Tag Archives: Chuck Klosterman

Books Acquired Recently: MLA Plus Three Edition


I got back from the Modern Language Association convention in New York City today. I was fairly restrained at the book fair, buying only twelve books. I purchased all of them at a discount (and the McEwan novel was free), some for as little as $3.00. Nearly all of them either relate to my scholarly interests in queer literature and/or ethnic literature or are by favorite authors.

Adler, Melissa. Cruising the Library: Perversities in the Organization of Knowledge. New York: Fordham University Press, 2017.

Blanco, Richard. The Prince of Los Cocuyos: A Miami Childhood. 2014. New York: Ecco, 2015.

Castiglia, Christopher. The Practices of Hope: Literary Criticism in Disenchanted Times. New York: New York University Press, 2017.

Coates, Ta-Nehisi. Between the World and Me. New York: Spiegel & Grau, 2015.

De Kosnik, Abigail. Rogue Archives: Digital Cultural Memory and Media Fandom. Cambridge: Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press, 2016.

Ensler, Eve. The Vagina Monologues. 20th Anniversary Edition. New York: Ballantine Books, 2018.

Erdrich, Louise. Future Home of the Living God. New York: Harper, 2017.

Klosterman, Chuck. X: A Highly Specific, Defiantly Incomplete History of the Early 21st Century. New York: Blue Rider Press, 2017.

Looby, Christopher, ed. “The Man Who Thought Himself a Woman” and Other Queer Nineteenth Century Short Stories. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2017.

McEwan, Ian. Nutshell. 2016. New York: Anchor Books, 2017.

Schaberg, Christopher. The End of Airports. New York: Bloomsbury Academic, 2016.

Thiong’o, Ngũgĩ Wa. Devil on the Cross. 1982. New York: Penguin Books, 2017.

Plus Three:

Althaus-Reid, Marcella. Indecent Theology: Theological Perversions in Sex, Gender and Politics. New York: Routledge, 2000.

I have seen this book cited numerous times in my recent reading of queer theology and thus decided to buy it and read it for myself. I purchased it and Shikibu’s novel from amazon.com’s network of independent booksellers.

Lowrey, Sassafras. Leather Ever After: An Anthology of Kinky Fairy Tales. Beverly, MA: Ravenous Romance, 2013.

I have looked long and hard for this out-of-print anthology, and was able to finally get one of the few remaining copies from the author hirself. Ze was kind enough to inscribe it to me as well!

Shikibu, Murasaki. The Tale of Genji. Trans. Royall Tyler. New York: Penguin Books, 2006.

A student of mine who is interested in Eastern literature recommended this book to me and I promised them I would read it before the beginning of the Spring semester.



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Books Acquired Recently

Although I have more than enough books on my “To Read” shelf for the rest of the summer, I’ve acquired five new books over the past week.

Klosterman, Chuck. But What If We’re Wrong? Thinking About the Present As If It Were the Past. New York: Blue Rider, 2016.

I love Klosterman’s writing. I didn’t realize he had a new book out, but it was displayed on the very first shelf at RiverRead Books in Binghamton (where I also bought Spark’s novel) when I walked in. I decided to buy it right away. It was probably my record for quickest time picking a book to buy in a bookstore–about five seconds.

Lander, N [sic] Maxwell. Carnal Anomaly. Berkeley: Threel Media, 2016.

I received this and Niffenegger’s book as anniversary presents from my partner. Carnal Anomaly is a collection of BDSM-themed photographs, some of which are very extreme. I look forward to perusing it.

Niffenegger, Audrey. The Night Bookmobile. New York: Abrams, 2010.

I don’t know much at all about this graphic novel, but it involves books so I am assuming I will enjoy it!

Ruth, John L. Branch: A Memoir with Pictures. Lancaster: TourMagination, 2013.

John Ruth is one of the most important Mennonite storytellers of the past fifty years, and his influence is still felt throughout the field of Mennonite studies. I have been wanting to buy his memoir since I read a review of it a few years ago, but it has been difficult to track down (amazon.com doesn’t even have it!). I was finally able to find a copy on the website of Masthof Bookstore, a Mennonite publishing venture that I was previously unaware of.

Spark, Muriel. Memento Mori. 1959. New York: New Directions, 2014.

I love Spark’s writing and when I saw this paperback on the shelf I picked it up immediately.

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Books Acquired Recently: Retiring Colleague Edition

One of my colleagues is retiring after this semester, and she gave me some of her books dealing with African American literature because it is one of my research interests. I am happy to preserve some of her library by integrating it into my own. Several of the paperbacks are from the 1970s and have some seriously groovy covers.

I also just got three more desk copies for next semester in the mail, so it was a good day for books!

Chesnutt, Charles W. The Portable Charles W. Chesnutt. Ed. William L. Andrews. New York: Penguin, 2008.

I have another collection of Chesnutt’s short stories published by Mentor, but this volume also includes Chesnutt’s novel The Marrow of Tradition and some essays. And, of course, it is always good to acquire a Penguin paperback.

Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. 1925. New York: Scribner, 2004.

Sadly, the earlier Scribner paperback edition that I was assigned in high school and have myself assigned previously is now out of print. This one was necessary to acquire because it has different page numbers.

Flowers, Arthur. Another Good Loving Blues. 1993. New York: Ballantine, 1994.

This book is inscribed by the author.

Gilyard, Keith, ed. Spirit & Flame: An Anthology of Contemporary African American Poetry. Syracuse: Syracuse UP, 1997.

This one is also inscribed by the author.

Klosterman, Chuck. Downtown Owl. 2008. New York: Scribner, 2009.

I have taught some of Klosterman’s essays before, but next semester will be the first time I teach any of his fiction. I am excited to see what my students think of him. I think they will love this book, but their tastes often surprise me.

Lunsford, Andrea A., John J. Ruszkiewicz, and Keith Walters. Everything’s An Argument, with Readings. 6th ed. Boston: Bedford, 2013.

I’ll be using this book in my writing class for the first time in about a decade. I enjoyed it before, then tried other strategies and texts, and now have decided to go back to it and see how it has aged as a text and how I have aged as an instructor.

McKay, Claude. Banana Bottom. 1933. San Diego: Harvest, 1961.

This book has a price tag from the Strand on the front cover! It was on sale for $1.95–regularly $6.95.

Reed, Ishmael. The Last Days of Louisiana Red. 1974. New York: Bard, 1976.

I’ve enjoyed the bit of Reed’s fiction that I have read in the past, and look forward to reading this novel. The blurb on the front cover from the Village Voice calls it a “saucy underground classic.” Say no more!

Toomer, Jean. Cane. 1923. New York: Norton, 2003.

I have the Liveright edition of this novel, but it’s always nice to have a copy of one of Norton’s critical editions as well.

Washington, Mary Helen, ed. Black-Eyed Susans: Classic Stories by and About Black Women. New York: Anchor, 1975.

Morrison, Walker, Bambara, et al. A great period piece.

Yerby, Frank. The Vixens. New York: Dial, 1947.

This nearly seventy-year-old book is in excellent condition.

Youngblood, Shay. Soul Kiss. 1997. New York: Riverhead, 1998.

The least-exciting looking book of the bunch, but it was good enough to make it into paperback, so we’ll see.

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Books Acquired Recently: Last Names Beginning With K Edition

Keogh, Theodora. The Other Girl. 1962. N.P.: Olympia, 2009.

I read a number of Keogh’s books last summer and have been wanting to read more of them, but hadn’t had the time. I plan to rectify that this summer.

Klosterman, Chuck. I Wear the Black Hat: Grappling With Villains (Real and Imagined). New York: Scribner, 2013.

Klosterman is one of my favorite writers because he thinks in ways that I have never encountered before about a wide range of subjects, including sports and all facets of pop culture. He’s one of the few authors whose books I buy automatically whether they sound interesting to me or not because they inevitably are, and this one sounds quite fascinating. Klosterman writes essays considering a long list of villains, mostly men. Some of the ones I am most excited to read are those on Nancy Botwin (from Weeds), Michael Stipe, Ice Cube, Al Davis, Darth Vader, and Patrick Bateman (from Bret Easton Ellis’s American Psycho). You can read an excerpt from the book here.

Both books bought on amazon.com.

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A Blog Post About a Blog Post About Lax Bros

Here’s a fantastic blog post from Grantland.com (one of the best sports websites out there) about a rather ridiculous Boston Globe article about “lax bros,” who are apparently just jocks who play lacrosse, i.e., lacrosse players (and people wonder why newspapers are dying!).


I giggled the entire time I was reading it. It’s surreal even if you know what they’re talking about; I think it must be even funnier to readers who know nothing about lacrosse (so everyone should read it).

Also, I must say that I totally have a crush on Katie Baker. She’s my favorite writer on the site aside from Bill Simmons (and it’s a closer contest than I’d like to admit. Sorry for my near-disloyalty, Sports Guy!). That ranking speaks both to how excellent of a writer Baker is and how much Chuck Klosterman has stunk up the joint of late, mostly by refusing to publish more than one column a month (that’s how it feels, anyway). I’m sad that hockey season is coming to an end because it means that Baker’s “Coldhearted” column will come to an end, too.

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