new additions to my library

Monday, February 27, 2012

When my American Express bill came in this past month, something odd and spectacularly unprecedented occurred: I owed a mere ninety-nine cents.  True, I have been so holed up here, so focused on work, that I've been operating as a blinkered horse, my eyes on the finish line (s), my mind shutting out all purchase-able distractions.  Also true: Except when it comes to buying gifts (I buy many, many gifts) I have never been exactly profligate.  Malls drive me batty.  Excess crowds me in.  My decorating aesthetic is whatever lies between homey and uncluttered, warm and just enough.  My wardrobe features three pairs of jeans, some turtlenecks, some sweaters/coats, an occasional skirt, and some dresses, for when I have to wear dresses.  My mother used to buy me my most interesting, most meaningful clothes.  She passed away several years ago, and I never rose to the challenge.

(I do like shoes.  By my count, I have too many shoes.)

Still, what I do buy is books—I buy a lot of books—in support of an industry, in specific support of specific authors.  Thus, I rectified my no-buying spree yesterday by adding a number of titles to my personal library, all of them, I realize, falling into the nonfiction camp.  That's nonfiction the way I define it, and not the way John D'Agata wishes I would.  (For more on the D'Agata controversy, I suggest you read the Gideon Lewis-Kraus RIFF in the New York Times.) 

Among the titles that will (at one point) be reported on here are the following:

Rough Likeness: Essays (Lia Purpura)
Create Dangerously: The Immigrant Artist at Work (Edwidge Danticat)
Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, death, and hope in a Mumbai undercity (Katherine Boo)
Winter: Five Windows on the Season (Adam Gopnik)
House of Stone: A Memoir of Home, Family, and a Lost Middle East (Anthony Shadid)
Istanbul: Memories and the City (Orhan Pamuk)
The Naive and the Sentimental Novelist (Orhan Pamuk)

3 comments:

Serena said...

I don't read a ton of nonfiction, but some of these titles intrigue me. I also tend to buy many gifts...I see a thing and pick it up for someone's birthday down the road.

Richard Gilbert said...

What a great list! My vice is buying books . . . and not getting them all read! I have drawers full, a canvas tote bag full, counter and tabletops stacked. And yet I buy more.

I am always reading at least two books, but I think to become a truly serious reader I must give up as much movie watching as I do. Hard choices in life, you know?

Mandy said...

First of all, there are never too many shoes. :)

And I just love that you went out and bought books after realizing you spent so little the month previously. :)

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