Book shelves series #30, thirtieth Sunday of 2012
See a full length shot of this book shelf (or don’t).
Lots of publication series editions here, including this batch of Melville House Art of the Contemporary Novella:
I reviewed most of these and they’re all very good—especially Sandokan.
Some ratty ratty Penguin Classics that I procured from various institutions I won’t name here. The Mallory was a particular obsession for a few years:
The Rousseau Coloring Book was a gift from a friend to our daughter, but I stole it and put it up here.
I reviewed all of Picador’s BIG IDEAS // small books series; I actually got a new one, Privacy, in the mail the other day. Violence and Humiliation are particularly good.
Next to those: various World of Art series books, most of them my wife’s. (Bonus points if you guess mine correctly):
I have no idea why these books are grouped here like this; I’m guessing they were all in the same box when we moved. I know we have multiple copies of several of these:
There’s a basket with a Klee book and some mini umbrellas and other stuff, not pictured, and then this lot on the end, including to “Introducing” books that are remainders from my freshman year of college; they are terrible and I should get rid of them. I stole this edition of The Stranger from my high school in the 10th or 11th grade. The Chronicles of Narnia box set was a gift from my aunt when I was like seven or eight:
Book shelves series #21, twenty-first Sunday of 2012: William T. Vollmann and David Foster Wallace
Sorry about the glare in the photo above. As I seem to attest weekly, photography is hard. Photographing books is hard. Lighting issues, glare etc. Anyway, this shelf is half Vollmann, half DFW. I’ve written so extensively about these guys on the site that I won’t bother linking to anything here. A few months ago, Gaddis’s JR and The Recognitions was hanging out here, but then I put Expelled and Imperial on the shelf, bought Everything and More, and also picked up some more Gaddis, and, well, anyway, had to move him up with Joyce, where he seems to belong. The paperback of The Pale King is a review copy; it has additional stuff. Maybe I should part with the hardback. It seems ridiculous to have them both.
The copy of Girl with Curious Hair is extremely important to me, as silly as that sounds. It was one of the first books I ever “reviewed” on this blog, back when I still focused almost entirely on books I’d stolen or books I’d never returned to. From that review:
Scott Martin was kind enough to loan me this book. Did he know that it would forever change the way I read? It was the first semester of my freshman year in college, and I was slowly reaching beyond stuff like Henry Miller, Wm Burroughs and Franz Kafka. David Foster Wallace’s short story collection Girl With Curious Hair introduced me to a whole new world of writing. Reading DFW is like having a very witty friend tell you a moving and funny story over a few beers. He’s hilarious, thought-provoking, and not nearly as hard to read as people seem to think.
I leave the bookmark I’ve been using in almost every book I read. When I pulled Girl from the shelf, I found a Polaroid of my cat:
He’s just a kitten here. His name is Remy. He no longer lives with us, but he’s still around. We moved a year ago from a bungalow set above the ground (i.e. with cat crawl space) to a ranch on a block (i.e. no crawl space). He didn’t want to move because he was having this romance with a stray my daughter named Pearly. I eventually trapped him and moved him to the new place, but I foolishly forgot he’d have no place to run and hide while getting acclimated. He ran away. A few months later I found him down the street. He looked happy and came up and talked to us. He followed us back to the new place and we gave him some people food treats. Then he left again. We seem him every now and then. He’s gotten surprisingly fat and seems to like the new people he’s taken up with. They have two boys, a little older than my kids. Sometimes I miss my cat.