I found a few treasures at Strand last week.
Truman Capote: In Which Various Friends, Enemies, Acquaintances, and Detractors Recall His Turbulent Career, by George Plimpton.
I’ve recently discovered Truman Capote’s writing, and have become fascinated by his interesting personality and life. I’ve started reading this oral biography of his life, and am completely delighted. It’s very interesting to read personal stories told by people who knew him. George Plimpton (another one of my favorite writers) presents many accounts by a large variety of people. Some stories contradict other stories. It’s terrific; I love it. It also makes me even more curious about Harper Lee. I’d like to read Mockingbird, a recent biography of her, but I’m doubtful of how intimate it can be when she absolutely refuses any interviews or publicity of any kind.
Excited to finally own this. It includes many small miscellaneous writings. Many are just sentences or paragraphs. It sort of feels like reading his sudden bursts of thought as is – before he turns them into a short story or novel.
It also includes many letters to and from many other famous writers – Gertrude Stein, Edith Wharton, T.S. Eliot, Thomas Wolfe.
A great book to pick up and browse through when you want a small dose of literary inspiration.
A Gentle Madness: Bibliophiles, Bibliomanes, and the Eternal Passion for Books, by Nicholas A. Basbanes
I hadn’t heard of this book before a friend recommended it to me. Mainly it’s about people who are just as crazy, and yes – even crazier, than I am about collecting and reading books. Haven’t read much yet, just skimmed it enough to know that it looks excellent. Should be an interesting read.
I found it at Strand for only $8. It has an absolutely gorgeous cover with gold embossing. Very appropriate for a book about book collecting to be a great piece for your collection itself.
Chip Kidd: Book One: Work: 1986-2006 by Chip Kidd
I love book design, and am one of the many who think Chip Kidd is one of the best designers ever. I’ve only scratched the surface of browsing through this book, but I love it already. It shows pictures of the covers he’s designed, and a few paragraphs of info by Chip of how and why he did each design. The most fun though, are the random extras scattered around in abundance – faxes from the authors to Chip, rejected covers, etc. I could spend hours with my nose in this book. Another bonus: the copy I found is signed by Chip.
I also love that Chip reads all books before he designs the cover. That can be rare in the business.
The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
Appropriate for this particular post, I found my copy of this book for $5 at Strand last year. I’m enjoying it, but it’s taking me a long time to read. Most of that is due to how busy I’ve been with my family visiting, but I’m beginning to realize it wasn’t the best choice to read while busy. Something lighter would have been much better. I’m reading this book pretty slow, partly because of the writing style, and partly because if I don’t I get a bit confused. A large reason for that is simply not being familiar with the names in the book, so it takes me longer to remember who people are.
But it’s a great book so far – I’m about halfway through. I love her style, though I do have to read it carefully. I’ve heard great things about this book, and am excited to finish.
Last – but absolutely not least: I am so excited for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows next week.
(This post was brought over from emilyw.vox.com.)