Tag Archives: bookstores

Books Acquired Recently: Jane Addams Book Shop Edition

Last week I was in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, and I visited the Jane Addams Book Shop. It is a lovely little place, with three floors full of used books. I was good and only bought three things.

Koestenbaum, Wayne. The Queen’s Throat: Opera, Homosexuality, and the Mystery of Desire. New York: Poseidon Press, 1993.

I’ve enjoyed the other books by Koestenbaum that I have read, so when I found this hardcover for sale for only $10.00 I decided to buy it. I am not an opera fan but am aware of the gay-opera intersection, which I look forward to learning more about.

Millet, Kate. Flying. 1974. New York: Ballantine Books, 1975.

I am aware of this book because of its inclusion in Alison Bechdel’s graphic memoir Fun Home, in which she discusses it with her father. I found a signed copy of it in good condition and decided to buy it.

Oliver, Mary. Winter Hours: Prose, Prose Poems, and Poems. 1999. Boston: Mariner Books, 2000.

I have grown more appreciative of Oliver’s work in recent years and decided to buy this miscellaneous collection because it includes an essay about one of my favorite poets, Walt Whitman.

 

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Books Acquired Recently

Snaza, Nathan. Animate Literacies: Literature, Affect, and the Politics of Humanism. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2019.

I received a promotional email about this book from the publisher and ordered a copy right away because the book examines several texts that I teach in my courses through the lens of affect theory, an approach that I am working to learn more about.

Warhol, Andy, and Pat Hackett. Popism: The Warhol Sixties. San Diego: Harvest, 1980.

A used bookshop, Lost Hi-Way Records and Books, recently opened up in Clinton, New York, about fifteen minutes from where I live. I visited it for the first time on Friday and decided to buy this book because it was on sale for $1.50!

 

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Books Acquired Recently: Hobart Book Village Edition

This past weekend I went to the Hobart Book Village in Hobart, New York, for the first time. Hobart is a tiny village in the Catskills, but it has five independent bookstores within two blocks of each other. They all have slightly different specialties and cooperate with each other rather than being competitors. I only purchased books from three of the stores because one focuses on books about arts and crafts and one is an antiquarian bookstore for serious book collectors (i.e., those interested in first editions and the like). Somehow I only spent about $100.00. I recommend that all book lovers visit!

From Blenheim Hill Books:

Algarín, Miguel, and Miguel Piñero, eds. Nuyorican Poetry: An Anthology of Puerto Rican Words and Feelings. New York: William Morrow, 1975.

As a Nuyorican myself, I have been wanting to read this anthology for quite some time. Copies of it are expensive (it is sadly out of print), but when I found a copy in good condition for $40.00 I immediately decided I had to buy it.

Berrigan, Ted. The Sonnets. 1964. New York: Penguin Books, 2000.

I’ve read lots about Berrigan regarding his connection to the New York School of poets, whom I love, but I have not read his work before.

Vuong, Ocean. Night Sky with Exit Wounds. Port Townsend, WA: Copper Canyon Press, 2016.

I’ve heard great things about Vuong’s poetry but have not yet encountered it. I look forward to checking it out!

Blenheim Hill has the best poetry section I’ve ever encountered at a used bookstore, which is why poetry is all I purchased there.

From Butternut Valley Books:

March, Lisa. Her and She and Him…. New York: Audubon Books, 1970.

Butternut Valley had several shelves of old pornographic paperbacks that I enjoyed browsing through. This was the only one I found that was queer, which is why I bought it.

From Liberty Rock Books:

Van Vogt, A.E. The Book of Van Vogt. New York: DAW Books, 1972.

A.E. Van Vogt was an important science fiction writer from the tail end of SF’s Golden Age, but I am interested in him because he was raised Mennonite. I’ve never read any of his work so I was pleased to find this anthology of some of his short stories.

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Books Acquired Recently

Delany, Samuel R. Voyage, Orestes! [A Surviving Novel Fragment]. Whitmore Lake, MI: Bamberger Books, 2019.

This fragment of  Delany’s legendary long-lost novel just came out. As I’ve written here a number of times before, I am obsessed with his work, so I purchased it immediately from amazon.com.

Gatchalian, C.E. Double Melancholy: Art, Beauty, and the Making of a Brown Queer Man. Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press, 2019.

I have been reading lots of queer memoirs lately as research for my own writing. This book looks to be similar to my own project, a mix of memoir and scholarship, thus I am hopeful that it will be a helpful model. I purchased it directly from the publisher.

Green, Karen. Bough Down. Los Angeles: Siglio Press, 2013.

I bought this book because it is by David Foster Wallace’s widow. It is another hybrid memoir with lots of illustrations. The book itself is beautiful. I purchased it and Greenwell’s book online from Powell’s because I am trying to shop less at amazon. I didn’t realize until writing this entry that both authors’ names begin with Green, an interesting synchronicity.

Greenwell, Garth. Mitko. Oxford, OH: Miami University Press, 2011.

I saw Greenwell speak at AWP last month. I had not heard of him before but was enthralled by his speech and decided to seek out his work.

Rivers, Karen. A Possibility of Whales. Chapel Hill, NC: Algonquin Young Readers, 2018.

I got this book as a reward for being one of Casey the Canadian Lesbrarian‘s Patreon supporters. I have not encountered Rivers’s work before but look forward to reading it.

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Books Acquired Recently

Cameron, Julia. The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity. 25th Anniversary Edition. New York: TarcherPerigree, 2016.

A colleague is working through the exercises in this book and recommended it to me. I have been thinking more and more about writing as a kind of spiritual discipline over the past year and look forward to reading this book as a resource in that journey. I bought it at Northshire Bookstore before the Laymon reading last night (discussed below).

Huber, Sonya. The “Backwards” Research Guide for Writers: Using Your Life for Reflection, Connection, and Inspiration. Sheffield, UK: Equinox Publishing, 2011.

A colleague recommended this textbook to me because I teach personal writing in my composition classes, so I ordered an examination copy. I think it might be helpful for my own writing as well.

Laymon, Kiese. Heavy: An American Memoir. 2018. New York: Scribner, 2019.

I saw Laymon read last night at Northshire Bookstore in Saratoga Springs, New York, and he was amazing! He was kind and insightful during the question and answer session after the reading. I had heard good things about him before but have not yet read any of his work. I bought a copy of his latest book and he graciously inscribed it for me.

Nelson, Maggie. The Latest Winter. 2003. London: Zed Books, 2018.

I love Nelson’s memoir The Argonauts, but have not read any of her poetry. While browsing before Laymon’s reading last night I came across this collection and decided to check it out.

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Books Acquired Recently: Ithaca Book Sale Edition

Today I attended the Friends of the Tompkins County Public Library Book Sale in Ithaca, New York, for the first time. It is a huge semi-annual used book sale with ridiculously low prices (most of the books I bought–both hard- and softcover–were $0.25, and the mass market paperbacks [Amis, Knowles, and Zelazny] were $0.10, so eleven books for $2.30 plus tax). It was quite well attended by both adults and children, so much so that at times it was difficult to maneuver through the aisles, kind of like the Strand used to be before they renovated it about ten years ago.

My esoteric tastes combined with my already sizable library mean that used bookstores/used book sales are generally hit-or-miss experiences, so I was pleasantly surprised about how many books I found to buy. Some I bought because of the price, and some (the queer ones and some of the poetry) I would have happily paid much more for. I was also somewhat depressed thinking about all of the former owners of these books, wondering what happened to them to cause them to get rid of these books, and how a lot of them are probably dead. I also thought about what it would be like to be an author and to find one of your books for sale for such a low price. Both lines of thought are terrifying if you think about them too much.

Allison, Dorothy. Skin: Talking About Sex, Class & Literature. Ithaca, NY: Firebrand Books, 1994.

I’ve encountered intriguing references to this collection of personal essays before, and was excited to find a copy of it.

Amis, Kingsley. One Fat Englishman. 1963. Harmondsworth, UK: Penguin Books, 1966.

How could I not buy a Penguin paperback with this title?

Berg, Stephen, and Robert Mezey, eds. Naked Poetry: Recent American Poetry in Open Forms. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1969.

As I have written here before, I am obsessed with poetry anthologies. I have the sequel to this seminal (my gendered word choice is intentional: Denise Levertov and Sylvia Plath are the only women included) anthology, The New Naked Poetry, and was happy to find a first edition of its predecessor, albeit without a dust jacket.

Forest, Katherine V. Curious Wine. 1983. Tallahassee, FL: Naiad Press, 1993.

I was very happy to discover that the book sale had an entire section of lesbian fiction (though not a corresponding gay fiction section) marked as such. There was an entire shelf of Naiad Press (R.I.P.) editions and I was tempted to buy the whole thing but thought it was important to leave them for others who might also be interested because I know I wouldn’t have time to read them all before the next book sale in May. So maybe I’ll buy them then if they are still around. But I decided to pick up Forest’s classic that, as its back cover says, had over 100,00 copies in print at the time this tenth anniversary edition was published.

Goodwin, Doris Kearns. Wait Till Next Year: A Memoir. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1997.

I enjoy Goodwin’s interviews in Ken Burns’s Baseball documentary and thus decided to buy her memoir about the Dodgers leaving Brooklyn. In the documentary she identifies herself as now being a Red Sox fan, a switch which is a) justifiable because when a team abandons their city is perfectly acceptable for their fans to abandon them, and b) one that has paid dividends over the past 15 years. I wonder how she felt when the Dodgers and Red Sox met in the World Series two years ago, and how she feels about their matchup again this year?

Inés de la Cruz, Sor Juana. Selected Works. Trans. Edith Grossman. New York: W.W. Norton, 2014.

This book is in basically new condition, a complete steal!

Knowles, John. A Separate Peace. 1959. New York: Dell, 1961.

I thought to myself, “I’ve enjoyed the previous Knowles novels I’ve read, so of course I’ll pick up this pulp paperback (original price $0.50) that is in lovely condition.” Then I got home and realized I was thinking of John Fowles! So we’ll see what I think of Knowles.

Millet, Catherine. The Sexual Life of Catherine M. Trans. Adriana Hunter. New York: Grove Press, 2002.

I remember reading a review of this book when it first came out in English, and have encountered references to it here and there in the years since, so I was happy to find a copy of the hardcover in very good condition.

Schulman, Sarah. People in Trouble. 1990. New York: Plume, 1991.

Another find from the lesbian fiction section.

Strand, Mark, ed. The Contemporary American Poets: American Poetry Since 1940. New York: Meridian Books, 1969.

See my comments about being obsessed with poetry anthologies above. It’s always fascinating to see which poets have lasted and which ones have not.

Zelazny, Roger. Lord of Light. 1967. New York: Avon Books, 1969.

I’ve been wanting to broaden my reading of speculative fiction and found a copy of this Hugo Award-winning book in excellent condition. One of my favorite authors, Samuel R. Delany, speaks highly of Zelazny, so I am excited to encounter his work for the first time.

 

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Books Acquired Recently: Powell’s Edition

I recently visited Oregon for the first time, and as part of my trip made a pilgrimage to Powell’s City of Books. It is a majestic bookshop, the best I have ever been in. I had a limited amount of time there and thus did not have time to explore it fully, but still ended up buying four books, a t-shirt, and a magnet (“Fuck Your Wall”). I was specifically looking for Lorde’s and Hopkinson’s books, and the other two just grabbed me (Johnson’s because it is signed). I was impressed by how the store felt like a queer space–there were queer books displayed everywhere, not only in the LGBTQ section, which itself was impressive. The four books I acquired are all queer, and I only found one of them, Johnson’s, in this section. Lorde’s and Tolbert and Peterson’s were on endcaps; I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen queer literature highlighted so prominently before in a general bookstore.

Hopkinson, Nalo. Falling in Love with Hominids. San Francisco: Tachyon Publications, 2015.

Johnson, Chelsey. Stray City. New York: Custom House, 2018.

Lorde, Audre. The Collected Poems of Audre Lorde. 1997. New York: W.W. Norton, 2000.

Tolbert, TC, and Trace Peterson, eds. Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics. Callicoon, NY: Nightboat Books, 2013.

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