book dump || And More From Kael

I had planned on writing a Plans-for-March-Reading post, but one thing led to another. Met friends, had drinks, laughed at stupid jokes, puzzled over riddles. And then my boyfriend and I went to my friend Kael‘s place. Kael gives me an overflowing box of books–emphasizing that I only get to keep Yates (but I am relying on your forgetfulness, old friend). Surprisingly good books, haha, from the chronic book-hoarder. I proceeded to drool over said books while the boys played chess. Huh. Look at these babies:

Apologies for fuzzy quality. Wasn't wearing my glasses when I took the shot, and so I thought it'd even out, haha.

Awesome. Never mind that this stack completely throws whatever reading plans I had for March. Haha. Ha. Huh. Some notes on the books, from the bottom up:

  • The Reasons I Won’t Be Coming, by Elliot Perlman.*
  • A Slender Thread, by Diane Ackerman.
  • American Fiction, Vol. VII: The Best Unpublished Stories by Emerging Writers, edited by Alan Davis and Michael White (with Tim O’Brien as guest judge [like American Idol?]).
  • The Savage Detectives, by Roberto Bolaño.
  • 2666, by Roberto Bolaño.
  • Other People, by Martin Amis.
  • Wainewright the Poisoner, by Andrew Motion.
  • Mating, by Norman Rush.*
  • Pnin, by Vladimir Nabokov.
  • A Special Providence, by Richard Yates.*
  • Man Walks Into a Room, by Nicole Krauss.*
  • Read Hard: Five Years of Great Writing from The Believer, edited by Ed Park and Heidi Julavits.*
  • The Believer Book of Writers Talking to Writers, edited by Vendela Vida.*
  • The Pharmacist’s Mate, by Amy Fusselman.*
  • You Shall Know Our Velocity, by Dave Eggers.*
  • That red notebook’s my pocket red Moleskine, for booknotes on-the-go. It was a gift from a friend, Ria, and I’m dorking out on scribbling on it. I mean, it fits inside a book so it doubles as a bookmark, haha.

So many good books, I don’t know where to begin. But I tried (haha). Those with the asterisks, I’m pushing to the top of the TBR LandMass. With Bolaño, well, I’m quite certain I won’t be cozying up to this chunkster anytime soon, har. [If anyone has thoughts on a certain book up there, lemme hear it. I’m scared to Google them.] So excited. Yippee. Thanks, Kael (who stalks this blog, but refuses to say hello)!

Sorry if I sound giddy. I’ve had a lot of Vodka-Sprite. :]

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12 comments

  1. Lovely, Sasha. Sounds like you had a fun time…drinks, friends, free books.

    I have to admit, I’ve only heard of Nabokov and Eggers. But they look interesting, and always nice ot have hard backs for the personal library!

    What ever happened to Eggers? Sorry if that’s a dumb question. I remember that break out book–own it–is he still going strong?

    Have fune!

    1. Oh my, I wish these were all mine, haha. But yes, I definitely had a good night. :)

      As to Eggers, he’s gone places. :) Publisher, editor, all-around awesome guy. [Here’s his Wiki entry, because I’ll most likely end up quoting it all anyway, :p]

      You have a great one. My month’s looking up with this stack!

  2. Nokaj · · Reply

    Hey Sasha-
    I’ve read the Believer Book of Writers Talking to Writers – It’s great, wonderful interviews. You’ve rightly placed it at the top of your list.

    1. I sneaked a peek at it, and the roster’s quite impressive. I don’t know where to begin (as usual), so I suppose I’ll be reading a few interviews at a time. I’m just so excited for this little tower of books. :)

  3. I’m the wrong person to ask as I would say go for 2666. It’s aMAZing. Blew my top. Have The Savage Detectives and Man Walks into a Room on hand. I’m sure you can’t go wrong with either.

    Want to read the Eggers and the Vida. Love them both. But you know I won’t be reading the Yates anytime soon. :D Maybe near the end of the year?

    Thanks for the link to Kael, I’ve been looking for some Tagalog poetry. Do you have any current Filipiniana recommendations? Poetry and novels?

    1. Oh, Claire, I knew you’d be cheering for Bolano, haha. But he looks like a big fat commitment and I’m very skittish right now. :) I’ve read a few chapter of Krauss, and am liking it so far. I’ve been dipping into The Believer books too, reading an article here, an interview there. And with Yates, I’m waiting for the right juju. I don’t know when that will happen, but I want to savor the experience, so I’ll set him aside until he beckons me, haha.

      Kael (Mikael de Lara Co) is an awesome poet–he writes in Filipino and in English. We’re all waiting for his book, haha. As with Filipino authors, for short stories there’s Lakambini Sitoy. Poets: Joel M. Toledo has two books out (Chiaroscuro, The Long Lost Startle); L. Lacambra Ypil’s first collection (The Highest Hiding Place) was just beautiful. I’m excited for Miguel Syjuco’s novel, and I know you are too. And Wilfrido Nolledo is a little-known author I keep pushing to people (his novel, But for the Lovers, just blew me away). Here’s the first lines:

      He was beginning to eat flowers and the crescent moon was in his eyes when he awoke again. One night long ago when they had intercepted a code from the enemy on the shortwave and had not needed him anymore, they pulled out their tents, mantled him with leaves, and left him. They left him a rifle, a buri basket and a book of psalms, for the major had decreed in defense of this murder: Let the little legionnaire lie here and die; it is written, it shall be read. But the boy went on sleeping and did not die and when he awakened it was to see (it was to find himself alone) a bird, a whitewinged maya dart in from the west, perhaps headed for the monsoon. Steadying the Springfield, he cocked the hammer with a quivering thumb, and waited. It flew away, whatever it was, and now he squinted up and remembered that it was the first time in a long spell he had seen the sky, and he thought: It is longer, lonelier and lovelier than any of my prayers. He sighted the nimbus—an eagle in captivity—and fired.

      Man. That’s amazing. The prose is just inebriating.

      I babbled, hahaha.

  4. Wow! That’s all I’ll say.

    Just wow.

    1. That’s what I said when I saw this. I mean, the box is right beside the bed and I go Wow every time I glance at it. :)

  5. I am having SUCH book-pile-envy right now!! What an awesome friend to have, with such great taste in Literature!

    1. Haha, thank you. I’m sure he’ll get a kick out of your comment. :)

  6. Pnin is great, short, and darkly comic. It’ll help you whittle one title off the TBR and promises great enjoyment too.

    Of course, if you want to add more books to the TBR, I am conducting a giveaway at my book blog. You (or your readers) may be interested in the chance to win free books (with a wide range of choices) as part of my Tournament of Books coverage. You may have heard of the Tournament of Books, but, if not, you can read all about it over at my place.

    1. Thank for your thoughts on Pnin. :) About the TOB, well, I’ve bookmarked that and spend my intarwebz time studying the rules. Haha, it’s not your post, it’s how my brain works. I’ll be emailing you soon, don’t worry, as soon as the guidelines get through my thick brain. I’m hopeless! :0

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