somewhat random bookpost

I should be banned from bookstores for my own protection. Today, in Amsterdam, we visited the American Book Centre, which I love love love, and I had promised myself I wouldn’t buy anything, but of course I did. And since I really suck at math the total was more than I thought it would be, but I didn’t want to put any of the books back…I really don’t understand how that happened by the way. I had totaled it without subtracting the student discount (10%), but the total with discount was more than the total I had envisaged without discount.

So the winners were:

Michael Chabon’s Maps and Legends
Harold Pinter’s The Homecoming
Edward Albee’s Delicate Balance
Jonathan Littell’s The Kindly Ones

I’m especially looking forward to the Pinter and Albee plays. I read Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? for one of my classes ("Broadway to Hollywood") and it was wonderful; and Harold Pinter is so well known I felt I needed to read something of his (of course, seeing it would be better, but as I’m in the Netherlands and don’t want to see it in Dutch, even if it were available and I don’t think it is, I’ll have to stick with reading it for the time being).

I bought the Chabon book because I’ve read his The Jewish Policeman’s Union and saw him give a talk at Berkeley, which he did very well. The book is a collection of short essays about genre fiction and the writing process itself.

Jonathan Littell’s is the heaviest book of the lot, both in subject matter and size, but I’m really looking forward to it. But first I need to finish Carol Shield’s Unless, which is promising to shape up very nicely. Oh, and if you’re looking for a book to read, go find David Lodge’s Deaf Sentence, it’s wonderfully well written and interesting and funny. You also learn about linguistics and suicide notes along the way, an added bonus.

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