Books Acquired Recently: Holiday Edition

I received a number of books as holiday gifts this year, and have ordered some others with holiday cash as well. Here is what has come in thus far:

Beary, Roberta. Deflection. Lexington: Accents, 2015.

This short poetry collection of mostly haiku is by one of today’s premier haiku writers. I read it a few days ago and it is magnificent.

Ebershoff, David. The Danish Girl. 2000. New York: Penguin, 2015.

My partner and I have adopted the Icelandic tradition of giving each other books on Christmas Eve (the Icelandic term for this practice translates as “Christmas Eve book flood,” which has to be the best word ever), and this is the one they gave me this year. I am close to halfway through it and it keeps getting more and more compelling.

Jackson, Helen Hunt. Ramona. 1884. New York: Signet, 2002.

A colleague recommended this book to me. I am intrigued to observe how Jackson depicts the mix of cultures in the Old West.

Ozeki, Ruth. A Tale for the Time Being. New York: Penguin, 2013.

I have not read any of Ozeki’s work before, but my brother-in-law recommended this novel, and in reading some about Ozeki she sounds like a fascinating person. I am especially intrigued by her practice of Zen Buddhism, as I have been exploring Buddhism lately as part of my recent obsession with haiku.

Reichhold, Jane. Writing and Enjoying Haiku: A Hands-on Guide. New York: Kodansha, 2013.

As noted above, I have become obsessed with haiku. I thought it would be helpful to read a manual about writing it, and this one has had good reviews.

Rushdie, Salman. Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights. New York: Random, 2015.

I love Rushdie’s work and am excited to have acquired his new novel. It is rather short compared to most of his books (286 pages), which means that it would be possible to teach it to undergraduates. I have taught The Satanic Verses before and while it is a wonderful book, it is very difficult to keep a class’s attention for as long as it takes to read and study it (about a month).

Published by danielshankcruz

I grew up in New York City and lived in Lancaster, Pennsylvania; Goshen, Indiana; DeKalb, Illinois; and Salt Lake City, Utah before coming to Utica, New York. My mother’s family is Swiss-German Mennonite (i.e., it’s an ethnicity, not necessarily a theological persuasion) and my father’s family is Puerto Rican. I have a Ph.D. in English and currently teach at Utica College. I have also taught at Northern Illinois University and Westminster College in Salt Lake City. My teaching and scholarship are motivated by a passion for social justice, which is why my research focuses on the literature of oppressed groups, especially LGBT persons and people of color. While I primarily read and write about fiction, I am also a devoted reader of poetry because, as William Carlos Williams writes, “It is difficult / to get the news from poems / yet [people] die miserably every day / for lack / of what is found there.” Thinkers who influence me include Marina Abramovic, Kathy Acker, Di Brandt, Ana Castillo, Samuel R. Delany, Percival Everett, Essex Hemphill, Jane Jacobs, Walt Whitman, and the New York School of poets. I am also fond of queer Mennonite writers such as Stephen Beachy, Jan Guenther Braun, Lynnette Dueck/D’anna, and Casey Plett. In my free time I’m either reading, writing the occasional poem, playing board games (especially Scrabble, backgammon, and chess), watching sports (Let’s Go, Mets!), or cooking (curries, stews, roasts…).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: