New Books, Fall 2011

New Books, Fall 2011

  • Alain de Botton, The Art of Travel (2002) – I am a reluctant traveler, mostly because I don’t know how to reconcile myself to tourism. This is one more effort to figure out how to see the world, or to figure out if I even care to. From Pulpfiction on Main.
  • Allan Raymond, How To Rig An Election: Confessions of a Republican Operative (2008) – I read this in an evening last week. This dude told his hapless story after going to prison for that shady New Hampshire phone-jamming scandal in 2002. The best thing is that I hadn’t even heard of any of the candidates this guy directly worked with. These are my favourite political stories: the little narratives that no one else could tell. But what a grotesque piece of fluff. From Pulpfiction on Main.
  • Raymond Carver, Cathedral (1989) – from Pulpfiction on Main.
  • Linda Spence, Legacy: A Step-by-Step Guide to Writing Personal History (1997) – How to write personal history. Or, conversely, how to live personal history. This is full of questions to answer for life as much as for history because those are really the same thing. From Pulpfiction on Main.
  • John Banville, The Untouchable (1997) – I liked The Sea but not enough to buy anything else by John Banville until I found this book, which is about a spy. From Pulpfiction on Main.
  • Benedict Erofeev, Moscow Circles (1976) – I have a different translation of this, by Venedict Erofiev and titled Moscow to the End of the Line. Unfortunately I missed a play in yet another translation: Moscow Stations. One of my very favourite drinking books. From Pulpfiction on Main.
  • Tom Perotta, Election (1998) – I liked the movie, that I think was made in the same year, but I am curious to see if the book plays it all as broadly. From Pulpfiction on Main.
  • Todd Denault, The Greatest Game: the Montreal Canadiens, the Red Army, and the Night that Saved Hockey. (2010) – I guess the title spells it all out. A gift from my father, who is encouraging me to pursue research into the nexus of hockey and the Cold War.
  • Jay McInerney, Story Of My Life (1988) – I half-heartedly started this in the fall but to no avail. From Russell Books.
  • Bill Blaikie, The Blaikie Report: An Insider’s Look at Faith and Politics (2010) – I voted for Joe Comartin in the 2003 NDP leadership, but Bill Blaikie was my second preference and I wanted him to win. He wrote a book, and someone left a copy behind (presumably Glen Clark, because it is inscribed ‘To Glen!’ at the Dec 2011 convention and I was cleaning up and, well, I’d really like to have a copy of this book.
  • Jill Ker Conway, True North (1994) – Following her first memoir, The Road from Coorain, which I have but have not read. I look forward to reading them both, sometime, someday. From Russell books.
  • Paul Auster, City of Glass (1992) as adapted to graphic novel by Paul Karasik and David Mazzucchelli (2004) – I read the full New York Trilogy over one night in the fall of 2009. I didn’t even know that this existed until I saw it at Russell books.
  • Douglas Coupland, Polaroids From the Dead (1996) – I first learned about Joan Didion from an exhibit at the SFU gallery: Douglas Coupland’s favourite/most influential books, displayed with their covers glued to long sticks that formed a sort of vague box. The only ones I remember are Mike Davis, City of Quartz and Joan Didion, Slouching Towards Bethlehem. I think I borrowed Polaroids From the Dead from my friend Rich in 2002, during my first Coupland phase, but now I see it as somewhere that he may have really tried to do Joan Didion. From Russell books.
  • Paul Theroux, My Other Life (1996) – Another Paul Theroux book that I won’t read, to add to the other five I already have. This is a neat thing: a fake memoir. From Russell books.
  • Peter Gzowski, The Game Of Our Lives (1981) – I read this as a childhood fan, maybe in 1992. Peter Gzowski’s year with the Edmonton Oilers. Gretzky’s first era in the NHL I think. From Russell books.
  • Ken Dryden, The Game (1983) – “The best hockey book ever written” it says on the front and that is what I have been told by anyone who has ever read it as well. I will finally read it, now soon, maybe, that it is finally on my shelf in a 20th anniversary edition. From Russell books.
  • Byron Ricks, Homelands: Kayaking the Inside Passage (1999) – Just as it says, an account of a couple kayaking south from Alaska to Puget Sound. From Pulpfiction on Main.
  • Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business (1985) – I always meant to take one of these from the piles and piles slated for first year communications classes at the SFU Bookstore and finally got a copy from Pulpfiction on Main after finding a cartoon of the bit comparing 1984 to Brave New World.
  • David Spanier, Welcome to the Pleasuredome: Inside Las Vegas (1992) – I looked at this for years, on the shelf at Pulpfiction on Main and I finally bought it.
  • Jennifer Price, Flight Maps: Adventures with Nature in Modern America (1999) – all about plastic flamingos and birds-on-hats and forests-in-malls. From Pulpfiction on Main.

More new books, Fall 2011

  • Martin Amis, Time’s Arrow (1991) – This summer, my lawyer was reading London Fields and having some of the same trouble that I had with it a year ago; trouble that led me to leave it alone, rather than throw it across the room. I liked The Information enough that I bought this from the Munro’s discount pile.
  • Julian Barnes, England, England (1998) – Also from the Munro’s discount pile, for no discernable reason beyond the fact that it was there and I was curious.
  • Robert X Cringely, Accidental Empires: How the Boys of Silicon Valley Make Their Millions, Battle Foreign Competition, and Still Can’t Get a Date (1992) – Soon I will stop buying old books about the computer industry and start to read some of them. This is from Russell Books, where I have also been close to buying a 1998 memoir by the guy who ran Netscape.
  • Richard Ford, A Multitude of Sins (2001) – I have had Independence Day on my shelf for two years but keep waiting to read The Sportswriter first, so here is a set of short stories from the Munro’s discount shelves. I read the first story in the store.
  • bell hooks, All About Love: New Visions (2002) – A friend told another friend to read this several years ago, and I read the first three chapters one evening while staying at a different friend’s house while in Vancouver last December. Now my girlfriend is reading it too and I want to finish it. Ordered online, because no one seems to have it used, in Vancouver or Victoria.
  • Paul Theroux, The Happy Isles of Oceania: Paddling The Pacific (1992) – from the Munro’s discount shelves. I have six, maybe seven books by Paul Theroux that I have never read.
  • Thomas Frank, The Conquest of Cool: Business Culture, Counterculture, and the Rise of Hip Consumerism (1997) – They go on about this book in The Rebel Sell but when I saw piles of it at the SFU bookstore, most recently in 2010 when I was taking my Natural Disasters course, I assumed I could find a cheaper copy at a used bookstore. Apparently not; I finally ordered a copy online.
  • Kerry Banks, Pavel Bure: The Riddle of the Russian Rocket (1999) – This is exciting on three levels. I was a 9-year-old hockey fan with BURE – 10 on the back of my Canucks jersey. I am consistently fascinated by the early Russians, of whom Pavel Bure was among the last to formally ‘defect’ from the Red Army in order to play in the NHL. And there is the cultural side of it all that no one ever pries into; namely, Pavel Bure slash fanfic. And bless Kerry Banks for printing a list of “the homoerotic sayings of Tom Larscheid:” Don’t you just love to see the big guys play the body?  I know I do. Ordered online, used, from New York, because everyone in Vancouver apparently still has their copy on the shelf at home.
  • Andrew Potter, The Authenticity Hoax: How We Get Lost Finding Ourselves (2010) – This looks loosely like a follow-up to the stuff that I enjoyed the most in The Rebel Sell. I was waiting to find a paperback copy but there it was in the discount pile at Munro’s last week.
  • Katherine Harmon, The Map as Art: Contemporary Artists Explore Cartography (2010) – What a gorgeous book. I am going to buy a red coffee bench for my little home and now I have a book to put on it. A gift from my dear friend Sam, who drew me my own map of Vancouver when I moved away.
  • Hasan-Uddin Khan, International Style: Modernist Architecture from 1925 – 1965 (2009) – This is a true coffee table book, full of pictures of my favourite buildings, that was marked down to $7 at the Munro’s discount stack.
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