3pipeproblem: (no peeking)
[personal profile] 3pipeproblem
Well, LJ, it's been so long that even the thought of catching you up on everything that's gone on is in itself kind of stressful. Suffice to say Drive was very good and I'll soon be managing a restaurant.

Onto other things: because the nearest decent library is very far away, I've amassed way, way more books than my room is designed to accommodate. SO. If you can give a good home to anything on the following list, please comment! I'll PM you for your address and send it your way. Everything's first come, first served and if you want to throw me some money for shipping I won't object, but it's not necessary.

They Live by Jonathan Lethem (This is a fantastic book--I just got two copies for Christmas. Have a quote: 'Who would have thought that one of the cleverest, most accessibly in-depth film books released this year would be a smart-ass novelist exploring a cheesy-cheeky ‘80s sci-fi flick wherein a former wrestler combats an alien occupation via magic sunglasses? . . . [Jonathan Lethem] is able to seriously dissect the movie’s message and often highbrow references, while also fully acknowledging its silliness.') Claimed!

Inherent Vice by Thomas Pynchon ("Pynchon's deceptively lighthearted stab at detective fiction is a lazy jog through the brambles of stoned late '60s Southern California, with a half-cocked private eye named Doc Sportello, who specializes more in meandering than actual investigating. Freaks and straights talk past each other, their meanings eluding all attempts at mutual comprehension, and Ron McLarty channels Doc's slurred mumble expertly and vividly brings to life the novel's sun-soaked, druggy ambience.") Claimed!

Bitter in the Mouth by Monique Truong ("Linda Hammerick has a special yet burdensome gift--she experiences words as tastes. Linda's boyfriends' names, for example, remind her of orange sherbet and parsnips; her own name is mint-flavored. Depending on the speaker, listening, for Linda, can be delicious or distasteful. In the first part of the book, Linda interacts with her family: she dances with her eccentric uncle Baby Harper, whose sing-song voice limits her "tasting his words"; she faced off with her acerbic grandmother, Iris; deals with her adored father, Thomas, and her unsympathetic mother, Deanne, whose infatuation with a neighborhood boy leaves Linda vulnerable to his predatory advances. Woven into Linda's story is the history of her home state, North Carolina--slaveholding days, the first airplane flight, and local Indian lore." This book is gorgeously written.) Claimed!

The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas (" At a barbecue in a Melbourne suburb, a man loses his temper and slaps the child of the host’s friends. This incident unleashes a slew of divisive opinions, pitting friends and families against each other as the child’s parents take the man to court. Told from eight different viewpoints, the novel also deftly fills in disparate backstories encompassing young and old, single and married, gay and straight, as well as depicting how multiculturalism is increasingly impacting the traditional Aussie ethos.")

Swamplandia! by Karen Russell ("Swamplandia! is a shabby tourist attraction deep in the Everglades, owned by the Bigtree clan of alligator wrestlers. When Hilola, their star performer, dies, her husband and children lose their moorings, and Swamplandia! itself is endangered as audiences dwindle. The Chief leaves. Brother Kiwi, 17, sneaks off to work at the World of Darkness, a new mainland amusement park featuring the “rings of hell.” Otherworldly sister Osceola, 16, vanishes after falling in love with the ghost of a young man who died while working for the ill-fated Dredge and Fill Campaign in the 1930s. It’s up to Ava, 13, to find her sister, and her odyssey to the Underworld is mythic, spellbinding, and terrifying.") Claimed!

The Astral by Kate Christensen ("The Astral is a huge rose-colored old pile of an apart­ment building in the gentrifying neighborhood of Greenpoint, Brooklyn. For decades it was the happy home (or so he thought) of the poet Harry Quirk and his wife, Luz, a nurse, and of their two children: Karina, now a fer­vent freegan, and Hector, now in the clutches of a cultish Christian community. But Luz has found (and destroyed) some poems of Harry’s that ignite her long-simmering sus­picions of infidelity, and he’s been summarily kicked out. He now has to reckon with the consequence of his literary, marital, financial, and parental failures (and perhaps oth­ers) and find his way forward—and back into Luz’s good graces.")

The Dogs of Babel by Carolyn Parkhurst ("It's a terrific high concept: a woman falls from a backyard tree and dies; the only witness is the family dog, a Rhodesian Ridgeback. To find out what happened-accident? suicide?-her grieving husband tries to teach the dog to talk. ")

The Ask by Sam Lipsyte ("Lipsyte's pitch-black comedy takes aim at marriage, work, parenting, abject failure (the author's signature soapbox) and a host of subjects you haven't figured out how to feel bad about yet. This latest slice of mucked-up life follows Milo Burke, a washed-up painter living in Astoria, Queens, with his wife and three-year-old son, as he's jerked in and out of employment at a mediocre university where Milo and his equally jaded cohorts solicit funding from the Asks, or those who financially support the art program. Milo's latest target is Purdy Stuart, a former classmate turned nouveau aristocrat to whom Milo quickly becomes indentured." I love Sam Lipsyte--I think he's listed in my interests--and although this isn't my favorite of his works, it's well worth a read.) Claimed!

Inamorata by Joseph Gangemi ("Set in the Roaring '20s and steeped in period detail, this energetic debut is narrated by one Martin Finch, a psychology graduate student at Harvard. Possessed of a wry sense of humor, a practical intelligence and an appropriately skeptical interest in the supernatural, Finch is tapped by the department chairman, Dr. William McLaughlin, to help him judge a Scientific American contest that promises $5,000 to anyone with 'conclusive evidence of psychic phenomena.'")

The Book of Salt by Monique Truong ("A mesmerizing narrative voice, an insider's view of a fabled literary household and the slow revelation of heartbreaking secrets contribute to the visceral impact of this first novel. From a few lines in The Alice B. Toklas Cook Book, Truong reimagines the Vietnamese cook who was hired by the famous residents at 27 rue de Fleurus. Bonh, as he calls himself, is an exile from his homeland, where he was denounced because of a homosexual relationship and banished by his brutal father. After three years at sea, Bonh ends up in Paris, where he answers Toklas's ad ("Two American ladies wish...") and enters the household of Gertrude Stein.)

The Finkler Question by Howard Jacobson ("Winner of the 2010 Man Booker Prize, Jacobson's wry, devastating novel examines the complexities of identity and belonging, love, and grief through the lens of contemporary Judaism. Julian Treslove, a former BBC producer who works as a celebrity double, feels out of sync with his longtime friend and sometimes rival Sam Finkler, a popular author of philosophy-themed self-help books and a rabidly anti-Zionist Jewish scholar. The two have reconnected with their elderly professor, Libor Sevcik, following the deaths of Finkler and Libor's wives, leaving Treslove-the bachelor Gentile-even more out of the loop. But after Treslove is mugged-the crime has possible anti-Semitic overtones-he becomes obsessed with what it means to be Jewish, or 'a Finkler.'" FAIR WARNING: I did not really like this book.)

After the Workshop by John McNally ("Twelve years after graduating from the prestigious Iowa Writers' Workshop, Jack Sheahan, the protagonist of McNally's witty third novel, suffers from chronic self-doubt and a decade-long case of writer's block. He keeps an unfinished novel in a box under his telephone books and earns his living as a media escort for literati invited to read in Iowa City, greeting authors at the airport, chauffeuring them around town, and occasionally running their errands—all the while seething with envy. With two clients in town at the same time—one a new mother with possible postpartum psychosis who disappears with her baby, the other an arrogant New Yorker of Jack's age who has garnered the awards Jack once dreamed of winning—plus a snowstorm, a former fiancée, and a mysterious visit by a famous writer who'd disappeared from public view years earlier, the action spirals into frenzy." I'm a big fan of McNally's writing, but the subject matter's been done to death.)

The Nobodies Album by Carolyn Parkhurst ('Parkhurst returns with the story of Octavia Frost: widow, successful novelist, and estranged mother of Milo, lead singer of an up-and-coming band. Milo and Octavia haven't spoken in almost four years, but their separation ends when Octavia learns (from the Times Square news crawl) that Milo has been arrested for the murder of his girlfriend. In short order, Octavia travels to the West Coast, determined to find out who really killed Bettina Moffett. Octavia's quest is peppered with short excerpts from her novels—in original and revised form—though the bits and scraps sometimes come off as filler instead of metafictional excursions into stories Octavia revises for publication and for her own purposes.")

Finch by Jeff Vandermeer ("VanderMeer's third book set in the fungus-laden city of Ambergris is an engrossing recasting of the hard-boiled detective novel. Traditional tropes—femmes fatales, double-crossing agents, underworld crime lords—mix seamlessly with a world in which humans struggle to undermine the authority of sentient fungi a century after the events of 2006's Shriek: An Afterword. By the time titular detective Finch solves the double murder of a human and a fungus, he's been drawn into a conflict in which he's rarely sure who's manipulating him or why he's so important to their plans. VanderMeer's stark tone is brutally powerful at times, and his deft mix of genre-blurring style with a layered plot make this a joy to read. Though the book stands well on its own, fans of the earlier Ambergris novels will appreciate it even more.")

Gone Baby Gone by Dennis Lehane ("Vanished, in this complex and unsettling fourth case for PIs Patrick Kenzie and Angie Gennaro (after Sacred, 1997) is four-year-old Amanda McCready, taken one night from her apartment in Dorchester, a working-class section of Boston, where her mother had left her alone. Kenzie and Gennaro, hired by the child's aunt and uncle, join in an unlikely alliance with Remy Broussard and Nick Raftopoulos, known as Poole, the two cops with the department's Crimes Against Children squad who are assigned to the case. In tracing the history of Amanda's neglectful mother, whose past involved her with a drug lord and his minions, the foursome quickly find themselves tangling with Boston's crime underworld and involved in what appears to be a coup among criminals.") Claimed!

Prayers for Rain by Dennis Lehane ("The suicide of a former client, Karen Nichols, gives Kenzie his investigative itch back. Six months earlier, Kenzie tracked down a stalker who had been harassing Nichols, and put an end to his heinous hobby. But Nichols needed more help than this PI could ever have imagined. "She'd been drowning, and I'd been busy." The successful, middle-class young woman had been sinking into a sea of drugs, alcohol, and prostitution, hitting the bottom when she jumped from the Boston Custom House. Her death consumes Kenzie--he is convinced that someone pulled her into the vortex, although her nearest and dearest simply call her weak.")

Sacred by Dennis Lehane ("Dying billionaire Trevor Stone has his thugs kidnap sleuths Patrick Kenzie and Angie Gennaro and bring them to his mansion so he can hire them to find his missing daughter, Desire. She is supposedly grief-stricken over the death of her mother and the impending death of her father but it becomes clear that she may not be the sweet and beautiful daughter her father describes. Patrick's mentor, Jay Becker, was the first investigator on the case but he has also disappeared. Patrick and Angie follow the trail to Florida after a brief encounter with a group of religious swindlers who may be involved with the disappearances.") Claimed!

The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet by Reif Larsen ("Fans of Wes Anderson will find much to love in the offbeat characters and small (and sometimes not so small) touches of magic thrown into the mix during the cross-country, train-hopping adventure of a 12-year-old mapmaking prodigy, T.S. Spivet. After the death of T.S.'s brother, Layton, T.S. receives a call from the Smithsonian informing him that he has won the prestigious Baird award, prompting him to hop a freight train to Washington, D.C., to accept the prize. Along the way, he meets a possibly sentient Winnebago, a homicidal preacher, a racist trucker and members of the secretive Megatherium Club, among many others. All this is interwoven with the journals of his mother and her effort to come to grips with the matriarchal line of scientists in the family.")

When We Were Orphans by Kazuo Ishiguro ("When 9-year-old Christopher Banks's father--a British businessman involved in the opium trade--disappears from the family home in Shanghai, the boy and his friend Akira play at being detectives: "Until in the end, after the chases, fist-fights and gun-battles around the warren-like alleys of the Chinese districts, whatever our variations and elaborations, our narratives would always conclude with a magnificent ceremony held in Jessfield Park, a ceremony that would see us, one after another, step out onto a specially erected stage ... to greet the vast cheering crowds."
But Christopher's mother also disappears, and he is sent to live in England, where he grows up in the years between the world wars to become, he claims, a famous detective. His family's fate continues to haunt him, however, and he sifts through his memories to try to make sense of his loss. Finally, in the late 1930s, he returns to Shanghai to solve the most important case of his life. But as Christopher pursues his investigation, the boundaries between fact and fantasy begin to evaporate.")

The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender ("Bender's narrator is young, needy Rose Edelstein, who can literally taste the emotions of whoever prepares her food, giving her unwanted insight into other people's secret emotional lives—including her mother's, whose lemon cake betrays a deep dissatisfaction. Rose's father and brother also possess odd gifts, the implications of which Bender explores with a loving and detailed eye while following Rose from third grade through adulthood. Bender has been called a fabulist, but emerges as more a spelunker of the human soul; carefully burrowing through her characters' layered disorders and abilities, Bender plumbs an emotionally crippled family with power and authenticity.") Claimed!

Deus Ex Machina by Andrew Foster Altschul ("An irreverently candid peek inside the entertainment industry, Altschul’s absurd and hilarious debut novel questions free will and reality as it roams godlike among 10 reality-show contestants, including a studly ex-marine, a sexy corporate lawyer, a street-smart gang-outreach counselor, and a flamboyant hairdresser as they do whatever they can to survive on a remote island and ensure their appearance on next week’s episode. The narrative lens also seamlessly sweeps among the disgruntled, gossip-hungry crew, whose job is to mold the cast’s alliances, betrayals, and sexual liaisons into a theatrical display that will boost ratings and keep them employed. Within the drama lurks the show’s aging, emotionally isolated producer, preoccupied by his dwindling career, waning sexual prowess, memories of his wife and her lover, yoga, and one of the contestants, a dental hygienist whose lack of participation he finds mysteriously alluring.")

The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer (" Even if this weren't her first novel, Julie Orringer's Invisible Bridge would be a marvelous achievement. Orringer possesses a rare talent that makes a 600-page story--which, we know, must descend into war and genocide--feel rivetingly readable, even at its grimmest. Building vivid worlds in effortless phrases, she immerses us in 1930s Budapest just as a young Hungarian Jew, Andras Lévi, departs for the École Spéciale d'Architecture in Paris. He hones his talent for design, works backstage in a theater, and allies with other Jewish students in defiance of rising Nazi influence. And then he meets Klara, a captivating Hungarian ballet instructor nine years his senior with a painful past and a willful teenage daughter.")

Our Tragic Universe by Scarlett Thomas ("Thomas's delightfully whimsical novel riffs on the premise that ordinary lives stubbornly resist the tidy order that a fiction narrative might impose on them. Meg Carpenter, a young writer living hand-to-mouth in Devon, pens book reviews, science fiction novels, and pseudonymous YA thrillers while the serious literary novel she dabbles at keeps ballooning and shrinking back to the same 43 words. Though Meg reviews New Age titles that lay out organized plans for one's life (and afterlife), her own life is an unruly mess, encompassing a slacker boyfriend and his amusingly dysfunctional family, friends having extramarital affairs, and associates who can't balance their vocations and avocations. Enough propitious coincidences occur to suggest her life might also admit the occasional intrusion of the magical.")

Magic or Madness by Justine Larbalestier (YA. " In this fierce, hypnotic novel, character, story, and the thrumming forces of magic strike a rare, memorable balance. Reason is both the name of its 15-year-old Australian protagonist and a badge of defiance: Reason's mother champions rationality and deplores witchcraft, especially the "smoke and mirrors" practiced by her own mother, Esmeralda. When Reason's mom plunges into insanity and Reason must go to stay with Esmeralda, the wary teen, armed with only her survival instincts and a lucky ammonite fossil, attempts to stave off her grandmother's witchy influences. Then she steps through a door in Esmeralda's kitchen and emerges in New York City. There, as she grapples with the undeniable evidence that "magic is real," she is drawn into a terrifying entanglement with a cruel older witch.")

Magic Lessons by Justine Larbalestier ("This sequel to Magic or Madness(Penguin, 2005) opens with 15-year-old Reason Cansino reminiscing about her early life with her mother, bringing new readers and fans of the first book up to speed. A magical golem-type creature comes in through the door that links her grandmother's house in Australia and New York City and attacks the magically talented teen and her similarly gifted friends, Tom and Jay-Tee. When Reason is pulled through the door and lands in Manhattan, she turns to Jay-Tee's brother, Danny, for shelter. After determining that the attacks come from Old Man Cansino, one of her ancestors, she has to figure out what he's trying to teach her, and how he's been able to survive for hundreds of years, since most magic users either die very young from using their power or go insane if they do not.")

Black Swan Green by David Mitchell ("Thirteen chapters provide a monthly snapshot of Jason Taylor's life in small-town England from January 1982 to January 1983. Whether the 13-year-old narrator is battling his stammer or trying to navigate the social hierarchy of his schoolmates or watching the slow disintegration of his parents' marriage, he relates his story in a voice that is achingly true to life. Each chapter becomes a skillfully drawn creation that can stand on its own, but is subtly interwoven with the others. While readers may not see the connectedness in the first two thirds of the book, the final three sections skillfully bring the threads together. The author does not pull any punches when it comes to the casual cruelty that adolescent boys can inflict on one another, but it is this very brutality that underscores the sweetness of which they are also capable.")

Nocturnes by Kazuo Ishiguro ("Ishiguro blends musical concepts with their literary counterparts in his latest work, and Nocturnes has the ephemeral quality of a song cycle with recurring themes and motifs developed in different prose keys.") Claimed!

Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin ("Franklin's third novel is a meandering tale of an unlikely friendship marred by crime and racial strain in smalltown Mississippi. Silas Jones and Larry Ott have known each other since their late 1970s childhood when Silas lived with his mother in a cabin on land owned by Larry's father. At school they could barely acknowledge one another, Silas being black and Larry white, but they secretly formed a bond hunting, fishing, and just being boys in the woods. When a girl goes missing after going on a date with Larry, he is permanently marked as dangerous despite the lack of evidence linking him to her disappearance, and the two boys go their separate ways. Twenty-five years later, Silas is the local constable, and when another girl disappears, Larry, an auto mechanic with few customers and fewer friends, is once again a person of interest.")

Date: 2011-10-25 01:40 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] likeadeuce.livejournal.com
Interested in Swamplandia, the Ask, and/or Sacred, if these are on the table still.

Good luck with managing!

Date: 2011-10-25 01:55 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] 3pipeproblem.livejournal.com
You got 'em!

Hahahahahahaahahahahaha (...ahahahaahhaahhahaa), thanks. Mercifully it's a very small restaurant.

Date: 2011-10-25 02:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] likeadeuce.livejournal.com
should I DM my address? I don't have a functioning paypal setup but i can mail you a check for shipping.

Date: 2011-10-25 04:08 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] 3pipeproblem.livejournal.com
Yes, that'd be great. (And don't worry about it--you're doing me a favor, really.)

Date: 2011-10-25 02:31 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] watergal.livejournal.com
Your books would clearly outsmart my bookshelves, so I just popped by to say hello and laugh at your plight. I mean, job.

Date: 2011-10-25 04:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] 3pipeproblem.livejournal.com
No, I think you were right the first time.

And awww, that icon. It's good to see it (and you, I suppose).

Date: 2011-10-25 04:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] margin-oferror.livejournal.com
I'm having a book storage issue myself, between that, CDs and DVDs I'm beginning to think I should just line my walls with book cases.

Date: 2011-11-01 03:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] serialkeller.livejournal.com
also doing a "back from the dead" moment on livejournal *waves*


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