New Books (and Some I Left at the Store)

Or: Paying Tithe to the Bookstore

I went a little crazy today….

  1. Bush on the Couch: Inside the Mind of the President by Justin A. Frank, MD. Actually I started this several weeks ago, but had to return it to the library to avoid further fines. Add $3 of fines to the total cost — hope it’s worthwhile…
  2. Stuart: A Life Backwards by Alexander Masters. I heard about this one in the NYT a while back, I think, and was intrigued. It’s really told backwards — from dying, to getting back on his feet, to being homeless, to being a shining pre-teen boy. It’s the story of what went wrong. And a sort of undoing, maybe. It’s also British, so it’s interesting to explore this weird sophistication I always assign to British spellings and accents, even when they belong to non-sophisticated people and topics. The cleaning women in York come to mind. And that guy in Love, Actually who comes to Wisconsin and instantly has a harem of sorts. Doesn’t “mould” sound nicer than “mold”?
  3. On Language by Noam Chomsky. A friend’s friend wrote a song once called Noamy is my Homie. I’m not totally sure what I’m getting into with this one (or if I’ll ever actually read it), but the price was right. I flipped through and saw sentence diagrams and comparisons of rules of reflexivity in different languages. I got excited.
  4. The Autograph Man: A Novel by Zadie Smith. I’ve heard that this one isn’t as good as her White Teeth or On Beauty (which I really enjoyed), but the format looks slightly experimental, and the text looks at the same time playful and complex. I’m down with experimentation, especially by Zadie Smith.
  5. I carried Everything is Miscellaneous by David Weinberger around for a while, considering a purchase, but eventually remembered that I’d requested it from another library and opted not to buy it. Only to find out when I got home, of course, that my order was canceled. Typical. It’s in high demand in the state’s library system, and it’s dedicated “to the librarians.” I’m not sure if I’ll collapse and buy it, or wait until it a.) becomes a little less popular or b.) comes out in paperback.
  6. Another want: The Mistress’s Daughter by A. M. Homes. I’m curious to read her memoir and see if there’s a source of her insightful, surreal, sometimes creepy take on the world. I’ll read it even though I’m sick and tired of books that are titled the ___’s ___ (as in The Pilot’s Wife, The Time Traveler’s Wife, The Bonesetter’s Daughter, The Memory Keeper’s Daughter, The Astronaut’s Wife, etc.). Maybe this one is okay because it’s not The Man’s Woman, but The Woman’s Woman. I have yet to see “The So-and-so’s Son” and “The So-and-so’s Husband,” and that bothers me. But I still think A. M. Homes is cool, and I’ll still read her book (especially since it sounds like she actually is a mistress’s daughter, and because she went ahead and used the full apostrophe-s after mistress).
  7. And I subscribed to McSweeney’s for the first time ever. Apparently they lost a lot of money a few months ago, which makes me pretty sad. I’d been wanting a subscription for a while, and now that I’m out of school, I’ll have time to read it.
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5 Comments

Filed under Current Reading

5 responses to “New Books (and Some I Left at the Store)

  1. Kris

    The Bush book sounds interesting so you’ll have to let me know what you think. I want to look towards the future though – know of any good, mostly unbiased books on the presidential candidates? I’m excited to see Le Tigre, Ladytron, Peaches and Hot Chip in your recent sounds list! Let me know if you want the mash up (are those still considered cool?) of Peaches’ “Rock Show” with the Strokes and the Munsters theme.

  2. You cannot afford to wait to read the valuable and timely Everything is Miscellaneous. Your career, nay your very being, depends upon your purchasing this book immediately. (Your eyes are getting heavy) You must buy this book. (Oh so heavy) Multiple copies of this book…

    – David Weinberger

  3. When the author posts on your blog, it kind of makes you want to buy the book… Looks like another trip to the TC tonight…

  4. And Kris — I would love a mash-up! I actually don’t know what a mash-up is, so if it’s not even considered cool anymore, I’m really far behind. I’ve been listening to the “similar artists radio” on last.fm, and I think those were all from whoever sings that ice cream song “I can give you what you want…” etc. Anyway, it was good stuff!

  5. Kris

    The mp3 is on its way. By the way, the Ice Cream song is by New Young Pony Club. I have their ep if you want the songs (there’s only 3 or 4). Good stuff.

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