Thursday, July 14, 2005

“My” Side of the Bed?

Most of the books on “my” side of the bed are Cheryl’s, and she has even larger stacks on her side of the bed, so this will have to be a very partial list:

1. Anna’s Book, Barbara Vine (stolen from vacation house we stayed in a couple years ago at Sea Ranch, to be returned when we stay there again later this month)
2. The New York Times Guide to the Best 1,000 Movies Ever Made
3. Crush, Richard Siken (more on this in a future post)
4. Austerlitz, W.G. Sebald
5. Midnight’s Children, Salman Rushdie (I’ve been trying to finish this for years)
6. Runaway, Alice Munro (Munro is one of my favorite authors but I’ve been trying to finish this book for, well, months at least)
7. Already Dead: A California Gothic, Denis Johnson (as Cheryl says, “pretty bad but in an interesting creative way”)
8. Poets in Their Youth, Eileen Simpson (oops, did I borrow this from you ages ago, Diane?)
9. Me Talk Pretty One Day, David Sedaris
10. The Last Samurai, Helen DeWitt (no relation to the Tom Cruise movie; experimental and very interesting novel if you can get through the first 50 pages)
11. Autobiography of Red, Anne Carson (everyone should have this at their bedside)
12. Dude, Where’s My Country?, Michael Moore
13. The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini
14. Dancer, Colum McCann (I love love love this book! I liked The Kite Runner but why it’s on the bestseller list and this amazing novel about Rudolf Nureyev is not, I don’t know)
15. Here There Was Once a Country: Poems, Venus Khoury-Ghata, translated by Marilyn Hacker
16. New York Times, last Sunday’s edition
17. New England Review, current issue
18. Harper’s, many, many old issues that need to be recycled
19. Granta, special issue of essays on music (highly recommended!)
20. Selected Poems, Galway Kinnell (autographed by Kinnell: Before my Aunt Marcy’s death, she went to a book signing just to get this book autographed for me, her poet nephew. Kinnell asked her if I was a romantic or a purist, and she said she didn’t know but guessed a purist. Kinnell said in that case he’d just sign his name because a purist probably wouldn’t want a personal note.)
21. A Sight for Sore Eyes, Ruth Rendell
22. Access Guide: California Wine Country
23. Jacqueline du Pré: A Biography, Carol Easton (research for poem in forthcoming book)
24. The Prospect Before Her: A History of Women in Western Europe 1500-1800, Olwen Hufton (research for book after forthcoming book, full of fascinating facts like did you know that women who died in childbirth used to be buried with a good set of walking shoes so they could make the trek back from eternity to check on their child?)
25. Man in the Holocene, Max Frisch (I know a lot of people think this is one of the 20th Century’s masterpieces, but I couldn’t get into it)
26. The Second Assistant: A Tale from the Bottom of the Hollywood Ladder, Clare Naylor and Mimi Hare (I have no idea)
27. One Advair diskus inhaler (for Cheryl’s asthma)
28. One pen (nothing to write on)



Diane K. Martin said...

Wow, Robert. Your pile of books is much more impressive than my pile of books. But can I borrow Dancer? I meant to ask you way back when you read it... Maybe the Alice Munro too, but one book at a time, because I'm bad--and I promise to return the Campbell McGrath next time I see you!

Re Galway's signature--was your aunt right? Are you a purist or a romantic? I would have said romantic (about you).... And I got Galway's signature-- on his chapbook (?) of The Bear way back in 1968 or 1969 when he read at the University of Rochester. When my parents moved, in the seventies, that was not, apparently, of any interest to them and it disappeared.

Robert said...

I'd say I'm a romantic, but my aunt probably figured if I was so damn romantic, why didn't I ever remember her birthday?