I’ve been a sorry blogger lately, I must confess. I haven’t answered your kind comments on my posts or visited your blogs to write my own comments, although I have been reading everyone’s posts regularly. It’s just one of those times when my desire to read or my computer fatigue or both win out over my desire to blog. You probably know how that goes.
I did want to tell you about a dozen new books I bought recently, though. Two weekends ago my book-buying friends, Hobgoblin, and I took a trip up to the Northampton, Massachusetts, area to explore bookstores there, of which we found plenty, not just in Northampton, but in the surrounding towns as well. We visited five and could easily have found many more if we had had more time. It was worth a trip, and I’m looking forward to going back at some point. So, here’s what I found:
- Bill Bryson’s At Home: A Short History of Private Life. I’ve read rave reviews of this book, and I find the topic fascinating. At $5 for the hardcover, I couldn’t resist.
- Alfred Kazin’s A Walker in the City. I have a small but growing collection of books about walking, of which this is an important addition.
- Rebecca Solnit’s A Book of Migrations. I love Solnit’s book Wanderlust and recommend it to everyone who might possibly be interested. A Book of Migrations is about Solnit’s travels in Ireland.
- John Berger’s To the Wedding. I know absolutely nothing about this book, but John Berger is intriguing.
- John Berger’s Ways of Seeing. Art theory — who can resist?
- Jenny Erpenbeck’s Visitation. Another book and author I know nothing about, but I have vague memories of reading interesting things about her, so I went with it.
- Laura Kipnis’s Against Love: A Polemic. I’m intrigued by Kipnis and by the title of this book. I’m hoping to find some lively, controversial writing here.
- Mikhail Bulgakov’s Master and Margarita. I have heard about this book so many times on various blogs and in reviews, but I still couldn’t tell you what it’s about. I have a feeling it’s one of those hard-to-sum-up books.
- The Best American Essays 2011. I just started reading the 2010 edition of this series so I’ll be ready for the 2011 one soon. This series has introduced me to some awesomely great writers, and I’m unfailingly loyal to it.
- Frances Sheridan’s Memoirs of Miss Sidney Budolph. For when I’m in the mood for some eighteenth-century fiction.
- Laurie R. King’s The Moor. I found a trade-sized edition of this in very nice condition and couldn’t resist even though I have another book in the Russell series to read first.
- Nicholson Baker’s The Everlasting Story of Nory. I just heard an interview with Baker on Radio Open Source today, and it was great. Baker is my hero.
So those are my dozen books. I spent an entire two days in Manhattan this weekend but I didn’t step a foot into a bookstore, which is very unusual. But it was because my sister and her husband were in town, and they had other things on their agenda. Hanging out with my sister in the city was fabulous — it involved music, art, tall buildings, people-watching, Central Park, and Indian food — and I hope we can do it again sometime soon.