Monthly Archives: May 2017

Books Acquired Recently: Radical Women Edition

The most important intellectual experience of my life was when I first encountered feminist theory in a Feminist Theology course my second year of college. Feminism gave me a completely new way of viewing the world that has led me to become a much better person than I would have been otherwise. It has also led to my scholarly interests in minority literatures, most notably queer literature. The three books that I’ve acquired over the past few weeks in the U.S. (see the post I wrote yesterday to read more about the books I acquired on my recent trip to England) are evidence of my continued desire to encounter new feminist perspectives.

Breedlove, Lynn. Godspeed. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2002.

I had not heard of Breedlove, a member of the band Tribe 8, until recently when I came across several mentions of her in some queer theory I was reading (one mention was by Ann Cvetkovich and I think the other was by Jack Halberstam). Then I heard about this novel via Stryker’s book (see below) and it became a “Rule of Threes” thing: the universe was telling me to encounter some Breedlove. So I bought a copy of her book.

This and Stryker’s book were purchased from amazon.com’s network of independent booksellers.

Morris, Catherine, and Rujeko Hockley, ed. We Wanted a Revolution: Black Radical Women 1965-85: A Sourcebook. Brooklyn: Brooklyn Museum, 2017.

I ordered an exam copy of this book from its distributor, Duke University Press, because I love radical literature from all traditions. While some of the documents it collects are well-known, most are not, so I anticipate that reading it will be an enjoyable journey of discovery. It looks like it would be an excellent resource for both African American Studies courses and Gender Studies courses.

Stryker, Susan. Transgender History. Berkeley, CA: Seal Press, 2008.

I love Stryker’s book on queer pulp fiction and have enjoyed other essays of hers as well, thus when I encountered a citation of this book while doing some writing on trans Mennonite literature I decided to buy it immediately. I have already read it and it is a strong, accessible introduction to the subject.

 

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Books Acquired Recently: England Edition

I just returned from a wonderful nine-day trip to England. One of my favorite things about England is that almost every town, no matter how small, has at least one good bookshop. I thus spent much of my free time book hunting, mostly in secondhand bookshops, which is where I made some of my favorite finds. I bought eleven books, spending a total of £62.00.

Bryson, Bill. Notes from a Small Island: Journey Through Britain. 1995. London: Black Swan, 2015.

I’ve read very little travel writing, so when someone recommended this travelogue during my trip I decided to buy it because I’ve heard good things about Bryson’s writing, but haven’t read any of his work. I tore through the book in a day after I’d purchased it. Although it is now a bit dated, it is hilarious and still helpful.

Purchased at Blackwell’s in Oxford.

—. The Road to Little Dribbling: More Notes from a Small Island. 2015. London: Black Swan, 2016.

After finishing Notes from a Small Island, I decided to buy the sequel.

Purchased at WHSmith in Gatwick Airport, London.

Carmichael, Stokely, and Charles V. Hamilton. Black Power: The Politics of Liberation in America. 1967. Harmondsworth, UK: Pelican Books, 1969.

As I have written about before, I have a fetish for Penguin paperbacks, especially old ones. The Book Cupboard in Plymouth has a large selection of them, and I purchased three there: this book (which has a blue cover to signify that it is non-fiction), Christie’s (green cover to signify that it is crime fiction), and Simenon’s (the traditional orange cover).

Charlton, Bobby, with James Lawton. My Manchester United Years: The Autobiography. 2007. London: Headline Publishing, 2008.

Bobby Charlton is the greatest English footballer ever and one of the greatest Manchester United players ever, thus I was delighted to find a used copy of his autobiography in excellent condition. I read it during the trip and it is one of the best sports autobiographies I have ever read because it is insightful both about Charlton’s personal life and the sporting events he took part in.

Purchased at Skoob Books in London.

Christie, Agatha. Murder in the Mews and Other Stories. 1937. Harmondsworth, UK: Penguin Books, 1961.

I first read Christie’s work in elementary school when the school librarian gave me several of her books because he knew that I loved to read and wanted to encourage me to continue doing so. I haven’t read any of her books since I was a teenager, but when I saw this collection in a Penguin edition I decided to buy it. Its original price was two shillings and six pence. I paid three pounds for it.

Dahl, Tessa. Working for Love. 1988. London: Penguin Books, 1989.

I bought this book primarily because it is a Penguin paperback, but also because I was interested in seeing how Tessa Dahl’s writing matches up to her father Roald’s. I read it on the plane ride back to the U.S. and was unimpressed.

Purchased at Skoob Books in London.

Goddard, Simon. Ziggyology: A Brief History of Ziggy Stardust. London: Ebury Press, 2013.

I love David Bowie, and The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars is my favorite of his albums. I bought this book about his Ziggy character because I found it on sale new for only £3.00 as compared to the £9.99 cover price.

Purchased at The Works in Stratford-Upon-Avon.

Hadley, Tessa. Bad Dreams and Other Stories. London: Jonathan Cape, 2017.

I have read and enjoyed some of Hadley’s stories in the New Yorker. I decided to purchase her newest collection because it is a signed copy.

Purchased at Blackwell’s in Oxford.

Palmer, Martin, Kwok Man Ho, and Joanne O’Brien. The Contemporary I Ching: A Completely New Translation of the Most Famous Oracle in the World. 1986. London: Rider & Company, 1989.

I have wanted to learn more about the I Ching since I first read Philip K. Dick’s The Man in the High Castle, in which it plays a major role. I found this translation of it for a reasonable price and decided to buy it.

Purchased at The Speaking Tree in Glastonbury.

Rickards, Maurice. This is Ephemera: Collecting Printed Throwaways: Printed or Handwritten Items Produced for Short-Term Use and Generally for Disposal: A Delightful and Unique Introduction to a Fascinating Field. 1977. London: David & Charles, 1978.

I came across this intriguing little (63 pages) hardcover in the basement of a thriftshop. Its lengthy title says it all: it sounds like the nerdiest book ever, so of course I had to buy it, and I am legitimately excited to read it. It was first published in the U.S., and apparently was successful enough to justify publishing the British edition that I bought. The back cover blurb notes that Rickards “is founder and chairman of the Ephemera Society,” an organization that still exists in both the U.S. and the U.K.

Purchased at Julian House in Bath.

Simenon, Georges. Striptease. 1958. Harmondsworth, UK: Penguin Books, 1963.

I’ve read one of Simenon’s novels, Dirty Snow, before, and enjoyed it. It was an easy decision to purchase this Penguin edition of another one of his books.

 

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Books Acquired Recently

Ahmed, Sara. Living a Feminist Life. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2017.

Duke University Press, purveyors of a plethora of significant queer texts, were having a summer sale, so I got this and Sedgwick’s book for fifty percent off. I’ve been thinking about buying Ahmed’s book on and off since it came out a few months ago, and the sale made it the right time to do so.

Eggers, Dave. The Circle. 2013. New York: Vintage Books, 2014.

I was given this book as a gift by a friend after we saw the film version together last week. I enjoyed the film, and also enjoyed the book (the film is generally a good adaptation, but with a very different ending), which I finished a few days ago. However, I think I would have liked the book less if I had read it first, and I’m not sure how to feel about that. Normally the book is always better than the movie, but in this case it might be the other way around. Also, the dystopia that Eggers tries to portray in the book sounds like paradise in comparison to the U.S.’s current political reality.

Sedgwick, Eve Kosofsky. Touching Feeling: Affect, Pedagogy, Performativity. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2003.

Sedgwick is one of the most important figures in the development of both queer theory and affect theory. Touching Feeling keeps getting cited in my recent reading of queer theory as a part of my current writing project, so I thought I should go ahead and read it myself.

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