Tag Archives: George Plimpton

Books Acquired Recently

As I mentioned in my previous post, I’ve gone a little wild buying books lately. Here’s what’s come in over the past week or so.

Campbell, W. Joseph. 1995: The Year the Future Began. Oakland: U of California P, 2015.

I received this book as a birthday gift. I am excited to read it because I remember 1995 quite clearly, and it’s weird to me that I am old enough now to be having history written about times when I was alive. I look forward to seeing why Campbell argues that it was 1995 specifically that began a new era in America rather than, say, 2001.

Frank, Arthur W. Letting Stories Breathe: A Socio-Narratology. 2010. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 2012.

I have been interested in the theory of narrative since taking a course on narrative theology my last year of college nearly fifteen years ago. I’ve been looking to incorporate more of this theory into my own scholarship, and in doing some research on the subject came across this book, which sounds intriguing. I purchased it from one of amazon.com’s network of independent booksellers.

Loeppky, Lynette. Cease: A Memoir of Love, Loss and Desire. Fernie: Oolichan, 2014.

I read a review of this book in Rhubarb magazine, and decided to buy it because it is in a genre, queer Mennonite writing, that is a primary focus of my scholarship. I bought it from one of abebooks.com’s network of booksellers, which is where I end up buying a lot of books that have been published in Canada, but not the U.S. Sadly, this is often the case for Canadian Mennonite writing.

Plimpton, George. One More July: A Football Dialogue with Bill Curry. New York: Harper, 1977.

I read about this book a few months ago in Nelson Aldrich’s oral history of Plimpton’s life, George, Being George. There was an interesting story told by Curry about how he made Plimpton take out the story of Curry learning about how to use the word “motherfucker” from Bubba Smith. Last weekend I was browsing at the Rose and Laurel Bookshop in Oneonta, New York, and found this copy in good condition for just a dollar, so I decided to buy it. I’m really sad that it does not have the motherfucker chapter, though.

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Books Acquired Recently

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.

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Books Acquired Recently

Bergen, David. The Age of Hope. Toronto: HarperCollins, 2012.

Bergen is one of my favorite novelists, and I just found out that he has a new book out. Unfortunately, it hasn’t been published in the U.S. yet–aside from Margaret Atwood and Alice Munro, Canadian writers get zero respect here–so I had to find a copy from Canada online. I was able to find one from a bookseller in Ontario via abebooks.com.

Braddock, Jeremy. Collecting as Modernist Practice. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 2012.

I have always loved collecting things, so this book sounded appealing. As it turns out, the book considers anthologies as collections as well as discussing collecting objects, which is something that I am also quite interested in. I am looking forward to reading it. This, Lukas’s, and Wiebe’s books were bought from amazon.com.

Lukas, Paul. Inconspicuous Consumption: An Obsessive Look at the Stuff We Take for Granted, from the Everyday to the Obscure. New York: Crown, 1997.

I really enjoy Lukas’s Uni Watch blog, in part because we share the same obsession with aesthetic detail. I just found out that he published this book on the subject fifteen years ago, and bought it right away. It looks like a nonfiction version of Nicholson Baker’s novel The Mezzanine, which is a good thing.

Wiebe, Dallas. Skyblue the Badass. Garden City: Doubleday, 1969.

I have been reading a fair amount of Mennonite literature over the past year after a long hiatus from the field. I’ve been struck by how few U.S. Mennonite novels there are in comparison to the Canadian tradition (including David Bergen), and have been making a concerted effort to read the few U.S. novels that do exist. Wiebe was one of the first U.S. Mennonite writers, but I’ve only read a few of his poems and one or two of his essays. All of his fiction is out of print, but I was able to find a copy of Skyblue the Badass (I couldn’t find any of Our Asian Journey) for $46.00. I bought it with some birthday cash. It’s in very good condition, and I love that the back cover has a note from my main man George Plimpton.

George Plimpton's note about Paris Review Editions.

George Plimpton’s note about Paris Review Editions.

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Books Acquired Recently

Beachy, Stephen. The Whistling Song. 1991. New York: Norton, 1992.

I recently read and loved Beachy’s novel Boneyard, and thus have ordered several more of his books, as is my usual practice when I discover a new author. There’s another one on the way.

Creekmur, Corey K., and Alexander Doty, eds. Out in Culture: Gay, Lesbian and Queer Essays on Popular Culture. Durham: Duke UP, 1995.

I bought this book for nostalgia’s sake. I read a few essays in it while doing research for a college essay on Jesus’s sexuality that have remained vivid in my mind over the past ten years and were instrumental in planting the seeds of my personal and scholarly interests in (artistic and literary depictions of) queer sexuality. One is on Tom of Finland, and the other is on the differences between LGBT and heterosexual pornography. I didn’t use the essays then in my essay, but they are relevant now in some of the work I am doing.

Plimpton, George. The Best of Plimpton. New York: Atlantic Monthly, 1990.

As I wrote recently, I’ve been fascinated by Plimpton for years, but have hardly read any of his writing. Buying this collection of his work is an attempted remedy.

All bought on amazon.com.

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Aldrich, Nelson W., Jr., ed. George, Being George: George Plimpton’s Life as Told, Admired, Deplored, and Envied by 200 Friends, Relatives, Lovers, Acquaintances, Rivals–and a Few Unappreciative Observers. New York: Random, 2008.

I am fascinated by George Plimpton as a sort of public intellectual who was one of the last of his kind. However, this fascination hasn’t arisen as a result of his writing, but as a result of his various film and television appearances (e.g., in Good Will Hunting, in Ken Burns’s Baseball, and on the The Simpsons [His appearance as a crooked spelling bee promoter/hotplate salesman is priceless, but unfortunately I can’t find it on YouTube. His final line is “Now I’ll go back to doing whatever it is that I do.” Exactly.]). I decided that it is time for me to learn more about him and his writing, so I bought Aldrich’s oral history of Plimpton’s life and Plimpton’s oral history of Truman Capote (who also fascinates me).

Beachy, Stephen. Boneyard. Portland: Verse Chorus, 2011.

One of my favorite poets, Julia Spicher Kasdorf, recommended this novel to me because of my interests in LGBT literature and Mennonite literature. Intersections between the two are extremely rare, but I am so glad that she introduced me to Beachy’s novel because I just finished it tonight and it is amazing! One of the top five novels I’ve ever read, probably (top ten for sure). It is as though Kathy Acker were male and an ex-Mennonite, and decided to write about her/his Mennonite baggage. It has immediately become the next work that I will write scholarship on.

Plimpton, George. Truman Capote: In Which Various Friends, Enemies, Acquaintances, and Detractors Recall His Turbulent Career. New York: Doubleday, 1997.

Apparently this got excellent reviews. It’s slightly thicker than Aldrich’s book.

Sullivan, Nikki. A Critical Introduction to Queer Theory. New York: New York UP, 2003.

I’ll be teaching a literary criticism and theory course next semester and am starting to look at potential textbooks. Sullivan’s book has gotten good reviews and is supposed to be accessible, so I thought I would check it out.

All bought on amazon.com.

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