Books Acquired Recently

Ali, Agha Shahid. A Nostalgist’s Map of America. New York: W.W. Norton, 1991.

I ordered this book after encountering an excerpt of one of its poems in Gayatri Gopinath’s Unruly Visions. I am always interested in investigating the work of queer authors whom I haven’t read before.

Ewalt, David M. Of Dice and Men: The Story of Dungeons & Dragons and the People Who Play It. New York: Scribner, 2014.

A group of friends and I have begun playing D&D over the past six months or so and I am becoming more and more obsessed with it. I decided to order this history of the game to help me gain a better understanding of its roots.

Myles, Eileen, and Liz Kotz, eds. The New Fuck You: Adventures in Lesbian Reading. South Pasadena, CA: Semiotext(e), 1995.

I recently read about this anthology in Maggie Nelson’s book about women and the New York School of poets and decided to buy it because how could I not buy a queer book called The New Fuck You? I began reading it this weekend and the work–a mix of fiction, poetry, and nonfiction–is excellent thus far.

All three books were ordered from amazon.com.

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Books Acquired Recently

Navratilova, Martina, with George Vecsey. Martina. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1985.

I became obsessed with tennis and Navratilova when I was nine years old, and my local public library had her autobiography, so I read it avidly. Lately I’ve been writing about books that have influenced me, and in hindsight I realized that this is the first queer book I ever read. I decided that it would be helpful to read it again because I am writing about it, and I found a used copy from one of amazon.com’s independent booksellers for around $5.00.

Strahan, Jonathan, ed. The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year, Volume Twelve. Oxford, UK: Solaris, 2018.

As I have written here numerous times before, I am a huge Samuel R. Delany fan. I just recently found out that he published a novella, The Hermit of Houston, in a journal in 2017. I googled it to see where it was available and found out that it is included in Strahan’s anthology. I bought the book from Powell’s because I am trying to shop less with amazon.

Zambreno, Kate. Book of Mutter. South Pasadena, CA: Semiotext(e), 2017.

—. Green Girl. New York: Harper Perennial, 2014.

I finished reading Zambreno’s hybrid memoir Heroines last week and loved it. As a result, I decided to buy her second memoir, Book of Mutter, and one of her novels.

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Books Acquired Recently: Hobart Book Village Edition

This past weekend I went to the Hobart Book Village in Hobart, New York, for the first time. Hobart is a tiny village in the Catskills, but it has five independent bookstores within two blocks of each other. They all have slightly different specialties and cooperate with each other rather than being competitors. I only purchased books from three of the stores because one focuses on books about arts and crafts and one is an antiquarian bookstore for serious book collectors (i.e., those interested in first editions and the like). Somehow I only spent about $100.00. I recommend that all book lovers visit!

From Blenheim Hill Books:

Algarín, Miguel, and Miguel Piñero, eds. Nuyorican Poetry: An Anthology of Puerto Rican Words and Feelings. New York: William Morrow, 1975.

As a Nuyorican myself, I have been wanting to read this anthology for quite some time. Copies of it are expensive (it is sadly out of print), but when I found a copy in good condition for $40.00 I immediately decided I had to buy it.

Berrigan, Ted. The Sonnets. 1964. New York: Penguin Books, 2000.

I’ve read lots about Berrigan regarding his connection to the New York School of poets, whom I love, but I have not read his work before.

Vuong, Ocean. Night Sky with Exit Wounds. Port Townsend, WA: Copper Canyon Press, 2016.

I’ve heard great things about Vuong’s poetry but have not yet encountered it. I look forward to checking it out!

Blenheim Hill has the best poetry section I’ve ever encountered at a used bookstore, which is why poetry is all I purchased there.

From Butternut Valley Books:

March, Lisa. Her and She and Him…. New York: Audubon Books, 1970.

Butternut Valley had several shelves of old pornographic paperbacks that I enjoyed browsing through. This was the only one I found that was queer, which is why I bought it.

From Liberty Rock Books:

Van Vogt, A.E. The Book of Van Vogt. New York: DAW Books, 1972.

A.E. Van Vogt was an important science fiction writer from the tail end of SF’s Golden Age, but I am interested in him because he was raised Mennonite. I’ve never read any of his work so I was pleased to find this anthology of some of his short stories.

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Books Acquired Recently

Clay, Steven, and Rodney Phillips, eds. A Secret Location on the Lower East Side: Adventures in Writing, 1960-1980. New York: New York Public Library/Granary Books, 1998.

This is a book about the various mimeographed literary publications (periodicals and chapbooks) published in New York during the 1960s and 1970s. It is a mix of cover reproductions, excerpts, and reminisces by those involved in the production and writing of the publications. I have been fascinated by this era since I was in college so I am keen to read it! Both it and Sato’s book were bought from amazon.com’s network of independent booksellers.

Sato, Hiroaki, ed. Erotic Haiku. Japan: IBC, 2004.

I enjoy haiku anthologies and am especially fond of haiku about everyday physical experience, so when I heard about this anthology I thought it would be right down my alley. It has both Japanese and English versions of the poems. The publication information is in Japanese, which is why I am not sure about the city of publication.

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Books Acquired Recently: Gay Nostalgia Edition

Delany, Samuel R. Letters from Amherst: Five Narrative Letters. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 2019.

I am a Delany fanatic so I buy all of his books. I had pre-ordered this book from amazon.com and it came this week.

Vidal, Gore. Myra Breckinridge. 1968. New York: Vintage International, 2019.

I’ve only read one of Vidal’s novels (The City and the Pillar) and have been wanting to read more, but his historical novels do not interest me. I got a promotional email from the publisher that Myra Breckinridge is now back in print, so I ordered an examination copy.

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Books Acquired Recently: Desk Copy Edition

Over the past few months publishers have sent me a number of desk copies for my Fall 2019 courses.

For First-Year Composition:

Blanco, Richard. The Prince of Los Cocuyos: A Miami Childhood. 2014. New York: Ecco, 2015.

Irby, Samantha. We Are Never Meeting in Real Life: Essays. New York: Vintage Books, 2017.

Knisley, Lucy. Relish: My Life in the Kitchen. New York: First Second, 2013.

Tea, Michelle. How to Grow Up: A Memoir. New York: Plume, 2015.

As is evident from Blanco’s, Irby’s, and Tea’s books, this is sneakily a queer memoir class as well.

For American Literature Before 1865:

Brown, Charles Brockden. Wieland and Memoirs of Carwin the Biloquist. New York: Penguin Books, 1991.

This, Irving’s, and Wilson’s books are Penguin Classics, which I love.

Hollander, John, ed. American Poetry: The Nineteenth Century, Volume One; Philip Freneau to Walt Whitman. New York: Library of America, 1993.

Over the past year I’ve begun the practice of assigning a poetry anthology in all of my literature classes, which has been an excellent decision. We read one or two poems at the beginning of each class and then spend the rest of the class talking about the longer reading for the day.

Irving, Washington. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Other Stories. New York: Penguin Books, 2014.

Wilson, Harriet E. Our Nig, Or, Sketches from the Life of a Free Black. 1859. New York: Penguin Books, 2009.

For African American Literature:

Delany, Samuel R. Dark Reflections. 2007. Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, 2016.

This is an excellent novel that was out of print for quite a while (an issue that many of Delany’s best novels have, unfortunately). I have been wanting to teach it since I first read it, and am glad that Dover has now made this possible.

Harper, Michael S., and Anthony Walton, eds. The Vintage Book of African American Poetry: 200 Years of Vision, Struggle, Power, Beauty, and Triumph from 50 Outstanding Poets. New York: Vintage Books, 2000.

Lorde, Audre. Zami: A New Spelling of My Name. Berkeley, CA: Crossing Press, 1982.

This is one of my favorite memoirs ever.

Morrison, Toni. Sula. 1973. New York: Vintage International, 2004.

Walker, Alice. Meridian. 1976. Orlando: Harvest, 2003.

I wrote a dissertation chapter on this novel many years ago, haha.

 

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Books Acquired Recently: Ervin Beck Edition

Ervinbooks

The above photograph shows the 51 books that my former professor Ervin Beck gave me when I visited his home in Goshen, Indiana, last week. I took his Mennonite Literature course my junior year of college and have basically been obsessed with the field since then. He generously let me take a selection of his books in the field as part of his retirement downsizing.

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