I recently received some desk copies of books I will be teaching next semester. Baldwin’s and McClatchy’s are for a Queer Literature course and Atwood’s and Smith’s are for a Literature and Religion course. I’ve taught the latter two a number of times, but it will be my first time teaching the first two, although I have taught some of Baldwin’s other novels before.
Atwood, Margaret. The Handmaid’s Tale. 1986. New York: Anchor Books, 2017.
Baldwin, James. Giovanni’s Room. 1956. New York: Vintage Books, 2013.
McClatchy, J.D., ed. Love Speaks Its Name: Gay and Lesbian Love Poems. New York: Everyman’s Library, 2001.
Smith, Zadie. White Teeth. 2000. New York: Vintage Books, 2001.
Allison, Dorothy. Bastard Out of Carolina. 1992. New York: Penguin Books, 2016.
I had heard of this novel before, but did not become interested in it until I recently read Ann Cvetkovich’s discussion of it in An Archive of Feelings. I did not realize that Allison is a queer writer, and I look forward to investigating her work.
Foer, Jonathan Safran. Here I Am. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2016.
I love Foer’s first two novels, Everything is Illuminated and Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, and have been awaiting his latest with baited breath. I am terrified that it will not live up to the lofty standards of his previous work, much like how I love Jonathan Franzen’s early work and cannot stand to read a word that he currently writes. We shall see.
Waters, Sarah. Affinity. 1999. New York: Riverhead, 2002.
I love Waters’s work and have read Affinity before, but did not have my own copy. I’m currently writing about another novel, Christina Penner’s Widows of Hamilton House, that also deals with spiritualism, and decided I wanted to read Waters’s novel again.
All three books were purchased from amazon.com. I feel increasingly guilty about my amazon shopping, but I do not live near any good bookstores (because the likes of Barnes & Noble killed them all off, sigh).
Over the past few weeks I’ve received desk copies of several novels that I’ll be teaching in the fall. They are all books that I already own which have been reprinted with different pagination than previous editions, hence the need for new copies.
Angelou, Maya. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. 1969. New York: Random, 2009.
Dick, Philip K. The Man in the High Castle. 1962. Boston: Mariner, 2011.
Winterson, Jeanette. Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit. 1985. New York: Grove, 1987.
Cecconi, Mike. This is My Inside Voice. Utica: VBLP, 2015.
Cecconi is a regular reader at the Tramontane Cafe’s poetry nights here in Utica, which I frequent occasionally. His chapbook came out a few months ago, and I finally got around to purchasing it (only $5.00!). I read it last night and it is fantastic.
Plimpton, George. The Curious Case of Sidd Finch. New York: Macmillan, 1987.
I enjoy Plimpton as a writer, and I have read the shorter version of this novel about the Mets’ mysterious pitching phenom several times. After seeing grantland.com’s recent short documentary on the story I decided to buy the novel, which I found from one of amazon.com’s independent sellers for $0.15!
Wright, David. The Small Books of Bach. Eugene: Wipf, 2014.
This book of poems (which is not by the David Wright that plays third base for the Mets) is inspired by Bach’s music. I rarely like collections of poems that are about a single subject, but I’ve read Wright’s previous work and enjoyed it, so I decided to buy this volume. It was especially enticing because Wipf & Stock offered it on their website for only $8.00.
Davis, James L. Legendary Locals of Greater Utica. Charleston: Arcadia, 2013.
I am still relatively new to Utica, and thus continue to seek out books about it to help orient me to the area. I’ve read some of Davis’s work on the city before and appreciated it, thus decided to buy this book. It will be a helpful resource for learning about the city’s personalities rather than its geography, which I am becoming more and more familiar with.
This and the Toews novel were acquired from amazon.com.
Rankine, Claudia. Citizen: An American Lyric. Minneapolis: Graywolf, 2014.
I read a review of this book in the New Yorker and it sounded fascinating, so I ordered it from abebooks.com. It’s a book-length poem about continuing instances of racism in America. I’ve already read it, and it was fantastic. I had never encountered Rankine’s work before, but I would now recommend it to anyone.
Toews, Miriam. All My Puny Sorrows. San Francisco: McSweeney’s, 2014.
Toews is one of my favorite authors, and I am very excited to read her new novel. I’ve heard very good things about it, and normally wouldn’t have waited several months to acquire it, but the U.S. edition just came out and I was too lazy to try and track down a copy of the Canadian edition online.
I hate the genre of apologetic blog posts, but alas, one of my own is necessary, so…
As is evident from my list of recent posts, I have not been blogging much lately. It’s been a spotty summer of writing because of my preparation for, move to, and now performing of my new job at Utica College. My time at Utica has been quite enjoyable thus far, and I hope that as I continue to settle into the new semester I will feel a bit less exhausted and have more energy for writing.
There is also another potential impetus for my blogging. For the first time, I am having my writing students keep a journal. I’ve asked them to handwrite it rather than blogging or typing on a tablet because I think that it is much easier to simply jot notes informally when handwriting, whereas typing inevitably reminds one of typing a formal assignment. I have committed myself to keeping a journal along with my students, and am optimistic that some of what I write there will end up here in one form or another. I’ve attempted to keep paper journals a number of times before (the last was during my first year of graduate school) and failed rather quickly each time. This time I will be forced to keep it up for at least a semester, and maybe the habit will stick.