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On Love by Alain de Botton

Girlfriend in a coma by Douglas Coupland

Selected Poems, 1956-68 by Leonard Cohen

Institutes of the Christian Religion Volume One by John Calvin

Ten Thousand Light-Years from Home by James Tiptree Jr.

Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke

Emma by Jane Austen

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Member: ifjuly

CollectionsYour library (3,069), Currently reading (7), Favorites (71), All collections (3,070)

Reviews36 reviews

Tagsfiction (200), literature (150), female author (109), contemporary (102), children's literature (94), poetry (92), food (69), cooking (66), american (58), nonfiction (39) — see all tags

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About methe right sentence can marry me or make me go blind.

i am a softie and oh-so-sentimental and it's reflected in the lines i hold onto--everything is desperation and mute clinging for me. hence the love for brilliant suicides, slipping crazed lonelies, and those burnt on conviction--mishima, kleist, pound, genet, walser, nerval, benjamin, lorca, smart, proust, nabokov in certain instances--so teenage of me, i know. confusion over what it means to extend yourself and the impossibility of "reaching" anything/anyone outside of yourself coupled with the endless drive to achieve that impossibility upset me and keep me awake in a good way, so i gravitate towards writers who seem troubled by this as well, who seem to wonder how being tied to someone else changes one's identity. (yes, this even includes stuffy/elementary dudes like steinbeck, forster, hugo, london.) for that reason i am a huge sucker for those novel-of-manners tomes, particularly those with an american twist (wharton and james of course). yes, i am One Of Those Dorky Girls who squirms and gets all glassy-eyed over those heart-breakingly awkward, tense scenes where social convention prevents people from frantically laying their feelings bare. le sigh.

i also like writers fixated on unreliable narration and what it entails (poe, hamsun, hesse), historiography (o'brien, ondaatje), memory/rendering (pinter), and the problem of the written "i" (hello, alice notley...). tied to this is my penchant for reading good personal letters (bukowski!) and artifacts detailing mundane existence (elizabeth smart's grocery lists and weekly menus come to mind).

right right now, i'm really into the german modernists (and post- and proto- modernists) and some of the weirder supposedly insane and "feminine" (whatever the fuck that can of worms entails...) writers. so it's robert walser, violette leduc, janet frame, christina stead, isak dinesan, emily prager, paul celan, heinrich von kleist, peter handke, that stuff. yum. but i've been returning to fluffy and old standbys too--still need to read gaitskill, carey, roth, and kipnis' new books, and more elizabeth mccracken and stephen dixon. i'm also returning to faulkner and it's making me very happy. and spurred by finally getting around to reading vidal and saramago and being totally amused and blown away, i've also got some of the more obvious and "fun" popular choices on my list again too--more calvino, marquez, naipaul, and berger for example.

elizabeth costello is the best book i've recently read. i'm primed to read disgrace now because of it...

i tend to find the obsession with japanese literature faddish and a little boring; me, i vastly prefer chinese literature as well as chinese culture and history in general. i know my library doesn't reflect this, but that's mainly because it's still surprisingly damned difficult to obtain reliable translations of chinese writing. i hope i'm slightly ahead of the curve and chinese stuff becomes trendy next so more work becomes readily available! i am however interested in post-war japan's identity crisis and the personal and social conflicts that ensue, but i find film's done a better job of exploring those themes in general (ozu's my favorite filmmaker). and yeah, i'll admit i'm an unabashed akutagawa and mishima groupie, mm...

oh, and i'm one of those weirdos really into good poetry (there isn't much, but when you find it it mops the floor with any other form, i think). favorites there include hopkins, issa, szymborska, mayakovsky, equi, sexton, notley, ashbery, komunyakaa, szporluk, celan, and stern, among others. i also like food writing (alice b. toklas, elizabeth david, brillat-savarin, perec, rosengarten, liebling, bourdain, lawson, wolfert, harrison), and i'm a theory whore (zizek is hottness; so's deleuze, bakhtin, bercovitch, sapir, gramsci, gadamer, wallerstein, haraway, geertz...).

my favorite "classics" are the plum in the golden vase, master tung's western chamber romance, germinal, and rabelais' gargantua and pantagruel.

favorite Difficult (in the lit-theory definition) literary documents include the story of an african farm with its many wtf elements and walter benjamin's entire life.

my favorite single comprehensive short story collection is women in their beds by gina berriault. she was an absolutely underrated master. i am being 100 percent unblinkingly serious when i say i think of her as america's answer to nabokov. yes, really.

currently reading mason and dixon, and loving it way more than i expected to (i don't dislike pynchon, but don't altogether believe the hype, either). it's been making me grin with all of its timely cult-ural allusions (mesmerites! yes!) and mentions of food, as well as the rapport between the two main figures. and i finally got around to ordering some books i've been wishing for for ages but was too lazy and broke to track down one by one used: bruno schulz's the sanitorium under the sign of the hour glass, more elizabeth david (is there nutmeg in the house?), katherine mansfield's notebooks, diane williams, yellow flowers in the antipodean room, on a dark night i left my silent house, a collection by nerval, and a collection of stories by ines arredondo. i want, badly, some christine brooke-rose, olive moore, raymond queneau, perec's la disparition, gilbert sorrentino, alberto moravia, robert bolano, more boris vian, and aurelie sheehan.

the best way for me to track my current obsessions is by organizing my wish lists: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9.

oh those school posters are right; reading is FUNdamental! haha, i'm a dork.

About my librarythe thought of actually completing this thing tires me to even consider, but maybe i'll start chipping away at it one of these days...i have a problem and will not allow myself into book stores anymore. i used to use wheelbarrows and minivans to cart my finds home, and my floor bows with the weight...old school powell's, library sale, and ABE -ers, represent!

Groups20-Something LibraryThingers, Abebooks Refugee, Adoption, Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art, Altered States, AltPublishing, Amateur Historians, American History, American Postmodernism, Ancient Chinashow all groups

Favorite authorsTheodor W. Adorno, Ryūnosuke Akutagawa, Hans Christian Andersen, Natalie Angier, John Ashbery, W. H. Auden, Mikhail Bakhtin, Aimee Bender, Walter Benjamin, Sacvan Bercovitch, Peter L. Berger, Isaiah Berlin, Gina Berriault, Elizabeth Bishop, Pat Califia, Louis-Ferdinand Céline, Lucille Clifton, Colette, e. e. cummings, Roald Dahl, Elizabeth David, Guy Debord, Gilles Deleuze, Wilhelm Dilthey, Du Fu, Émile Durkheim, Odysseas Elytis, Elaine Equi, Euripides, William Faulkner, Penelope Fitzgerald, Janet Frame, Shen Fu, Hans-Georg Gadamer, Mary Gaitskill, Clifford Geertz, Jean Genet, Germaine Greer, Jürgen Habermas, Stuart Hall, Peter Handke, Amy Hempel, Johann Gottfried Herder, George Herriman, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Zora Neale Hurston, Kobayashi Issa, Fleur Jaeggy, Henry James, Sarah Orne Jewett, James Joyce, Carl Gustav Jung, Franz Kafka, Immanuel Kant, Søren Kierkegaard, Sam Kieth, Laura Kipnis, Heinrich von Kleist, Clyde Kluckhohn, Yusef Komunyakaa, Violette Leduc, d. a. levy, Deborah Levy, Federico García Lorca, Wladimir Majakowskij, H. L. Mencken, Yukio Mishima, Grant Morrison, Toni Morrison, Vladimir Nabokov, Alice Notley, Beth Nugent, Flannery O'Connor, Dawn Powell, Emily Prager, Marcel Proust, François Rabelais, David Rosengarten, Edward Sapir, Friedrich Schleiermacher, Giorgos Seferis, Anne Sexton, Elizabeth Smart, William Steig, Gerald Stern, Wisława Szymborska, Rabindranath Tagore, James Tate, Paul Tillich, Victor Witter Turner, Lao Tzu, Thorstein Veblen, Lev Semenovich Vygotsky, Immanuel Wallerstein, Robert Walser, Max Weber, Walt Whitman, Raymond Williams, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Margery Wolf, Mary Wollstonecraft, Slavoj Žižek (Shared favorites)

VenuesFavorites

Favorite bookstoresBarnes & Noble Booksellers - Pittsford, Bauman Rare Books, Brownbag Bookshop, Burke's Book Store LLC, Caliban Bookshop, Myopic Books, Powell's City of Books (Portland), Second Editions (library bookstore), Seminary Co-op Bookstore, Strand Bookstore, The Booksellers at Laurelwood, The Library Store, Xanadu

Favorite librariesIrondequoit Public Library - Helen McGraw Branch, Irondequoit Public Library - Pauline Evans Branch, Memphis Public Library & Information Center - Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library, Monroe County Central Library, University of Pittsburgh Library System - GSPIA/Economics Library, University of Pittsburgh Library System - Hillman Library

Homepagehttp://absolution.livejournal.com

Also on43Things, delicious, Facebook, Flickr, Last.fm, LiveJournal, MetaFilter, MySpace, Twitter, YouTube

Membership LibraryThing Early Reviewers/Member Giveaway

Real namem

Locationrochester, ny / pittsburgh, pa / memphis, tn

Account typepublic, lifetime

URLs http://www.librarything.com/profile/ifjuly (profile)
http://www.librarything.com/catalog/ifjuly (library)

Member sinceJan 5, 2007

Currently readingThe Myth of the Eternal Return: Or, Cosmos and History (Bollingen Series, XLVI) by Mircea Eliade
The Wandering Fire (The Fionavar Tapestry, Book 2) by Guy Gavriel Kay
Love in a Fallen City (New York Review Books Classics) by Eileen Chang
Communication and the Evolution of Society by Juergen Habermas
Optic Nerve #13 by
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Comments

Hi, just sent you an add. Recently jumped ship from Goodreads and trying to find some like-minded folks. 224 books in common seems to be a good start...
i rememebr the night . . .

and the tennessee Waltz . . .
I just read your "About me". Loved it .We share a lot of the same favorite writers. From what you wrote, I think you would like my poetry. Here is an example:
http://gulpereel.net/frontpage/?p=1385
Hi! I saw your interest in adoption and thought you might want to check out my author chat that just started. :)
It's for my book, Lost & Found: A Memoir of Mothers, about my birthmother finding me through my mom's obituary. It's been featured on national ABC news and in major metropolitan papers across the country. I spoke in Aspinwall this summer so it was in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, too. Hope you get a chance to check it out!
Best,
Kate St. Vincent Vogl
m: One of the more interesting and thorough "abouts me's" I've seen. Nice catalogue of shifting obsessions.
Hi,

Saw you liked Trainspotting, and I was wondering if you'd be interested in reading my new novel and posting your comments here (as well as on a few other book-related sites). Thought you might like my novel since it's also about a group of disturbed kids and a bit dark. I could e-mail you the novel in an e-book format if you'd like. Let me know if you're interested. Here's a link to a summary in case you're interested:

http://christophertusa.com/

Thanks,

Chris
You have a great library.
Many thanks for adding me. You've an impressive textual array.
i'm sure you'll be at 3,000 before that anyway...
ifjuly is that busy i despair for dec-ember.
congratulations. of all the individuals (at whose few profiles I've casually glanced) sharing a portion of my library according to the strange apparatus of this site, you make the most sense. I say this for my observation of your apparent sincere enthusiasm and wealth of inspiring experiences with respect to Folia...and for the moral intuition that I can't fully dismiss even the most brilliant of fellow beings along with her acclamation of Žižek, however inexcusable that sort of thing is in singularity. for these reasons, then, I felt you deserved this ever-so-humble shout out, taken or left.

ta!
-Brandon
i liked The Day of the Locust a lot, Miss Loneleyhearts on its own might've gotten 4.5...they were both good...of course i seem to pretty generous with my 5 stars...
i love you even though i don't know who the fuck your butt is...
life's been happier since we could admit we're in love with each others' libraries (and butts!)

i love you so much!
The right sentence would punish me AND reform me - which is why I try to read between the lines :D

Seriously, ifimay soft soap you, your profile is a cameo fit for ivory, Ivory, or Marie Evora.
(you curtsey, I bow - and through the marble archway, the moon shines with indifference - on saints, on satyrs, on Donder and Blitzen - and all through the night)
I enjoyed your "about me" scribbles. What are you reading currently?
There's no substitute for actually learning the Chinese, as painful and slow a process as it can be.

Unfortunately that still doesn't guarantee that you will get the Taoist dirty jokes. (And the Neo-Confucianist ones, which one grasps much more easily, aren't funny.) Oh well.

Every time I look at LibraryThing it reminds me that I never finished cataloging my library, or even come close. Vexing.
DUDES BEFORE BOOBS!
I like Philippine historical fiction. Maybe you can start with Bino Realuyo's The Umbrella Country. And then there's Jessica Hagedorn (Dogeaters, and Dream Jungle) and Ninotchka Rosca's State of War. For poetry, try Jose Garcia Villa. :)
do you read fil-ams? :)
You have a fantastic collection, not to mention your equally-fantastic "about me" :) Mind if I add you as a friend? :)
ok i lied, found it at borders, go me.

thanks though, off i go to read it!
oh god yes please, i went to bookstores last night, but alas, no one had it. It made me emo-(er)? ok, it's far to early for me to be clever and witty, so i shall see you later today!
great reviews! whenever you need to know some more about the Germans...especially poetry ....you will get a review in my far from perfect English (sounds even worse, mix of southern drawl and east African pidgin.....)
ifjuly--I kind of followed you here from shared favorites. Anyway I took a gander at your wishlists and as for the fiction--Roberto Bolano--especially The savage detectives is wonderful.
Hi. I was just adding a book to my library thing and I noticed we have over 100 books in common. Made me want to come and stop by. I hope you are well! :)
What Chinese literature would you recommend? I am fascinated by all types of Asian literature and have read no classic Chinese literature.
When my book collection grows up, it wants to be just like yours.
Welcome to Books Compared. Hope you'll feel inspired to contribute a comparison review!
...oh, and as for lorca: "I want to sleep the sleep of that child/who longed to cut his heart open far out at sea."

i read neruda a bunch while recovering in hospital and made thin and wan days feel, for a moment there, lusher.

and as a random update to my profile in lazy fashion via self comment, why not: i finished saramago's blindness today... and it made me cry.
well i think my wonderful girlfriend deserves LESS comments! oh, oops...
Yeah, exactly: there's this terrible tension between one's (irrational, slightly neurotic) love for and need of one's books, and the monstrous impracticality of toting them about everywhere one goes. And when is one going to be Really Settled - will one know when that happens? Will it be apparent, or will one only find it out belatedly, several years after the 'true' beginning of the Really Settled-ness, in which case, if one hasn't moved one's library with one, one will have deprived oneself of, perhaps, several years of that particular bliss that comes of having one's books at hand. Which deprivation, in a lifetime of finite duration, seems deeply tragic; but then, equally tragic, one might, for the sake of having one's books settled and at hand, not actually go anywhere and deeply experience anywhere new and different. One might have hoped that life would have been more resistant to being characterized as a choice between tragedies.
On the other hand, of course, it's pretty fabulous.

What intrigues you about The Baphomet? I haven't run across any books here, yet, that I've immediately wanted to add to my acquisition list. I'm kind of conservative about what books I choose to pursue: most of my books are canonical classics, and I have a (probably pathological and in need of treatment, or at least therapy) prejudice against almost everything which hasn't stood the test of at least fifty years' time. In literature, anyway; non-fiction is a bit different, but I still choose my authors and books cautiously, mostly by finding out who and which is and are most referenced by the experts in the field, and branching out slowly from there. Also, I'm semi-deliberately trying to reduce my intake of books, so I, metaphorically speaking, avert my eyes, a little, from books I might, if I looked too closely at, be compelled to buy.
de Botton, though, you say? I hadn't read, or heard of, him, but I looked him up on Wikipedia and I'm very intrigued. 'Philosophy of everyday life' they called some of his stuff, and that caused a twinge of writerly jealousy since I'd like to write books which might be so described. So I'm curious about his work. What made you ask? What have you read of his? Any particular recommendations?
ifjuly, i absolutely loved your profile and your library. So many wonderful ideas for my 'to read' list. i think you might really enjoy Peter Hoeg. Smilla's Sense of Snow is a great place to start.
Ah, hi. I'm just getting started uploading my library to this thing, and am messing about, seeing who I have the most books in common with (of 96 cataloged so far, it signifies not so much, but it's a slow process and.. you know), etc. Anyway, I ran across your library and profile, and I had a couple questions: are there Powell's outside of Portland, or are you an ex-PDXer? And - and this is mostly tongue-in-cheek, but could conceivably, if only remotely possibly, have an affirmative answer - you're not an ex-girlfriend of mine, are you? No?
Indeed, ifjuly. I would say the first four HNIA records definitely played a factor in my musical taste (especially "Livonia" and "Stars on E.S.P."). As a kid I remember watching one of their first music videos on MTV's 120 Minutes (remember that show? Christ, I'm getting old). As an eight-year college radio dj veteran, I played HNIA religiously on my show (not to mention, the other 4AD artists that was huge back then). What I meant to also say was that your 'about me' profile is well-written, too.
and, by the way, your book collection is astonishing!
I take it you must be a Warn Defever/His Name is Alive fan, n'est-ce pas?
hey, you don't need to be nice for real! i know you're a bonerfide sweetie pie...sorry to say so, perhaps it's the infection talking, but it's true...even if i'd said it in a less obnoxious manner...i love you too!
mrowr!
wow, hey! some great books! you seem cool we should hang out sometime!
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