Tag Archives: Mennonites

Book Acquired Recently: J. Denny Weaver’s Education with the Grain of the Universe

Weaver, J. Denny, ed. Education with the Grain of the Universe: A Peaceable Vision for the Future of Mennonite Schools, Colleges, and Universities. Telford, PA: Cascadia Publishing House, 2017.

I have an essay in this book about the Canadian Mennonite writer Greg Bechtel’s “Smut Stories” from his book Boundary Problems. My author’s copy came in the mail a few days ago. The book is fascinating because it is a collection of essays by mostly youngish Mennonite Studies scholars from a number of disciplines, including literature, theology, history, and the sciences.  You can purchase a copy here.



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Books Acquired Recently

Lo, Malinda. Adaptation. 2012. New York: Little, Brown, 2013.

I read about this book in an interview that was recently posted on Casey the Canadian Lesbrarian, and it sounded interesting–most notably because it has “a bisexual protagonist”–so I decided to buy it.

Rohrer, Jane. Life After Death: Poems. Riverdale-on-Hudson, NY: Sheep Meadow Press, 2002.

I have only previously read Rohrer’s work in anthologies. Julia Spicher Kasdorf did a presentation on her at the recent Mennonite/s Writing VIII conference, which made me decide that I need to explore Rohrer’s work more fully.

Both books were acquired from amazon.com’s network of independent booksellers.

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Books Acquired Recently

Dick, Philip K. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? 1968. New York: Del Rey, 2017.

I have been wanting to read this book for a while. The only Dick I’ve read previously is The Man in the High Castle, which I love, so I’ve been meaning to explore more of his work. Today while I was grocery shopping I happened to be in the aisle where they have a book rack and I thought it would be interesting to see what kind of literature is currently viewed as popular enough to be worth stocking in such a venue. I was not expecting to find anything of interest, but there were two copies of the Blade Runner 2049 tie-in mass market paperback of Dick’s novel. The actual book title is in small print at the top of the cover, and “Blade Runner” is written in large red letters in the middle of the cover and on the spine, which also has the actual title in very small letters. So the book is a fascinating piece of marketing as well as, presumably, literature.

Wiebe, Rudy. Where the Truth Lies: Selected Essays. Edmonton: NeWest Press, 2016.

Although this book came out last year, I did not hear about it until Paul Tiessen mentioned it last weekend in his presentation at the Mennonite/s Writing VIII conference. I ordered it immediately and it came in the mail today. It spans his entire career, so should be a rich reading experience.

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Books Acquired Recently: Mennonite/s Writing Edition

This past weekend was the eighth Mennonite/s Writing conference. This year it was held at the University of Winnipeg. As usual, I came back from the conference with a number of new books!

Bergen, David, ed. 9 Mennonite Stories. Winnipeg: Mennonite Literary Society, 2017.

This book, which I got free in lieu of another author’s copy of Tiessen’s book, is the second of the trilogy of anthologies put out by the Mennonite Literary Society this year (Tiessen’s is the third and the first was one of poetry). It isn’t new work, which is a little disappointing, but is still valuable as a kind of “greatest hits” of Mennonite short fiction.

Funk, Carla. Gloryland. Winnipeg: Turnstone Press, 2016.

I won a book of Funk’s poetry in a raffle way back at the 2002 Mennonite/s Writing conference in Goshen, Indiana, and really enjoyed it. I have been meaning to read more of her work ever since, but just have not gotten around to it. I was browsing in McNally Robinson during the tour of Winnipeg that concluded the conference, and came across this recent volume. I am looking forward to getting reacquainted with Funk’s work.

Rempel, Byron. Truth is Naked: All Others Pay Cash. Winnipeg: Great Plains Publications, 2005.

I’ve encountered bits of Rempel’s work in Rhubarb, but have not read any of his books. I came across his memoir while browsing at McNally Robinson and it sounds fascinating.

Tiessen, Hildi Froese, ed. 11 Encounters with Mennonite Fiction. Winnipeg: Mennonite Literary Society, 2017.

This book is a set of essays on various pieces of Mennonite fiction by leading literary critics in the field. I got a free copy because I have a chapter in it. I read through most of it on the plane home yesterday and it’s a thought-provoking book.

Wiebe, Dallas. Monument: Poems on Aging and Dying. Kitchener, ON: Sand Hills Books, 2008.

Tiessen gave me a copy of this book, which was published by her and her husband Paul’s publishing company, because she knows that I love collecting Mennonite literature. I’ve read a lot of Wiebe’s fiction, but none of his poetry, so I look forward to checking it out.

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Books Acquired Recently

Amin, Kadji. Disturbing Attachments: Genet, Modern Pederasty, and Queer History. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2017.

I got a promotional email about this newly-released book from the publisher and ordered a copy right away. It’s an investigation of queer theory through examining the reception of Jean Genet’s work. I have keen interests in both of these subjects. There is a drawing of a naked man in bondage on the cover, so I know the book will be right down my alley.

Rak, Julie. Boom! Manufacturing Memoir for the Popular Market. Waterloo, ON: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2013.

Rak, a life writing scholar, is going to be one of the keynote speakers at the Mennonite/s Writing VIII conference in Winnipeg next week. I bought Boom! in order to get an introduction to her work. I finished it last night and enjoyed it.

I ordered this book directly from amazon.com, and it took them a week and a half to ship it.

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Books Acquired Recently

Kraus, Chris. After Kathy Acker: A Literary Biography. South Pasadena, CA: Semiotext(e), 2017.

Acker is one of my favorite postmodern novelists and I was thus very excited to hear about this new authorized biography of her. It immediately jumped up to the top of my to-read list. I bought it and Watson’s novel from amazon.com’s network of independent booksellers.

Mount, Nick. Arrival: The Story of CanLit. Toronto: House of Anansi Press, 2017.

As a result of my interest in Mennonite literature, which includes numerous Canadian authors, I have been slowly building an interest in Canadian literature in general over the past decade or so. I found out about Mount’s new book on the rise of Canadian literature as a cultural force beginning in the 1960s when I went on House of Anansi Press’s website to check where they are located since they have recently stopped listing their location in their books. I bought it directly from the website and began reading it as soon as it arrived. It’s quite enjoyable thus far.

Watson, Sheila. The Double Hook. 1959. Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 2008.

As part of my reading in my above-mentioned explorations of Canadian literature, I read an article about Watson’s archive, which includes some correspondence about the writing of this novel. The article made the novel sound interesting, so I decided to read it for myself.

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Books Acquired Recently

Beachy, Stephen. Glory Hole. Tuscaloosa, AL: FC2, 2017.

Beachy’s novel boneyard [sic] is one of the best novels I’ve ever read because of its description of queer Anabaptist bondage. After I read it I devoured Beachy’s other books, and have become a huge fan of his writing. Glory Hole is mentioned in boneyard, in which Beachy himself is a character, and when I first read it I thought to myself “I wish that novel existed.” I was thrilled to find out that Beachy was actually writing it in real life and pre-ordered it on amazon.com as soon as it was possible to do so. It came in the mail this week.

Freeman, Elizabeth. Time Binds: Queer Temporalities, Queer Histories. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2010.

I keep seeing this book cited in the queer theory I’ve been reading lately, and decided to investigate it for myself.

I purchased this and Marcus’s book from amazon.com’s network of independent booksellers.

Loewen, Harry, ed. Mennonite Images: Historical, Cultural, and Literary Essays Dealing with Mennonite Issues. Winnipeg: Hyperion Press, 1980.

This was one of the first books to include scholarly discussions of Mennonite literature. I read it as soon as it arrived and even though the scholarship is rather dated it is interesting historically.

I bought this book from abebooks.com’s network of booksellers. The copy I acquired, the only one available, was listed on both abebooks and amazon, but the shipping on abebooks was about $2.00 cheaper.

Marcus, Sara. Girls to the Front: The True Story of the Riot Grrrl Revolution. New York: HarperPerennial, 2010.

Akin to the story of Freeman’s book, this book keeps getting cited in the scholarship I’ve been reading about queer archiving over the past year, so I decided to buy it and read it for myself.

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