Tag Archives: sports

Books Acquired Recently

Navratilova, Martina, with George Vecsey. Martina. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1985.

I became obsessed with tennis and Navratilova when I was nine years old, and my local public library had her autobiography, so I read it avidly. Lately I’ve been writing about books that have influenced me, and in hindsight I realized that this is the first queer book I ever read. I decided that it would be helpful to read it again because I am writing about it, and I found a used copy from one of amazon.com’s independent booksellers for around $5.00.

Strahan, Jonathan, ed. The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year, Volume Twelve. Oxford, UK: Solaris, 2018.

As I have written here numerous times before, I am a huge Samuel R. Delany fan. I just recently found out that he published a novella, The Hermit of Houston, in a journal in 2017. I googled it to see where it was available and found out that it is included in Strahan’s anthology. I bought the book from Powell’s because I am trying to shop less with amazon.

Zambreno, Kate. Book of Mutter. South Pasadena, CA: Semiotext(e), 2017.

—. Green Girl. New York: Harper Perennial, 2014.

I finished reading Zambreno’s hybrid memoir Heroines last week and loved it. As a result, I decided to buy her second memoir, Book of Mutter, and one of her novels.

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Books Acquired Recently: Holiday Gift Edition

Happily, I received a number of books as gifts this holiday season!

Brown, Craig. Ninety-Nine Glimpses of Princess Margaret. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2017.

I have become fascinated with Princess Margaret as a result of watching The Crown and look forward to reading this oral history about her. Incidentally, it drives me nuts that FSG does not use the Oxford Comma in their company name.

Johnson, Davey, with Erik Sherman. Davey Johnson: My Wild Ride in Baseball and Beyond. Chicago: Triumph Books, 2018.

Johnson  managed the 1986 New York Mets and thus played a major role in my childhood. I read the book the day after I received it and enjoyed it, though it was not as introspective as I would have liked it to be.

Knecht, Rosalie. Who is Vera Kelly? Portland: Tin House Books, 2018.

I had not heard of Knecht, but began reading this novel as soon as I got it and enjoyed it. Her writing is beautiful and clear.

Miller, Linsey. Mask of Shadows. Naperville, IL: Sourcebooks Fire, 2017.

I read a review of this book that intrigued me, but now I can’t remember why it intrigued me, so it will be a fun surprise when I get around to reading it!

Posey, Parker. You’re on an Airplane: A Self-Mythologizing Memoir. New York: Blue Rider Press, 2018.

I enjoy Posey’s work in Christopher Guest’s mocumentaries.

Sánchez González, Lisa. Boricua Literature: A Literary History of the Puerto Rican Diaspora. New York: New York University Press, 2001.

I still do not know nearly enough about Puerto Rican literature in either the U.S. or on the island, and am thus excited to read this book.

Schaberg, Christopher. The Textual Life of Airports: Reading the Culture of Flight. 2011. New York: Bloomsbury, 2013.

I fly frequently as part of my job and thus spend a depressing amount of time in airports. I look forward to reading this book about literary representations of that experience.

Shapiro, Bill, with Naomi Wax. What We Keep: 150 People Share the One Object That Brings Them Joy, Magic, and Meaning. Philadelphia: Running Press, 2018.

A friend recently posted about this book on Facebook and I wanted to buy it immediately because I am very interested in the issue of personal archiving and am teaching a course on it this coming semester. I bought it with a Barnes & Noble gift certificate that I received.

Wiebe, Joseph R. The Place of Imagination: Wendell Berry and the Poetics of Community, Affection, and Identity. Waco, TX: Baylor University Press, 2017.

I read a review of this book and it sounded interesting because of its methodology of reading literature theologically. I can’t stand Wendell Berry, but I am hoping that I can pick up some writing tools from Wiebe’s approach.

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Books Acquired Recently: Holiday Edition

I received a number of books as gifts for the holidays, and also did a little bit of book shopping myself with some holiday cash.

Algarín, Miguel. Love is Hard Work: Memorias de Loisaida. New York: Scribner Poetry, 1997.

As I mention below discussing Márquez’s book, I am trying to broaden my knowledge of Puerto Rican literature. Algarín has played a major role making it visible in the U.S.

Falley, Megan. After the Witch Hunt. Long Beach, CA: Write Bloody Publishing, 2012.

—. Redhead and the Slaughter King. Austin, TX: Write Bloody Publishing, 2014.

I had never encountered Falley’s poetry before, but enjoyed reading After the Witch Hunt, her first collection, and I am now partway through Redhead and the Slaughter King.

Lopez, Donald S., Jr., ed. Buddhist Scriptures. London: Penguin Books, 2004.

I found this Penguin Classics anthology while browsing at Aaron’s Books and decided to buy it because I am interested in learning more about the Buddhist approach to life.

Machado, Carmen Maria. Her Body and Other Parties: Stories. Minneapolis: Graywolf Press, 2017.

I have not heard of Machado before, but her biographical statement on the back cover notes that she lives “with her wife,” so I am very excited for the chance to encounter another queer Latinx writer.

Márquez, Roberto, ed. Puerto Rican Poetry: An Anthology from Aboriginal to Contemporary Times.  Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2007.

I still feel like I know hardly anything about Puerto Rican literature, and am therefore happy to have received this volume, which will help to remedy my lack of knowledge.

Rosenman, Mark, and Howie Karpin. Down on the Korner: Ralph Kiner and Kiner’s Korner. New York: Carrel Books, 2016.

I grew up watching Kiner’s Korner after Mets games on WWOR Channel 9 in the 1980s. My family did not have cable, so it was essential for a sports fanatic like myself to watch any sports-related content I could find. I am excited to read this book and relive some of those memories.

Rutherfurd, Edward. Sarum: The Novel of England. 1987. New York: Ballantine Books, 2005.

This novel covers English history from prehistoric times through the twentieth century, focusing on the area around Salisbury. I am about a quarter of the way through it and am enjoying it thus far.

Vonnegut, Kurt. Cat’s Cradle. 1963. New York: Dell, 1970.

Cat’s Cradle is one of my favorite Vonnegut novels. When I found a copy from the old Dell series of his books (a series that I have a number of) in good shape for only $5.00 at Aaron’s Books I snatched it up immediately.

Including these books, I acquired 160 books in 2017, and am ending the year with only 16 on my to-read shelf, so it has been a year full of reading!

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Books Acquired Recently: England Edition

I just returned from a wonderful nine-day trip to England. One of my favorite things about England is that almost every town, no matter how small, has at least one good bookshop. I thus spent much of my free time book hunting, mostly in secondhand bookshops, which is where I made some of my favorite finds. I bought eleven books, spending a total of £62.00.

Bryson, Bill. Notes from a Small Island: Journey Through Britain. 1995. London: Black Swan, 2015.

I’ve read very little travel writing, so when someone recommended this travelogue during my trip I decided to buy it because I’ve heard good things about Bryson’s writing, but haven’t read any of his work. I tore through the book in a day after I’d purchased it. Although it is now a bit dated, it is hilarious and still helpful.

Purchased at Blackwell’s in Oxford.

—. The Road to Little Dribbling: More Notes from a Small Island. 2015. London: Black Swan, 2016.

After finishing Notes from a Small Island, I decided to buy the sequel.

Purchased at WHSmith in Gatwick Airport, London.

Carmichael, Stokely, and Charles V. Hamilton. Black Power: The Politics of Liberation in America. 1967. Harmondsworth, UK: Pelican Books, 1969.

As I have written about before, I have a fetish for Penguin paperbacks, especially old ones. The Book Cupboard in Plymouth has a large selection of them, and I purchased three there: this book (which has a blue cover to signify that it is non-fiction), Christie’s (green cover to signify that it is crime fiction), and Simenon’s (the traditional orange cover).

Charlton, Bobby, with James Lawton. My Manchester United Years: The Autobiography. 2007. London: Headline Publishing, 2008.

Bobby Charlton is the greatest English footballer ever and one of the greatest Manchester United players ever, thus I was delighted to find a used copy of his autobiography in excellent condition. I read it during the trip and it is one of the best sports autobiographies I have ever read because it is insightful both about Charlton’s personal life and the sporting events he took part in.

Purchased at Skoob Books in London.

Christie, Agatha. Murder in the Mews and Other Stories. 1937. Harmondsworth, UK: Penguin Books, 1961.

I first read Christie’s work in elementary school when the school librarian gave me several of her books because he knew that I loved to read and wanted to encourage me to continue doing so. I haven’t read any of her books since I was a teenager, but when I saw this collection in a Penguin edition I decided to buy it. Its original price was two shillings and six pence. I paid three pounds for it.

Dahl, Tessa. Working for Love. 1988. London: Penguin Books, 1989.

I bought this book primarily because it is a Penguin paperback, but also because I was interested in seeing how Tessa Dahl’s writing matches up to her father Roald’s. I read it on the plane ride back to the U.S. and was unimpressed.

Purchased at Skoob Books in London.

Goddard, Simon. Ziggyology: A Brief History of Ziggy Stardust. London: Ebury Press, 2013.

I love David Bowie, and The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars is my favorite of his albums. I bought this book about his Ziggy character because I found it on sale new for only £3.00 as compared to the £9.99 cover price.

Purchased at The Works in Stratford-Upon-Avon.

Hadley, Tessa. Bad Dreams and Other Stories. London: Jonathan Cape, 2017.

I have read and enjoyed some of Hadley’s stories in the New Yorker. I decided to purchase her newest collection because it is a signed copy.

Purchased at Blackwell’s in Oxford.

Palmer, Martin, Kwok Man Ho, and Joanne O’Brien. The Contemporary I Ching: A Completely New Translation of the Most Famous Oracle in the World. 1986. London: Rider & Company, 1989.

I have wanted to learn more about the I Ching since I first read Philip K. Dick’s The Man in the High Castle, in which it plays a major role. I found this translation of it for a reasonable price and decided to buy it.

Purchased at The Speaking Tree in Glastonbury.

Rickards, Maurice. This is Ephemera: Collecting Printed Throwaways: Printed or Handwritten Items Produced for Short-Term Use and Generally for Disposal: A Delightful and Unique Introduction to a Fascinating Field. 1977. London: David & Charles, 1978.

I came across this intriguing little (63 pages) hardcover in the basement of a thriftshop. Its lengthy title says it all: it sounds like the nerdiest book ever, so of course I had to buy it, and I am legitimately excited to read it. It was first published in the U.S., and apparently was successful enough to justify publishing the British edition that I bought. The back cover blurb notes that Rickards “is founder and chairman of the Ephemera Society,” an organization that still exists in both the U.S. and the U.K.

Purchased at Julian House in Bath.

Simenon, Georges. Striptease. 1958. Harmondsworth, UK: Penguin Books, 1963.

I’ve read one of Simenon’s novels, Dirty Snow, before, and enjoyed it. It was an easy decision to purchase this Penguin edition of another one of his books.

 

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Books Acquired Recently

Over the past few weeks I’ve acquired several books with holiday money that I received.

Brackett, Leigh. The Long Tomorrow. 1955. Rockville, MD: Phoenix Pick, n.d.

I first heard about this science fiction classic several years ago because it has Mennonite characters. More and more Mennonite SF continues to appear, so I thought now would be a good time to read it.

This, Lima and Carmona’s anthology, and Vermette’s novel were purchased from amazon.com’s network of independent sellers.

Driver, John. Life Together in the Spirit: A Radical Spirituality for the Twenty-First Century. Walden, NY: Plough Publishing House, 2015.

I received this book as a gift for renewing my membership to the Mennonite Historical Society. It’s not something I would normally read, but it might be interesting.

Lima, Rossy Evelin, and Christopher Carmona, ed. Outrage: A Protest Anthology for Injustice in a 9/11 World.

I heard about this anthology because I have a friend with a poem in it, and decided to buy it now because the amount of injustice is only going to grow in the current political climate. It is bilingual, which I appreciate.

Wambach, Abby. Forward: A Memoir. New York: Dey Street, 2016.

I bought this autobiography (i.e., it’s yet another misnamed “memoir”) at Barnes & Noble for 50% off. I’ve already read it and I wish it went more in-depth about Wambach’s playing career. Her descriptions of significant matches are quite short; they feel rushed.

Vermette, Katherena. The Break. Toronto: House of Anansi Press, 2016.

I just heard about Vermette’s recent novel and ordered it right away because of her Mennonite connections.

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Books Acquired Recently

My book-buying habit continues unabated despite my stuffed “To Read” shelf. Here is what has come in recently.

Kafer, Alison. Feminist, Queer, Crip. Bloomington: Indiana UP, 2013.

I have been studying the intersection between queer theory and disability studies recently for a paper that I am writing, and came across a citation of this book, which looks interesting because of its efforts to be intersectional.

Mulvany, Nancy C. Indexing Books. 2nd. ed. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 2005.

I bought this book as a resource for a bibliography that I am currently working on. I must say that it is a very handsome book–a colorful yet not garish cover, sturdy hardback, thick creamy pages–which pleases me since books about books should be beautiful to match their subject matter.

Munson, Peggy. Origami Striptease. San Francisco: Suspect Thoughts Press, 2006.

I encountered a citation for this novel in some of my aforementioned research on disability studies and found a copy for a good price, so decided to buy it. I read it last week and enjoyed it overall. It’s worth checking out because it is one of the very few depictions of a disabled person’s sex life out there. My guess is that twenty or thirty years from now it will be viewed as a classic work.

Perryman, Mark, ed. 1966 and Not All That. London: Repeater Books, 2016.

This is a collection of essays about England’s 1966 World Cup triumph, the only major soccer trophy the English men have ever won despite England being the sport’s birthplace. From the time I was just a fledgling soccer fan twenty years ago I have had a sense of the 1966 team being swathed in myth and glory. (Which, I think, says something about how influential English soccer culture has been for American soccer culture. This is one of the few areas where the U.S. could still be considered a postcolonial context.) As a result, I have been thoroughly enjoying and consuming as much of the fiftieth anniversary celebration and retrospective as I can, thus it was an instant decision to buy the book when I read a review of it a few weeks ago.

Stafford, William. Down in My Heart. 1947. Swarthmore: Bench Press, 1985.

The Tramontane Cafe in Utica is currently have a book sale of some of Roger Smith’s books, who was a regular at the Cafe and at the Utica Poets Society, which meets there (he died a few months ago). I picked up this memoir by William Stafford about his time as a conscientious objector to military service during World War II because I have a general interest in CO experiences since many Mennonites were also COs.  Stafford is a kind of celebrity among Mennonites because of his pacifism, but I am unfamiliar with much of his work, thus I look forward to learning more about him from this book.

All of the books except for Stafford’s were acquired via amazon.com’s network of independent sellers.

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Books Acquired Recently

Dykstra, Lenny. House of Nails: The Construction, the Demolition, the Resurrection: A Memoir of Life on the Edge. New York: Morrow, 2016.

As I have said here before, I am obsessed with the 1986 Mets, so I buy every book I can find about them. Dykstra’s second memoir (after Nails, which was published after the 1986 baseball season) was just published, and I bought it right away and read it this past weekend. It is an interesting book (and has blurbs from Jack Nicholson and Stephen King, which is quite impressive), and I learned some fascinating things about both the Mets and Dykstra (his discussion of Davey Johnson as a manager is especially revelatory), but my primary takeaway from the book is that Dykstra is a terrible person. He claims to have learned from his mistakes, but this supposed growth is nowhere evident in the tone of the book.

King, Michael A. Fractured Dance: Gadamer and a Mennonite Conflict Over Homosexuality. Telford: Pandora Press U.S., 2001.

As I do more and more scholarship on queer Mennonite literature, I thought it would be helpful to read this book, one of the first explicitly dealing with LGBT issues and Mennonitism. It approaches the subject from a theological perspective rather than a literary one, but the theological aspects of Mennonite literature are inescapable (as much as some in the field would like to get away from them), thus one must be somewhat conversant with theological texts to write about the literature.

Oliver, Mary. Thirst. Boston: Beacon, 2006.

I read a few poems by Oliver in an anthology as an undergraduate and didn’t like them, but then recently found out from a friend that Oliver is queer, and that some of her more recent poetry is explicitly so. Therefore I decided to give her another reading. I am interested to see how or whether my poetic tastes have changed in the intervening fifteen years.

Talese, Gay. The Voyeur’s Motel. New York: Grove, 2016.

I read an excerpt of this book several months ago in the New Yorker and was hooked. The book was just published this week, and I can’t wait to read it. It might be suitable for my  course on obsessions.

All of these books were bought on amazon.com.

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