802: Literature Lover’s Book of Lists by Judie L. H. Strouf
802: Strouf, Judie L.H. Literature Lover’s Book of Lists: Serious Trivia for the Bibliophile. Paramus, NJ: Prentice Hall Press, 1998. 391 pp. ISBN 0-7352-0121-8.
- 800: Literature
- 802: Miscellany
Judie Strouf’s Literature Lover’s Book of Lists is a simple exercise that gather a lot of information. It bills itself as a “compendium of useful, whimsical, and necessary information for people…who love to read.” The 198 compiled lists try to order, categorize, and codify the entirety of literature for those crave such information. It has every Pulitzer Prize winner and their works, poem types and literary devices with examples, landmark books and speeches from every major Western period, lists of literary genres, and so on and so on.
Aside from its very evident Western bias and dated information, I only have one quibble with this volume. In the section on poetic forms, she includes personal compositions for the couplet, sestina, pantoum, and cinquain, as if no there are other classic or seminal examples of these forms. Luckily, she had the presence of mind to stay out of the sonnets. Other than that, you’ll find a wealth of information here. I don’t, however, suggest you read it straight through. It’s a bit of a slog, but as a bathroom reader it works rather well.