Category Archives: Literature

Books Acquired Recently: MLA Edition

I got back yesterday from the 2019 Modern Language Association (MLA) convention in Chicago. It was a fantastic time! The weather was unseasonably warm and sunny (it was 50 degrees on Saturday) and I was able to attend lots of excellent panels. I also felt that my presentation on Ana Castillo’s Give It to Me went well.

Of course the book fair is always one of the highlights of MLA. Here is a list of what I acquired. All of the books were either discounted or free (Cantero, Kern, and Yaszek).

Berlant, Lauren, and Kathleen Stewart. The Hundreds. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2019.

This book is notable because it is the first book I have acquired with a 2019 copyright date and because I read it immediately after buying it and it is one of the best books about writing I have ever read. I cannot recommend it highly enough!

Cantero, Edgar. Meddling Kids. 2017. New York: Blumhouse Books, 2018.

GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies 25, no. 1 (2019).

I don’t normally list academic journals in these posts but I am making an exception here because GLQ‘s twenty-fifth anniversary issue just came out. Its contribution to the field of queer studies has been massive. This issue includes short essays by a number of the journal’s most illustrious contributors through the years.

Henríquez, Cristina. The Book of Unknown Americans. 2014. New York: Vintage Books, 2015.

Kern, Adam L., ed. and trans. The Penguin Book of Haiku. London: Penguin Books, 2018.

Latham, Rob, ed. Science Fiction Criticism: An Anthology of Essential Writings. London: Bloomsbury, 2017.

Lothian, Alexis. Old Futures: Speculative Fiction and Queer Possibility. New York: New York University Press, 2018.

McRuer, Robert. Crip Times: Disability, Globalization, and Resistance. New York: New York University Press, 2018.

Schalk, Sami. Bodyminds Reimagined: (Dis)ability, Race, and Gender in Black Women’s Speculative Fiction. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2018.

I saw Schalk present, which is what convinced me to buy her book. She graciously signed it for me.

Yaszek, Lisa, ed. The Future is Female! 25 Classic Science Fiction Stories by Women, from Pulp Pioneers to Ursula K. LeGuin. New York: Library of America, 2018.

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Books Acquired Recently: Holiday Gift Edition

Happily, I received a number of books as gifts this holiday season!

Brown, Craig. Ninety-Nine Glimpses of Princess Margaret. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2017.

I have become fascinated with Princess Margaret as a result of watching The Crown and look forward to reading this oral history about her. Incidentally, it drives me nuts that FSG does not use the Oxford Comma in their company name.

Johnson, Davey, with Erik Sherman. Davey Johnson: My Wild Ride in Baseball and Beyond. Chicago: Triumph Books, 2018.

Johnson  managed the 1986 New York Mets and thus played a major role in my childhood. I read the book the day after I received it and enjoyed it, though it was not as introspective as I would have liked it to be.

Knecht, Rosalie. Who is Vera Kelly? Portland: Tin House Books, 2018.

I had not heard of Knecht, but began reading this novel as soon as I got it and enjoyed it. Her writing is beautiful and clear.

Miller, Linsey. Mask of Shadows. Naperville, IL: Sourcebooks Fire, 2017.

I read a review of this book that intrigued me, but now I can’t remember why it intrigued me, so it will be a fun surprise when I get around to reading it!

Posey, Parker. You’re on an Airplane: A Self-Mythologizing Memoir. New York: Blue Rider Press, 2018.

I enjoy Posey’s work in Christopher Guest’s mocumentaries.

Sánchez González, Lisa. Boricua Literature: A Literary History of the Puerto Rican Diaspora. New York: New York University Press, 2001.

I still do not know nearly enough about Puerto Rican literature in either the U.S. or on the island, and am thus excited to read this book.

Schaberg, Christopher. The Textual Life of Airports: Reading the Culture of Flight. 2011. New York: Bloomsbury, 2013.

I fly frequently as part of my job and thus spend a depressing amount of time in airports. I look forward to reading this book about literary representations of that experience.

Shapiro, Bill, with Naomi Wax. What We Keep: 150 People Share the One Object That Brings Them Joy, Magic, and Meaning. Philadelphia: Running Press, 2018.

A friend recently posted about this book on Facebook and I wanted to buy it immediately because I am very interested in the issue of personal archiving and am teaching a course on it this coming semester. I bought it with a Barnes & Noble gift certificate that I received.

Wiebe, Joseph R. The Place of Imagination: Wendell Berry and the Poetics of Community, Affection, and Identity. Waco, TX: Baylor University Press, 2017.

I read a review of this book and it sounded interesting because of its methodology of reading literature theologically. I can’t stand Wendell Berry, but I am hoping that I can pick up some writing tools from Wiebe’s approach.

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Books Acquired Recently

Hostetler, Ann. Safehold. Telford, PA: DreamSeeker Books, 2018.

Hostetler is best-known for her 2003 anthology of Mennonite poetry A Cappella, but she is also an accomplished poet herself. Safehold is her second collection. I ordered it as soon as it was released. For some reason amazon.com didn’t have it right away, so I acquired it from Barnes & Noble.

Newton, Esther. My Butch Career: A Memoir. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2018.

Lately I have been reading a lot of memoir, especially queer memoir, an interest that has stemmed from my teaching of memoir in my writing classes over the past few years. Queer life writing is incredibly important during this repressive age. I was able to get an examination copy of this book from the publisher because I am looking for some memoirs to include the next time I teach my Queer Literature course.

Vilar, Irene. The Ladies’ Gallery: A Memoir of Family Secrets. Translated by Gregory Rabassa. 1996. New York: Vintage Books, 1998.

I found this book online while searching for more information about the Puerto Rican freedom fighter Lolita Lebrón. Vilar is Lebrón’s granddaughter and her book is about the women in her family. I purchased it from Powell’s.

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Books Acquired Recently

It’s a good thing that the holiday break is coming up because I continue to acquire books at a rapid pace! I am very excited to have lots of forthcoming reading time once finals week finishes this coming Friday.

Gopinath, Gayatri. Unruly Visions: The Aesthetic Practice of Queer Diaspora. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2018.

I’m on Duke University Press’s email list because they are the premier publishers of queer scholarship. I got a notice about this new book and ordered it from them immediately because it focuses on queer experience outside of North America, something that queer theory tends to ignore.

Green, Hank. An Absolutely Remarkable Thing. New York: Dutton, 2018.

I bought a signed copy of Green’s debut novel at Barnes & Noble last night because a student had recommended it to me due to its bisexual protagonist.

Orange, Tommy. There There. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2018.

I received this book as a holiday gift from a friend. I’ve seen it on display at bookstores and been intrigued by it, so I look forward to reading it.

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Books Acquired Recently

Ahmed, Sara. The Promise of Happiness. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2010.

I love Ahmed’s 2017 book Living a Feminist Life but haven’t explored any of her earlier books. There is some intriguing discussion of The Promise of Happiness in a book I am currently reading, Mari Ruti’s The Ethics of Opting Out, so I decided to buy it and read it for myself.

Keltner, Levis. Into That Good Night. New York: Arcade Publishing, 2018.

Keltner gave a reading sponsored by Utica College earlier this week that was intriguing enough that I decided to buy his novel.

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Books Acquired Recently

I’ve picked up books here and there over the past week and a half, the way it goes when leading a literary life.

Broder, Melissa. Last Sext. Portland, OR: Tin House Books, 2016.

I recently read Broder’s amazing novel The Pisces. The About the Author statement mentioned that Broder has published four poetry collections. When I came across Last Sext, her most recent collection, while browsing the poetry section at the Barnes & Noble in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, last weekend, I decided to buy it to see whether her poetry is as good as her fiction. I finished the book yesterday and will say that it is worth reading even though it is not nearly as transcendent as the novel.

Dentz, Shira. Black Seeds on a White Dish. Exeter, UK: Shearsman Books, 2010.

Dentz gave an enjoyable poetry reading at Utica College two Wednesdays ago. I bought this, her first collection, there.

Elliot, Stephen. The Adderall Diaries: A Memoir. Minneapolis: Graywolf Press, 2009.

One of my colleagues gave me her extra copy of this book because I am working on a memoir-ish project and she thought it would be helpful.

Washuta, Elissa. My Body is a Book of Rules. Pasadena, CA: Red Hen Press, 2014.

This is another memoir recommended to me by my above-mentioned colleague. It looked interesting enough that I decided to purchase my own copy. I got it online from Powell’s Books in Portland.

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Books Acquired Recently

The problem with reading a lot like I do is that my reading suggests other books to me, whether directly via citations or indirectly via discovering new authors that I like, and of course I have to buy them! Those in this latest batch all fit within my two primary fields of study, queer literature and Mennonite literature. All of the books were purchased from amazon.com. I realize that I need to work to shop less with amazon, but it is difficult because they have the best selection and often the best prices, especially when one includes shipping costs. People tend to forget how difficult it used to be to find non-mainstream books (which is basically all I read these days) in bookstores or libraries before online shopping. My life would be so completely different in a negative way if I had been born ten years earlier because of how the books I’ve been able to buy online have affected all aspects of my life, and I just would not have had access to most of them otherwise.

Allison, Dorothy. Trash: Stories. 1988. New York: Plume, 2002.

—. Two or Three Things I Know for Sure. 1995. New York: Penguin Books, 2017.

I recently read Allison’s book of essays Skin and absolutely loved it, so I decided that I need to read more of her work.

Brandt, Di. Glitter and Fall: Laozi’s “Dao De Jing” Transinhalations. Winnipeg: Turnstone Press, 2018.

Brandt is one of my favorite poets (she’s the one Mennonite in this post) and has not published a new book in nearly a decade, so I am very excited to read these translations of the Dao, which is a text that I also have some interest in.

Martínez, Ernesto Javier. On Making Sense: Queer Race Narratives of Intelligibility. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2013.

This book is right at the intersection of the queer/ethnic focus of my research.

Meneghetti, Monica. What the Mouth Wants: A Memoir of Food, Love and Belonging. Halfmoon Bay, BC: Dagger Editions, 2017.

I recently heard about this queer memoir and decided to buy it because food writing is another genre that I have also been exploring of late.

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