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Library Loot

July 15, 2009

So, I said that I wouldn’t be getting many books from the library for a while, at least until I finish the books I’ve already got. Well, I failed 🙂


Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto

Juxtaposes two tales about mothers, trans-sexuality, kitchens, love, tragedy, and the terms they all come to in the minds of a pair of free-spirited young women in contemporary Japan.

I’ve ordered the following books from my library, they should arrive soon enough (I hope):

Sixty Stories by Donald Barthelme

With these audacious and murderously witty stories, Donald Barthelme threw the preoccupations of our time into the literary equivalent of a Cuisinart and served up a gorgeous salad of American culture, high and low. Here are the urban upheavals reimagined as frontier myth; travelogues through countries that might have been created by Kafka; cryptic dialogues that bore down to the bedrock of our longings, dreams, and angsts. Like all of Barthelme’s work, the sixty stories collected in this volume are triumphs of language and perception, at once unsettling and irresistible.

Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn

Nevin Nollop left the islanders of Nollop with the treasured legacy of his pangram “the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog”. But as the letters begin to crumble on the monumental inscription, the island’s council forbids the use of the lost letters and silence threatens Ella and her family.

God: A Biography

What sort of “person” is God? Is it possible to approach him not as an object of religious reverence, but as the protagonist of the world’s greatest book–as a character who possesses all the depths, contradictions, and abiguities of a Hamlet? In this “brilliant, audacious book” (Chicago Tribune), a former Jesuit marshalls a vast array of learning and knowledge of the Hebrew Bible to illuminate God–and man–with a sense of discovery and wonder.

Numbers in the Dark by Italo Calvino

Numbers in the Dark is a collection of short stories covering the length of Italo Calvino’s extraordinary writing career, from when he was a teenager to shortly before his death. They include witty allegories and wise fables; a town where everything has been forbidden apart from the game of tip-cat; a pitiable tribe watching the flight paths of guided missiles from outside their mud huts; a computer programmer considering the possible sequence of a series of brutal acts; and dialogues with Henry Ford, a Neanderthal and the gloomy, overthrown Montezuma …

Random Family: Love, Drugs, Trouble and Coming of Age in the Bronx by Adrian Nicole LeBlanc

One of the best works of investigative journalism in years, Random Family tells the story of growing up in the Latino ghettos of the Bronx, a story of drug-dealers, young mothers, poverty and violence, a family saga like no other. It’s 1985 in the Bronx and teenagers Jessica and Coco are dating drug dealers and getting pregnant. Fifteen years later, they each have five children, Jessica is a grandmother and her drug-dealer boyfriend is serving a life sentence. Welcome to their world. Adrian Nicole LeBlanc, a prize-winning investigative journalist, has spent a decade accompanying and recording the lives of a motley crew of Latinos living in the Bronx. The result is this extraordinary portrait of love, sex and survival, one of the most riveting and highly acclaimed books of the decade.

11 Comments leave one →
  1. July 15, 2009 10:43 pm

    I had seen Ella Minnow Pea mentioned before but hadn’t read the synopsis before. It sounds like it could be a fun read!

    • July 15, 2009 11:27 pm

      It seems to have divided people around the blogosphere, I’ve been meaning to read it. Hope it’s good.

  2. July 16, 2009 4:21 am

    All sound really good. Look forward to reviews!

  3. July 16, 2009 3:18 pm

    But at least you got some really good ones! 🙂


  4. July 16, 2009 8:37 pm

    Oh, enjoy Kitchen! It is amazing.

  5. unfinishedperson permalink
    July 17, 2009 2:06 pm

    Wow. At least you’ve set your sights really low. 😉 I’d probably end up selecting just one of those, because there’s no way I would get to all of them, even though all of them look intriguing, especially Kitchen and God.

  6. July 17, 2009 3:00 pm

    These all look good! Random Family has been on my amazon wish list for a while now – read a great review of that one.

  7. July 17, 2009 3:37 pm

    unfinishedperson – if I’m going to fail then I might as well do it in style. Yes, the God biography looks very interesting, I’m an atheist but I think the book offers quite a unique perspective.

    JoAnn – yeah, I saw it recommended somewhere, it reminds me of the HBO series The Corner (that reminds me I need to read the book) so it’s all good.

  8. July 23, 2009 7:32 pm

    The library is too far away from me and I’m too lazy. So I buy. Shamelessly. Although used if I can. I just picked up my first Banana Yoshimoto book and am really excited! I’ve also heard *great* things about Ella Minnow Pea. Enjoy!

    • July 24, 2009 6:54 am

      My library (well I say my library it’s more for everyone in the city…but don’t tell anyone that) is about a five-ten minute walk. Although, occasionally, even that is too long a walk. I’ll probably start the Banana Yoshimoto book soon.

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