Tag Archives: literature

Books Acquired Recently

It’s a good thing that the holiday break is coming up because I continue to acquire books at a rapid pace! I am very excited to have lots of forthcoming reading time once finals week finishes this coming Friday.

Gopinath, Gayatri. Unruly Visions: The Aesthetic Practice of Queer Diaspora. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2018.

I’m on Duke University Press’s email list because they are the premier publishers of queer scholarship. I got a notice about this new book and ordered it from them immediately because it focuses on queer experience outside of North America, something that queer theory tends to ignore.

Green, Hank. An Absolutely Remarkable Thing. New York: Dutton, 2018.

I bought a signed copy of Green’s debut novel at Barnes & Noble last night because a student had recommended it to me due to its bisexual protagonist.

Orange, Tommy. There There. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2018.

I received this book as a holiday gift from a friend. I’ve seen it on display at bookstores and been intrigued by it, so I look forward to reading it.

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Books Acquired Recently

Ahmed, Sara. The Promise of Happiness. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2010.

I love Ahmed’s 2017 book Living a Feminist Life but haven’t explored any of her earlier books. There is some intriguing discussion of The Promise of Happiness in a book I am currently reading, Mari Ruti’s The Ethics of Opting Out, so I decided to buy it and read it for myself.

Keltner, Levis. Into That Good Night. New York: Arcade Publishing, 2018.

Keltner gave a reading sponsored by Utica College earlier this week that was intriguing enough that I decided to buy his novel.

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Books Acquired Recently

I’ve picked up books here and there over the past week and a half, the way it goes when leading a literary life.

Broder, Melissa. Last Sext. Portland, OR: Tin House Books, 2016.

I recently read Broder’s amazing novel The Pisces. The About the Author statement mentioned that Broder has published four poetry collections. When I came across Last Sext, her most recent collection, while browsing the poetry section at the Barnes & Noble in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, last weekend, I decided to buy it to see whether her poetry is as good as her fiction. I finished the book yesterday and will say that it is worth reading even though it is not nearly as transcendent as the novel.

Dentz, Shira. Black Seeds on a White Dish. Exeter, UK: Shearsman Books, 2010.

Dentz gave an enjoyable poetry reading at Utica College two Wednesdays ago. I bought this, her first collection, there.

Elliot, Stephen. The Adderall Diaries: A Memoir. Minneapolis: Graywolf Press, 2009.

One of my colleagues gave me her extra copy of this book because I am working on a memoir-ish project and she thought it would be helpful.

Washuta, Elissa. My Body is a Book of Rules. Pasadena, CA: Red Hen Press, 2014.

This is another memoir recommended to me by my above-mentioned colleague. It looked interesting enough that I decided to purchase my own copy. I got it online from Powell’s Books in Portland.

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Books Acquired Recently

The problem with reading a lot like I do is that my reading suggests other books to me, whether directly via citations or indirectly via discovering new authors that I like, and of course I have to buy them! Those in this latest batch all fit within my two primary fields of study, queer literature and Mennonite literature. All of the books were purchased from amazon.com. I realize that I need to work to shop less with amazon, but it is difficult because they have the best selection and often the best prices, especially when one includes shipping costs. People tend to forget how difficult it used to be to find non-mainstream books (which is basically all I read these days) in bookstores or libraries before online shopping. My life would be so completely different in a negative way if I had been born ten years earlier because of how the books I’ve been able to buy online have affected all aspects of my life, and I just would not have had access to most of them otherwise.

Allison, Dorothy. Trash: Stories. 1988. New York: Plume, 2002.

—. Two or Three Things I Know for Sure. 1995. New York: Penguin Books, 2017.

I recently read Allison’s book of essays Skin and absolutely loved it, so I decided that I need to read more of her work.

Brandt, Di. Glitter and Fall: Laozi’s “Dao De Jing” Transinhalations. Winnipeg: Turnstone Press, 2018.

Brandt is one of my favorite poets (she’s the one Mennonite in this post) and has not published a new book in nearly a decade, so I am very excited to read these translations of the Dao, which is a text that I also have some interest in.

Martínez, Ernesto Javier. On Making Sense: Queer Race Narratives of Intelligibility. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2013.

This book is right at the intersection of the queer/ethnic focus of my research.

Meneghetti, Monica. What the Mouth Wants: A Memoir of Food, Love and Belonging. Halfmoon Bay, BC: Dagger Editions, 2017.

I recently heard about this queer memoir and decided to buy it because food writing is another genre that I have also been exploring of late.

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Books Acquired Recently: Getting Paid Edition

I decided to spend some of the money I received for my recent New York Times article on a variety of books, some that I’ve been interested in for a while but have not gotten around to, a few that have recently been recommended to me, and a few that have recently been published by friends. Aside from Reed’s book, which I purchased from the publisher, I bought all of them from amazon.com.

Anzaldúa, Gloria. Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza. 4th ed. San Francisco: Aunt Lute Books, 2012.

Baker, Nicholson. Human Smoke: The Beginnings of World War II, the End of Civilization. 2008. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2009.

Broder, Melissa. The Pisces. London: Hogarth, 2018.

Dearinger, Amber, ed. The Heart of Aces. Manteca, CA: Good Mourning Publishing, 2012.

Esquibel, Catrióna Rueda. With Her Machete in Her Hand: Reading Chicana Lesbians. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2006.

Fernandes, Fabio, and Djibril al-Ayad, eds. We See a Different Frontier: A Postcolonial Speculative Fiction Anthology. N.p.: Futurefire.net Publishing, 2013.

Hamilton, Jane Eaton. Weekend. Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press, 2016.

Janzen, Rebecca. Liminal Sovereignty: Mennonites and Mormons in Mexican Culture. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2018.

Kaldera, Raven. Dark Moon Rising: Pagan BDSM and the Ordeal Path. Hubbardston, MA: Asphodel Press, 2006.

Lemus, Felicia Luna. Like Son. New York: Akashic Books, 2007.

Reed, Ken Yoder. Both My Sons. Morgantown, PA: Masthof Press, 2016.

Ruti, Mari. The Ethics of Opting Out: Queer Theory’s Defiant Subjects. New York: Columbia University Press, 2017.

Shipley, Ely. Some Animal. New York: Nightboat Books, 2018.

Zimmerman, Diana R. Marry a Mennonite Boy and Make Pie. Newton, KS: Workplay Publishing, 2018.

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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

Alvarado, Leticia. Abject Performances: Aesthetic Strategies in Latino Cultural Production. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2018.

I am beginning to work more with Latinx literature in my scholarship, and thus have been working to build my library of criticism and theory in the field. This book looks relevant to that task, so I bought it directly from the publisher.

Hughes, Langston. I Wonder as I Wander: An Autobiographical Journey. 1956. New York: Hill and Wang, 1964.

A colleague gave me this and the Hughes and Bontemps anthology because she was de-accessioning some books and knows that I am interested in African American literature. I was very happy to receive them, partly because I love preserving old books and partly because, in the case of I Wonder as I Wander I’ve been meaning to read it for a long time and in the case of the anthology I am obsessed with poetry anthologies. The autobiography is stamped “The African-Caribbean Bookstore, 2319 E. 71st Street, Chicago, IL, 60649, (312) 288-0880” (which is apparently no longer in existence according to a quick Google search) and the anthology is inscribed “P.S. Kipp, Feb. 1963.”

Hughes, Langston, and Arna Bontemps, eds. The Poetry of the Negro, 1746-1949: A Definitive Anthology. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1949.

This anthology, which is in excellent condition, was ahead of its time in that it includes poetry from all over the world rather than just from the U.S. Unfortunately, only one poet from Africa is included, which indicates just how unexplored African literature was at the time, but there are numerous poets from Central and South America and the Caribbean.

Kitano, Christine. Birds of Paradise. Spokane, WA: Lynx House Press, 2011.

Kitano gave a poetry reading at Utica College last week, and I decided to buy her first collection because she said it has a lot of poems about ghosts, and it was the third time in less than a week that ghosts had come up for me, which felt significant because of the rule of threes. I had dinner with her and her husband after the reading and she seems like quite a nice person.

Morales, Ed. Latinx: The New Force in American Politics and Culture. London: Verso, 2018.

I received a promotional email about this book several weeks ago and ordered an exam copy immediately. It came in the mail at the end of last week and I hope to begin reading it later today.

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