Tag Archives: ethnicity

Books Acquired Recently

Agüeros, Jack. “Dominoes” and Other Stories from the Puerto Rican. Willimantic, CT: Curbstone Press, 1993.

—. Sonnets from the Puerto Rican. Brooklyn: Hanging Loose Press, 1996.

I recently finished reading Roberto Márquez’s anthology Puerto Rican Poetry: An Anthology from Aboriginal to Contemporary Times, and discovered through it a number of writers whose work I would like to read more of. I purchased Agüeros’s books and the Morales’s book as a start to this curriculum.

Butler, Isaac, and Dan Kois. The World Only Spins Forward: The Ascent of “Angels in America.” New York: Bloomsbury, 2018.

Tony Kushner’s Angels in America is my favorite play (though I must say that I hate the revised version that came out in 2013, which is clunky in comparison to the original), so I bought this oral history about the play’s history as soon as I heard about it.

Morales, Aurora Levins, and Rosario Morales. Getting Home Alive. Ithaca, NY: Firebrand Books, 1986.

This is a book of poetry by a mother (Rosario) and daughter (Aurora). When I received the book I happily discovered that it is signed by Aurora.

All four books were purchased from amazon.com’s network of independent booksellers.


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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: Holiday Edition

I received a number of books as gifts for the holidays, and also did a little bit of book shopping myself with some holiday cash.

Algarín, Miguel. Love is Hard Work: Memorias de Loisaida. New York: Scribner Poetry, 1997.

As I mention below discussing Márquez’s book, I am trying to broaden my knowledge of Puerto Rican literature. Algarín has played a major role making it visible in the U.S.

Falley, Megan. After the Witch Hunt. Long Beach, CA: Write Bloody Publishing, 2012.

—. Redhead and the Slaughter King. Austin, TX: Write Bloody Publishing, 2014.

I had never encountered Falley’s poetry before, but enjoyed reading After the Witch Hunt, her first collection, and I am now partway through Redhead and the Slaughter King.

Lopez, Donald S., Jr., ed. Buddhist Scriptures. London: Penguin Books, 2004.

I found this Penguin Classics anthology while browsing at Aaron’s Books and decided to buy it because I am interested in learning more about the Buddhist approach to life.

Machado, Carmen Maria. Her Body and Other Parties: Stories. Minneapolis: Graywolf Press, 2017.

I have not heard of Machado before, but her biographical statement on the back cover notes that she lives “with her wife,” so I am very excited for the chance to encounter another queer Latinx writer.

Márquez, Roberto, ed. Puerto Rican Poetry: An Anthology from Aboriginal to Contemporary Times.  Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2007.

I still feel like I know hardly anything about Puerto Rican literature, and am therefore happy to have received this volume, which will help to remedy my lack of knowledge.

Rosenman, Mark, and Howie Karpin. Down on the Korner: Ralph Kiner and Kiner’s Korner. New York: Carrel Books, 2016.

I grew up watching Kiner’s Korner after Mets games on WWOR Channel 9 in the 1980s. My family did not have cable, so it was essential for a sports fanatic like myself to watch any sports-related content I could find. I am excited to read this book and relive some of those memories.

Rutherfurd, Edward. Sarum: The Novel of England. 1987. New York: Ballantine Books, 2005.

This novel covers English history from prehistoric times through the twentieth century, focusing on the area around Salisbury. I am about a quarter of the way through it and am enjoying it thus far.

Vonnegut, Kurt. Cat’s Cradle. 1963. New York: Dell, 1970.

Cat’s Cradle is one of my favorite Vonnegut novels. When I found a copy from the old Dell series of his books (a series that I have a number of) in good shape for only $5.00 at Aaron’s Books I snatched it up immediately.

Including these books, I acquired 160 books in 2017, and am ending the year with only 16 on my to-read shelf, so it has been a year full of reading!

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Books Acquired Recently

A bunch of books arrived all at once this past week, so now I have plenty of reading material for the upcoming Winter Break!

Laing, Olivia. The Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone. New York: Picador, 2016.

I read a review of this book when it came out and it sounded interesting both because I love cities and because I am an introvert and enjoy being alone. I finally got around to buying it.

I purchased Laing’s, Nicholson’s, and Oyeyemi’s books from amazon.com.

Nicholson, Hope. Love Beyond Body, Space & Time: An Indigenous LGBT Sci-Fi Anthology. Winnipeg: Bedside Press, 2016.

Oyeyemi, Helen. What is Not Yours is Not Yours: Stories. 2016. New York: Riverhead Books, 2017.

I recently read about these two books in an article by Casey from Casey the Canadian Lesbrarian and decided to buy them immediately because of my love of queer literature and my desire to encounter as many queer authors as possible. The fact that the title of Nicholson’s book does not use the Oxford Comma is driving me nuts.

Rice-González, Charles. Chulito. New York: Magnus Books, 2011.

I encountered this and Rivera’s novel (both which were bought from amazon.com’s network of independent booksellers) in a paper title while I was perusing the program for the 2018 MLA convention. I had never heard of either one, but am always happy to encounter queer Latinx narratives, so I bought them both right away.

Rich, Adrienne. Adrienne Rich’s Poetry and Prose. Edited by Barbara Charlesworth Gelpi and Albert Gelpi. New York: W.W. Norton, 1993.

I saw an ad for a new edition of this book in the September issue of PMLA. I requested an exam copy from the publisher, but they accidentally sent me the older edition. I did not have a copy of the 1993 edition, so I have been reading it and enjoying it thus far.

Rivera, Gabby. Juliet Takes a Breath. Riverdale, NY: Riverdale Avenue Books, 2016.

Schroeder, Karl. Lockstep. 2014. New York: Tor, 2015.

A friend of mine recently told me about Schroeder, who is a Canadian Mennonite speculative fiction writer. I decided to buy one of his books because I am interested in writing more scholarship about Mennonite speculative fiction, a field that has recently been growing explosively.

Taylor, Valerie. The Girls in 3B. 1959. New York: Feminist Press, 2012.

I received a desk copy of this pulp fiction classic from the publisher because I am planning to include it in my queer literature class next semester. I read it a few days ago and quite enjoyed it.

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Books Acquired Recently

Fitzpatrick, Cat, and Casey Plett, ed. Meanwhile, Elsewhere: Science Fiction and Fantasy from Transgender Writers. New York: Topside Press, 2017.

I received a review copy of this book a few months ago and it is a fantastic selection of stories. I ordered a copy of the published book as a way of supporting Topside Press, who publish excellent, necessary trans literature. This is a book that should get taught in queer literature courses for the next few decades (I’ll be assigning it in mine next semester). You can order it here. At $22.95, it is a steal.

Herrera, Juan Felipe. Half of the World in Light: New and Selected Poems. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2008.

Negrón, Luis. Mundo Cruel: Stories. 2010. Trans. Suzanne Jill Levine. New York: Seven Stories Press, 2013.

I ordered these two books from amazon.com’s network of independent booksellers after reading about them in Michael Dowdy’s article “Ten Must-Read Latino Books” from the September 2017 issue of The Writer’s Chronicle. I haven’t read either author before. I read Negrón’s collection a few nights ago and it is heartbreaking and beautiful. I will be teaching it in my queer literature course as well.

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Books Acquired Recently: Toronto Edition


I was in Toronto this weekend for the first time since high school. As usual when I travel, I looked up some independent bookstores to visit. I made stops at Ben McNally Books and Type Books (the Queen Street store). Although Type was smaller, it had better selection. McNally was rather disappointing, frankly (and it drove me nuts that their sections are not labelled: sometimes I don’t want to browse, I want to go straight to the poetry section), though I did end up finding two books, Cohen’s and Ruthnum’s, there. I spent over $100.00 CDN at Type–and could have spent at least $50.00 more–whereas there wasn’t much else that caught my eye at McNally. But I’m glad I got the chance to visit both and to support two independent businesses.

Bowering, George. A Short Sad Book. 1977. Vancouver: New Star Books, 2017.

Cohen, Leonard. Beautiful Losers. 1966. Toronto: Emblem Editions, 2003.

After reading Nick Mount’s recent book on Canadian literature I made a list of authors whose work sounded like it would be worth checking out. My purchases of Bowering’s  and Cohen’s books were a result of said list. I must note that the Cohen cover is hideous and it almost made me not buy the book even though I was looking for it specifically. “Never judge a book by its cover,” yes, but that doesn’t mean that good cover design is not important. A book should be beautiful as an object as well as as a repository of ideas and stories.

Jones, Dylan. David Bowie: A Life. Toronto: Doubleday Canada, 2017.

I love Bowie, and this new oral history about him was too tempting to pass up. It is interesting to note that the book does not list a city of publication: I had to look up where Doubleday Canada is located to complete my citation of it. I have noticed this omission in several other recently-published books as well. I don’t know whether this is a coincidence or the beginning of a trend, but either way it bothers me. Place is important, and it is thus helpful to state a publisher’s geographical context even when it is a big corporate publisher as in this case.

Roffman, Karin. The Songs We Know Best: John Ashbery’s Early Life. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2017.

I have been wanting to buy this book since it came out, but it felt like the kind of book I needed to buy from an independent bookstore rather than online or at Barnes & Noble. Going to Type was the first time I had been in such a store that had it in stock since its release.

Ruthnum, Naben. Curry: Eating, Reading, and Race. Toronto: Coach House Books, 2017.

This slim volume was an impulse buy at the register, where it was temptingly displayed. Contra Cohen’s book, its cover sucked me in completely. I have been thinking about the relationship between food and literature lately as well as about postcolonial literature, so this book, which discusses all three, felt like a serendipitous find.

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Books Acquired Recently: England Edition

I just returned from a wonderful nine-day trip to England. One of my favorite things about England is that almost every town, no matter how small, has at least one good bookshop. I thus spent much of my free time book hunting, mostly in secondhand bookshops, which is where I made some of my favorite finds. I bought eleven books, spending a total of £62.00.

Bryson, Bill. Notes from a Small Island: Journey Through Britain. 1995. London: Black Swan, 2015.

I’ve read very little travel writing, so when someone recommended this travelogue during my trip I decided to buy it because I’ve heard good things about Bryson’s writing, but haven’t read any of his work. I tore through the book in a day after I’d purchased it. Although it is now a bit dated, it is hilarious and still helpful.

Purchased at Blackwell’s in Oxford.

—. The Road to Little Dribbling: More Notes from a Small Island. 2015. London: Black Swan, 2016.

After finishing Notes from a Small Island, I decided to buy the sequel.

Purchased at WHSmith in Gatwick Airport, London.

Carmichael, Stokely, and Charles V. Hamilton. Black Power: The Politics of Liberation in America. 1967. Harmondsworth, UK: Pelican Books, 1969.

As I have written about before, I have a fetish for Penguin paperbacks, especially old ones. The Book Cupboard in Plymouth has a large selection of them, and I purchased three there: this book (which has a blue cover to signify that it is non-fiction), Christie’s (green cover to signify that it is crime fiction), and Simenon’s (the traditional orange cover).

Charlton, Bobby, with James Lawton. My Manchester United Years: The Autobiography. 2007. London: Headline Publishing, 2008.

Bobby Charlton is the greatest English footballer ever and one of the greatest Manchester United players ever, thus I was delighted to find a used copy of his autobiography in excellent condition. I read it during the trip and it is one of the best sports autobiographies I have ever read because it is insightful both about Charlton’s personal life and the sporting events he took part in.

Purchased at Skoob Books in London.

Christie, Agatha. Murder in the Mews and Other Stories. 1937. Harmondsworth, UK: Penguin Books, 1961.

I first read Christie’s work in elementary school when the school librarian gave me several of her books because he knew that I loved to read and wanted to encourage me to continue doing so. I haven’t read any of her books since I was a teenager, but when I saw this collection in a Penguin edition I decided to buy it. Its original price was two shillings and six pence. I paid three pounds for it.

Dahl, Tessa. Working for Love. 1988. London: Penguin Books, 1989.

I bought this book primarily because it is a Penguin paperback, but also because I was interested in seeing how Tessa Dahl’s writing matches up to her father Roald’s. I read it on the plane ride back to the U.S. and was unimpressed.

Purchased at Skoob Books in London.

Goddard, Simon. Ziggyology: A Brief History of Ziggy Stardust. London: Ebury Press, 2013.

I love David Bowie, and The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars is my favorite of his albums. I bought this book about his Ziggy character because I found it on sale new for only £3.00 as compared to the £9.99 cover price.

Purchased at The Works in Stratford-Upon-Avon.

Hadley, Tessa. Bad Dreams and Other Stories. London: Jonathan Cape, 2017.

I have read and enjoyed some of Hadley’s stories in the New Yorker. I decided to purchase her newest collection because it is a signed copy.

Purchased at Blackwell’s in Oxford.

Palmer, Martin, Kwok Man Ho, and Joanne O’Brien. The Contemporary I Ching: A Completely New Translation of the Most Famous Oracle in the World. 1986. London: Rider & Company, 1989.

I have wanted to learn more about the I Ching since I first read Philip K. Dick’s The Man in the High Castle, in which it plays a major role. I found this translation of it for a reasonable price and decided to buy it.

Purchased at The Speaking Tree in Glastonbury.

Rickards, Maurice. This is Ephemera: Collecting Printed Throwaways: Printed or Handwritten Items Produced for Short-Term Use and Generally for Disposal: A Delightful and Unique Introduction to a Fascinating Field. 1977. London: David & Charles, 1978.

I came across this intriguing little (63 pages) hardcover in the basement of a thriftshop. Its lengthy title says it all: it sounds like the nerdiest book ever, so of course I had to buy it, and I am legitimately excited to read it. It was first published in the U.S., and apparently was successful enough to justify publishing the British edition that I bought. The back cover blurb notes that Rickards “is founder and chairman of the Ephemera Society,” an organization that still exists in both the U.S. and the U.K.

Purchased at Julian House in Bath.

Simenon, Georges. Striptease. 1958. Harmondsworth, UK: Penguin Books, 1963.

I’ve read one of Simenon’s novels, Dirty Snow, before, and enjoyed it. It was an easy decision to purchase this Penguin edition of another one of his books.


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