03 November 2007

Old Stuff

On the third day of NaBloPoMo, the mailman brought to me a BookMooch delivery -- a collection of essays on movies by Pauline Kael called KISS KISS BANG BANG. I've been making an effort recently to seek out collections of criticism since I would like to become a better critic myself. Two I enjoyed this summer were both by New Yorker writers, Joan Acocella's 28 ARTISTS AND TWO SAINTS (mostly profiles) and Anthony Lane's NOBODY'S PERFECT (mostly movie reviews from the past 15 years). Kael's complete collection has pride of place at home, but I've only read a few of her pieces.

Anyway, the previous owner of the book described its condition as "in pretty good shape for being 40 years old," so I wasn't surprised when I received a yellowing, cracked-spine Bantam Dell paperback which originally retailed for $1.25. I could not be more excited about this. As fun as it is to open a brand-new book, there's a particular charm to a well-worn copy, especially one like this which reminds me of my parents' library. The beat-up paperbacks of ROSENCRANTZ AND GUILDENSTERN ARE DEAD and ATLAS SHRUGGED and George Orwell's diaries had traveled with my parents from dorm to crappy apartment to my childhood home (where they still live), clues to who they are as people before I was at an age to be able to read them. (Okay, I still haven't read ATLAS SHRUGGED, but maybe next time I go home...)

Thus my love affair with BookMooch continues! I also picked up a library request today, Kate Christensen's JEREMY THRANE, after reading an interview with the author on MaudNewton.com. Ms. Newton said she read all of Christensen's novels in one weekend, a tantalizing endorsement to be sure.

No comments: