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.