Breakfast & Books

Posted March 16, 2011 by Heather in Breakfast & Books / 5 Comments

Breakfast & Books
I skipped last week’s Breakfast & Books post because I had just ordered a bunch of books from Amazon and I vowed not to buy anything at Barnes & Noble… and I kept my vow.  Therefore, I really didn’t have anything to write about.  I almost skipped this week’s post, too, because now I have so many books on my TBR pile that it’s going to take me weeks to get through them all.  But alas, while at BN today, a book leaped off the shelf and into my hands, and I just couldn’t bring myself to insult it by putting it back.  Haha!

The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath is the book that begged to go home with me today.  In my defense, it has been on my wish list for a while now, so at least it was a book I already wanted to own.  I was actually just perusing the biography section when it jumped out at me.  If you’re not familiar with Sylvia Plath, check out her Wikipedia page.  I love her poetry and she was quite an intriguing person.  I think her journals are going to be an interesting read.

Two weekends ago, I received an Amazon gift card from a good friend of mine. She had just recommended a couple of books to me, so I bought those and four others that were on my wish list, and still only ended up spending about $6 of my own.  Score! These are the books I purchased:

  • An American Childhood by Annie Dillard:  This was one of the books recommended by my friend.  Annie Dillard is an author and artist–although if you check out her official website, she swears she isn’t a real painter–and An American Childhood is a memoir about her childhood in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
  • The Woman Warrior by Maxine Hong Kingston:  This is the other book my friend recommended.  I had never heard of Kingston, so I had to look her up.  I learned from her Wikipedia page that she is a Chinese American author and Professor Emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley.  This book is a memoir, and it “discusses gender and ethnicity and how these concepts affect the lives of women (from Wikipedia).”  That is definitely something I can get into.  I also found this interview she did for the Bill Moyers Journal in 2007, and if she sounds like someone you may be interested in, I would definitely recommend watching the video.
  • Revolutionary Suicide by Huey P. Newton:  Huey P. Newton was the co-founder of the Black Panther Party and its leader for over 20 years.  I just learned of him last year (I know, I know) and decided to start reading up on him.  I read The Huey P. Newton Reader last year, and put Revolutionary Suicide on my wish list.  If you are unfamiliar with Huey P. Newton (and I feel like I may be the last person on Earth who didn’t know who he was), there is a very good PBS website about him here that is a companion to the documentary, A Huey P. Newton Story, put together by Spike Lee and Roger Guenveur Smith.
  • Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison:  This book was published in 1952 and won the National Book Award for fiction in 1953.  From Amazon:  “The nameless narrator of the novel describes growing up in a black community in the South, attending a Negro college from which he is expelled, moving to New York and becoming the chief spokesman of the Harlem branch of ‘the Brotherhood’, and retreating amid violence and confusion to the basement lair of the Invisible Man he imagines himself to be.”  You can learn more about Ralph Ellison from Wikipedia, or the Ellison episode website for the PBS series, An American Journey.
  • When Skateboards Will Be Free by Saïd Sayrafiezadeh:  I can’t remember where I read about this book… it might have been in the New York Times Book Review.  Sayrafiezadeh has an Iranian-born father and an American Jewish mother, both of whom are/were members of the Socialist Workers Party.  This is his memoir about growing up in that environment and trying to find his own voice in the midst of that.  If you click on the title of the book, it will take you to the book’s page on Amazon where there is a good Q&A section with the author and a more detailed description of the book.
  • The Double by José Saramago:  I read Saramago’s Death With Interruptions last year on the recommendation of a friend and loved it.  I put The Double on my wish list a few weeks ago after seeing in it BN on one of our Breakfast & Books dates.  Saramago won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1998 and is a novelist, poet, playwright, and journalist.  Click on the title of the book to see its description on Amazon, and learn more about Saramago on his Wikipedia page.

I need to get through at least half of the books I have on my TBR pile before I buy anything else,  so don’t be alarmed if you don’t see a Breakfast & Books post for a while.  Have you purchased any books lately that you’d recommend to others?  Don’t hesitate to post a comment here letting us know about them.

Until next time… happy reading!

H.L.

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  • I would love to get my hands on the Sylvia Plath book. The other titles you got sound great too.

    I just ‘ordered’ a couple of books from Paperback Swap. I have credits built up there and at Bookmooch. The two I ordered were ‘The Trial of Elizabeth Cree’ by Peter Ackroyd and ‘A Winter Haunting’ by Dan Simmons. I’ve been wanting the Simmons book for a while now.

    • I’m really looking forward to reading Plath’s journals. I have so many books to read now… my TBR pile has become overwhelming! Aaahhh! Hahaha!

  • blackmannx

    I really need to read more.. been reading and writing so many tech white papers that I wouldnt know a good book if it bit me on the butt. Love the Blog looking forward to more!! get back to that pile!!

  • Hello there.

    Being a long time fan of Plath, I can’t believe that I’ve never read her journals. I must add this to my tbr list. I’m going to check on some Saramago as well.