Monday, June 29, 2015

Anthony Ambrogio's Bookshelf

What books are currently on your nightstand?
The Nuns of Sant’Ambrogio, a historical account of a nineteenth-century convent scandal (which I bought partly for the title but which I’m having a hard time slogging through) and The Golden Apples of the Sun, a Ray Bradbury anthology—the original paperback that I purchased for 40 cents back in 1961.

Who is your all-time favorite novelist?
Who indeed? Of Mice and Men is one of my all-time favorite novels, but I don’t know that Steinbeck is my all-time favorite novelist. I admire Faulkner’s style (over someone like, say, Hemingway), and I’ve certainly read most of his work (As I Lay Dying multiple times), but I don’t know if he’s my favorite novelist, either. I used to read everything that Kurt Vonnegut wrote, but I’m not as enamored of him as I used to be. My wife just reminded me about Virginia Woolf, an author whose entire novelist canon I’ve read and enjoyed (especially To the Lighthouse).

What book might we be surprised to find on your shelves?
Three Comrades by Eric Maria Remarque because it is essentially and mostly a romance (as in “love story”), something I don’t usually gravitate toward. (But I saw and loved the 1938 movie—co-scripted by F. Scott Fitzgerald—when I was about 12 and had to get/read the book.)

Who is your favorite fictional character?
I struggled with this one and could come up with no satisfactory answer. I was thinking Odysseus, the original hero on a journey, but not all of his qualities are admirable. Ditto Yossarian in Catch-22. I suppose I must have one, but I don’t know who s/he is.
What book do you return to?
Already mentioned Of Mice and Men and As I Lay Dying above. Maybe Stephen King’s It, Bradbury’s Dandelion Wine—or Nightmares and Geezenstacks, a horror anthology of short stories by Fredric Brown (the first and greatest practitioner of what is now called “flash fiction”).
 Bio: Anthony Ambrogio, 66, life-long resident of Detroit (and environs) until January 2015, when we moved to Cape Cod. Major claim to fame: Married to poet-novelist Anca Vlasopolos; two daughters. Minor claim to fame: numerous articles and reviews in periodicals like Midnight Marquee, Monsters from the Vault, and Video Watchdog. Strives for fiction-publication credits but so far has only a very few short stories to show for it. (Photo attached.)


Anonymous said...

Oh, some of the books you love and return to are such classics!! And a nice variety too!

Deb said...

I just finished The Nuns of Sant'Ambrogio and it is indeed a slog. I don't think it's the author (Hubert Wolf's) fault but his book has been marketed and publicized as "racy goings on at a convent" when it's really more about church procedure when investigating claims of sacrilege. Oh well, that's what I get for assuming I was about to read a "sexy nuns" book!

Btw, there's quite a bit in Stewart O'Nan's West of Sunset about Firzgerald's work adapting Three Comrades for the screen.

Jeff Meyerson said...

Nice bookshelves. Faulkner is not my taste but some of the others are.

Charles Gramlich said...

I see we would disagree on Faulkner and Hemingway, but such is the way of the world. :)