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.


  • [[there.]] by Lance Olsen December 15, 2014
    Lance Olsen is the author of two recent works, [[there.]] and Theories of Forgetting (FC2). The second presents three narratives in a clearly fictional mode while the first offers day-to-day thoughts on living in another country. We rightly suspect that any artist’s memoir or diary ought to be viewed as written with a prospective public in mind, no matter ho […]
  • Noir and Nihilism in True Detective December 15, 2014
    "It’s just one story. The oldest. . . . Light versus dark." Spanning 8 episodes between January and March of 2014, HBO’s runaway hit True Detective challenged the status quo of contemporary crime drama. The show has been widely celebrated for its philosophy, complexity, and visual aesthetic. Co-starring actors Matthew McConaughey as Rustin "Ru […]
  • The Colonel’s World December 15, 2014
    Mahmoud Dowlatabadi (born 1940) is considered by many the living Iranian novelist, a perennial Nobel Prize candidate. Dowlatabadi wrote The Colonel some thirty years ago, because in his own words he had been “afflicted.” The subject forced him to sit at the desk and write nonstop for two years. “Writing The Colonel I felt a strong sense of indignation and pa […]
  • Mr Gwyn and Three Times at Dawn by Alessandro Baricco December 15, 2014
    Alessandro Baricco’s well-crafted, elegant prose seems as though it should create the impression of distance, or of abstraction; instead, the reader of Mr. Gwyn and Three Times at Dawn becomes wholly implicated and immersed, drawn into a dreamy and idiosyncratic world that blurs the division between reader, character and writer. As readers, we expect that th […]
  • The Walls of Delhi by Uday Prakash December 15, 2014
    "The paan shop leads to the opening of a tunnel, full of the creatures of the city, and the tears and spit of a fakir." In a single opening line, Uday Prakash sets the scene for the politically incisive, yet intimately human stories of The Walls of Delhi (translated brilliantly from the Hindi by Jason Grunebaum). Lest the fakir suggest otherwise, t […]
  • The Man Between: Michael Henry Heim and a Life in Translation December 15, 2014
    In a speech reprinted in the book, Heim makes a self-deprecating joke about whether the life of a translator is worth reading: “What does a translator do? He sits and translates!” The Man Between serves as a book-length retort by laying bare all the things Heim did: these include persuading the academy that translation is a scholarly (in addition to a creati […]
  • The Prabda Yoon Interview December 15, 2014
    Yes, I think people are not comfortable anymore to write in this straightforward, traditional way, especially the younger, more progressive writers. So it’s interesting—you have social commentary, and you also get a little bit of structural experiment. You have themes that are very, very Thai. I’m actually very interested to see what new writers will come up […]
  • The End of Days by Jenny Erpenbeck December 15, 2014
    For Jenny Erpenbeck, no life is lived in an indisputable straight line. Which is why, in her new novel (new in English, though published in 2012 as Aller Tage Abend) she approaches the narrative as a series of potential emotional earthquakes, some which take place, some which might have taken place, all of which reveal something of how political turbulence p […]
  • In the Heart of the Heart of the Country by William H. Gass December 15, 2014
    Once, at a writers symposium, William Howard Gass remarked that to substitute the page for the world is a form of revenge for the recognition that "you are, in terms of the so-called world, an impotent nobody." There is inarguably no contemporary writer of American stock in whose work one might locate a more ambitious war of attrition between innov […]
  • Faces in the Crowd by Valeria Luiselli December 15, 2014
    Luiselli’s first novel, Faces in the Crowd, translated into fluid English by Christina MacSweeney, is the perfect illustration of this attitude toward fiction writing. Narrated in short sections spanning multiple storylines and the better part of one hundred years, it uses "[d]eep excavations" to expose the empty spaces in two lives, those of a you […]

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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