Books Acquired Recently

My book-buying habit continues unabated despite my stuffed “To Read” shelf. Here is what has come in recently.

Kafer, Alison. Feminist, Queer, Crip. Bloomington: Indiana UP, 2013.

I have been studying the intersection between queer theory and disability studies recently for a paper that I am writing, and came across a citation of this book, which looks interesting because of its efforts to be intersectional.

Mulvany, Nancy C. Indexing Books. 2nd. ed. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 2005.

I bought this book as a resource for a bibliography that I am currently working on. I must say that it is a very handsome book–a colorful yet not garish cover, sturdy hardback, thick creamy pages–which pleases me since books about books should be beautiful to match their subject matter.

Munson, Peggy. Origami Striptease. San Francisco: Suspect Thoughts Press, 2006.

I encountered a citation for this novel in some of my aforementioned research on disability studies and found a copy for a good price, so decided to buy it. I read it last week and enjoyed it overall. It’s worth checking out because it is one of the very few depictions of a disabled person’s sex life out there. My guess is that twenty or thirty years from now it will be viewed as a classic work.

Perryman, Mark, ed. 1966 and Not All That. London: Repeater Books, 2016.

This is a collection of essays about England’s 1966 World Cup triumph, the only major soccer trophy the English men have ever won despite England being the sport’s birthplace. From the time I was just a fledgling soccer fan twenty years ago I have had a sense of the 1966 team being swathed in myth and glory. (Which, I think, says something about how influential English soccer culture has been for American soccer culture. This is one of the few areas where the U.S. could still be considered a postcolonial context.) As a result, I have been thoroughly enjoying and consuming as much of the fiftieth anniversary celebration and retrospective as I can, thus it was an instant decision to buy the book when I read a review of it a few weeks ago.

Stafford, William. Down in My Heart. 1947. Swarthmore: Bench Press, 1985.

The Tramontane Cafe in Utica is currently have a book sale of some of Roger Smith’s books, who was a regular at the Cafe and at the Utica Poets Society, which meets there (he died a few months ago). I picked up this memoir by William Stafford about his time as a conscientious objector to military service during World War II because I have a general interest in CO experiences since many Mennonites were also COs.  Stafford is a kind of celebrity among Mennonites because of his pacifism, but I am unfamiliar with much of his work, thus I look forward to learning more about him from this book.

All of the books except for Stafford’s were acquired via amazon.com’s network of independent sellers.

Leave a comment

Filed under Literature, Sports

Books Acquired Recently

Dykstra, Lenny. House of Nails: The Construction, the Demolition, the Resurrection: A Memoir of Life on the Edge. New York: Morrow, 2016.

As I have said here before, I am obsessed with the 1986 Mets, so I buy every book I can find about them. Dykstra’s second memoir (after Nails, which was published after the 1986 baseball season) was just published, and I bought it right away and read it this past weekend. It is an interesting book (and has blurbs from Jack Nicholson and Stephen King, which is quite impressive), and I learned some fascinating things about both the Mets and Dykstra (his discussion of Davey Johnson as a manager is especially revelatory), but my primary takeaway from the book is that Dykstra is a terrible person. He claims to have learned from his mistakes, but this supposed growth is nowhere evident in the tone of the book.

King, Michael A. Fractured Dance: Gadamer and a Mennonite Conflict Over Homosexuality. Telford: Pandora Press U.S., 2001.

As I do more and more scholarship on queer Mennonite literature, I thought it would be helpful to read this book, one of the first explicitly dealing with LGBT issues and Mennonitism. It approaches the subject from a theological perspective rather than a literary one, but the theological aspects of Mennonite literature are inescapable (as much as some in the field would like to get away from them), thus one must be somewhat conversant with theological texts to write about the literature.

Oliver, Mary. Thirst. Boston: Beacon, 2006.

I read a few poems by Oliver in an anthology as an undergraduate and didn’t like them, but then recently found out from a friend that Oliver is queer, and that some of her more recent poetry is explicitly so. Therefore I decided to give her another reading. I am interested to see how or whether my poetic tastes have changed in the intervening fifteen years.

Talese, Gay. The Voyeur’s Motel. New York: Grove, 2016.

I read an excerpt of this book several months ago in the New Yorker and was hooked. The book was just published this week, and I can’t wait to read it. It might be suitable for my  course on obsessions.

All of these books were bought on amazon.com.

Leave a comment

Filed under Literature, Sports

Books Acquired Recently

Although I have more than enough books on my “To Read” shelf for the rest of the summer, I’ve acquired five new books over the past week.

Klosterman, Chuck. But What If We’re Wrong? Thinking About the Present As If It Were the Past. New York: Blue Rider, 2016.

I love Klosterman’s writing. I didn’t realize he had a new book out, but it was displayed on the very first shelf at RiverRead Books in Binghamton (where I also bought Spark’s novel) when I walked in. I decided to buy it right away. It was probably my record for quickest time picking a book to buy in a bookstore–about five seconds.

Lander, N [sic] Maxwell. Carnal Anomaly. Berkeley: Threel Media, 2016.

I received this and Niffenegger’s book as anniversary presents from my partner. Carnal Anomaly is a collection of BDSM-themed photographs, some of which are very extreme. I look forward to perusing it.

Niffenegger, Audrey. The Night Bookmobile. New York: Abrams, 2010.

I don’t know much at all about this graphic novel, but it involves books so I am assuming I will enjoy it!

Ruth, John L. Branch: A Memoir with Pictures. Lancaster: TourMagination, 2013.

John Ruth is one of the most important Mennonite storytellers of the past fifty years, and his influence is still felt throughout the field of Mennonite studies. I have been wanting to buy his memoir since I read a review of it a few years ago, but it has been difficult to track down (amazon.com doesn’t even have it!). I was finally able to find a copy on the website of Masthof Bookstore, a Mennonite publishing venture that I was previously unaware of.

Spark, Muriel. Memento Mori. 1959. New York: New Directions, 2014.

I love Spark’s writing and when I saw this paperback on the shelf I picked it up immediately.

Leave a comment

Filed under Literature

Books Acquired Recently

Hall, Donald E., and Annamarie Jagose, eds. The Routledge Queer Studies Reader. London: Routledge, 2013.

I recently had a friend recommend this anthology to me, and I have been wanting to read queer theory in a more systematic way than I have in the past, so thought this book would be a good place to start. I acquired it from one of amazon.com’s network of independent sellers.

Hess, J. Daniel. An Invitation to Criticism. Goshen: Pinchpenny, 1984.

I took a trip to Goshen, Indiana, last week to do some research, and while I was there I made a stop at Better World Books. I found this old Pinchpenny Press book with an intriguing title in good condition. I am always interested in the history of Mennonite attitudes toward education and art, so I look forward to discovering what Hess has to say on the subject.

Isherwood, Christopher. Christopher and His Kind. 1976. London: Vintage, 2012.

I received this book as a gift from someone who knows about my interest in queer literature. I have never read Isherwood before, so it is nice that now I have impetus to do so.

Reimer, Al. My Harp is Turned to Mourning. Winnipeg: Windflower, 1990.

This is the other book I bought at Better World. It is one of the first novels to depict the Mennonite struggles in Russia under Stalin, and an important text in the Mennonite literary canon. To be frank, I get a little tired of this narrative sometimes, but I found this volume in excellent condition for a good price, thus decided to buy it and finally get around to reading it this summer.

Richardson, Suzanne. The Softest Part of a Woman is a Wound. Georgetown: Finishing Line, 2016.

Richardson is one of my colleagues at Utica College, and she just came out with her first book of poetry! I am very excited to read it.

Leave a comment

Filed under Literature

Books Acquired Recently: Mostly Vacation Edition

I have acquired sixteen books over the past two weeks, most as a result from visiting various bookshops during my recent vacation to England and Scotland, which was an amazing trip! The rundown of these books is below, with the books separated into sections based on where they were bought. The sections are listed in chronological order.

Hatchard’s, London, England

IMG_0321

Hatchard’s is the oldest bookshop in London, having opened in 1797. It was walking distance from my hotel and it was an awe-inspiring experience to be in a space that has been used for the same purpose for over 200 years.

Clare, John. Major Works. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2008.

I have been looking for a selection of Clare’s works since reading about his escape from a lunatic asylum in a book on psychogeography about a year ago. This volume has a large selection of his poetry as well as some of his prose, which is what I am most interested in.

Kureishi, Hanif. Something to Tell You. 2008. London: Faber, 2009.

Kureishi is one of my favorite British authors and thus I thought it would be appropriate to buy one of his books while I was in England.

Topping & Company, Bath, England

IMG_0343

This was a fantastic bookstore, my favorite on the trip. Bath is a lovely little city.

Bashō, Matsuo. The Narrow Road to the Deep North and Other Travel Sketches. Tr. Nobuyuki Yuasa. London: Penguin, 1966.

I really enjoy Bashō’s haiku, thus when I discovered this slender volume on the shelf I thought it presented a good opportunity to read some of his prose. I also like the idea of buying a book about travelling whilst travelling.

Lee, Hermione. Biography: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2009.

I am considering doing some scholarship on memoir and thought this little book would be helpful for understanding some of the theoretical issues surrounding the genre.

Peter Bell Books, Edinburgh, Scotland

One of the things that impressed me about Edinburgh was its large number of bookshops–I discovered seven of them just wandering about a half-mile radius from my hotel. All but one of these (Blackwell’s below) were independent stores, tiny holes-in-the-wall. This included Peter Bell Books. Its website (linked to above: “We have been bookselling in Edinburgh since 1980, and are reliable and professional in our business dealings.”) is a good digital manifestation of the shop itself.

Spark, Muriel. The Bachelors. 1960. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1963.

IMG_0399 (1)

I was hoping to buy an old British Penguin paperback because I love their design, and this book fit the bill. I love the little notice on the back cover letting buyers know that it “is not for sale in the U.S.A.” I paid £4.00 for it, more than its original price of three pounds and six shillings (it’s so old that they were still using shillings!).

Blackwell’s, Edinburgh, Scotland

It made me happy that all of Edinburgh’s small bookshops are able to coexist with this larger chain shop.

London, Jack. The Call of the Wild, White Fang, and Other Stories. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2009.

The shop was having a two-for-one sale on Oxford World’s Classics, so this is the book that I got for free.

Zola, Émile. The Ladies’ Paradise. 1883. Tr. Brian Nelson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2008.

I have never read any of Zola’s work despite his importance to the genre of the novel. I recently read a bit about this particular book and thought its portrayal of urbanization and gender sounded interesting, so I decided to buy it.

Oxfam, York, England

Butler, Bryon. The Official Illustrated History of the FA Cup. London: Headline, 1996.

There was an Oxfam used bookshop just down the street from Yorkminster Cathedral, which is one of the sites I visited during the trip. I found this coffee table book and decided to buy it because Manchester United were playing in the FA Cup final later in the day and I thought buying it would bring them luck, and it did! It cost £3.45.

WHSmith, Gatwick Airport, London, England

Ferguson, Alex, with Michael Moritz. Leading. 2015. London: Hodder, 2016.

Despite all of the other better bookshops on the trip it was still impossible to resist a quick walk-through of the airport bookstore, and I ended up purchasing this book because it was half-price.

The Strand, New York City

On the morning after arriving back in the U.S. I stopped at the Strand, my favorite bookstore, before taking the train back to Utica.

DeLillo, Don. Zero K. New York: Scribner, 2016.

I am incredibly excited to read DeLillo’s new novel because he is one of my favorite authors. I exclaimed with delight when I saw it on one of the front tables.

Heti, Sheila. How Should a Person Be? 2012. New York: Picador, 2013.

I love Women in Clothes, the book that Heti co-edited about women’s experiences with clothing, but have never read any of her writing itself. A stack of How Should a Person Be? was on a table labelled “The Future of Fiction” and I decided it was time to check it out.

Mukherjee, Neel. The Lives of Others. 2014. New York: Norton, 2015.

I read Mukherjee’s first novel, A Life Apart, in England and loved it. I decided that I will teach it in one of my courses this coming fall, and thus that it would be helpful to read The Lives of Others sometime this summer to give me more context for his work.

Nelson, Maggie. The Argonauts. Minneapolis: Graywolf, 2015.

I read a review of this book in the New Yorker a few months back and it sounded fascinating for three reasons: it deals with queer issues, it blends genres, and, as noted above, I am thinking about doing some scholarship on the memoir genre and thought it would be helpful to read this book since it is all the rage. Nelson has also published a book about one of my favorite poets, Frank O’Hara, that sounds interesting, so she seems like a fascinating person.

Amazon.com

The Chicago Manual of Style. 16th ed. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 2010.

I am currently working on a bibliography that I plan to submit to a journal that uses Chicago Style, which I am not familiar with, so I decided to buy this book to help with the project. I am also seriously considering switching to Chicago Style as my primary style because I am not fond of the new version of MLA style (note that I am still using the older version of MLA style to format the entries for the books in this post).

Darling, Ron, with Daniel Paisner. Game 7, 1986: Failure and Triumph in the Biggest Game of My Life. New York: St. Martin’s, 2016.

Like many Mets fans I am obsessed with the 1986 team and will buy any book associated with them. This book promises to offer a fascinating perspective on the team. Many people forget that Darling started game 7 (and did not pitch well, leaving trailing 3-0) because Sid Fernandez ended up being the pitching hero and there are all of the iconic images of Jesse Orosco throwing his glove into the air after the final out. Even though the Mets scored eight runs, everyone talks about how the pitching was what won the Mets the game, and I look forward to reading Darling’s analysis of why this is the case.

The last of the sixteen books is

Pashley, Jennifer. The Scamp. Portland: Tin House, 2015.

Pashley gave a reading with several other authors in Utica last night that was quite enjoyable. I have her two excellent short story collections and decided to buy her recent novel in part because I like her writing and in part because it is important to support local authors and independent presses.

 

2 Comments

Filed under Literature, Sports

Books Acquired Recently: Dallas Wiebe Plus One

Morrison, Toni. God Help the Child. 2015. New York: Vintage, 2016.

I was browsing at the Green Toad Bookstore last weekend and saw that the paperback of Morrison’s latest novel is out. She is an important enough writer (and I also really enjoy much of her work) that it is mandatory for me to read everything she writes, so I figured it was time to buy this book.

Wiebe, Dallas. Going to the Mountain. Providence: Burning Deck, 1988.

—. Skyblue’s Essays. Providence: Burning Deck, 1995.

—. The Vox Populi Street Stories. Providence: Burning Deck, 2003.

I decided it was time for me to finish reading Wiebe’s fictional oeuvre now that it is summer. I acquired these three books from amazon.com’s network of independent sellers.

Leave a comment

Filed under Literature

Books Acquired Recently

Barker, Elizabeth Jackson. Poems in Passage. Utica: North Country, 1988.

There was a stack of new copies of this book on the free table at school earlier this week. Apparently someone had them stashed in their office and was doing some cleaning. I’m always excited to encounter new poets, so I look forward to checking Barker’s work out.

Hogan, Kristen. The Feminist Bookstore Movement: Lesbian Antiracism and Feminist Accountability. Durham: Duke UP, 2016.

I got an exam copy of this book from the publisher. It looks quite fascinating, as I love bookstores and enjoyed my visit to the one feminist bookstore I’ve been to, Bluestockings in Manhattan. Of course when most people  think of feminist bookstores now they think of the Women and Women First Bookstore from Portlandia, but they have had real social significance, and I am eager to learn more about their history.

Leave a comment

Filed under Literature