Monthly Archives: January 2014

Books Acquired Recently

Ferguson, Alex. My Autobiography. London: Hodder, 2013.

I am a huge Manchester United fan, so of course I had to buy Sir Alex’s autobiography. It will be interesting to see what events from his 26-year reign at Old Trafford (not to mention his successful time at Aberdeen) stood out to him enough to write about. The book includes lots of photographs, which is also exciting.

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

This is a desk copy for my course on Teens and Twenty-somethings. I haven’t read Sula for about five years, and thus am very excited to interact with it again. People often view it as one of Morrison’s “easier” novels, but it is just as weird and disturbing as the others.

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Books Acquired Recently: Post-Holiday Edition

I ordered a number of books with some holiday cash, and they have been trickling in through the mail recently.

Gundy, Jeff. Somewhere Near Defiance. Tallahassee: Anhinga, 2014.

Gundy is one of my favorite poets, and he was kind enough to send me a review copy of his new collection. I look forward to reading it soon!

Munce, Alayna. When I Was Young and in My Prime. Roberts Creek: Nightwood, 2005.

I read about this novel and Weier’s novel in Robert Zacharias’s book on Canadian Mennonite literature, Rewriting the Break Event, and they both sounded fascinating.

Newmahr, Staci. Playing on the Edge: Sadomasochism, Risk, and Intimacy. Bloomington: Indiana UP, 2011.

I have been wanting to read more theorizing on BDSM, and found Newmahr’s and Weiss’s books. I am interested to see how they compare to some of the less-academic work I’ve read on the subject.

Shoemaker, David. The Squared Circle: Life, Death, and Professional Wrestling. New York: Gotham, 2013.

I enjoy Shoemaker’s frequent columns on pro wrestling, thus decided to buy his new book. Wrestling fascinates me because it explicitly centers around narrative, and this narrative gets influenced by its audience. In this way it is quite literary even though it obviously also appeals to people who are not interested in the literary at all.

Taormino, Tristan, et al., eds. The Feminist Porn Book: The Politics of Producing Pleasure. New York: Feminist, 2013.

I recently heard about this book on a “Top Ten Feminist Books of 2013” list. I appreciate Taormino’s other work, and this collection includes work by a number of writers I enjoy such as Susie Bright, Betty Dodson, Nina Hartley, and Lorelei Lee.

Torres, Justin. We the Animals. 2011. Boston: Mariner, 2012.

I received this novel as a desk copy for one of the courses I am teaching this semester. It is an excellent book. I had the privilege of meeting Torres a few years ago when he read at the college where I was working, and he is a sweet, gracious person.

Weier, John. Steppe: A Novel. Saskatoon: Thistledown, 1995.

Weiss, Margot. Techniques of Pleasure: BDSM and the Circuits of Sexuality. Durham: Duke UP, 2011.

Yezierska, Anzia. Bread Givers. 1925. New York: Persea, 2003.

One of my students is writing about this novel in her Master’s thesis this semester, so I am going to read it in support of that project. It takes place in the lower east side of New York City, which is close to where I used to live. I am excited to see how the book depicts the neighborhood.

With the exception of Gundy’s and Torres’s books, all of these books were acquired from independent sellers on

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Books Acquired Recently: Antique Edition

I received two antique books as belated holiday gifts from a relative who runs an antique shop. I am primarily interested in them as aesthetic objects, though the novel might be fascinating to read sometime.

Dale, Annan. Dwellers in Gotham: A Romance of New York. New York: Eaton, 1898.

This novel is actually still in print, though I was unable to find any information about the author during a brief internet search. The name could very well be a pseudonym. The front cover is quite elaborate for a hardcover.

The book is inscribed, though I wish “The Author” would have actually signed her or his name.

Russell, Daniel. Meditations for Men. New York: Abingdon-Cokesbury, 1945.

Aside from my secular nature, I dislike this type of devotional book because the genre tries to present religion as though it may be consumed via small, facile platitudes. Approaches such as this are how we get idiots who claim to be Christians, but are anti-gun control and anti-poor. But this volume has several quaint features to recommend it. I am fond of the “How to Use This Book” instructions, especially their exhortation to use it “in your lodge or club.”

I detest Thoreau, thus I love how the Foreword urges us to reject his example.

I will let this comparison between Jesus and Abraham Lincoln speak for itself. The book gets bonus points for coming with a sewn-in ribbon book marker!

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