Posts tagged ‘Book’

October 28, 2012

Book Shelves #44, 10.28.2012

by Biblioklept

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Book shelves series #44, forty-fourth Sunday of 2012

Not a particularly beautiful shelf—it sits between a TV and a soundbar; houses an unused Wii, an analog clock, and a picture of my kids. The books camouflage cords and wires.

You can see the whole shelf in the top pic. The big pic on the right: a Kokeshi doll set on Henry Miller volume that was a gift from a friend years ago in high school.

To the left: Bukowski, Miller, Anaïs Nin. Then, a section of stuff you can’t really see, including an extremely tattered copy of A Passage to India.

Lower right: Mass-market paperbacks that were especially important to me over the years and as a result have managed to hang around—even in cases where they were replaced by handsomer volumes. Usually obscured by the clock. Includes stuff by Borges, Carson McCullers, Hemingway, Twain, Chopin, Richard Wright . . .

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October 7, 2012

Book Shelves #41, 10.07.2012

by Biblioklept

 

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Book shelves series #41, forty-first Sunday of 2012

Lots of lovely books and mags with pictures.

Several years worth of subscription to The Believer, with an unsorted stack setting up front:

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I suppose I could write a whole post about The Believer, which I think is an excellent mag but no longer subscribe to, but instead, here’s a cover from Charles Burns:

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Charles Burns also shows up in this section, which includes stuff by R. Crumb, Daniel Clowes, Art Spiegelman, and more:

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The wife got me a subscription to The Paris Review last year; then, some unsorted books, and then the Nausicaä collection (also courtesy the wife):

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Nausicaä spread out on my couch. (My son and I ended up looking through them for an hour):

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September 30, 2012

Does Bret Easton Ellis Consider Himself a Serious Novelist?

by Biblioklept
INTERVIEWER

Do you not consider yourself a serious novelist?

ELLIS

I recently got into one of those weird, terrible fights writers can find themselves in with a friend who has for a long time been writing novels he can’t get published. For twenty-five years I’ve been trying to help him. He can’t rise to the occasion. He can’t write a novel because he doesn’t have the passion to write a novel. He’s writing a novel to make the money, get the film rights, become famous, whatever—all the wrong reasons. When he asked me to read the latest one, I told him, “Look, if this novel is superpassionate, and it really is about shit you’re going through, and pain, and it means the fucking world to you, by all means send it to me.” He said, “Yeah, it’s totally all those things,” and he sent it to me, and it was absolutely like all the others. I flipped out. I went ballistic on him. I said, “You never took this seriously! From the time you were twenty-three, it was always some kind of sterile exercise, like an imitation of a novel. And you never talk passionately about writers. I never hear you talk about books you’re reading. You just saw that a young writer in the eighties could make some cash from a literary novel. It was moneymaking to you.” And my friend was shocked, or pretended to be. “You know, it’s really amazing to hear you say that, Bret, because looking at your career and reading your books, I never thought you actually took it seriously. I saw your books as trendy knockoffs. I saw you as kind of a hack. I never thought you were really serious.” I mean, he’s not representative of the kind of person anyone should take seriously in literary matters, but when my friend said that, I’ll admit it gave me pause. I thought, What does it mean to be a “serious” novelist? Regardless of how my books have turned out, or how some people might have read them, I clearly don’t think I write trendy knockoffs. My books have all been very deeply felt. You don’t spend eight years of your life working on a trendy knockoff. In that sense I’ve been serious. But I don’t do lots of things that other serious ­writers do. I don’t write book reviews. I don’t sit on panels about the state of the novel. I don’t go to writer conferences. I don’t teach writing seminars. I don’t hang out at Yaddo or MacDowell. I’m not concerned with my reputation as a writer or where I stand relative to other writers. I’m not competitive or professionally ambitious. I don’t think about my work and my career in an overarching or systematic way. I don’t think about myself, as I think most writers do, as progressing toward some ideal of greatness. There’s no grand plan. All I know is that I write the books I want to write. All that other stuff is meaningless to me.

From Ellis’s Paris Review interview.

September 30, 2012

Book Shelves #40, 9.30.2012

by Biblioklept

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Book shelves series #40, fortieth Sunday of 2012

So we dip into the penultimate book shelf in this series, the one I shot last week in hazy hangover.

(This shelf is lower right; I’ll be working down to up and right to left).

Kids puzzles and a toy accordion block some books on folklore, history, and music.

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As always, sorry for the glare, blur, and poor lighting. Blame my ancient iPhone 3gs .

A book my grandmother gave me a few years ago:

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Sample:

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This is a wonderful old collection:

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Pissing in the Snow: I’ve gone to that well more than once.

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Kind of a motley crew here; the Barthes is misshelved but the lit crit shelves above are too full, so . . .

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Musical bios. More of these are scattered around the house. I gave away a few recently.

Some of these books made it on to a list I wrote of seven great books about rock and roll.

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Anthony Scaduto’s Dylan bio, which I, ahem, *borrowed* from my uncle years ago.

It made the rounds in high school but I managed to get it back somehow (but not its cover):

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September 23, 2012

Book Shelves #39, 9.23.2012

by Biblioklept

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Book shelves series #39, thirty-ninth Sunday of 2012

Too many beers yesterday. Can’t write anything good.

Can’t even take a decent pic.

Ten of these shelves hold books; hence books shelves #40-49.

And then there’s another bookcase in this weird workshop space, so that’ll be #50.

And then I’ll revisit the thing that I keep review copies in. And then my nightstand, which was #1.

So that’ll be like, #s 51 and 52.

And since there are 53 Sundays in 2012 I’ll do some kind of summary post.

And then I’ll be done thank God.

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September 16, 2012

Book Shelves #38, 9.16.2012

by Biblioklept

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Book shelves series #38, thirty-eighth Sunday of 2012

The final entry on this corner piece.

What have these volumes in common? They are all aesthetically pleasing.

They are all too tall to fit elsewhere comfortably.

Several issues of McSweeney’s, some art books, and some graphic novels:

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I’ve already expressed my strong enthusiasm for Charles Burns’s X’ed Out. The Acme Library pictured is part of Chris Ware’s series, and is beautiful and claustrophobic.

McSweeney’s #28 comprises eight little hardbacked fables that arrange into two “puzzle” covers:

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I’ve also written enthusiastically about Max Ernst’s surreal graphic novel, Une Semaine de Bonte:

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America’s Great Adventure is this wonderful book that pairs American writing (poems, songs, excerpts from novels and journals) with American paintings to tell a version of American history:

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It probably deserves its own review. Short review: It’s a wonderful book if you can find it.

September 14, 2012

Young Girl Reading — Pierre-Auguste Renoir

by Biblioklept

September 7, 2012

Seated Woman with a Book — Boris Kustodiev

by Biblioklept

September 2, 2012

Book Shelves #36, 9.02.2012

by Biblioklept

 

 

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Book shelves series #36, thirty-sixth Sunday of 2012

Continuing the corner book shelf in the family room.

The bookends are tschotskes from a ¥100 shop; we bought them years ago in Tokyo.

Not particularly fancy but they have a sentimental value. (The big guy is a tanuki, if you’re unfamiliar).

The tin on the far left is filled with miscellaneous papers, old stickers, other small bricabrac.

 

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Only four books on this shelf—the more-or-less complete works of J.D. Salinger, in gloriously ratty mass paperback editions:

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Not sure if these are my wife’s or mine—probably a mix of both. I stole most of these from my high school.

The Catcher in the Rye was as important to me as any other book, I suppose. I wrote about it here.

Nine Stories contains some of Salinger’s most disciplined stuff.

It took me years to finally find the discipline to read Seymour, which is probably the best thing he wrote.

 

August 19, 2012

Book Shelves #34, 8.19.2012

by Biblioklept

 

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Book shelves series #34, thirty-fourth Sunday of 2012

A little end table next to the couch in our family room.

The books on top are little art books we keep out for the kids to look at, including People

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On the second shelf, along with a cooking magazine: The People Could Fly and Lynda Barry’s One Hundred Demons:

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There are two drawers; one holds electronic manuals. The second holds McSweeney’s #33, the newspaper issue, which was pretty damn unwieldy:

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A comic from the McSweeney’s by Michael Kupperman:

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August 18, 2012

A Monk with a Book — Titian

by Biblioklept

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August 16, 2012

Crane, Book, and Oil Lamp — Pablo Picasso

by Biblioklept

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August 15, 2012

Noble Man Holding Book — Katsushika Hokusai

by Biblioklept

August 14, 2012

Man Holding a Book — Rogier van der Weyden

by Biblioklept

August 13, 2012

Madonna of the Book — Sandro Botticelli

by Biblioklept

August 10, 2012

Asleep with Book — Norman Rockwell

by Biblioklept

August 9, 2012

Interior with Book — Richard Diebenkorn

by Biblioklept

August 6, 2012

Portrait of a Girl with a Book — Agnolo Bronzino

by Biblioklept

August 5, 2012

The Good Book — Federico Zandomeneghi

by Biblioklept

July 29, 2012

Book Shelves #31, 7.29.2012

by Biblioklept

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Book shelves series #31, thirty-first Sunday of 2012

When I started this project I thought it would be a fun way to keep stock of the books that I have, and also a way to perhaps question why I hold on to the books that I hold on to.

I mean, why keep a book after you’ve read it?

Anyway, at times throughout this series I’ve gotten bored, or rushed; other times I’ve thought the idea was stupid, or narcissistic, or something even worse (although I don’t know what).

I like the shelves above the pedestrian, utilitarian jobber that I’ll feature this Sunday and the next: lots of aesthetically pleasing stuff there.

Not so this one, which holds photos and cookbooks and art books and old notebooks and sketchbooks and every kind of etcetera:

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At least that’s what I thought until I started digging into the cramped top shelf, dutifully bound to this project.

I wound up really enjoying myself, pausing over volumes that I haven’t looked at in ages, like this beauty:

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I’m not sure if the aesthetic joy of this postcard collection comes across in these lousy iPhone photo shots.

I got this on a trip to London when I was 11. It was just my mom and my brother and I. First we went to Singapore. We were coming back to the States for Christmas, and also to live, eventually. My brother broke his leg in Singapore jumping down some stairs and we didn’t realize it was broken until we got back to Florida.

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I used to draw and paint all the time, especially as a kid. Mostly animals.

There are at least a dozen skinny books like this on the shelf:

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I must have done hundreds of these as a kid:

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The shelf is also full of old comic strip collections that you probably recognize, like these guys:

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And this guy (and yes, I have the 7″ record from this collection)

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I also spent half an hour revising Rublowsky’s 1965 volume Pop Art, which is kind of fascinating in its contemporary proximity to its subject.

The cover’s not interesting, but Ken Heyman’s photos are; they show the artists in process. This one is kinda famous:

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And here’s Roy Lichtenstein:

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