On New Year’s Day I visited the Strand Bookstore at the corner of 12th Street and Broadway in New York City. The Strand is my favorite place in the world; visiting it is a necessary experience for any book lover able to afford a trip to New York. I used to live within walking distance of it, and visit every time I am in the city. I hadn’t been to it since February 2011, which was the longest amount of time I’d been away since I first shopped there. I bought so much that I couldn’t fit it all in my suitcase and had to ship most of the books to myself. I was waiting for all of them to arrive here in Utah before writing about them.
Baker, Nicholson. The Everlasting Story of Nory. 1998. New York: Vintage, 1999.
Baker is one of my favorite writers, and this is the only one of his novels that I didn’t have. I read it on the plane home yesterday and it was a light, fun read, though not as good as his other books.
Calvino, Italo. If On a Winter’s Night a Traveler. 1979. Trans. William Weaver. Orlando: Harcourt, 1981.
This book was recently recommended to me by a colleague.
Danielewski, Mark Z. The Fifty Year Sword. New York: Pantheon, 2012.
I really enjoy the infusion of visual elements in Danielewski’s writing (which itself is so-so). This book is stimulating as an object: it includes Danielewski’s usual printed flights of fancy, and its dust jacket is riddled with pinholes that make the book look like it has chicken pox.
Houellebecq, Michel. Platform. 2001. Trans. Frank Wynne. New York: Vintage, 2004.
I’ve been meaning to read Houellebecq for a while because of my interest in fiction about sex. This was (perhaps surprisingly) the only one of his books in stock.
Hughes, Langston. Not Without Laughter. 1930. New York: Scribner, 1995.
I love Hughes’s poetry, but haven’t read any of his fiction, thus I was happy to buy this volume when I saw it on sale for only $5.95.
Pamuk, Orhan. The Museum of Innocence. 2008. Trans. Maureen Freely. London: Faber, 2010.
I recently read about this book, which has a corresponding museum curated by Pamuk in Istanbul.
Wallace, David Foster. Brief Interviews With Hideous Men. 1999. New York: Back Bay, 2000.
—. Girl With Curious Hair. New York: Norton, 1989.
—. Oblivion. 2004. New York: Back Bay, 2005.
I love Wallace’s writing, and was happy that the Strand had all three of his short story collections in stock.