Books Acquired Recently: AWP Edition Plus One

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AWP:

I just attended the Associated Writing Programs (AWP) conference for the first time this past week. It was a fantastic conference, and one of the best things about it was the huge book fair. There was so much literature to choose from that it became an overwhelming task. I thus developed the following buying strategy: I would stop at publisher tables that looked interesting and ask them if they had any queer texts. If they did, I would consider those texts. I came away with some exciting-looking books by authors that I mostly have never heard of before (and therefore some of the books do not have annotations).

Cho, Tom. Look Who’s Morphing. 2009. Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press, 2014.

Cho presented at the same panel as Sassafras Lowrey did (mentioned below). I made a note to look up his work because he discussed the work of Tom of Finland, which I care deeply for. When I went to buy Lowrey’s book I happily discovered Cho’s book right next to it on the table.

Gaydos, Rebecca. Güera. Oakland: Omnidawn Publishing, 2016.

Guzman, Dena Rash. Joseph. Oakland: Hologram Press, 2017.

I attended a poetry reading including Guzman on Thursday morning and she had copies of her new collection for sale. I enjoyed listening to her, bought the book, and discovered that it is even better than it seemed to be at the reading!

July, Miranda. It Chooses You. San Francisco: McSweeney’s Books, 2011.

I love July’s work and was excited to get this book for only $10.00.

Lowrey, Sassafras. Lost Boi. Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press, 2015.

I heard Lowrey speak at a panel, and ze said that this novel was on sale at the book fair. After hearing hir speak I wanted to read hir writing immediately. I’m halfway through the novel (a BDSM-inflected retelling of Peter Pan) and it is amazing! When I got home this afternoon I went online and ordered the rest of hir books.

Mondrup, Iben. Justine. Translated by Kerri A. Pieroe. Rochester, NY: Open Letter, 2016.

Parzybok, Benjamin. Sherwood Nation. Easthampton, MA: Small Beer Press, 2014.

Ratzlaff, Keith. Dubious Angels: Poems After Paul Klee. Tallahassee, FL: Anhinga Press, 2005.

Ratzlaff is a Mennonite poet who I had dinner with on Friday night (there were a number of Mennonite writers and literary critics at the conference who all got together for dinner). He mentioned that his books were available at the book fair and I got this volume on sale for $5.00. I finished reading it this morning and quite enjoyed it.

Plus One:

Spark, Muriel. The Comforters. 1957. New York: New Directions, 2014.

Last night I visited Kramer Books with a friend. While browsing their fiction section I came across a book by Muriel Spark (who I love) that I haven’t read yet and decided to buy it.

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Book Acquired Recently: In Search of Silence: The Journals of Samuel R. Delany

Delany, Samuel R. In Search of Silence: The Journals of Samuel R. Delany: Volume 1, 1957-1969. Ed. Kenneth R. James. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 2017.

This mammoth tome (660 pages) arrived in the mail today. Delany is one of my favorite writers, and his work has had an immeasurable effect on my thinking. I am especially fond of his personal writing and am thus excited to read these excerpts from his journals. The book is part of a proposed series of selections from his journals throughout his life; at the current pace it will take at least five volumes to complete the set. My only hesitancy about it is that it is edited by someone other than Delany (who is normally very meticulous about the presentation of his work), and I am not sure what this portends. I hope that it does not mean that Delany is not well enough to do the task himself.

I bought the book from amazon.com. It is the first book in my collection with a 2017 copyright date.

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Book Acquired Recently: Stephen Beachy’s Zeke Yoder vs. the Singularity

Beachy, Stephen. Zeke Yoder vs. the Singularity. N.p.: CreateSpace, 2016.

Beachy is one of my favority Mennonite writers, and his newest book, a piece of Amish science fiction, just came out! I received it in the mail today, and can’t wait to read it! You can buy it here.

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Books Acquired Recently

I just received two books in the mail from Penguin that I had ordered at MLA. Each book was on sale for $3.00. They both look thought-provoking and Bruce’s collection is a Penguin Classic, a series that I love.

Bayoumi, Moustafa. How Does It Feel to be a Problem? Being Young and Arab in America. 2008. New York: Penguin Books, 2009.

The title’s question is sadly more relevant than ever considering the current U.S. political situation.

Bruce, Scott G., ed. The Penguin Book of the Undead: Fifteen Hundred Years of Supernatural Encounters. New York: Penguin Books, 2016.

I was at MLA presenting as part of a panel on Zombies and Theology, thus it seems appropriate that I discovered this anthology of different literary representations of the undead while there.

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Books Acquired Recently

Over the past few weeks I’ve acquired several books with holiday money that I received.

Brackett, Leigh. The Long Tomorrow. 1955. Rockville, MD: Phoenix Pick, n.d.

I first heard about this science fiction classic several years ago because it has Mennonite characters. More and more Mennonite SF continues to appear, so I thought now would be a good time to read it.

This, Lima and Carmona’s anthology, and Vermette’s novel were purchased from amazon.com’s network of independent sellers.

Driver, John. Life Together in the Spirit: A Radical Spirituality for the Twenty-First Century. Walden, NY: Plough Publishing House, 2015.

I received this book as a gift for renewing my membership to the Mennonite Historical Society. It’s not something I would normally read, but it might be interesting.

Lima, Rossy Evelin, and Christopher Carmona, ed. Outrage: A Protest Anthology for Injustice in a 9/11 World.

I heard about this anthology because I have a friend with a poem in it, and decided to buy it now because the amount of injustice is only going to grow in the current political climate. It is bilingual, which I appreciate.

Wambach, Abby. Forward: A Memoir. New York: Dey Street, 2016.

I bought this autobiography (i.e., it’s yet another misnamed “memoir”) at Barnes & Noble for 50% off. I’ve already read it and I wish it went more in-depth about Wambach’s playing career. Her descriptions of significant matches are quite short; they feel rushed.

Vermette, Katherena. The Break. Toronto: House of Anansi Press, 2016.

I just heard about Vermette’s recent novel and ordered it right away because of her Mennonite connections.

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Books Acquired Recently: MLA Edition

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Last week I went to the annual Modern Language Association (MLA) convention, which was in Philadelphia this year. It was my third time attending MLA, and as usual one of the highlights of my trip was going to the Book Fair. It seemed like there were fewer publishers there this year, but I still managed to come away with ten books! All of the publishers had sales, and I actually got four of the books (Cisneros, Hass, Karr, McCloud) for free.

Cisneros, Sandra. A House of My Own: Stories from My Life. 2015. New York: Vintage Books, 2016.

Random House was giving out free books in exchange for signing up for their email list, and this patchwork memoir was the most intriguing of the books eligible for the offer.

Cruz, Ariane. The Color of Kink: Black Women, BDSM, and Pornography. New York: New York University Press, 2016.

BDSM is one of my major scholarly interests and it excites me how there are more and more academic studies of it being published.

Cvetkovich, Ann. Depression: A Public Feeling. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2012.

I adored Cvetkovich’s An Archive of Feelings when I read it earlier this semester, so I decided to check out this newer volume.

Gillot, Alain. The Penalty Area. Trans. Howard Curtis. New York: Europa Editions, 2016.

This lovely little novel that I’ve already finished is about a French youth soccer team. Happily, not only is it about soccer, but chess also plays a significant role.

Gray, Mary L., Colin R. Johnson, and Brian J. Gilley, ed. Queering the Countryside: New Frontiers in Rural Queer Studies. New York: New York University Press, 2016.

I have read very little on rural queer experience, and bought this new reader in order to help remedy this lack.

Hass, Robert. A Little Book on Form: An Exploration Into the Formal Imagination of Poetry. New York: Ecco, 2017.

I love both Hass’s poetry and his writing about poetry, and was thus excited to see that he has this new book (which, at over 400 pages, is not “little”) out.

Hoang, Nguyen Tan. A View from the Bottom: Asian American Masculinity and Sexual Representation. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2014.

I have been trying to read as much work at the intersection of race/ethnicity and queer theory as possible recently, but have not yet read anything about the Asian queer experience.

Karr, Mary. The Art of Memoir. 2015. New York: HarperPerennial, 2016.

I have been writing more and more creative nonfiction lately, but without reading much theory on how to do so. I thought reading this book would be helpful as I continue to pursue this writing.

McCloud, Scott. Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art. New York: William Morrow, 1993.

It is terrible that I still haven’t read this classic text even though I have taught graphic narratives in a number of courses. But there’s nothing like the impetus of getting it for free!

Rabinowitz, Paula. American Pulp: How Paperbacks Brought Modernism to Main Street. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2014.

I love pulp paperbacks and was thus very excited to find this history of them and their influence.

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Books Acquired Recently: Holiday Edition

I love the holidays because not only do I get lots of books as gifts (some from others, some from myself), but I have lots of time off to read! Unless otherwise noted, all of the volumes below were presents I’ve received in the past week.

Carpenter, Steven P. Mennonites and Media: Mentioned in It, Maligned by It, and Makers of It: How Mennonites Have Been Portrayed in Media and How They Have Shaped Media for Identity and Outreach. Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, 2015.

This book looks like an interesting overview of how Mennonites have been portrayed and have portrayed themselves through the years. Mennonites love to write about Mennonite subject matter, and this book fits perfectly in that trend.

Eby, Omar. Mill Creek. N.p.: Xlibris, 2010.

Eby taught English at Eastern Mennonite College/University for decades. I have read one of his other novels, A Long, Dry Season, and am excited to read this more recent effort.

Epstein, Robert, and Miriam Wald, ed. Every Chicken, Cow, Fish and Frog: Animal Rights Haiku. West Union, WV: Middle Island Press, 2016.

I have a poem in this collection (“confused birdsong / seventy degrees / in November”), so I bought a copy for posterity’s sake. For the record, while I respect vegetarianism, I love meat.

Friesen, Lauren. Prairie Lands, Private Landscapes: Re-framing a Mennonite Childhood. Indianapolis: Dog Ear Publishing, 2016.

Friesen is an important scholar of Mennonite drama and music, and I look forward to reading this memoir of his to learn more about his journey.

Hart, Lynda. Between the Body and the Flesh: Performing Sadomasochism. New York: Columbia University Press, 1998.

This book is a classic examination of BDSM that I haven’t gotten around to reading yet, but will do so soon.

Jordan, Hillary. When She Woke. 2011. Chapel Hill, NC: Algonquin Books, 2012.

I’ve already finished this novel, which is like an updated version of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale. It’s not as skillful as Atwood’s book, but was enjoyable nonetheless. In this age of political madness in the U.S. we need as many of these narratives as we can get.

Kurlansky, Mark. Paper: Paging Through History. New York: W.W. Norton, 2016.

I love books, and so of course I am intrigued by this history of paper and its role in shaping broader human history.

Musser, Amber Jamilla. Sensational Flesh: Race, Power, and Masochism. New York: New York University Press, 2014.

I am always interested in reading theorizations of BDSM, thus I ordered this book immediately when I came across a citation of it in my research. I purchased it and Wirzba’s book from amazon.com’s network of independent sellers.

Weaver-Zercher, Valerie. Thrill of the Chaste: The Allure of Amish Romance Novels. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013.

I was browsing in the Old Country Store in Intercourse, Pennsylvania, last week while visiting relatives and came across this book, which I had previously heard about. I decided to finally buy a copy with some money I had received as a gift.

Wirzba, Norman. Living the Sabbath: Discovering the Rhythms of Rest and Delight. Grand Rapids, MI: Brazos Press, 2006.

I struggle with living in the moment, enjoying the daily joys of life instead of constantly worrying about the future. I recently read about Wirzba’s book on making restfulness a daily habit and thought it sounded helpful.

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