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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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.


  • Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay by Elena Ferrante September 16, 2014
    Few novelists have captured the rhythms and flow of life with the veracity of Elena Ferrante in her Neapolitan Novels. Following the friendship between Elena Greco and Lila Cerullo from childhood to old age, the tetralogy spans fifty years; over the course of that time, no emotion is too small, too dark, too banal to be recorded. No expense, so to speak, is […]
  • Trieste by Daša Drndić September 15, 2014
    As Drndić reiterates throughout the novel, “Behind every name there is a story.” And Haya Tedeschi’s story is draped in death. Born to a Jewish family that converted to Catholicism and tacitly supported the Fascists in Italy, Haya was a bystander to the Holocaust. She attended movies while Jews and partisans were transported to concentration camps; she pored […]
  • The Tree With No Name by Drago Jančar September 15, 2014
    At the opening of chapter 87—the first chapter found in The Tree with No Name—Janez Lipnik finds himself up a tree, shoeless, and lost in the Slovenian countryside. He makes his way to a house where he is taken in by a woman teacher who is waiting for her lover, a soldier. It becomes clear we are at the height of World War II. Soon after, we follow Lipnik […]
  • Kjell Askildsen, Selected Stories September 15, 2014
    Here, at the midpoint of his narrative, Bernhard, the affectless and purposeless protagonist of "The Unseen," experiences existential near-emancipation at dusk. This retreat toward obscurity in terse, direct language—thematic and stylistic markers of each work in the collection—comes immediately after Bernhard’s sister mentions her plans to enterta […]
  • Berlin Now by Peter Schneider September 15, 2014
    In his new book of essays, Berlin Now, Peter Schneider reveals himself as a gnarled Cold Warrior who has been stricken with many of the maladies common to his generation. With the specter of Communism exorcized, his new enemy is Islam. The book is a collection of short interlocking pieces introducing Anglophone readers to Berlin; it is not being published in […]
  • Paris by Marcos Giralt Torrente September 15, 2014
    In 1999, Marcos Giralt Torrente’s debut novel, Paris, was awarded the XVII Premio Herralde de Novela prize. Despite his success, it took fourteen years for Giralt’s work to appear in English, with the story collection The End of Love arriving in 2013. Now, this year sees the publication of two more books by Giralt: Paris, translated by Margaret Jull Costa, a […]
  • 10:04 by Ben Lerner September 15, 2014
    “It seemed that the [New Yorker] story—which was in part the result of my dealing with the reception of my novel—had been much more widely received than the novel itself,” says the narrator of Ben Lerner’s second novel, 10:04. Perhaps this narrator is Lerner himself—at one point he describes 10:04, within its own pages, as “neither fiction nor nonfiction but […]
  • Theories of Forgetting by Lance Olsen September 15, 2014
    Lance Olsen’s Theories of Forgetting is a masterful work structured around Robert Smithson’s earthwork “The Spiral Jetty.” Olsen’s novel is comprised of three narrations, written each by a separate member of a family. The husband’s and wife’s texts progress in opposite directions across the book, with each page divided among these two inverted texts; though […]
  • An Interview with Lance Olsen September 15, 2014
    The most substantial may be that innovative fiction knows what it is, that someone like me could define it in any productive way, that innovative fiction might somehow be one thing, or somehow consistent through time and space. None of these is the case. That’s exactly what I find most exciting about writing it, reading it, thinking about it. Innovative fict […]
  • The Ants by Sawako Nakayasu September 15, 2014
    In The Ants, we receive a study of existence through ants. That is, there are ants everywhere, ants substituted in every segment of the landscape, yet their behavior seems to reveal something altogether human. Too human. The ants are crushed and disappointed. They are warm and many. They are involved in gang wars and live inside carrot cake. The unique quali […]

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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