Hi, my name is Jes and I’m addicted to books.
It’s true. I can’t walk into a bookstore and not buy a book. Or two. Or three. I measure how successful a vacation is by how many books I read and how many books I buy. I write. I read. I buy. The book industry probably loves me. See, I hated buying Biology or Statistics textbooks, but I adore buying my English class books–even though most classes call for 11 or more books, which totals up to well over $100 for one class.
So today after class I went to my favorite independent bookstore in Atlanta, A Capella. I intended to buy a new edition of An Unfortunate Woman by Richard Brautigan. It’s a book that has been on my “to buy” list for awhile. I’m not sure why I didn’t buy it until today–it’s not expensive, or rare. Luckily I picked up an old library copy is great condition for $5, over half off because of libraryesque markings. The man who sold it to me mentioned a couple of times that it was marked. Yes, I’m aware of that…it’s cheap! I am a student.
The Richard Brautigan section at A Capella is (un)fortunately quite large, and there were several first edition copies. I’m a book whore, I love first editions. So the Wind Won’t Blow It All Away is the last book Brautigan published before his death in 1984. To quote brautigan.net:
Focused around the death of a young boy in a shooting accident in a western Oregon town on Saturday, 17 February 1948. Although he never confirmed or denied the connection, the story was thought to be autobiographical, built on an incident that happened to Brautigan at age thirteen… The novel sold less than 15,000 copies, and was ignored or dismissed by critics.
It looks brilliant. I couldn’t pass it up. That poor, lonely, lovely novel on the not so dusty pine shelf. It wanted me to own it. It begged me to buy it. For $20 how could I refuse? The other 1st edition Brautigans scowled, they wanted to be bought too. I, however, was out of cash.
Well, not entirely out. A Capella finally had the cheap paperback old edition of Gravity’s Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon in stock. I read the book summer 2006 and fell in love with the convoluted, artful postmodern whirlwind Pynchon wrote. I borrowed it from a friend back then and didn’t own a copy until today, which isn’t good because I desperately want to reread it and analyze it. For $8 I had to buy it.
Three books down.
In addition to my book addiction, I’m absolutely 100% addicted to food and cooking. Being a vegan, I need to be. Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero are the goddesses of vegans everywhere. In 2005 they published Vegan with a Vengence and in 2006 they started the vegan cupcake revolution with Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. If not for the cupcake cookbook, I probably would have never become a vegan. This past month they published Veganomicon:
During the course of developing recipes we kept coming back to this phrase: Recipes you wish you’d grown up with. These aren’t necessarily restaurant masterpieces, although we bet many of the recipes will rival that of the $26 entree at many vegan eateries. It’s real and honest home cooking, with a splash of panache that only two food obsessed chicks could arrive at. These recipes were not born from airy-fairy, spotless brushed stainless steel made for TV kitchens. The recipes that await you in the deepest, darkest inner sanctum of this book were created by two women who cook, live and eat in real, urban kitchens. This is food made while chatting with significant-others, gossiping with friends and shooing nosy pets off the counter-tops. In other words, this is kind of food you make and eat while life happens.
I’ve been wanting to buy it since it came out. This week I spotted it on the shelves of Cosmo’s Vegan Shoppe. Since I was already spending money that I shouldn’t, I kept going. And I am so glad I did. I mean, I haven’t made anything from the book yet, but I have my menus planned until Thanksgiving. I can’t wait to get started. The recipes are simply gorgeous. I read the cookbook like a novel–cover to cover. I never do that with cookbooks. But I just had to take it all in. Even if you aren’t vegan, this cookbook is perfect for you. It’s down-home comfort food and ethnic faves with a twist. Want to experiment? Make a vegan lemon-vanilla pound cake. Or mole. Or chile corn crusted tofu. Look for the awesomeness on Cupcake Punk in the days to come.
Should I have bought four books today? No. My checkbook is going to hate me (or already does). But I’m stoked about them all and books make good friends.