book dump || Book Ban, My Ass

[Subtitled: Don’t judge me!] I don’t think anyone is surprised, but man, this has to be a record. A little over a week ago, I proposed to limit myself for one book a month. Turns out, I can’t do it. Huh. Moving on:

  • Suite Française, by Iréne Némirovsky. I blame the blogosphere for this one. I’m reading this very very soon.
  • Mythology, by Edith Hamilton. This book was my life when I was in my early teens. Sadly, I lent my yellowing paperback to a friend’s boyfriend. I didn’t like him much. He never gave it back. The follies of youth!
  • Ethan Frome and Selected Stories, by Edith Wharton. I am skittish around my mother’s copies of Wharton’s novels, but I’ve always wanted to read her, and so why not read her in my favorite form?
  • The Dogs of Babel, by Carolyn Parkhurst. I hid this at the shadowy-est corner of the bookstore, to give me time to research the novel. [Ooh, I made an informed decision.] It’s all good.
  • Last Steps: The Last Writings of Leo Tolstoy. My first Tolstoy! I just read excerpts from his What is Art? and loved it. I’m posting my thoughts here for my stop for the Classics Circuit. He makes me say, “Hell, yeah!” [I’ve read two others, though, and they’re a tad moralistic. But I read on.]
  • Water for Elephants, by Sara Gruen. I have always sort-of-wanted to read this. But it was the threat of having the cover art replaced by pictures of Robert Pattinson [there’s a movie coming, I heard] was what finally made me get a copy.
  • Cecilia, by Linda Ferri. Ah, Ancient Rome. Yeah, you know as well as I do that I got this because it was published by Europa Editions. I loved The Elegance of the Hedgehog, and Europas are rather difficult to find in these parts.
  • The Architecture of Happiness, by Alain de Botton. Clickie for navel-gazing on a different kind of book-love..
  • The Journal of Joyce Carol Oates: 1973-1982. Shall be “Currently Reading” until I’m not, I guess. Loving it so far. Which is funny, because I haven’t read much of Oates. Which is funny, because I now have six of her books, though granted that’s a teensy part of her ridiculously large backlist.
  • Yes, that’s the 2010 Swimsuit Edition of Sports Illustrated.
  • And I bought romance novels, my first couple after a long-ass time. I hadn’t realized how much I missed the genre until, well, until I was looking at a big stack of them over at BookSale. All historicals, in one way or another: The Perfect Wife by Victoria Alexander; Tumbling Through Time by Gwyn Cready; To Catch a Highlander by Karen Hawkins.

Maybe next time, I won’t resolve to not buy books. I’ll just let it happen. After all, I’ll be unemployed by the end of this month. Puff. Any thoughts? On the books, and not the fact that I actually believed I could stop myself from getting more books?

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25 comments

  1. Haha I haven’t read any of these myself so I can’t comment on the content, but I heard Water for Elephants is supposed to be pretty good though.

    Ohh books pretty pretty books. I actually might be heading to a secondhand bookstore to treat myself tonight, I’ve been envying books for months (I can’t even remember the last time I bought one) and I figure if I’m going to spurge at least I’ll try to do it in a semi-affordable way.

    And I totally don’t believe you will stop buying books just because you are unemployed; you’ll just take it out of your food budget ;)

    1. I don’t even remember the feeling of not remembering what it was like the last time I bought a book. Oy, haha. I haunt BookSales too, but the danger there is picking up books I won’t usually go for, but would buy anyway because they’re cheap. Augh. I’ve been trying to control that bit, haha.

      I have gone hungry because I needed a book. Le sigh.

  2. selena · · Reply

    That reminds me. I’m supposed to buy Suite Française. And also to post my new loot.

    Oh, that also reminds me, don’t feel bad – I told myself I’d be reading from my TBR all year. Instead, I’ve added 40 new books to my shelves. Yay for lying to myself.

    1. Yes please, yes please. I’m reading Suite Française right now, it’s such a rich and dense book.

      And, a high-five for lying to ourselves, haha. It’s a fatal flaw, book-loving, haha.

  3. You know, with a title like “book dump,” I always assume you’re DUMPING books, not accruing more!

    1. Sorry if it’s misleading, haha. But I’ve always like blaming the powers that be for, er, dumping books into my lap. It makes me lass liable, hahaha.

  4. Piper · · Reply

    I was a mythology geek in high school! That edition looks amazing. I need to find my ratty little paperback.

    A question: Why did you buy Oates’ journal if you haven’t read much of her work? It’s a strange buy for me with that logic, LOL

    1. I lost my ratty little paperback, haha. Re Oates, I’ve always been interested in how writers write, how they handle their poetics. And I respect Oates enough, despite having read too little of her. I suppose that I’ll read Oates’ fiction soon — so far, I’ve been really been liking what I read of her journals.

  5. Ha, I love this post. This is why I won’t do any book buying bans. I just know I’d fail.

    I still have my well worn copy of Hamilton’s Mythology too. Loved that book when I was in high school.

    Enjoy your books!

    1. Thanks, Iliana. I figured, the policing was worth a try. I realize now that it’ll take something really drastic before I stick to this, haha. Like abject poverty? :]

      I’m excited to reread Edith Hamilton, it’s been years. :)

  6. I’m intrigued by Dogs of Babel and Cecilia. I’ll eagerly wait for your reviews! Somehow I’ve never been attracted to Water for Elephants so I wonder what you’ll think of that too.

    1. Thanks, Mrs. B. I’ll get to them as soon as the urge strikes me. Oh, and I only bought Water for Elephants because of a very small interest, plus, well, the threat of a Robert Pattinson cover, haha.

  7. The JCO Journal is wonderful! So many insights to other authors.

    1. I’ve been reading parts of it every day since I bought it, and I’m liking what I’ve read so far — give or take a few points of disagreement, of course. :]

  8. I love your honesty about not being able to stick to the buying ban. I’m afraid that if I ever start one, I might have to hide all the books I do buy away.

    1. I do that, haha, hide books from my boyfriend when I come home with new books, haha. I did think about hiding this loot too, but, I figured, why lie to myself? I already lied to myself when I thought I’d have a book ban, haha.

  9. Nemirovsky is a blogosphere phenom right now. But for my own semi-ban, I would own it by now too.

    Ethan Frome is one of the best novellas ever written. A beautiful, beautiful book. Great choice.

    About a year ago, I picked up The Dogs of Babel in a library book sale. I had done no research, but paperbacks were like $0.50. Hard not to take a shot. And it has been on my shelf, patiently waiting. I actually picked it up yesterday, but am currently working on Cloud Atlas so that was just to consider whether I should get to it, you know, “soon.” Which generally means in 6-9 months. Given that you have purchased it after thorough research, I have no reason not to read it “immediately” which means maybe by September.

    1. Currently reading Suite Française, the novel’s quite rich and dense. And I’ve already met at least one character that I didn’t like much. Therefore, it looks promising, haha. :] And, like I said above, I’ve always wanted to read Wharton, but I figured I’d read one of her shorter works.

      Good luck with reading The Dogs of Babel, come September, :) — accdg to my Google-fu, a lot of people think highly of it. I’ve read a couple of pages will I was trolling the bookstore, and I liked the prose a lot.

  10. Interesting pile of books. Seeing as Saramago has just passed away, perhaps you should add “Blindness” to your list? (That is, if you haven’t already read it.)

    1. Thank you, but I tried reading Saramago before, and we didn’t get along so well. I suppose I’ll read Blindness. But it doesn’t feel right to me that I’d only read him because he’s dead.

  11. stilettostorytime · · Reply

    Edith Hamilton’s Mythology is one of my favorite books. Also wanted to point this out to you…made me think of you. I mentioned your blog to her as well:
    http://leeswammes.wordpress.com/2010/06/15/book-bloggers-abroad-new-international-event/

    Courtney

    1. Oh, thank you, yes. I just saw her email, and would love to be a part of it. :) Thank you for recommending me.

  12. I’ve got Suite Francaise on my shelf as well – which I also intend to read very soon!

    Been meaning to read Water For Elephants as well.

    No book buying’s a nightmare – I survived two months, but then again, I was moving house in those two months, and was working about 16 hour days, so it didn’t seem that difficult! Got a three month ban going on right now, which might be slightly worse, as I already broke it after being down in the dumps one fine day…..

    1. I kind of feel glad that people have plans to read the same book I plan on reading. Makes me feel guilty about buying so much books, haha. I have so many good reasons for not buying books, I tell myself. But nah, all ignored.

  13. […] and Lydia Davis’ short story collection Break It Down for Metakritiko. [2] Added several new books to the TBR Land Mass, effectively confirming that I have no resolve whatsoever when it comes to […]

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