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The Post About The Books I Bought From Amazon

November 2, 2009

I had a sudden urge to purchase some books. And so I did.

Invisible by Paul Auster

Sinuously constructed in four interlocking parts, “Invisible” opens in New York City in the spring of 1967 when twenty-year-old Adam Walker, an aspiring poet and student at Columbia University meets the enigmatic Frenchman Rudolf Born, and his silent and seductive girlfriend Margot. Before long, Walker finds himself caught in a perverse triangle that leads to a sudden, shocking act of violence that will alter the course of his life. Three different narrators tell the story, as it travels in time from 1967 to 2007 and moves from New York to Paris and to a remote Caribbean island in a story of unbridled sexual hunger and a relentless quest for justice. With uncompromising insight, Auster takes us to the shadowy borderland between truth and memory, authorship and identity to produce a work of unforgettable power that confirms his reputation as one of America’s most spectacularly inventive writers.

The Tetherballs of Bougainville by Mark Leyner

At the outset of the latest act of literary terrorism by the Esquire columnist and author of Et Tu, Babe, a thirteen-year-old boy named Mark Leyner is waiting for his father to be executed by lethal injection. Suddenly he learns that he has only one day to submit his entry for the Vincent and Lenore DiGiacomo/Oshimitsu Polymers America Award for the best screenplay written by a student at Maplewood Junior High School. The problem is that Leyner hasn’t even come up with a title.

The answer to that predicament is The Tetherballs of Bougainville, a bona fide novel that comprises memoir, screenplay, and movie review (with a little classy porn thrown in). Navigating the most remote tributaries of our popular culture, Leyner makes us weak with laughter while telling unnerving truths about the way we live right now.

Old Men in Love by Alasdair Gray

Men in Love, like The Arabian Nights, is about a storyteller whose stories contain other stories. As in Alasdair Gray’s Lanark, 1982 Janine, Poor Things, and The Book of Prefaces, this one has many styles of narrative and location. Periclean Athens, Renaissance Florence, Victorian Somerset mingle with Britain under the New Labour Party, viewed from the West End of Glasgow. More than 50% is fact and the rest possible, but must be read to be believed.

The Sunlight Dialogues by John Gardner

Who is the Sunlight Man?

Sheriff Fred Clumly is trying to unravel mysteries surrounding a drifter called “The Sunlight Man,” who is jailed for painting the word “LOVE” across two lanes of traffic in the small town of Batavia, New York, and later suspected of murder. Vivid, compassionate and often disturbing – with an astonishing cast of characters – this expansive novel is John Gardner’s masterpiece.

The Time of the Doves by Merce Rodoreda

With her mercurial husband dead and the Spanish Civil War raging, Natalia struggles to protect her two small children and clings to memories of her brief marriage and its equal portions of joy and misery.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. November 2, 2009 2:22 pm

    And you made some very interesting choices, too! I’m on the library waiting list for Auster’s book. I hadn’t heard of the others, but they look intriguing.


    • November 3, 2009 4:23 pm

      I wanted a shinyfancynewallmine version of Auster’s new book. Plus, it would take ages for my library to get it. And I want it now….now!!

      Have you read any more Auster?

  2. November 3, 2009 4:49 pm

    I don’t blame you for wanting that shiny new one all for your own. 🙂 I have read a few other Austers: Travels In The Scriptorium, Timbuktu, Man In The Dark, and The Book of Illusions. I have a lot more to go! Timbuktu and Book of Illusions have been my favorites so far.


    • November 3, 2009 4:16 pm

      I can see why you would enjoy Timbuktu. Travels in the Scriptorium is his worst, I’m looking forward to Invisible his last two books have been basically novellas so it’ll be nice to get my teeth into something more substantial.

      Plus, he has book already written to be published next year.

      “Another book Sunset Park is already written and waiting to be published after Invisible. “I think my old man cycle is over. Invisible is about the innocence of youth.”

      Sunset Park appears to be so too, featuring four penniless twenty-somethings and situated in the post credit-crunch era of the here and now. “It is set in a down at heel neighbourhood in Brooklyn…They take over an abandoned house to become squatters.””

  3. November 4, 2009 9:11 pm

    Interesting choices. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on Old Men In Love.
    Thanks for the tips on sleeping. We do those things now. I’d love for him to find some long term solution that would end his insomnia. Since he has trouble shutting off his brain, I think a lobotomy would be best 🙂

    • November 5, 2009 2:30 pm

      Ha, yeah supposedly writing down what you’re thinking before you go to bed is good. I’ve never tried it myself but who knows, sometimes the best thing is to get into a routine although I’ll say again I’ve never suffered from insomnia so it might not work.

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