Friday, November 19

two books i have read and four i haven't yet

honored guest by joy williams
© 2004
213 pages
i special ordered this book at modern times bookstore. i got it maybe two weeks after the initial transaction. i lent it to a friend who said it was too depressing to read. i think this reinforced my positive opinion of the book. i liked the first story a lot, 'honored guest'. this is probably a given. i like any story that has to do with mother-daughter relationships, cancer, or death. i like when characters are insulting and try to hurt each other with words. i hope this doesn't mean that i myself am insulting and like to hurt others with words. the first page had the line "like, you moron" which i thought was funny. another story i liked was 'substance'. a friend dies and leaves his posessions to his friends, and a woman named louise gets the dog. in the story each of the characters take turns having parties. it made me feel like i wanted more friends. this would bother me more if everyone didn't seem so depressed.
aliens of affection by padgett powell
© 1998
221 pages
a friend let me borrow this a long time ago. maybe in may of 2010. i'm not sure. it took me a long time to start reading it but he insisted i keep it. i'm glad he was not persistent about getting it back becuase when i got around to reading it i liked it a lot. one of my favorite stories was 'dump'. it seemed to be about finding love. he writes in a way that seems complicated, like it requires outlines. ("i shall eat this pork chop and wine. breakfast of chop and wine, blue wine pink chop, sweep the floor clean house. dust-free environment in which to begin breathing. down. wine and chop. chop. wine. purple.") in his author photo he is wearing an all-denim outfit. it seems like someone who wears all-denim rarely outlines. i also liked this line: "i want a girl impervious to harm, petty or grand."
mona minim and the smell of the sun by janet frame
© 1969
107 pages
i had heard a lot about janet frame from somebody that interned with me at 826 valencia. i found two of her books at community thrift and i thought the covers looked cool. the pages are very thick and the book generally has a good feeling to it, physically. this is a children's book about ants. it seems very sweet. i haven't gotten around to reading it yet but this is one sentence from a random page i just opened to that makes me look forward to reading more: "so they sat in the warm sitting room, sipping honey and combing their plaits and talking about what it would be like to have wings and fly, and the three things they wished for most in all the ant world, and before mona knew it she felt drowsy and barbara took her to her new bedroom and mona was asleep in almost no time and only once did she wake, to see her new aunt phyllis bending over her, and she didn't seem a fierce soldier any more, she was kind and gentle, pulling the pretty sunflower-petal coverlet over her where she lay in bed, to keep her warm all night."
owls do cry by janet frame
© 1961
167 pages
this cover is intruiging to me. the first page seems to talk in depth about nature which is averse to me, usually. most of the dialogue is presented in this format, sans quotation marks:
-and this is my dinner service from the mortons. and this is the teashower. isn't it lovely? i'm showing you all these because you say you are not coming to the wedding. i'm really having an evening to show off my presents. and look at all the handkerchiefs and salad servers.
she was overwhelmed and excited.
i like that, 'she was overwhelmed and excited'. when i bent back the pages of the book the binding broke a little and it seemed like the pages were being held together by some sort of tacky glue. makes me rescind my thoughts on the good physical feeling of the books. hope to read this soon but the margins are quite small so it might be hard.
black coffee blues by henry rollins
© 1992
141 pages
i bought this at the san francisco public library bookstore. there are maybe two poems in here, a list of '61 dreams 1986-1989' which is interesting to me. most of it seems like journal writing, which is cool. i like reading stories about women. i liked reading one part, where a girl is kissing a boy and a milk commercial comes on the television. the girl repeats what the girl in the commercial says ("ummm, yummy") and takes the boy's penis out of his pants. she talks into it like a microphone. the girl leaves because she's going to go see "that new ted bundy documentary". she says, "have you ever seen him, he is so hot. all my friends want to rip his clothes off. if any of them call here looking for me, tell them i am on my way, bye!"
museums & women and other stories
by john updike
© 1967
282 pages
i bought this at adobe books while waiting for a reading to start. i went alone and felt self-conscious so i looked through the shelves manically. i liked the title of this so i bought it. the girl who i gave my money to said, "did you come for the reading or did you just walk in". i told her i had come for the reading. i felt nervous that she was accusing me of something, like i wasn't an authentic person if i had just 'happened' to walk in. i always try to read john updike. i have maybe four of his books i haven't read yet. this postcard was inside of the book. maybe the girl put it there, i don't remember. the title of it is 'there is nothing wrong in this whole wide world'.

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