Thursday, February 08, 2007

Acquired on the Road

As anticipated, I arrived home from my travels with a stack of new books. I had only a very small suitcase to convey them home in, so I restrained myself somewhat. Still, I managed to acquire some treasures.


Paul Auster’s Hand to Mouth: A Chronicle of Early Failure: This one seemed a fine addition to my rapidly expanding Auster collection. I wanted to read it because it focuses on Auster's early years as a struggling writer and I'm interested in his writing process. I wanted to own it because of the marvellous Sam Messer painting of Auster's typewriter that appears on the cover.



Anatole Broyard’s Kafka Was All the Rage: A Greenwich Village Memoir: I bought a copy of this book a number years ago because of my fascination with the time and place it details, but I gave it to a friend before I had a chance to read it. I wasn't going to pass it up a second time.





Terry Eagleton's How to Read a Poem: Eagleton on the virtues of the close reading of poems—how could I resist?






Michael Holroyd’s Works on Paper: The Craft of Biography and Autobiography: So long as I'm on a biography bender, a few essays on the craft by an accomplished biographer struck me as excellent supplementary reading. Plus it was selling for a song on the remainder table.





Kelly Link’s Magic For Beginners: I've been hearing great things about this short story collection for some time on various blogs but I hadn't yet come upon it on the shelves of a bookstore. When I spied it, I snapped it up immediately.




Virginia Woolf’s The London Scene: Six Essays on London Life: I think this is my favourite of this round of purchases. I'm a huge fan of Virginia Woolf's essays but I had not previously encountered these ones. They were written as a series for Good Housekeeping in the early 1930s but they have only recently been collected together in a single volume. It's a small book, beautifully designed, with a vivid cover painting of Hyde Park which dates from the same period as the essays, and the very nice finishing touch of map of London endpapers.

Needless to say, I arrived home feeling very pleased with my purchases.

9 comments:

Stefanie said...

What fun books you got! The essays on biography look very interesting. I hope you like Kelly Link, I really enjoyed her book.

patricia said...

Auster's 'Hand to Mouth' is a great read. I found his writings about his personal life and struggle fascinating. I bought and read it a couple years ago. I should take a peak at it again.

litlove said...

What lovely looking books - hugely tempting, particularly that one about the biographer's craft. I'll be very interested to know what you think of that.

collective said...

If you like the Messer painting of Auster's typewriter, you might try to track down a copy of the book The Story of My Typewriter, a collaboration between the two, featuring lots of paintings of Auster's typewriter.

LK said...

You bloody scored! I put the Woolf and Broyard books on my Amazon wish list.

Dorothy W. said...

That Woolf book looks great.

danielle said...

That Woolf book does look great! Lots of interesting goodies!! Enjoy!

Lesley said...

Oooh, lucky you for getting a copy of Magic for Beginners! And the rest of your new books look pretty interesting, too.

Bybee said...

You should be pleased with your purchases! That's a good day's work! The Auster book looks great.