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.

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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.


  • A Legacy by Sybille Bedford March 15, 2015
    Sybille Bedford had the benefit—or bad fortune, however you see it—of being born into the German aristocracy in 1911. Her father was a retired lieutenant colonel and art collector from the agrarian south, from a Roman Catholic family in fiscal decline. Her mother came from a wealthy German-Jewish family from Hamburg. A widower from his first marriage, Bedfor […]
  • Reviving Antal Szerb March 15, 2015
    Antal Szerb’s lithe, lively, and wholly endearing fiction is peopled by male dreamers on spiritual journeys of self-discovery. Each one sets out on his respective mini-mission with good intentions but knows from the outset that there are only so many harsh truths he can withstand. In this respect, all Szerb’s protagonists seem to have heeded the advice of Gr […]
  • 39 Africans Walk into a Bar March 15, 2015
    New anthologies of African fiction seem to materialize virtually every year, if not more often in recent years. When presented with the physical fact of yet another new anthology of African fiction, the immediate question, one which I was asked when I pressed the warm, bound pages of the Africa39 anthology into the even warmer hands of a new acquaintance, wa […]
  • The Country Road by Regina Ullmann March 15, 2015
    This collection of short stories, her first to appear in English, counters material poverty with a fulfilling and deeply spiritual relationship with the natural world. Ullmann herself was no stranger to hardship. A depressive, she was plagued by personal and professional crises. Financial constraints forced her to send her illegitimate children to the countr […]
  • The Fall of Language in the Age of English by Minae Mizumura March 14, 2015
    The Fall of Language in the Age of English stirred up debate upon its publication in Japan in 2008, and it’s possible it will do so in the U.S. with its arrival in Mari Yoshihara and Juliet Winters Carpenter's translation. In their introduction, Yoshihara and Winters Carpenter, point out that Japanese reviewers accused Mizumura of being a jingoist, an e […]
  • Another View: Tracing the Foreign in Literary Translation by Eduard Stoklosinski March 14, 2015
    Another View demonstrates exciting potential in translation study and praxis. It is especially significant in deconstructing assumptions about fluency and linguistic identity. The author makes some persuasive arguments for considering and even preferring non-native translation of texts, the most controversial of which is the possibility that linguistic compe […]
  • The Latest Five from Dalkey Archive’s “Library of Korea” Series March 14, 2015
    Despite South Korea having the kind of vibrant literary scene you'd expect from a country with one of the highest literacy rates in the world, we're still not exactly inundated with English translations of South Korean fiction. Given this dearth, Dalkey Archive Press's Library of Korean Literature series, twenty five titles published in collab […]
  • B & Me: A True Story of Literary Arousal by J.C. Hallman March 14, 2015
    here’s a conspicuous history of books that simply should not work: Books like U & I by Nicholson Baker, a book-length exercise in “memory criticism,” where Baker traces Updike’s influence on his own writing life while studiously not actually re-reading any of Updike’s books. Or books like Out of Sheer Rage, Geoff Dyer’s book that procrastinates away from […]
  • The Valerie Miles Interview March 14, 2015
    The idea was to uncover the secret life of these texts, why do their creators consider them their best work? What’s the clandestine, the underground, the surreptitious meaning or attachment? Where’s the kernel, the seed from which a body of work grew, what the driving obsession? Is it something sentimental, something technical, maybe even something spiritual […]
  • On Being Blue by William H. Gass March 14, 2015
    Look up at the sky, or down into the ocean, and what color do you see? We see blue, but not Homer—he never once employs the term throughout The Iliad and The Odyssey, famously calling the sea "wine-dark" and the heavens "bronze." Neither did the Greek philosopher Xenophanes say blue—he described the rainbow as having only three colors. Th […]

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:

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  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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