Tag Archives: Betty Dodson

Books Acquired Recently: Post-Holiday Edition

I ordered a number of books with some holiday cash, and they have been trickling in through the mail recently.

Gundy, Jeff. Somewhere Near Defiance. Tallahassee: Anhinga, 2014.

Gundy is one of my favorite poets, and he was kind enough to send me a review copy of his new collection. I look forward to reading it soon!

Munce, Alayna. When I Was Young and in My Prime. Roberts Creek: Nightwood, 2005.

I read about this novel and Weier’s novel in Robert Zacharias’s book on Canadian Mennonite literature, Rewriting the Break Event, and they both sounded fascinating.

Newmahr, Staci. Playing on the Edge: Sadomasochism, Risk, and Intimacy. Bloomington: Indiana UP, 2011.

I have been wanting to read more theorizing on BDSM, and found Newmahr’s and Weiss’s books. I am interested to see how they compare to some of the less-academic work I’ve read on the subject.

Shoemaker, David. The Squared Circle: Life, Death, and Professional Wrestling. New York: Gotham, 2013.

I enjoy Shoemaker’s frequent grantland.com columns on pro wrestling, thus decided to buy his new book. Wrestling fascinates me because it explicitly centers around narrative, and this narrative gets influenced by its audience. In this way it is quite literary even though it obviously also appeals to people who are not interested in the literary at all.

Taormino, Tristan, et al., eds. The Feminist Porn Book: The Politics of Producing Pleasure. New York: Feminist, 2013.

I recently heard about this book on a “Top Ten Feminist Books of 2013” list. I appreciate Taormino’s other work, and this collection includes work by a number of writers I enjoy such as Susie Bright, Betty Dodson, Nina Hartley, and Lorelei Lee.

Torres, Justin. We the Animals. 2011. Boston: Mariner, 2012.

I received this novel as a desk copy for one of the courses I am teaching this semester. It is an excellent book. I had the privilege of meeting Torres a few years ago when he read at the college where I was working, and he is a sweet, gracious person.

Weier, John. Steppe: A Novel. Saskatoon: Thistledown, 1995.

Weiss, Margot. Techniques of Pleasure: BDSM and the Circuits of Sexuality. Durham: Duke UP, 2011.

Yezierska, Anzia. Bread Givers. 1925. New York: Persea, 2003.

One of my students is writing about this novel in her Master’s thesis this semester, so I am going to read it in support of that project. It takes place in the lower east side of New York City, which is close to where I used to live. I am excited to see how the book depicts the neighborhood.

With the exception of Gundy’s and Torres’s books, all of these books were acquired from independent sellers on amazon.com.

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Thoughts on the New Site Photo

About a month ago, I changed the cover photograph (to appropriate the Facebook term) of this blog, but I didn’t provide an explanation for the photo, so I thought I would do so now. I decided that it was necessary to have a photo of books from my personal library rather than continuing to use the WordPress photo (which was nice but generic) that had been there since the blog’s beginning. I then decided that I wanted the photograph to be authentic–a picture of the books as they are on the shelf instead of a hand-picked collection of my favorites–and I also wanted it to be visually interesting, if not also aesthetically pleasing. These criteria soon led to the decision that, although I primarily read fiction and it is my favorite genre, the photograph would have to be of one of my nonfiction shelves because I tend to have multiple books by fiction writers (when I like an author, I often read more [if not all] of their work, and because I am a book-buying addict I acquire the books rather than getting them from a library), and I wanted the photo to include as many different authors as possible. The photograph that I chose does include multiple books by two authors, but this is better than a picture of, say, a shelf that solely consists of works by Samuel R. Delany or Philip Roth. I settled on a photograph of the second shelf of my “general nonfiction” section, which includes a selection of books that do a pretty good job of representing the values, subjects, and ideas that are most important to me.

Here is a bit about each book in the photograph:

A History of Modern Latin America–This is one of my old college textbooks. I keep it around mostly for sentimental reasons. If I ever need to look up the date of Peru’s independence, it would be easier to do so online than to flip through the book, but it is important to me to have my Latino heritage (I am half Puerto Rican) represented in my library.

Soul on Ice by Eldridge Cleaver–I used this book in two chapters of my dissertation, and it was one of the books that gave me the idea for my dissertation, so it is very important to me even though there is a good chance that I might never read it again.

Boy and Going Solo by Roald Dahl–Dahl’s two memoirs are vivid, engaging reads, especially Going Solo, which tells of his experiences in the R.A.F. during World War II. It is one of the best adventure stories I have ever read.

Heavenly Breakfast, Times Square Red, Times Square Blue, The Motion of Light in Water (original edition), and 1984 by Samuel R. Delany–Delany is my favorite author, and I have all of his books except for The American Shore (which is quite rare). They are split between three shelves: one in the fiction section, which is all Delany, one at my office that contains all of his literary criticism, and the shelf in the photo with his other nonfiction.

Having Our Say by Sarah and Elizabeth Delany–This is a memoir by two of Samuel R. Delany’s aunts. I bought and read it because of my love for his work, but the book is quite good in its own right.

Memoirs of a Beatnik by Diane Di Prima–This is one of my favorite memoirs because I love reading about late-1950s/early 1960s New York City. I was happy that a Penguin paperback with its instantly-recognizable orange-and-white design made it into the photograph.

Sex for One by Betty Dodson–This is an excellent book about the importance of masturbation and sexual fantasy. Perhaps it belongs in the “gender studies” section of my library, though I’ve had it in “general nonfiction” for a while.

Autobiographies by Frederick Douglass–Douglass is one of my favorite African American authors to teach, so it makes me happy that his book made it into the photograph, albeit just barely. This edition was published by the Library of America, whose books I love.

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