Books Acquired Recently: Mostly Mennonite Edition

Cliff, Michelle. Free Enterprise. New York: Dutton, 1993.

I heard a presentation about this novel at Northeast MLA and it sounded interesting because of its treatment of pacifism and violence, so I decided to buy it since I have enjoyed my previous experiences with Cliff’s writing.

Denise, Cheryl. I Saw God Dancing. Telford, PA: DreamSeeker Books, 2005.

This past weekend I was at the Poetics of Place writing retreat at Laurelville Mennonite Camp in Mount Pleasant, Pennsylvania. It was an amazing experience filled with thought-provoking conversations and inspired writing. There was a book sale, and I bought a number of volumes, all poetry: Denise’s two books and those by Gascho, Kaufmann, Stenson, and Wiebe. Aside from Wiebe, who died in 2008, all of the authors were there and I was thus able to have them sign my books. Now I have plenty of poetry to read this summer!

—. What’s in the Blood. Telford, PA: DreamSeeker Books, 2012.

Gascho, Joseph. Cornfields, Cottonwoods, Seagulls, and Sermons: Growing Up in Nebraska. Telford, PA: DreamSeeker Books, 2017.

Kaufmann, Britt. Belonging. Georgetown, KY: Finishing Line Press, 2011.

Kreider, Roberta Showalter, ed. The Cost of Truth: Faith Stories of Mennonite and Brethren Leaders and Those Who Might Have Been. Kulpsville, PA: Strategic Press, 2004.

I recently came across a citation of this book in an article by Alicia Dueck-Read, and bought it immediately because of my work on queer Mennonites.

Stenson, Esther Yoder. Miracle Temple. Telford, PA: DreamSeeker Books, 2009.

Wiebe, Dallas. On the Cross: Devotional Poems. Telford, PA: DreamSeeker Books, 2005.

Woolf, Virginia. Mrs. Dalloway. 1925. Orlando: Harcourt, 1981.

I was recently lamenting to a friend that I no longer had a copy of this book because my ex-wife got it after our divorce. Said friend surprised me with this copy yesterday.

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Books Acquired Recently

Addiss, Stephen. The Art of Haiku: Its History Through Poems and Paintings by Japanese Masters. Boston: Shambhala, 2012.

Yesterday I went to a poetry reading in Ithaca, New York, and stopped at two bookstores during the trip. I bought this book at The Bookery, a delightful, labyrinthine used bookshop.

Barnhart, Danielle, and Iris Mahan, ed. Women of Resistance: Poems for a New Feminism. New York: OR Books, 2018.

I also stopped at Buffalo Street Books in Ithaca, where I bought this new anthology and Brownstein’s memoir, which I’ve been meaning to pick up for a while since I love Portlandia. I kept seeing more and more books that I wanted to buy. It’s a dangerous place!

Brownstein, Carrie. Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl: A Memoir. 2015. New York: Riverhead Books, 2016.

Carlson, Paula J., and Peter S. Hawkins, ed. Listening for God: Contemporary Literature and the Life of Faith. Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress, 1994.

My mother just retired and is working on downsizing. She just brought me some books from her library that I either had sentimental attachments to from childhood (Lewis’s, Moore’s, and Waybill’s) or thought sounded interesting. This one falls into the latter category. It’s a collection of fiction by a variety of authors dealing with finding God in the world.

Delany, Samuel R. The Atheist in the Attic Plus…. Oakland: PM Press, 2018.

I just recently discovered PM Press, a publisher of radical literature. Happily, they just published my favorite author’s latest book! It includes a novella and some essays. I bought it immediately from their website.

Lewis, C.S. A Grief Observed. 1961. San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 1994.

Moore, Joy Hofacker. Ted Studebaker: A Man Who Loved Peace. Scottdale, PA: Herald Press, 1987.

Why do you get a Herald Press children’s book written about you? Because you died while doing mission work, of course!

Waybill, Marjorie Ann. Chinese Eyes. Scottdale, PA: Herald Press, 1974.

The inscription in this book says that my parents gave it to me for Christmas when I was three.

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Books Acquired Recently

Burkholder, J. Lawrence. Recollections of a Sectarian Realist: A Mennonite Life in the Twentieth Century. Ed. Myrna Burkholder. Elkhart, IN: Institute of Mennonite Studies, 2016.

I did a paper on Burkholder, who was a rebel Mennonite theologian at Harvard (he got his Ph.D. at Princeton) before becoming president of the Mennonite-owned Goshen College, when I was an undergraduate. Burkholder was kind enough to meet me for lunch to discuss it. At the time, I thought his ideas were much too liberal, but now I appreciate his thought a lot more. I decided to buy this memoir after reading a fascinating review of it in Mennonite Quarterly Review. I purchased it online from the Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary bookstore. The rest of the books were bought from amazon.com.

Cantú, Francisco. The Line Becomes a River: Dispatches from the Border. New York: Riverhead Books, 2018.

I bought this and Luiselli’s book as background reading for a writing retreat on the Arizona/Sonora border that I’ll be on next month.

Delany, Samuel R. Heavenly Breakfast: An Essay on the Winter of Love. 1979. Whitmore Lake, MI: Bamberger Books, 1997.

I have the original 1979 Bantam edition of this book, but decided to buy the newer (though still over twenty years old! I can’t believe 1997 was that long ago already.) edition because I’ll be writing an essay on it later this summer and using the newer edition (which is still available new on amazon even though I think the publisher is out of business) will be more accessible for readers.

Luiselli, Valeria. Tell Me How It Ends: An Essay in Forty Questions. Minneapolis: Coffee House Press, 2017.

Pérez, Hiram. A Taste for Brown Bodies: Gay Modernity and Cosmopolitan Desire. New York: New York University Press, 2015.

I would like to do more work on queer Latinx literature and bought this book because it relates to that intersection.

Rivera, Gabby. America: The Life and Times of America Chavez. Vol. 1. New York: Marvel, 2017.

I loved Rivera’s novel Juliet Takes a Breath and have been meaning to read this comic by her for a while. The book contains the first six issues of the eponymous comic. I must say that this volume is of lesser production quality than other Marvel omnibuses I have bought. The cover is quite flimsy.

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Books Acquired Recently: Desk Copy Edition

Publishers have sent me desk copies for my fall classes over the past few months. The Knisley and Tea are for my first-year composition course, the Ballard and McGuire are for my Introduction to Literature course, and the Everett and Vidal are for my American Literature Since 1945 course.

Ballard, J.G. Crash. 1973. New York: Picador, 2017.

Everett, Percival. Erasure. Minneapolis: Graywolf Press, 2001.

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

McGuire, Seanan. Every Heart a Doorway. New York: Tor, 2016.

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

Vidal, Gore. The City and the Pillar. 1948. New York: Vintage, 2003.

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Books Acquired Recently

Ferris, Emil. My Favorite Thing is Monsters. Seattle: Fantagraphics Books, 2016.

I heard about this book, Kang’s book, and Waite’s book when I was at Northeast MLA last month. They all sounded intriguing, so I decided to order them. Ferris’s book is a graphic novel that takes place in late-1960s Chicago and also includes queer characters, so I cannot wait to read it.

Hernandez, Keith. I’m Keith Hernandez: A Memoir. New York: Little, Brown, 2018.

As I’ve written here before, I am obsessed with the 1986 Mets, and will buy any book about them that I can find. I am quite excited to read this memoir by one of their key players. Of course the title comes from Hernandez’s line from the famous Seinfeld episode when Hernandez and Elaine go on a date. When he kisses her and she thinks “Who does this guy think he is?,” he thinks “I’m Keith Hernandez.” There’s also an excellent 20-minute documentary about Hernandez by the same name which is available to view for free here.

Kang, Han. The Vegetarian. 2007. Trans. Deborah Smith. London: Hogarth, 2015.

I don’t know much about this book, but apparently its translation is controversial because some people claim that the English translation is not an accurate one. It nevertheless won the Man Booker Prize, which is nothing to sneeze at.

Leitch, Vincent B. The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism. 3rd ed. New York: W.W. Norton, 2018.

I received a free, unasked-for exam copy of this mammoth hardcover tome in the mail today. It was a nice surprise and I look forward to perusing it. I must say, however, that it contains woefully few pieces of queer theory.

Waite, Stacey. Teaching Queer: Radical Possibilities for Writing and Knowing. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2017.

I’ve read lots of queer theory, but never any that examines how to teach queerly, thus I was thrilled to find this book and will make sure to read it before I construct my syllabi for the fall.

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Books Acquired Recently: Friends Edition

Plett, Casey. Little Fish. Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press, 2018.

I received a review copy of this novel by fellow queer Mennonite Casey Plett from the Pacific Journal, which has asked me to write a review for its Fall 2018 issue. Plett and I are friends and I had the privilege of reading several drafts of the book in manuscript. It is so cool to see it in print! Plett’s first book, A Safe Girl to Love, won a Lambda Literary Award, and Little Fish is good enough that it has an excellent chance of doing the same.

Threadgill, Elizabeth. Tangled in the Light. Georgetown, KY: Finishing Line Press, 2018.

My friend and Utica College colleague Elizabeth Threadgill just had her first chapbook of poetry published. I read it last night and enjoyed it because of its minimalist, almost haiku-esque style.

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Books Acquired Recently

Beachy, Stephen. Leahbelle Beachy and the Beings of Light: Amish Terror Book 2. San Diego: Vapor Books, 2018.

This is the second volume of Beachy’s Amish science fiction trilogy, which just came out. I can’t wait to read it!

Cherciu, Lucia. Train Ride to Bucharest. Rhinebeck, NY: Sheep Meadow Press, 2017.

Cherciu is the winner of this year’s Nassar Poetry Prize, which is sponsored by Utica College. She gave a reading on campus this past Thursday. I was one of the judges who read her book, and I really enjoyed it, so I bought it and had her sign it at the reading.

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