So, in the act of self-honesty, here are the six books I picked up at the library this week:
- “Half of a Yellow Sun” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (part of the NYT Notable Fiction 2006 Challenge). I started it yesterday and found I had to force myself to put it down so I could get some sleep…a good sign
- “Khrushchev’s Cold War” by Aleksandr Fursenko and Timothy Naftali (as a nod to my former life as a sort of Soviet historian)
- “Averno: Poems” by Lousie Glück (because poetry is good for the soul)
- “Collected Poems in English” by Joseph Brodsky (see reasons for #2 and #3 above–plus I’m deluding myself into thinking about Slavic Languages grad programs as an option, so I’m trying to build up my knowledge of Russian authors)
- “Less Than One: Selected Essays” by Joseph Brodsky (see reasons #2-4, plus, I like essays)
- “On Grief and Reason: Essays” by Joseph Brodsky (note the trend?)
Not too bad, only six books on this trip. But don’t worry, I have more on order.
I did pick up a book at a bookstore this week. I finally broke down and bought the “MLA Style Manual” by Joseph Gibaldi. I do love style manuals (what can I say? I love to get lost in the details of punctuation–as you can see, I’m not in great demand at cocktail parties), but I’ve been hesitating over the MLA for a while. Why, you ask? It’s not because I don’t need it, I do. I have been reluctant for the sole reason that I didn’t want to give in to underlining my titles. I have grown to know and love the “Chicago Manual of Style” in my work as an historian, and I feel like I have finally mastered the ins and outs of footnotes. I love the gracefulness of italicized titles and I find footnotes to be less disturbing to my reading process than parenthetical citations. And now (sigh) I have to resort to both parenthetical citations and underlining. I understand that this is not a calamity to the majority of the world, but it will take a while for my aesthetic sense (or, as some might argue, my lack thereof) to adjust. However, on the bright side, it’s another excuse to dive into the intricacies of capitalization, the art of referencing, and the positively arcane glee I see embedded in copy-editing symbols. Ahh, such is the life of a grammar nerd…..