We went on one of our sprees last night. In other words, we had spent so much on used and remaindered books at Harvard Bookstore that we hit 20% discount time. We knew that going in: spree time involves a combination of careful planning (the need to have lists of “check for” titles ready) and being open to serendipitous discovery.
What did I get?
Jeanette Winterson’s The Stone Gods. I was feeling pretty good about her next book (whatever it might be) and then I read about it on Jeff VanderMeer’s blog: he said “If you can’t see the poetry in this book and the brilliance I kinda want to take away your birthday”
Charles Baxter’s The Art of Subtext: Beyond Plot. I loved Burning Down the House: Essays on Fiction, so as soon as heard about this I knew I had to get it. I didn’t realize The Art of is going to be a series, and Baxter is going to be series editor. (If this all weren’t excellent enough, Mark Doty is going to do The Art of Description.)
Karen Russell’s St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves. This was on my “look for” list. I’ve seen it around, and it seems the wonderfully odd kind of thing I’d like. Plus, I’ve been on a short story kick.
Jack Pendarvis’s Your Body Is Changing was my never heard of it before but decided I had to have it find. George Saunders blurbed it on the back cover, and said the guy was a “dangerously funny writer”. I happen to think Saunders is a genius, so this means he’s probably right about Pendarvis. (He blurbed Miranda July, and I loved No one belongs here more than you, so I don’t think he’s an indiscriminate blurb whore.)
I think I’ll be spending as much time as possible reading tomorrow. And probably for the next little while. Forget warm puppies, happiness is books. (Not that I don’t like puppies. But I’m allowed to have books and more books…)