Monthly Archives: December 2017

Books Acquired Recently: Holiday Edition

I received a number of books as gifts for the holidays, and also did a little bit of book shopping myself with some holiday cash.

Algarín, Miguel. Love is Hard Work: Memorias de Loisaida. New York: Scribner Poetry, 1997.

As I mention below discussing Márquez’s book, I am trying to broaden my knowledge of Puerto Rican literature. Algarín has played a major role making it visible in the U.S.

Falley, Megan. After the Witch Hunt. Long Beach, CA: Write Bloody Publishing, 2012.

—. Redhead and the Slaughter King. Austin, TX: Write Bloody Publishing, 2014.

I had never encountered Falley’s poetry before, but enjoyed reading After the Witch Hunt, her first collection, and I am now partway through Redhead and the Slaughter King.

Lopez, Donald S., Jr., ed. Buddhist Scriptures. London: Penguin Books, 2004.

I found this Penguin Classics anthology while browsing at Aaron’s Books and decided to buy it because I am interested in learning more about the Buddhist approach to life.

Machado, Carmen Maria. Her Body and Other Parties: Stories. Minneapolis: Graywolf Press, 2017.

I have not heard of Machado before, but her biographical statement on the back cover notes that she lives “with her wife,” so I am very excited for the chance to encounter another queer Latinx writer.

Márquez, Roberto, ed. Puerto Rican Poetry: An Anthology from Aboriginal to Contemporary Times.  Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2007.

I still feel like I know hardly anything about Puerto Rican literature, and am therefore happy to have received this volume, which will help to remedy my lack of knowledge.

Rosenman, Mark, and Howie Karpin. Down on the Korner: Ralph Kiner and Kiner’s Korner. New York: Carrel Books, 2016.

I grew up watching Kiner’s Korner after Mets games on WWOR Channel 9 in the 1980s. My family did not have cable, so it was essential for a sports fanatic like myself to watch any sports-related content I could find. I am excited to read this book and relive some of those memories.

Rutherfurd, Edward. Sarum: The Novel of England. 1987. New York: Ballantine Books, 2005.

This novel covers English history from prehistoric times through the twentieth century, focusing on the area around Salisbury. I am about a quarter of the way through it and am enjoying it thus far.

Vonnegut, Kurt. Cat’s Cradle. 1963. New York: Dell, 1970.

Cat’s Cradle is one of my favorite Vonnegut novels. When I found a copy from the old Dell series of his books (a series that I have a number of) in good shape for only $5.00 at Aaron’s Books I snatched it up immediately.

Including these books, I acquired 160 books in 2017, and am ending the year with only 16 on my to-read shelf, so it has been a year full of reading!


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Books Acquired Recently: Half Queer, Half Mennonite Edition


As I have written here a number of times before, the “problem” with reading a lot of queer theory is that I am constantly encountering citations of other queer books that I want to acquire and read. I bought the three following books as a result of reading other queer writers. Cherry’s and Rechy’s books were specifically cited in my recent reading, and I discovered Brintnall, Marchal, and Moore’s book (which came out in November, but has a copyright date of 2018) while searching for some queer theology to read after a colleague suggested that I do so.

I purchased all three from’s network of independent booksellers.

Brintnall, Kent L., Joseph A. Marchal, and Stephen D. Moore, ed. Sexual Disorientations: Queer Temporalities, Affects, Theologies. New York: Fordham University Press, 2018.

Fordham University’s main campus is in the Bronx, so it is interesting that they have their Press located in Manhattan. (They have a satellite campus in Manhattan, but the Press predates it.) The church I went to when I lived in the Bronx, North Bronx Mennonite, used to meet in a chapel on Fordham’s campus.

Cherry, Kittredge. Jesus in Love. Berkeley, CA: AndroGyne Press, 2006.

When my copy of this novel came in the mail I was happy to discover that it was autographed by the author.

Rechy, John. The Sexual Outlaw: A Documentary. New York: Grove Press, 1977.


One of my former college professors, Ervin Beck, sent me some Mennonite literature that was recently discarded by the College Mennonite Church (in Goshen, Indiana; I did an internship there nearly twenty years ago) library.

Miller, Levi. Ben’s Wayne. Intercourse, PA: Good Books, 1989.

Rich, Elaine Sommers. Pondered in Her Heart. Newton, KS: Wordsworth, 1998.

Rimland, Ingrid. The Wanderers: The Saga of Three Women Who Survived. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1977.

I did a report on this novel in Beck’s 2001 Mennonite literature course, so I am excited to encounter it again. It is a controversial text because it implies that the Nazis weren’t that bad because they were German (note that some Mennonites in North America still hold church services in German), which is unfortunately an attitude that a lot of Mennonites in the 1940s shared.

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Books Acquired Recently

El Akkad, Omar. American War. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2017.

I recently read about this book in an article from the New Yorker about the possibility of another civil war in the U.S. I am both super-pessimistic about the current political reality and an avid consumer of dystopian fiction, so El Akkad’s novel sounded like a must-read. I tore through it as soon as it arrived and it is one of the best novels I have read in quite a while.

Holleran, Andrew. Dancer from the Dance. 1978. New York: Perennial 2001.

I encountered a reference to this novel about 1970s gay life in some queer theory and decided to order it. It came in the mail today just in time for the Winter Break.

Both books were bought from’s network of independent sellers.

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Books Acquired Recently: All Queer Edition

Bannon, Ann. I am a Woman. 1959. Eastford, CT: Martino Fine Books, 2016.

I am teaching this novel in my Queer Literature course next semester. When I went to put the book order in for it, I discovered to my dismay that the Cleis Press edition is no longer in print. However, happily Martino has an enlarged facsimile of the 1959 Fawcett first edition in print (the Martino volume is trade paperback size rather mass market paperback size) for a reasonable price.

I purchased this book and Torres’s novel from

Castiglia, Christopher, and Christopher Reed. If Memory Serves: Gay Men, AIDS, and the Promise of the Queer Past. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2012.

I have had this book on my wishlist for a while and recently saw that it was on sale, so I decided that now was the time to buy it.

I purchased this book and Cheng’s book from’s network of independent booksellers.

Cheng, Patrick S. Radical Love: An Introduction to Queer Theology. New York: Seabury Books, 2011.

My recent explorations of queer Mennonite literature have been purely from a literary perspective, influenced by both queer theory and Mennonite Studies. But I thought it would be helpful to read some about how non-Mennonite scholars think about queerness theologically. When I was looking for texts about queer theology on, I saw that Cheng’s had a thorough, positive review from a Mennonite reviewer (Jeremy Garber), so I decided that it was the book for me!

Torres, Tereska. Women’s Barracks. Trans. George Cummings. 1950. New York: Feminist Press, 2012.

I have known about this book, which is considered a lesbian pulp classic, for a while, and decided that it would be contextually helpful to read it now in preparation for teaching some lesbian pulp next semester.

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