Tag Archives: MLA

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

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

I just received two books in the mail from Penguin that I had ordered at MLA. Each book was on sale for $3.00. They both look thought-provoking and Bruce’s collection is a Penguin Classic, a series that I love.

Bayoumi, Moustafa. How Does It Feel to be a Problem? Being Young and Arab in America. 2008. New York: Penguin Books, 2009.

The title’s question is sadly more relevant than ever considering the current U.S. political situation.

Bruce, Scott G., ed. The Penguin Book of the Undead: Fifteen Hundred Years of Supernatural Encounters. New York: Penguin Books, 2016.

I was at MLA presenting as part of a panel on Zombies and Theology, thus it seems appropriate that I discovered this anthology of different literary representations of the undead while there.

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Books Acquired Recently: MLA Edition


Last week I went to the annual Modern Language Association (MLA) convention, which was in Philadelphia this year. It was my third time attending MLA, and as usual one of the highlights of my trip was going to the Book Fair. It seemed like there were fewer publishers there this year, but I still managed to come away with ten books! All of the publishers had sales, and I actually got four of the books (Cisneros, Hass, Karr, McCloud) for free.

Cisneros, Sandra. A House of My Own: Stories from My Life. 2015. New York: Vintage Books, 2016.

Random House was giving out free books in exchange for signing up for their email list, and this patchwork memoir was the most intriguing of the books eligible for the offer.

Cruz, Ariane. The Color of Kink: Black Women, BDSM, and Pornography. New York: New York University Press, 2016.

BDSM is one of my major scholarly interests and it excites me how there are more and more academic studies of it being published.

Cvetkovich, Ann. Depression: A Public Feeling. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2012.

I adored Cvetkovich’s An Archive of Feelings when I read it earlier this semester, so I decided to check out this newer volume.

Gillot, Alain. The Penalty Area. Trans. Howard Curtis. New York: Europa Editions, 2016.

This lovely little novel that I’ve already finished is about a French youth soccer team. Happily, not only is it about soccer, but chess also plays a significant role.

Gray, Mary L., Colin R. Johnson, and Brian J. Gilley, ed. Queering the Countryside: New Frontiers in Rural Queer Studies. New York: New York University Press, 2016.

I have read very little on rural queer experience, and bought this new reader in order to help remedy this lack.

Hass, Robert. A Little Book on Form: An Exploration Into the Formal Imagination of Poetry. New York: Ecco, 2017.

I love both Hass’s poetry and his writing about poetry, and was thus excited to see that he has this new book (which, at over 400 pages, is not “little”) out.

Hoang, Nguyen Tan. A View from the Bottom: Asian American Masculinity and Sexual Representation. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2014.

I have been trying to read as much work at the intersection of race/ethnicity and queer theory as possible recently, but have not yet read anything about the Asian queer experience.

Karr, Mary. The Art of Memoir. 2015. New York: HarperPerennial, 2016.

I have been writing more and more creative nonfiction lately, but without reading much theory on how to do so. I thought reading this book would be helpful as I continue to pursue this writing.

McCloud, Scott. Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art. New York: William Morrow, 1993.

It is terrible that I still haven’t read this classic text even though I have taught graphic narratives in a number of courses. But there’s nothing like the impetus of getting it for free!

Rabinowitz, Paula. American Pulp: How Paperbacks Brought Modernism to Main Street. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2014.

I love pulp paperbacks and was thus very excited to find this history of them and their influence.

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Books Acquired Recently: More Mennonites Edition

I’ve spent the entire summer reading, thinking, and writing about Mennonite literature, which I have come to realize is now my primary field of study. As a part of this studying I’ve been reading a lot of Mennonite literary criticism, which has been tremendously enriching. The one problem with reading literary criticism, though, is that there are always books cited that I haven’t read before which sound interesting, so of course I have to buy them. These two books were acquired as a result of this process.

I have mentioned before how I strongly dislike the new MLA formatting, and most Mennonite studies journals use Chicago Style, so I have decided to start using Chicago Style in all of my writing, including here.

Vermette, Katherena. North End Love Songs. Winnipeg: The Muses’ Company, 2012.

Vermette is of mixed Mennonite and First Nations heritage, which makes her one of the very few Mennonite writers of color. Her work is thus right in my scholarly wheelhouse. This poetry collection was nominated for the Governor General’s Award, which is the Canadian equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize, so it should be a good read.

Weaver-Zercher, David L. “Martyrs Mirror”: A Social History. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2016.

Thieleman J. van Braght’s Martyrs Mirror is the ur-text of Mennonite literature, and is a book that has fascinated me ever since I was a teenager. It remains an influential book in both the field of Mennonite literature and Mennonitism as a whole. I was thus especially excited to hear about Weaver-Zercher’s book, which is a history of both van Braght’s book itself and how readers have interacted with it.

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Books Acquired Recently: Mostly Vacation Edition

I have acquired sixteen books over the past two weeks, most as a result from visiting various bookshops during my recent vacation to England and Scotland, which was an amazing trip! The rundown of these books is below, with the books separated into sections based on where they were bought. The sections are listed in chronological order.

Hatchard’s, London, England


Hatchard’s is the oldest bookshop in London, having opened in 1797. It was walking distance from my hotel and it was an awe-inspiring experience to be in a space that has been used for the same purpose for over 200 years.

Clare, John. Major Works. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2008.

I have been looking for a selection of Clare’s works since reading about his escape from a lunatic asylum in a book on psychogeography about a year ago. This volume has a large selection of his poetry as well as some of his prose, which is what I am most interested in.

Kureishi, Hanif. Something to Tell You. 2008. London: Faber, 2009.

Kureishi is one of my favorite British authors and thus I thought it would be appropriate to buy one of his books while I was in England.

Topping & Company, Bath, England


This was a fantastic bookstore, my favorite on the trip. Bath is a lovely little city.

Bashō, Matsuo. The Narrow Road to the Deep North and Other Travel Sketches. Tr. Nobuyuki Yuasa. London: Penguin, 1966.

I really enjoy Bashō’s haiku, thus when I discovered this slender volume on the shelf I thought it presented a good opportunity to read some of his prose. I also like the idea of buying a book about travelling whilst travelling.

Lee, Hermione. Biography: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2009.

I am considering doing some scholarship on memoir and thought this little book would be helpful for understanding some of the theoretical issues surrounding the genre.

Peter Bell Books, Edinburgh, Scotland

One of the things that impressed me about Edinburgh was its large number of bookshops–I discovered seven of them just wandering about a half-mile radius from my hotel. All but one of these (Blackwell’s below) were independent stores, tiny holes-in-the-wall. This included Peter Bell Books. Its website (linked to above: “We have been bookselling in Edinburgh since 1980, and are reliable and professional in our business dealings.”) is a good digital manifestation of the shop itself.

Spark, Muriel. The Bachelors. 1960. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1963.

IMG_0399 (1)

I was hoping to buy an old British Penguin paperback because I love their design, and this book fit the bill. I love the little notice on the back cover letting buyers know that it “is not for sale in the U.S.A.” I paid £4.00 for it, more than its original price of three pounds and six shillings (it’s so old that they were still using shillings!).

Blackwell’s, Edinburgh, Scotland

It made me happy that all of Edinburgh’s small bookshops are able to coexist with this larger chain shop.

London, Jack. The Call of the Wild, White Fang, and Other Stories. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2009.

The shop was having a two-for-one sale on Oxford World’s Classics, so this is the book that I got for free.

Zola, Émile. The Ladies’ Paradise. 1883. Tr. Brian Nelson. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2008.

I have never read any of Zola’s work despite his importance to the genre of the novel. I recently read a bit about this particular book and thought its portrayal of urbanization and gender sounded interesting, so I decided to buy it.

Oxfam, York, England

Butler, Bryon. The Official Illustrated History of the FA Cup. London: Headline, 1996.

There was an Oxfam used bookshop just down the street from Yorkminster Cathedral, which is one of the sites I visited during the trip. I found this coffee table book and decided to buy it because Manchester United were playing in the FA Cup final later in the day and I thought buying it would bring them luck, and it did! It cost £3.45.

WHSmith, Gatwick Airport, London, England

Ferguson, Alex, with Michael Moritz. Leading. 2015. London: Hodder, 2016.

Despite all of the other better bookshops on the trip it was still impossible to resist a quick walk-through of the airport bookstore, and I ended up purchasing this book because it was half-price.

The Strand, New York City

On the morning after arriving back in the U.S. I stopped at the Strand, my favorite bookstore, before taking the train back to Utica.

DeLillo, Don. Zero K. New York: Scribner, 2016.

I am incredibly excited to read DeLillo’s new novel because he is one of my favorite authors. I exclaimed with delight when I saw it on one of the front tables.

Heti, Sheila. How Should a Person Be? 2012. New York: Picador, 2013.

I love Women in Clothes, the book that Heti co-edited about women’s experiences with clothing, but have never read any of her writing itself. A stack of How Should a Person Be? was on a table labelled “The Future of Fiction” and I decided it was time to check it out.

Mukherjee, Neel. The Lives of Others. 2014. New York: Norton, 2015.

I read Mukherjee’s first novel, A Life Apart, in England and loved it. I decided that I will teach it in one of my courses this coming fall, and thus that it would be helpful to read The Lives of Others sometime this summer to give me more context for his work.

Nelson, Maggie. The Argonauts. Minneapolis: Graywolf, 2015.

I read a review of this book in the New Yorker a few months back and it sounded fascinating for three reasons: it deals with queer issues, it blends genres, and, as noted above, I am thinking about doing some scholarship on the memoir genre and thought it would be helpful to read this book since it is all the rage. Nelson has also published a book about one of my favorite poets, Frank O’Hara, that sounds interesting, so she seems like a fascinating person.


The Chicago Manual of Style. 16th ed. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 2010.

I am currently working on a bibliography that I plan to submit to a journal that uses Chicago Style, which I am not familiar with, so I decided to buy this book to help with the project. I am also seriously considering switching to Chicago Style as my primary style because I am not fond of the new version of MLA style (note that I am still using the older version of MLA style to format the entries for the books in this post).

Darling, Ron, with Daniel Paisner. Game 7, 1986: Failure and Triumph in the Biggest Game of My Life. New York: St. Martin’s, 2016.

Like many Mets fans I am obsessed with the 1986 team and will buy any book associated with them. This book promises to offer a fascinating perspective on the team. Many people forget that Darling started game 7 (and did not pitch well, leaving trailing 3-0) because Sid Fernandez ended up being the pitching hero and there are all of the iconic images of Jesse Orosco throwing his glove into the air after the final out. Even though the Mets scored eight runs, everyone talks about how the pitching was what won the Mets the game, and I look forward to reading Darling’s analysis of why this is the case.

The last of the sixteen books is

Pashley, Jennifer. The Scamp. Portland: Tin House, 2015.

Pashley gave a reading with several other authors in Utica last night that was quite enjoyable. I have her two excellent short story collections and decided to buy her recent novel in part because I like her writing and in part because it is important to support local authors and independent presses.



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Books Acquired Recently: Mennonites Plus One Edition

My recent book-buying binge has included a number of Mennonite authors. Aside from the Wes Funk books, which I ordered from Laird Books in Regina, Saskatchewan (and who provided excellent customer service), I acquired all of the Mennonite-related books from amazon.com’s network of independent sellers.

Birdsell, Sandra. Agassiz: A Novel in Stories. Minneapolis: Milkweed, 1991.

I haven’t read much of Birdsell’s work though she was one of the influential Mennonite writers at the beginning of the “Mennonite miracle” in Canadian writing during the 1980s. I decided that this summer would be a good time to remedy this lack.

Funk, Wes. Cherry Blossoms. Regina: Your Nickel’s Worth, 2012.

—. Dead Rock Stars. Illus. Kevin Hastings. Regina: Your Nickel’s Worth, 2015.

—. Wes Side Story: A Memoir. Regina: Your Nickel’s Worth, 2014.

I recently heard about Funk’s work. It is apparently explicitly queer, which is exciting because queer Mennonite literature is a major research interest of mine. I bought copies of all of his books that I could find (there’s one more that I haven’t been able to find anywhere).

Janzen, Jean. Elements of Faithful Writing. Kitchener: Pandora, 2004.

As I mentioned in a recent post, I haven’t read much of Janzen’s work, but am trying to remedy that. This book is one that gets cited often in metacritical discussions of Mennonite literature, and thus feels essential for me to read.

Waltner-Toews, David. One Foot in Heaven. Regina: Couteau, 2005.

I love Waltner-Toews’s poetry and am excited to read some of his fiction.

Yaguchi, Yorifumi. The Wing-Beaten Air: My Life and My Writing. Intercourse: Good, 2008.

I also really enjoy Yaguchi’s poetry, and look forward to reading this memoir.

The “plus one” referred to in the title of this post is the new Modern Language Association style manual, which I received free because I am an  MLA member:

MLA Handbook. 8th ed. New York: Modern Language Association, 2016.

Once I get a chance to read this I will have to write a post about how I feel about the changes, but just flipping through it and seeing some of the different formatting I am flipping out, and not in a good way. Double-plus ungood. I will have to decide whether or not to use the new formatting for my citations in future posts.

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