I spent a few days this week in New York City, which of course involved my usual trip to the Strand. I have been shopping at the Strand since 2002, and it always brings me joy even though their renovations over the past decade have taken away some of the store’s character. But I was able to recognize a few of the workers who have been there since I first began going, and I love that feeling of continuity.
There are only a few weeks left before the beginning of the new semester, so I probably won’t read many of these books for a while (I hope some of them aren’t still sitting on my to-read shelf when next summer rolls around!), but they were all irresistible.
Acker, Kathy. Blood and Guts in High School. New York: Grove, 1978.
—. In Memoriam to Identity. New York: Grove, 1990.
—. Literal Madness: Three Novels: Kathy Goes to Haiti, My Death My Life by Pier Paolo Pasolini, Florida. New York: Grove, 1987.
I love Acker’s work, and her books are hard to find in stores so it was a no-brainer to buy these three, which were all in almost perfect condition.
Ballard, J.G. The Best Short Stories of J.G. Ballard. 1978. New York: Picador, 1995.
Ballard is a writer who, like Acker, always makes me see so-called taboo subjects in a new light. I’ve been wanting to read more of his work for a while.
Bechdel, Alison. Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic. 2006. Boston: Mariner, 2007.
I really enjoy Bechdel’s Dykes to Watch Out For comic strip, and have read excellent reviews of Fun Home.
Houellebecq, Michel. The Map and the Territory. Trans. Gavin Bowd. 2011. New York: Vintage, 2012.
I first bought one of Houellebecq’s books the last time I was at the Strand and really enjoyed it. I almost bought The Map and the Territory when it first came out in hardcover, and found the paperback for a good price.
Munro, Alice. Dear Life. 2012. New York: Vintage, 2013.
This is another recent book that I nearly bought in hardcover when it first was released. I’ve read several of its stories in the New Yorker and really enjoyed them.
Piazza, Mike, with Lonnie Wheeler. Long Shot. New York: Simon, 2013.
As a serious Met fan it was only a matter of time before I bought this book. I got a used copy in excellent condition for half the cover price.
Wallace, David Foster. Both Flesh and Not: Essays. New York: Little, 2012.
—. Consider the Lobster and Other Essays. 2005. New York: Back Bay, 2007.
—. A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again: Essays and Arguments. 1997. New York: Back Bay, 1998.
I adore Wallace’s fiction and have been wanting to read more of his nonfiction. I’ve read a lot about Consider the Lobster and A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again. Both Flesh and Not is a recent collection of Wallace’s nonfiction that did not make it into either of his collections while he was still alive.