New Books

Did I ever seriously comtemplate not buying more books for a while? Yeah, that didn’t happen. I am doing well with the reading part of Emily’s TBR challenge, even if I’ve forsaken the not buying more books part. I’ve finished five of the twenty books on my list (which you can see on the sidebar to the right) and I’m in the middle of a sixth one (Olive Kitteridge). Considering that the challenge goes on through the rest of the year, that’s not a bad start.

So what are the new books I’ve been acquiring? I got a small stack last Friday when Hobgoblin and I spent the day in New Haven. We visited the Yale Center for British Art first, which was great — they have a strong permanent collection of 18th and 19th-century British art and had a great exhibit on Romantic-era drawings from around the world. And then we toured some of the local bookshops. It was our first visit to Labyrinth Books, which was a really great, really smart shop with dozens of books I could have brought home. We also visited old favorites The Book Trader Cafe and Atticus books. I found:

  • Lydia Davis’s Varities of Disturbance. I want to read more short story collections this year, and this one has been on my list for a long time. The stories are very short and I hear are as much like poems as stories. I’m curious how I will like this.
  • Alicia Gimenez-Bartlett’s Dog Day. Gimenez-Bartlett is a crime writer (perhaps a future choice for my mystery book group), and the book is one of those lovely Europa editions I always notice in bookstores.
  • Mary Oliver’s Rules for the Dance. This one is a guide book to reading and writing rhyming poetry. I like Oliver’s poetry a lot, and something appealed to me about looking a little more deeply into the structure of poetry. I’m not at all interested in writing rhyming poetry (or poetry of any sort), but I do like learning about it. And I feel inspired by reading The Anthologist to think about poetry more.
  • Gabriel Josipovici’s Writing and the Body. The book is made up of four lectures Josipovici gave in 1981. The first one is entitled “The Body in the Library.” Hard to resist, right?

And then there are books I’ve gotten in other ways:

  • I won a copy of Nick Harkaway’s The Gone-Away World from Musings, which is tremendously fun and exciting. I don’t know much about the book, but I do know that Ms. Musings liked it a lot and other friends enjoyed it as well,
  • From Book Mooch I got An Ethiopian Romance by Heliodorus. I love learning about the history of the novel, so this “novel” or “romance” or whatever you want to call it from the third century sounds interesting.
  • Joan Didion’s The Year of Magical Thinking also came from Book Mooch. I realized the other day that I really loved her essay collection The White Album, so it only makes sense to have more of her writing on hand. I have a feeling I’ll end up with a fairly large Didion collection eventually.
  • Finally, Marge Piercy’s The Moon is Always Female. Since I have new books that are about poetry I figured I should get some of the thing itself.

That’s all for now, although I’ve had luck with Book Mooch lately and may find some more books I can’t resist.


Filed under Books, Reading

11 responses to “New Books

  1. Josipovich! I really want to read Moo Pak – it’s scheduled for later this year. And Oliver, and Lydia Davis! You came home with a great haul. I’m doing my traditional Christmas-to-birthday book-buying fast, and even though there are exceptions to the rule I’m finding it challenging. There are just so many lovely volumes out there!


  2. What good books you got! I’ve got the Lydia Davis on my TBR list. I’m drooling over the Josipovici! And Marge Piercy poetry, I’m always for that. I read that particular one several years ago and enjoyed it. I hope you do too!


  3. I know how hard it is to abstain from book-buying… simply impossible I’d say. I’ve only read one among all you’ve mentioned, and it’s a great read. Joan Didion’s The Year of Magical Thinking. Very poignant and moving. After reading it, I turned right away to C. S. Lewis’ A Grief Observed.


  4. Ah, nice Josipovici find. I haven’t read that one yet. I’m jealous.

    Regarding The Year of Magical Thinking: I thought the first half of the book was enormously affecting (as in, I came close to tears reading it), but the second half was very disappointing. By the end, I almost couldn’t remember why I’d been so moved by the beginning.


  5. You guys go on the best excursions (and they often include bookstore visits, too, which is a bonus). I have had the opportunity to order from Labyrinth Books at work, and they seem like they have a great variety of really good books. It’s really cool you’ve been reading from your list (I need to keep looking at mine–I’ve made several but tend to forget about them later). Enjoy your new books–I hope you like Alicia Gimenez Bartlett–I read one of her books last year and have this on my stack as well.


  6. Emily — I’d love to read Moo Pak as well, although I have a couple Josipovici nonfiction volumes to get to as well. You’re right I came home with a good haul — what a lucky day! The Josipovici was a complete surprise.

    Stefanie — I think I put the Piercy on my TBR list because of you 🙂 Does the Davis sound so intriguing?

    Arti — yes, not buying books is nearly impossible (okay, maybe not, but it’s really hard, particularly since we go into book shops so often!). I’m glad you liked the Didion so much.

    Richard — interesting take on the Didion. I’m curious what I will think of the two parts.

    Danielle — I think I heard about Gimenez-Bartlett because of you. Thank you! 🙂 Isn’t Labyrinth great? I’d love to go back; I didn’t even look through much of the store — I stayed mostly in the fiction section, but there were other things I’d like to check out.


  7. I just picked up a copy of the Davis over the weekend and I couldn’t for the life of me figure out why it sounded so familiar! Even when posting about it last night it totally esacped me. Now all is revealed. 😀


  8. The moment you resolve not to take home new books, home they come in droves. Glad you found some great books about poetry, and will look forward to hearing what you think of them! I am trying SO hard not to go after a Keats book myself…


  9. Lovely new books (and for some reason, lovely new posts as four of your posts have appeared in my feedreader at once – silly bloglines). Particularly keen to hear your thoughts on the Lydia Davis and the Josipovici!


  10. Stefanie — how funny! But yes, all is revealed — that we happen to think alike 🙂

    Debby — you are right, but I’m afraid that not resolving to not to bring home books won’t help things either 🙂 I know you’re not keen on borrowing books much these days, with so much to read of your own, but I do have a very nice Keats collection if you want to borrow it.

    Litlove — silly Bloglines indeed! I’m glad they appeared eventually, at least. I’m so glad you’re a fellow Josipovici fan!


  11. So far, I have managed not to buy any books, but I assume that is because I have stayed out of bookstores (except Borders, where I go to look at books and write things down for the future) and am keeping busy with library books now that I’m writing book reviews for the library. And I’m only on my third book for the challenge (but it’s Harry Potter, which is long. I should have chosen all the short ones in the beginning, so I could feel like I was making progress. Oh well…).

    I haven’t read any of the titles in your latest haul, except The Year of Magical Thinking, which I loved. But I’m one of those people who has Joan Didion up on a pedastal. Right after I read that one, at a friend’s recommendation, I read C.S. Lewis’s A Grief Observed, which made a very interesting comparison/contrast.


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