Category Archives: Literature

Books Acquired Recently

Loveless, Natalie. How to Make Art at the End of the World: A Manifesto for Research-Creation. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2019.

I received an advertisement about this book from the publisher and ordered it from them immediately because the concept of “research-creation,” a term that I had not encountered before, is similar to the hybrid writing I have been doing over the past several years.

Sánchez Korrol, Virginia E. From Colonia to Community: The History of Puerto Ricans in New York City. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994.

Sánchez Korrol, Virginia E., and Pedro Juan Hernández. Pioneros II: Puerto Ricans in New York City, 1948-1998. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing, 2010.

I continue to explore my roots as a Nuyorican, and bought these two books to that end. I purchased them both from abebooks.com.

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Books Acquired Recently

Enszer, Julie R., ed. Sister Love: The Letters of Audre Lorde and Pat Parker, 1974-1989. Dover, FL: A Midsummer Night’s Press/Sinister Wisdom, 2018.

I deeply appreciate Lorde’s life writing and was thus excited to hear about this collection of her letters.

Espada, Martín, Lauren Marie Schmidt, and J.D. Schraffenberger. The Necessary Poetics of Atheism: Essays and Poems. Sherman, IL: Twelve Winters Press, 2016.

I love Espada’s work and when I heard about this book its title intrigued me, so I decided to buy it.

Both books were acquired from amazon.com.

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Books Acquired Recently: 2019 Edition

Bonomo, Joe. No Place I Would Rather Be: Roger Angell and a Life in Baseball Writing. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2019.

I’ve loved Roger Angell’s baseball writing since I first encountered it in the New Yorker in the mid-2000s. I am thus excited to read this book about his writing.

Darling, Ron, with Daniel Paisner. 108 Stitches: Loose Threads, Ripping Yarns, and the Darndest Characters from My Time in the Game. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2019.

I enjoy Ron Darling’s work as one of the Mets’ broadcasters, and I am obsessed with the 1986 Mets, so of course I bought this book.

Habib, Samra. We Have Always Been Here: A Queer Muslim Memoir. Toronto: Viking, 2019.

I bought this book as soon as I heard about it because Samra writes from a similar position as I do (i.e., queer brown religious). I read it yesterday and it is excellent, 5/5.

I purchased all three books from amazon.com with a gift certificate.

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Books Acquired Recently

Cruz, Nicky, with Jamie Buckingham. Run Baby Run. 1968. Newberry, FL: Bridge-Logos, 2016.

Wilkerson, David, with John Sherrill and Elizabeth Sherrill. The Cross and the Switchblade. 1962. New York: Jove Books, 1977.

Mennonites like to play what is known as the “Mennonite Game” whenever we meet a Mennonite whom we haven’t met before. We try to figure out how we are connected to them via mutual acquaintances. This often involves hearing their last name and asking, “Oh, are you related to (person with same last name that the person asking the question knows)?” “Cruz” is not an ethnic Mennonite name, but many Mennonites of a certain generation still know it because of Nicky Cruz’s and David Wilkerson’s memoirs about converting gang members from New York City to Christianity. So members of my family used to frequently be asked “Are you related to Nicky Cruz?” The answer is no. Cruz is about as common a name as “Smith” is, but most white Mennonites don’t realize that. I am doing some writing about my family’s Mennonite history, including my father’s experiences as a non-ethnic Mennonite, and decided that I should actually read Cruz’s and Wilkerson’s books to help me understand why they were popular with Mennonites in the 1960s and 1970s.

Miller Shearer, Tobin. Two Weeks Every Summer: Fresh Air Children and the Problem of Race in America. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2017.

Miller Shearer was one of my youth group advisers in high school before he went back to graduate school to get a Ph.D. in history. The Fresh Air program is one that many rural Mennonites have participated in, hosting children from cities (including some Mennonites) for several weeks in the summer. I heard adults talk about it all the time when I was a kid, so I look forward to reading his history of it.

Witwer, Michael, Kyle Newman, Jon Peterson, and Sam Witwer. Dungeons & Dragons Art & Arcana: A Visual History. Ten Speed Press, 2018.

As a result of my new Dungeons & Dragons obsession, I’ve been trying to read as much as I can about its history. I found this huge book about the game’s visuals on sale for $31.00 (the cover price is $50.00) and decided to buy it.

I purchased all four books from amazon.com because I had a gift card.

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Books Acquired Recently: Inscribed Copies Edition

Coffman, Lisa. Less Obvious Gods. Oak Ridge, TN: Iris Press, 2013.

I recently read Coffman’s first poetry collection, Likely, and loved it, so I decided to order her second book. I bought an inscribed copy directly from her website.

Kraybill, Donald B. Eastern Mennonite University: A Century of Countercultural Education. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2017.

I am enough of a Mennonite history buff and my mother’s family has enough connections to Eastern Mennonite University (EMU) that I decided to buy this book after it got a good review in the July 2019 Mennonite Quarterly Review even though I am an alumnus of EMU’s rival, Goshen College. I thought about buying it directly from Penn State Press because they are also my publisher but it is $40.00 new, so I found a used copy for $22.00 on abebooks.com. It was inscribed by Kraybill to a Mark Lehman (who is probably a distant cousin of mine because my grandmother was a Lehman, haha) on 14 October 2017. I always wonder about the ownership histories of used books that I buy, and I am especially intrigued by this one. Why did Lehman get rid of the book so quickly (after less than two years!)? Did he die? Did he decide to become a missionary and thus needed to get rid of most of his possessions? Did he just think the book was terrible (for the record, I am already about a third of the way through it and am enjoying it thus far)? I will probably never know the answer, but the mystery makes me like the book more as an object.

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Books Acquired Recently

Ali, Agha Shahid. A Nostalgist’s Map of America. New York: W.W. Norton, 1991.

I ordered this book after encountering an excerpt of one of its poems in Gayatri Gopinath’s Unruly Visions. I am always interested in investigating the work of queer authors whom I haven’t read before.

Ewalt, David M. Of Dice and Men: The Story of Dungeons & Dragons and the People Who Play It. New York: Scribner, 2014.

A group of friends and I have begun playing D&D over the past six months or so and I am becoming more and more obsessed with it. I decided to order this history of the game to help me gain a better understanding of its roots.

Myles, Eileen, and Liz Kotz, eds. The New Fuck You: Adventures in Lesbian Reading. South Pasadena, CA: Semiotext(e), 1995.

I recently read about this anthology in Maggie Nelson’s book about women and the New York School of poets and decided to buy it because how could I not buy a queer book called The New Fuck You? I began reading it this weekend and the work–a mix of fiction, poetry, and nonfiction–is excellent thus far.

All three books were ordered from amazon.com.

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Books Acquired Recently

Navratilova, Martina, with George Vecsey. Martina. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1985.

I became obsessed with tennis and Navratilova when I was nine years old, and my local public library had her autobiography, so I read it avidly. Lately I’ve been writing about books that have influenced me, and in hindsight I realized that this is the first queer book I ever read. I decided that it would be helpful to read it again because I am writing about it, and I found a used copy from one of amazon.com’s independent booksellers for around $5.00.

Strahan, Jonathan, ed. The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year, Volume Twelve. Oxford, UK: Solaris, 2018.

As I have written here numerous times before, I am a huge Samuel R. Delany fan. I just recently found out that he published a novella, The Hermit of Houston, in a journal in 2017. I googled it to see where it was available and found out that it is included in Strahan’s anthology. I bought the book from Powell’s because I am trying to shop less with amazon.

Zambreno, Kate. Book of Mutter. South Pasadena, CA: Semiotext(e), 2017.

—. Green Girl. New York: Harper Perennial, 2014.

I finished reading Zambreno’s hybrid memoir Heroines last week and loved it. As a result, I decided to buy her second memoir, Book of Mutter, and one of her novels.

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