenthCenturyWorlds at Yahoo.

Your profile is attractive.

Thought maybe it was because I listed myself as currently reading Sometimes a Great Notion, by Ken Kesey, his proletarian novel about logging in the Pacific Northwest. In fact, I do own a lot of what I call immigrant or working class novels, although they are not cataloged yet, because I haven't really attacked that room of my house where all the fiction is yet! Ones I like in particular are: Agnes Smedley's Daughter of Earth, Meredith Tax's Rivington Street and Union Square, Abraham Cahan's The Rise of David Levinsky, Anzia Yezierska's Bread Givers, Meridel Le Sueur, Steinbeck's In Dubious Battle and Thomas Bell's Out of This Furnace. (the latter is a particular favorite.) I have many others; it seems that this started many years ago in college, when I took a fantastic seminar in History of the Family, and my instructor had us read a lot of this kind of material....
Hi, thanks for the invite to the working class group. How did you find me?
Thank you for creating the 18th Century British Literature Group - and inviting me! It's needed. Well thought of.

Your marvelous and diverse library, and range of interests, are a pleasure to see. :) I look forward to exploring them at leisure, another day. Meanwhile: on vintage paperbacks, I couldn't agree more.
Hi! About poetry (of course). . . I just spent a bit of time reading thru your blog, and found it splendid. I'm hoping you will not mind this note: I came late to poetry. (The fact that I'd interviewed Ogden Nash is a clue perhaps! At any rate, my time at college did not introduce me to poets I appreciated.) As "Esta1923" my age is obvious. In 2000 John Balaban came to San Francisco Public Library with "spring essence," his translation of a Vietnamese woman poet in early 1800s. It was a wondrous event. The hall was packed. As one of the first 100 in line I was given a copy of the book. Its publisher, Copper Canyon Press, inserted a reply card, which I sent with my thanks. This put me on their mailing list and subsequently I answered their challenge to have a "Read-In." For this they sent as many FREE copies of Neruda "Stones of the Sky" as we would have readers come to our home. This worked beautifully (I repeated it 3 times, and, of course, sent report to CC. ) The mailings from them in subsequent times have introduced me to poetry I CAN appreciate. (My budget is limited. . . I have sent $10 contributions but have bought no books. I choose poems from the catalogs to share with friends.) ~~~What I meant to tell you (tho you may already know!) is that CC nourishes living poets and, on a personal level, carried me into contemporary poetry beautifully.
Thanks for the invite. Honored. Not an academic, but very interested in American poetry of the 20th century. Only have one Shapiro book -- The Wild Card (not yet cataloed on LT), but remember reading his handbook on prosody many years ago.
thanks for the invitation.
Thanks for the invitation to the Shapiro group. At this point in my year, I'm so swamped with workshops to teach and market, my own writing to do, and cataloging the rest of my books, so I can't imagine doing one more thing, reading one more e-mail, etc. etc. However, I'm hoping things will get on a more even track in 2009, and while it sounds ridiculous to say this, I'll keep your invitation and check it out again.


I noticed that we share a few volumes of poetry by Bill Hotchkiss. Do you recall how you acquired yours? I took a poetry writing course from him in Fall 2001.
I posted a topic and now I can't find it. It must be on LT somewhere but I don't know where. In addition to the Karl Shapiro volume I have a volume titled " Poets of World War II" from the American Poets Project. Those two are next on my to be read list. Then I can participate more intelligently in the group.
Hi ostrom.

Thank you for the invite. I haven't read Shapiro's poetry yet, but I have read some of his literary criticism. I was shocked to find him referring to Eliot, Auden, and Pound as weak poets.

That's pretty bold stuff and is enough to have me interested in him.
I accepted your invitation. I only have one volume by Karl Shapiro and I promise to finish it soon. I did a short post on generating interest in poetry in general. I hope you find it appropriate. I have really enjoyed LT and getting to know people with interests in all types of books. I hope others will accept your invitations and we can get a lively group going.
Thank you for the invitation and the review. I cannot wait to read it, (I'm in the middle of a few Classics, right now.), and I will be sure to get back to you with my thoughts (or questions, since you use it in your class!) when I finish.

Thanks for the invite. Although I don't self-identify as working class, the Mike Leigh connection definitely interests me so I'm happy to join. I'll try to get an argumentative thread going comparing Leigh and Loach.
Hullo! I've just recently purchased Plum Bun by Fauset, and was curious as to your thoughts on the book. I saw on the "Once Is Never Enough" thread that you've read it several times.

Hi, thanks for the invite to join the group, I've just done so now and think it will be an interesting group to belong to. I did enjoy reading the posts on the films being recommended and chose to recommend Brassed Off because as well as being a great working class film it was filmed in and around the town where I live. Hope to chat to you soon, Jody
Yes, it does look like people are having fun!
I think the bulk of members are on the East Coast -- but not all. I believe that the organization is trying to move the conference around. Haven't been to the west coast since I went to a Accuplacer conference in California a few years ago. I will have to get back to traveling more!
I will join up --- something else to consider (outside LibraryThing) is joining the WOrking Class Studies Association. I really enjoyed their national conference last year. This summer it is in Long Island, but next year it's in Pittsburgh. I like a lot of the people involved.
Sounds great -- I'm afraid I don't know much about the group aspect of this system -- do I just join? Where?
Hullo. Thanks for the interesting library add. i enjoyed browsing through your blog. Since you enjoy poetry, you might check out John Ashbery who i think is a genius. i was re-reading his Houseboat Days over the holidays and was blown away, again.

i notice that you listed Styron's Sophie's Choice as one of your favorites. If you have access to the New Yorker, one of Styron's kids recently did a piece on her dad's descent into madness. In the next issue, Jhumpa Lahiri has a short story that's one of the best printed last year.

Thanks again!
I'm glad to be interesting to someone! I see we have a lot of books in common. I'm in the same boat as you: most of my books are in boxes, someone stole my bookshelves from a storage unit, so cataloging is a huge undertaking-- I'm nowhere NEAR finished! Barely begun is more like it. But this is just too, too much fun. In fact, I think it's become yet another obsession-- just like reading!

Happy librarythinging!

PS: I'd love to drop in on your detective fiction seminar- sounds great. I went to grad school with a person who'd been an undergrad English major at Puget sound, by the way.
Yes, perfect also, for people like me who really need to get their personal libraries under control.
Thanks. I'm still trying to find my own way around! Karen
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