The shelf on the right is the bookshelf we have always had, and most of those books, I am happy to report, have actually been read. The new bookshelf—which we bought for the express purpose of housing our UNREAD books that were simply scattered about the apartment in random, precarious piles—is the hulking one on the left. I think that at most, five of the books contained therein have been read.
N.B. We have two other bookshelves + two nightstands that are filled to the gills, predominantly with unread books... So when I say I have a TBR book/book buying problem, I mean it!
But at least it's a pretty-looking problem to have, and one that will no longer threaten the safety of our loved ones! So let's call it an upside.
- The Gospel of Anarchy by Justin Taylor
- Celebrity Chekhov by Ben Greenman
- Stretch by Neal Pollack
- Everything is Going to be Great by Rachel Shukert
- Bad Marie by Marcy Dermansky
- Diary of a Very Bad Year by Anonymous Hedge Fund Manager
- Kapitoil by Teddy Wayne
- It Could be Worse, You Could be Me by Ariel Leve
- Who By Fire by Diana Spechler
- Grab On To Me Tightly As If I Knew The Way by Bryan Charles
- Down and Out on Murder Mile by Tony O'Neill
- Everything is Wrong with Me by Jason Mulgrew
- Postcards from a Dead Girl by Kirk Farber
- A Common Pornography by Kevin Sampsell
- 86'd by Dan Fante
- Ugly Man by Dennis Cooper
- I am Not Myself These Days by Josh Kilmer-Purcell
- Town House by Tish Cohen
- The Average American Male by Chad Kultgen
- The Summer of Naked Swim Parties by Jessica Anya Blau
It's been a few months since Tony and I last made our way to McKay's. Preoccupied with Borders bankruptcy sales, we haven't had much time for used books when so many new ones were looking for homes, but this past week, all that changed. We were in the neighborhood (McKay's is very close to our favorite Vietnamese restaurant), and decided to stop by to see if I could get a cheap copy of the movie Whip It, my latest obsession. We couldn't, but no trip to McKay's would be complete without a quick jaunt down the fiction aisle, where I swiftly found two books I just had to have! The Distance Between Us is a Maggie O'Farrell title that my collection is missing, and now I only lack her very first novel before I'll find myself in possession of all her novels to-date. I also picked up Old Filth by Jane Gardham, for two reasons: 1) I am convinced she and I will get along swimmingly once I actually get around to reading her; 2) I picked up a copy of The Man in the Wooden Hat on one of my other shopping jaunts which is a retelling of Old Filth from another character's perspective, so I know I would be better served by reading Old Filth first! The other three books, I am happy to report, were actually Tony's choices, as he has a bit of an obsession with Everyman Library editions, so could not resist picking up these beautiful copies of Pale Fire and Pnin by Valdimir Nabokov and One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. You'll recall that I didn't have the best luck with Lolita when I read it last year (it was definitely one of those books that made me feel like I was simply not smart enough to be reading it!), but you may be surprised by the Marquez acquisition. After all, I have been very vocal in the past of my love One Hundred Years of Solitude, so surely I must already have a copy of it on hand, right? And indeed I do! In fact, I actually already have an Everyman's copy of this book. So, why the double acquisition? Well, my first copy was also picked up second-hand, and I wasn't exactly diligent about checking the pages, and it wasn't until I got home that I realized it had been marked up with highlighters. It in no way diminished my enjoyment of the book (or Tony's for that matter), but the prospect of having a pristine copy was too much to resist. And so now, I find myself with two near identical copies of a favorite book and have decided the best thing would be to share the love. So I am offering up my original, much-loved and marked up copy of One Hundred Years of Solitude to a new home. Apart from the markings (that sadly cannot be erased, but are quite minimal... maybe only 5 - 10 pages of the total book), the book is in excellent condition, including its original dust cover and a ribbon bookmark. If you're a reader who would like to experience this amazing book and have no compunctions about nominal marginalia, then please let me know in the comments below. I'll ship anywhere in the world, for great literature truly should know no boundaries. If more than one person expresses interest in the book, I'll randomly select a winner next Sunday (that is July 31)... so make your desire known by Saturday night at the latest! I now return you to your regularly scheduled programming... which I realize has been far from regular. Two words: SO. BUSY. I should have some new reviews up this week, however, so you'll have that (and maybe this book?) to look forward to!
So, Nashville is now a one Borders town. We used to have three, but two have now officially closed for good, which greatly saddens me since the closest non-used bookstore to me is now a BooksAMillion, which I hate because they have a religious bent that makes me uncomfortable, plus they're 5 miles away (and I used to be able to walk to one of the RIP Borders in just 10 minutes!). Other than that, you have to drive all the way out to West Nashville in order to go to a Barnes & Noble or out to Brentwood if you want to see the last remaining Borders. When I happened into Borders on the final day of their closing sale, a mother and her daughter wandered in and started asking where they could find a fully functional bookstore and it was so depressing because there no longer are any in the vicinity. Within the past year, Nashville has seen three bookstores close and that makes me REALLY sad. Anyway, it was a total fluke that I happened to walk to Borders on what was their very last day in operation, meaning all of their merchandise was 80% off. Things were largely picked over, but I did manage to find several books to rescue from the pulp pile. Normally I find that my reading tastes don't match those of the most bookstore patrons, but this time I did enter into something of a competition with another shopper, as we kept reaching for the same books. I admit, I got rather cutthroat and managed to walk away with the following books: (more…)
It seems like I spend all my time on this blog apologizing these days! Prolonged absences punctuated by a post promising that I am back for good (à la Take That circa 1995), only to disappear into the real world for another extended period. This time, real life whisked me away to a six-day conference in Naples, Fl where I sometimes hobnobbed with vision scientists from around the globe, but mostly spent the time lizardlike, lazing by the pool and taking the occasional dip in the ocean. I brought four books and managed to finish one, but I never seem to get as much reading done at these things as I think I will. Probably because of all that quality programming on HGTV and Animal Planet that I am otherwise deprived of when at home! So I am back now just as many of you are planning to fly away to BEA and take your own little blogging breaks, which is amazing timing, no? Well, there’s nothing to be done about that, so as I scramble about and try to get my life in Nashville back in order, I present to you my latest acquisitions from a mini-splurge at McKay’s a few weeks back when dissertation proposal stress was making my brain bleed. Because in the end, is there anything more soothing than new books? Get the complete low-down on my haul after the jump! (more…)
- The Harmony Silk Factory by Tash Aw - One thing that's been harder for me in terms of sticking to my own books is that I have way more US & and UK authors than I do international authors, so I have felt I've been quite limited in my reading scope so far this year. When I read about Tash Aw over at Chasing Bawa recently, I flagged him as an author that I needed to read. I've never read a Malaysian author before and think his first novel will be a great introduction.
- Kiss Kiss/Switch Bitch/My Uncle Oswald by Roald Dahl - I like that Dahl's short stories and writing for adults is quite dark and twisted. This seemed like a good investment as it compiles some of his best non-PG work in one handy volume.
- The Glass Palace by Amitav Ghosh - Ghosh is another author I've been wanting to read and while there were a few of his books at McKay's I decided to try this one because it spans Burma, India, and Malay, which are all places I'm interested in. I'd like to read more (South East) Asian writers in particular when it comes to reading internationally, so I'm happy to add this to my collection.
- The Pleasure of My Company by Steve Martin - We all know that An Object of Beauty made me a big fan of Martin's fiction writing, so while I'd already snagged a cheap copy of Shopgirl on a past visit to McKay's it seemed only right that I should also rescue his second novel from the bargain section as well. I'm intrigued by this one because while I've heard less about it, some people argue that it's better than Shopgirl...
- Memento Mori by Muriel Spark - I am on a wicked Muriel Spark kick at the moment. I read The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie right before I started blogging back in 2008 and didn't think much of it. But for whatever reason, I felt compelled to pick it up again and just recently finished a vastly superior re-read of it and now I feel like I must own and read everything Spark has ever written. Was very excited to find this one at McKay's as many feel this is even better than Jean Brodie.
- Mantissa and The Collector by John Fowles - I am also obsessed with the idea of John Fowles of late. I haven't read anything by him, but I feel like I've been wanting to challenge myself of late and think his writing may fit the bill. I will probably tackle The French Lieutenant's Woman again before I try either of these, but I am sure I'll be happy to have them.