Books Acquired Recently

Gates, Henry Louis, Jr., and Valerie A. Smith, eds. The Norton Anthology of African American Literature. 3rd ed. 2 vols. New York: Norton, 2014.

I recieved an exam copy of these books from my local W.W. Norton representative. It took quite a while for Norton to update the first edition, so I am glad that they are now updating the book on a frequent basis. I am keeping my copy of the first edition, though, for sentimental reasons: I used it to study for my Ph.D. exams. This is one reason why I have so many books. I value them as pieces of my history, not just as sources of enjoyment or information.

Witkowski, Michal. Love Town. Trans. William Martin. 2010. London: Portobello, 2011.

I learned about this novel depicting the LGBT community in Communist Europe during the 1970s and 1980s from a colleague, and found a copy of it on sale from Better World Books for less than $4.00, so decided to buy it because my knowledge of queer literature outside of the U.S. and England is sorely lacking. The book has a pricetag from the Strand on it, which makes me happy.

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Books Acquired Recently: NeMLA Edition

I have been at the Northeast Modern Language Association annual conference for the past few days. Normally this kind of convention offers excellent opportunities for book-buying. However, the conference has been a disappointment in this respect, as the selection at the bookfair was rather paltry. I only bought one book there.

Hosseini, Khaled. The Kite Runner Graphic Novel. Illus. Fabio Celoni and Mirka Andolfo. New York: Riverhead, 2011.

I’ve heard that Hosseini’s novel by the same name is excellent, and have also heard good things about the illustrated edition. It was a steal at $5.00.

I then went to the Midtown Scholar Bookstore, which is a short walk from the conference’s main hotel in downtown Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. I had heard that it was an excellent independent bookstore. While it is true that the store is large and has an inventory covering a wide variety of subjects, it is horribly organized. I was primarily interested in browsing the fiction section, and within this section the books were organized by the first letter of authors’ last names, but within each letter there was no organization whatsoever, not even to the point of putting all of an author’s books next to each other. For instance, in the D section, I saw books by Don DeLillo on at least three separate shelves. In the nonfiction sections, books were alphabetized by their titles rather than by their authors, which made browsing in any meaningful way close to impossible. The store, in short, was infuriating.

Nevertheless, I am such a book-buying addict that I acquired two volumes. I believe in supporting independent bookstores, even badly-organized ones.

Spark, Muriel. Open to the Public: New & Collected Stories. New York: New Directions, 1997.

I recently read some of Spark’s work for the first time and loved it, thus I was delighted to find a like-new hardcover copy of her collected stories for only $6.95.

Welsh, Lindsay. Necessary Evil. 1995. New York: Blue Moon, 2005.

I had not heard of this book or of Welsh before, but I noticed it on the shelf because it has Blue Moon’s distinctive cover design. The book was originally published by Masquerade Books, which published high-quality erotica in the 1980s-1990s. It was also only $6.95.

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Books Acquired Recently

Call, Lewis. BDSM in American Science Fiction and Fantasy. New York: Palgrave, 2013.

I was so excited when I found out about this book because it examines two of my research interests. There is a chapter on one of my favorite authors/research subjects, Samuel R. Delany, and another one on Wonder Woman, my favorite super hero. I remember seeing an exhibit of panels from Wonder Woman comics depicting bondage at the Museum of Sex in New York City in late 2002, and I look forward to reading Call’s analysis of this recurring theme.

Self, Will. Psychogeography: Disentangling the Modern Conundrum of Psyche and Place. New York: Bloomsbury, 2007.

The psychogeography project I did with my students this semester has ended, and it went quite well, well enough that I am going to do it again next year. Therefore I continue to look for resources for it, and this book is a part of that search.

Both books were acquired from amazon.com’s network of independent sellers.

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Books Acquired Recently: More Birthday Goodies

I recently received these two books as birthday gifts from my sister and brother-in-law. I’ve been wanting to read both since I read reviews of them in recent months.

Block, David. Baseball Before We Knew It: A Search for the Roots of the Game. Lincoln: U of Nebraska P, 2005.

I have been interested in the early roots of baseball since coming across a reference to “base-ball” in Margaret Fuller’s Woman in the Nineteenth Century, which was first published as an essay in 1843, several decades earlier than I had thought the term existed in widespread usage. I am looking forward to learning more about how the game began creeping into the public consciousness before its explosion onto the scene in the 1860s.

Eisner, Shiri. Bi: Notes for a Bisexual Revolution. Berkeley: Seal, 2013.

As someone who is attracted to men and women amongst other gender expressions, I am excited to encounter some new thinking about bisexuality and its potential for sparking social change. While I have used the term “bisexual” to describe myself in the past, and sometimes still use it because it is more broadly understood than my current preferred term, “queer,” I have grown uncomfortable with it because it implies that there are only two genders that one may be attracted to. I am thus intrigued to see what Eisner thinks about the continued usefulness of this term (which, let me make clear, is still a legitimate and important one for people to use if they feel so inclined) and what it can signify.

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Books Acquired Recently

I just received two books from a friend as gifts for my upcoming birthday. Both look intriguing and enjoyable, and I hope to read them over my forthcoming Spring Break.

Corin, Lucy. One Hundred Apocalypses and Other Apocalypses. San Francisco: McSweeney’s, 2013.

I recently heard about this book via a “Best Feminist Books of 2013″ list on Facebook, and was immediately smitten with the title. The book itself is a beautiful object (as is normally the case with McSweeney’s publications), with an arrow cut out of the cover to reveal the title and author, as can be seen in the photograph below.

Jack, Belinda. The Woman Reader. New Haven: Yale UP, 2012.

I have been interested in the history of readers since reading Ian Watt’s description of the eighteenth century English reading market in his classic The Rise of the Novel in graduate school. Jack’s book on the history of female readers will certainly feed this interest.

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Book Acquired Recently: Wieland, Norton Critical Edition

Brown, Charles Brockden. Wieland and Memoirs of Carwin the Biloquist. Ed. Bryan Waterman. New York: Norton, 2011.

I just received this exam copy in the mail. I am going to teach Wieland in my American Literature to 1865 course in the fall, and am trying to decide between assigning the Penguin Classics edition or this Norton edition. My default mode is to assign Penguin paperbacks because they are inexpensive, authoritative, and aesthetically pleasing, but Wieland is a difficult enough text that I thought it might be helpful to have students read some of the supplementary material that Norton always includes in their critical editions. The volume is nearly 600 pages long, but less than 240 of it are the novels themselves (Memoirs of Carwin the Biloquist is Wieland‘s sequel). Make of this ratio what you will.

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Book Acquired Recently: David Luthy’s A History of the Printings of the Martyrs’ Mirror

Luthy, David. A History of the Printings of the Martyrs’ Mirror: Dutch, German, English 1660-2012. Aylmer: Pathway, 2013.

I acquired this book directly from Pathway Publishers as part of my research for a project on Stephen Beachy’s novel boneyard, which draws heavily on Thieleman J. van Braght’s Martyrs Mirror (note that this book’s title does not actually include an apostrophe after “Martyrs” although one would be correct, thus it is an interesting [and, frankly, I think an erroneous] choice on Luthy’s part to include one in his title, as this emendation is not normally made), thus I am trying to get my hands on all of the recent scholarship on van Braght’s book. I’ve briefly flipped through Luthy’s book, and it is lavishly illustrated and written in what looks to be a methodical, comprehensive style. It was delightfully inexpensive: only $8.95 despite being a hardcover.

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