Wednesday, May 21, 2008

UW Faculty and Staff Appreciation Day!

University Book Store and Apple invite UW Faculty and Staff to save on select Apple product. Here are the details:

U District
May 29
10am – 3pm

May 28
10am – 3pm

May 27
11am – 2pm

Most Apple purchases are tax free*.

Refreshments will be available.

Enter for a chance to win an iPod nano. (One per location. You need not be present to win.)

A special note for our Tacoma and Bothell customers:

Come to the Tacoma store on May 28 from 10am - 3pm to reserve and make payments on your Apple products. Apple purchases from the event will be delivered to the Tacoma store for customer pick-up on May 30.

Come to the Bothell store on May 27 from 11am - 2pm to reserve and make payments on your Apple products. Apple purchases from the event will be delivered to the Bothell store for customer pick-up on May 30.

* Tax free is a 9% discount on Apple products. Certain products excluded, including but not limited to: Mac mini, iPod shuffle, nano, and touch. Limited to stock on hand and individual purchases. UW Faculty and staff only. ID required.

Friday, May 16, 2008

The Essential Man's Library

The concept that inspired this list (that there is a manliness canon of some sort; that there is a specific set of parameters that define masculinity; that maleness can be narrowed through the process of list maikng) is provocative, sure. Probably dead wrong.

I link to it not simply to provoke conversation—I wanted people to see it because the photographs accompanying each book on this list of "100 Must-Read Books" from the folks at The Art of Manliness are, frankly, really amazing.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

The Elemetary Particles

One of my favorite novels of the last few years was Michel Houellebecq's The Elementary Particles. I really loved the way the focus of the narrator would shift from macro to micro, big picture to small particular, without warning creating this beautifully strange tone. It forced me to ask, "Why here? Why is that what catches the narrators eye?"

Our own Nick's Pick Nick was a big fan of Platform, and had the following to say about it:

Some people will hate this book. Some will find it brave and exhilarating. Not since France gave the world the elegant eroticism of The Story of O and Emmanuelle has there been a novel so challenging on the subject of human sexuality.

Can sex be subject to global market forces? Mild-mannered, reclusive, forty-year-old Michel accidentally becomes involved in a scheme to capitalize on sex tourism, creating a worldwide chain of “friendly” hotels.

With philosophical echoes of Camus and Voltaire, in a subtly comic, satirical plot moving from Thailand to Cuba, author Michel Houellebecq has much to criticize about our society’s attitude toward sex in this shocking, prophetic, thought-crammed masterpiece, an honest story about love and business. Unforgettable.

Yes, Houellebecq is a fascinating writer. (Here's a really good article from The Believer about him. It was written by Sam Lipsyte, and equally wonderful contemporary writer.

I bring this all up to contextualize this link and to remind everyone that Mother's Day is coming up, and for the love of all that's maternal, get your mom something NOW! You don't want to end up with this appearing in print:

She doesn't rate her son's literary talents. "What's all this stuff about an old chemist who wonders if his secretary is having a wank?" she asks. "If it hadn't been my son, I wouldn't read that kind of crap, I would put it down straight away, because if there's one thing I detest in the world it's pornography. That book is pure pornography, it's repugnant, it's crap. I don't understand its success at all, that just shows the decadance of France." In her own book, she speculates that he writes about sex because he doesn't get enough. "What's this moronic literature?! Houellebecq is someone who's never done anything, who's never really desired anything, who never wanted to look at others. And that arrogance of taking yourself as superior ... Stupid little bastard. Yes, Houellebecq's a stupid little bastard, whether he's my son or not."

May 11! Hurry!

Monday, May 05, 2008

Books I'd Recommend If They Were Still In Print

New feature!

This weekend I found a copy of Farragan's Retreat at The Couth Buzzard. (We will miss you, Buzzard.) I've been looking for some Tom McHale for a little while—ever since I read a piece by Richard Grayson on him on Filthy Habits (neĆ© Return of the Reluctant) a while back. That appreciation is no longer there, but Matthew St. Amand has some stuff to say.

Sixty pages in, and I'm really enjoying it. And I'd love to tell you to read it. And tell you to pick up a copy here at University Book Store. And all that.

But the book is out of print. (Of course, University Book Store now buys USED books. Not just textbooks through the BuyBack program. We have people looking for used and rare trade/general/whatever you want to call them books as well. We just don't have a copy of this one, yet.)

The book concerns a father whose son is a dodging the Vietnam war draft. Arthur Farragan (said father) is being pressured by his siblings to chase the son up to Montreal and kill him for besmirching the family name—among the son's crimes are his open letter of apology to Ho Chi Minh, and his avoidance of a war that has taken the life of one cousin and the arm of another.

Really smart book. Someone should bring it back.

What about you? Do you have any favorite out-of-print books you'd like to recommend? Let's start a list.


Ed commented to direct me to the Filthy Habits archived article on McHale by Grayson. Thanks, Ed! I did a lousy, cursory job searching for it.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Dog of the Week

This is Coco. She has quite a face, doesn't she?

Her human is on faculty at UW. So, not only is she dog of the week, she's the dawg of the week, too.

Seattle and Tao Lin

Here's the last poetry recommendation. Tao Lin's new book, Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, is really good. I like it a lot. You should buy it.

Here's a bit from my favorite poem in the book:

today is tuesday; email me saturday

[...]from here i know these things: that a hamster is a lonely fist

that a poem exists to dispel irrational angers, that i want to hold your face

with my face

like a hand


And for the record, yes, I'm the guy who "enjoys existential despair."

tell all your friends!