Thursday, June 14, 2012

Book Shopping

There are only two things that I like more than clothes and fashion: computer games and books.

On Tuesday I actually got a chance to do a little book shopping, which is something that I have not done in nearly a year since I graduated. I had an appointment near the campus bookstore, and since I had some time to kill before my meeting, I decided to go in. At first it was a little weird going into the bookstore, and not have a course book list to consult. I remember thinking in the back of my mind "Well what should I get since I don't have any required class books?" So, instead of going on the second floor where the coursebooks are, I stayed on the first floor for the first time.

Naturally, I headed straight for the section labeled "Fiction." I didn't feel truly at home, though, until I found the 19th and early 20th century fiction books. This doesn't mean that I absolutely hate contemporary and modern literature (in fact some of the best books I've ever read have been written within the last 20 years), but, at least in my opinion, contemporary and modern literature lack a certain kind of aesthetic style. Literature now seems to be so blunt and straightforward, and not as lyrical and veiled as it was a hundred years ago. This actually reminds me of when I took a history class on the rise of the bourgeoisie in Europe during the 19th century. The entire course was based off of 19th and early 20th century novels. At the end of the course we had to read Rabbit is Rich, and I must admit that after reading things like Pride and Prejudice, The Red and the Black, and even Germinal for nearly 4 months, everyone in class was pretty shocked at the bluntness of Rabbit is Rich...

Anyway, back to my actual topic. Not having a list of required books that I needed to buy, I began doing something that I hadn't done since high school; I started to read the back cover of books to see what they were about. I know, amazing, isn't it!!! I saw a lot of Jane Austin, but as much as I love her strong female characters, and that smexy jerk Mr. Darcy, I didn't feel like spending money on any of her other books. I did see The Woman in White right next to Jane's navels, and completely fell in love with the plot of mystery, intrigue, madness, and an evil count, so I had to buy it (Also, I think there is a Hidden Object Game based off of this novel, or maybe they just borrowed the title).

I also saw The Secret Agent, but almost didn't buy it because it was written by Joseph Conrad. Although this is supposed to be one of his best novels, I've had to read Heart of Darkness, not once, and not even twice, but three times, and every time I hate it even more (and yes, I also hate "Apocalypse Now"). Most people get all antsy with Heart of Darkness because of the inherent racism in it, but honestly that's to be expected, considering that the book was written in the very early 20th century (it really annoys me to no end when people judge things in history based on modern day ideas and concepts instead of looking at the historical context anyway). What bothers me about Heart of Darkness is that it is boring as I don't know what, redundant, and badly written plot-wise, even for a guy who could barely speak English when he wrote it. However, the theme of anarchists blowing up things left and right has always been a subject of interest to me (heck, I've been studying imperial Russian history for the last 4 years), so I bought it too.

I would have also gotten The Map of Time, a time traveling steampunk mystery novel featuring H.G. Wells as the main investigator (a little reminiscent of the move "The Time Machine" from what I gather), but it was $16.99, and I was already spending $20, so decided to be all cheap and just get it from the library instead.


  1. those look like some good books, I love reading on my patio during the summer time!

    1. Summer reading was the best when I was younger, but now the only problem is that I never have time to read like I want to.

  2. I love to read. The Woman in white sounds good :)

  3. I love books as well!
    Kiss dear

    New post

  4. interesting post!

  5. hmm i agree. i had to read heart of darkness for a class but didnt find it that great

    Glass of Fashion

    1. Finally, someone agrees with me! I think that since this book is on the literary cannon list, people just think it's the best thing ever, but honestly it is pretty awful.


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