Some tiny creature, mad with wrath,

Is coming nearer on the path.

--Edward Gorey

Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S. Outlying Islands

Writer, lawyer, cyclist, rock climber, wanderer of dark residential streets, friend.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Impulse Buys, South Hills

Notwithstanding that I used Christmas book-shopping as a blanket excuse to buy books for myself, this afternoon I got a little lost in a Half-Priced Books and extended my to-read list considerably. In order of withdrawal from the bags, today's purchases included:

Douglas Coupland, Generation X ($2.98 -- I don't expect terribly to like this book, but since I've sort of made fun of this author via his archetype without actually having read anything he's written, I decided the intellectually responsible thing to do would be to read this book then make fun of him. Yes, I'm about ten years behind the zeitgeist he never quite managed to instantiate, but just the same, better late than never.)

Umberto Eco, The Island of the Day Before ($7.98 -- Because I like it when authors make me feel vaguely stupid and illiterate)

Tomas Transtromer, Selected Poems 1954-1986 ($6.48 -- Just because)

Jorie Graham, Never ($6.98 -- Same)

Paul Theroux, My Secret History ($3.98 -- I read his My Other Life (?), and since this is its intellectual antecedent, yet another better late than never selection)

Richard Russo, The Whore's Child and Other Stories ($4.98 -- I have liked everything of Russo's I've read (Straight Man, Empire Galls), and found most of it laugh-out-loud funny)

Jeffrey Eugenides, Middlesex ($4.98 -- Sort of like the Coupland, except in this case I enter the reading with very high hopes, and hope it justifies all of the praise I've heard heaped on Eugenides)

Philip Roth, The Plot Against America ($5.98 -- Can't believe I found something this new in hardcover for this price. I love Roth generally, and have wanted to read this since I read the unequivocally positive reviews)

Mary McCarthy, Birds of America ($5.48 -- I adored The Company She Keeps, and intended when I read it years ago to follow up with more McCarthy; tying up a loose end)

Other impulse buys (at a Toys R Us next door): a leather and felt backgammon set and an old-fashioned wiffleball bat and ball. And an oversized Pez dispenser in the shape of Yoda, a future gift for someone who will love it.

None of these diversions bode well for the frequency of my posting, and I have some other poetry books I still intend to pick up, but more than damaging to my writing here, I hope these books will do far more harm to the time I spend in front of the TV.


Blogger emily said...

so, i totally have a little place in my heart for douglas coupland. he's canadian, for chrissake! one of my favorite signed books is signed by coupland. it says, "i'm sorry you drove around drunk for an hour and missed half of my reading." goddamn nonexistent parking in philadelphia!

and if you don't like "middlesex", i'll, well, i don't know what i'll do. but i'll be surprised.


6:23 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

Coupland's weird. I think he's very hit or miss. I haven't read Generation X since high school, but I liked it then. I feel like it would feel pretty dated now, but it felt a little dated when I read it 12 years ago. All Families are Psychotic is all right. I'm going to stop talking about Coupland.

Steph absolutely loved Middlesex. I'm not cool enough to have read it yet.

My impulse buy over the holidays was A Scanner Darkly, but I think my taste for Dick is fading.

1:06 AM  

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