Sunday, December 26, 2010

Boxing Day

I have been experiencing box envy lately.  Now that Christmas has come and gone, my condition has eased considerably as I now have some box sets of my own.


The first is both simple and something very special:
I have never properly read any Sherlock Holmes.  I've read about him and sorted of skimmed him but have never owned any of Arthur Conan Doyle's books.  Its hard to be knowledgeable about crime fiction without ever having read these books.  So this is a special treat for me.  Two nice, thick paperbacks and one nice card board box for them to live in.


My second box set is a three volume edition of the late Chilean writer Roberto Bolano's book 2666.
Just as a dead Swede has been the sensation of the crime fiction world the past few years, this dead Chilean is the star of the world of literary fiction now that all of his books have finally appeared in English.  I've read a lot about him but this will be my first stab at reading one of his books (though he has had some stories published in New Yorker magazine the past few years). 

Our friend Docx made a lame attempt to get us to stop reading crap and start reading serious literary fiction several weeks ago.  His approach was all wrong.  One of my favorite critics, John Powers, gave an impassioned plea for why we should read great books like 2666 - for what they can offer - a few years ago that was much more powerful and effective than Docx's attempt to tell us that what we are reading is inherently flawed. (Instead of reading the Powers piece, click on the link to listen to it - it was written for radio.)  I've been thinking about Powers' review of 2666 since I heard it and now I can finally see for myself if he's right.
Other good Bolano links: http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critics/atlarge/2007/03/26/070326crat_atlarge_zalewski and http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/the_tls/article5464942.ece

My third box of the season is certainly the strangest, and, I hope, the most valuable.  A long time ago I became a lifetime subscriber to McSweeney's.  Issue number 36 just came in the mail - in the form of a head shaped like a box.
(Note: Not my photo - actually, none of these are.)
My last and greatest box is this:
A collection of 100 famous Penguin covers as post cards.  In a box.  I also got Phil Baines's Penguin By Design, too.

2 comments:

Louis XIV, 'The Sun King' (a.k.a. Nick Jones) said...

Happy new year, BG! I just left a comment on Olman's blog, so I thought I'd do the same here, and raise a glass to hopefully more of your fine blogging in 2011. Looking forward to it!

Book Glutton said...

And happy new year to you as well!