usual roundup of popular Amazon purchases at the end of the first quarter of 2010. Fact is, I was a little busy at that point and kept putting it off. But here we are, the end of June, so lets mash quarters one and two together and see what readers of this site bought." />

The End of Oulipo?

The End of Oulipo? My book (co-authored with Lauren Elkin), published by Zero Books. Available everywhere. Order it from Amazon, or find it in bookstores nationwide. The End of Oulipo

Lady Chatterley’s Brother

Lady Chatterley's Brother. The first ebook in the new TQC Long Essays series, Lady Chatterley's Brothercalled “an exciting new project” by Chad Post of Open Letter and Three Percent. Why can't Nicholson Baker write about sex? And why can Javier Marias? We investigate why porn is a dead end, and why seduction paves the way for the sex writing of the future. Read an excerpt.

Available now from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and direct from this site:


Translate This Book!

Ever wonder what English is missing? Called "a fascinating Life Perecread" by The New Yorker, Translate This Book! brings together over 40 of the top translators, publishers, and authors to tell us what books need to be published in English. Get it on Kindle.

For low prices on Las Vegas shows visit LasVegas.ShowTickets.com
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  • Bae Suah on SebaldBae Suah on Sebald

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    The writing on this is horrifyingly bad, but there is some interesting information here about the things David Foster Wallace... »
  • All Hail AugustusAll Hail Augustus

    Daniel Mendelsohn's introduction to the NYRB Classics' reissue of Augustus is now available online as part of the Aug 14 issue... »
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    I don't expect The New York Times to have mastered the minutia of every single topic on earth, but it would be nice if the... »
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You Say

Group Reads

The Tunnel

Fall Read: The Tunnel by William H. Gass

A group read of the book that either "engenders awe and despair" or "[goads] the reader with obscenity and bigotry," or both. Info here. Buy the book here and support this site.

Naked Singularity

Summer Read: A Naked Singularity by Sergio De La Pava

Fans of Gaddis, Pynchon, DeLillo: A group read of the book that went from Xlibris to the University of Chicago Press. Info here. Buy the book here and support this site.

Life Perec

Life A User's Manual by Georges Perec

Starting March 2011, read the greatest novel from an experimental master. Info here. Buy the book here and support this site.

Last Samurai

Fall Read: The Last Samurai by Helen DeWitt

A group read of one of the '00s most-lauded postmodern novels. Info here. Buy the book here and support this site.

Tale of Genji

The Summer of Genji

Two great online lit magazines team up to read a mammoth court drama, the world's first novel.

Your Face Tomorrow

Your Face This Spring

A 3-month read of Javier Marias' mammoth book Your Face Tomorrow

Shop though these links = Support this site


Ten Memorable Quotes from William Gaddis’ Letters

New Books
Here are ten of my favorite moments from these hugely interesting letters.


Interviews from Conversational Reading

New Books
See this page for interviews with leading authors, translators, publishers, and more.


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  • Why Literary Periods Mattered by Ted Underwood June 15, 2014
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  • Trans-Atlantyk by Witold Gombrowicz June 15, 2014
    August 1939. You sail to Buenos Aires on the Chombry as a cultural ambassador of Poland. Why say no to a little holiday on the government’s tab? Soon after arriving you sense that something isn’t right. You emerge from a welcome reception and your ears are “filled with newspaper cries: ‘Polonia, Polonia,’ most irksome indeed.” Before you’ve even had a chance […]
  • Accepting the Disaster by Joshua Mehigan June 15, 2014
    The first collections of most young poets, even the better ones, carry with them a hint of bravado. Flush with recognition, vindicated by the encouraging attentions of at least one editor and three blurbists, the poet strikes a triumphant pose and high-fives the Muse: “We did it, baby.” When Joshua Mehigan published his impressive first collection, The Optim […]
  • The Histories of Herodotus, translated by Tom Holland June 15, 2014
    Two of the greatest of Tom Holland's predecessors in translating Herodotus are Victorian scholar George Rawlinson and Aubrey de Selincourt; the former translated Herodotus in 1860, making an enormous hit (despite the fact that its detractors often referred to it as “dull and prolix"), while the latter's 1954 Herodotus was another enormous hit, […]
  • Bullfight by Yasushi Inoue June 15, 2014
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  • Sworn Virgin by Elvira Dones June 15, 2014
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  • On the Letters of David Markson June 15, 2014
    Knowing these narrators and how their lives paralleled David’s own, it’s difficult to deny his being a recluse. I certainly held that image of him, and nursed it, secretly cherishing it because it meant I was one of the few people with whom he corresponded, and with whom he would occasionally meet. Arranging our first meetings in person was something of a ni […]
  • Storm Still by Peter Handke June 15, 2014
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  • Red or Dead by David Peace June 15, 2014
    David Peace's novel Red or Dead is about British football, but it partakes in the traits of Homer's epic. This is a novel about the place of myth and heroes in modern society, about how the cyclical rhythms of athletic seasons reflect the cyclical patterns of life. It is a book about honor and fate, and one which bridges the profound, dreamlike ter […]

Most Popular Amazon Purchases, Q1 & Q2 2010

Those who pay very close attention to this site might have noticed that I didn’t do my usual roundup of popular Amazon purchases at the end of the first quarter of 2010. Fact is, I was a little busy at that point and kept putting it off. But here we are, the end of June, so lets mash quarters one and two together and see what readers of this site bought.

As a reminder, if you find this site valuable and want to support it, click on the Amazon links and order something. So long as you make a purchase before you leave Amazon, I’ll get a kickback. And if you wish infamy on this site and want to see it shrivel up and die, then make sure to avoid the links.


1. Your Face Tomorrow

No surprise here that the book I’ve been conducting a multi-month reading group for and have been blogging about regularly is the most popular purchase. And it is in fact a great book. Go get a copy of Volume 1 and start reading.


2. Reality Hunger by David Shields

Owing to a review I wrote of this book, I didn’t really blog all that much about it. I suppose that there was so much hype over it that a lot of readers just ended up buying it when I (favorably) mentioned it here.


3. Senselessness by Horacio Castellanos Moya

I’m not really sure where this one came from. Granted, I’m a huge fan of Castellanos Moya, and I tend to push this book pretty hard every chance I get, but I don’t recall blogging about it that much lately. I suppose readers of this site just tend to like truly perverse first-person fiction set in post-civil war Central American nations.


4. About a Mountain by John D’Agata

Though I ended up having very mixed feelings about this one there’s no doubt that this was one of the most entertaining, well-written, interesting books I’ve read this year, one that made me an instant D’Agata fan.


5. Head in Flames by Lance Olsen

The popularity of this book is owing to an interview I did with the author. As well as the fact that it’s an innovative, entertaining, thoughtful work of fiction.


6. The Microscripts by Robert Walser

I didn’t blog very much about this book at all (though we did publish a nice review of it in The Quarterly Conversation). I can only assume there’ a cadre of Walser fans reading this site. Good for you all.


7. Although Of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Roadtrip with David Foster Wallace by David Lipsky

I panned it in the Times, but what can I say? We all want to know a little more about David Foster Wallace.

Other popular titles:

More from Conversational Reading:

  1. Most Popular Amazon Purchases Q3 2009 As I do every three months here, I'm now going to run down popular Amazon purchases made through links on this site. As a reminder...
  2. Most Popular Amazon Purchases Q2 2009 As I do every three months, it's now time to round up the most popular titles purchased from the Amazon links on this site. #1...
  3. Most Popular Amazon Purchases Q1 2009 As I do here every three months, I'm rounding up the most popular books purchased by the readers of Conversational Reading via this site's Amazon...
  4. Most Popular Amazon Purchases Q4 2009 As I do every three months here, I'm now going to run down popular Amazon purchases made through links on this site. As a reminder...
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2 comments to Most Popular Amazon Purchases, Q1 & Q2 2010

  • morhout

    Do clickthrough buys only count on amazon.com? I always buy through amazon.co.uk or amazon.fr. If not, might be worthwhile also adding the UK link for us European fans who want to support CR? (unless the income wouldn’t be worth the bother, of course)

  • Hi Morhout: Thanks for pointing that out. I’ve added some links at the top of the left sidebar, form which you can enter Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.fr to shop and support the site. Thanks!

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