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 to everyone, purchases made through Amazon links on this site kick back a donation to me and help fund both this blog and The Quarterly Conversation.

#1: The Story About the Story, edited by JC Hallman

This is a unique experience in the time that I've been doing this: The Story About the Story is a book that I've really gotten behind, both personally and as editor of The Quarterly Conversation, so it's gratifying to see readers respond by making it the #1 selling book this quarter, despite the fact that I only started discussing it less than a month ago. I think it's going to be a great anthology of literary criticism, so I'm really glad to see it up here at #1.

#2: The She-Devil in the Mirror, by Horacio Castellanos Moya

This is another book–and an author–that I've very much gotten behind on this site. The She-Devil in the Mirror is the second book translated by New Directions by Central American novelist Horacio Castellanos Moya (it follows Senselessness), and I've had great things to say about both books. Another Moya translation, Dance with Snakes has just been published by Biblioasis.

#3: Best European Fiction 2010, edited by Aleksandar Hemon

By contrast to the first two, I think I've only mentioned Best European Fiction 2010 a couple of times on this site, and it's pretty much sold itself. It's a Dalkey book, and obviously people trust Dalkey's well-established name in translated literature, as well as that of the book's editor, Aleksandr Hemon. It's the first in a series of yearly anthologies of new literature from Europe, which seems like a great thing for translated literature in this country.

#4: The Skating Rink by Roberto Bolano

The Skating Rink is another one pretty much sold on reputation, although I did review the book very favorably at The Quarterly Conversation. Oddly enough, no one seems to be buying By Night in Chile through this site even though, I must say, it's probably my second-favorite Bolano novel.

#5: Ties

Now we start getting into the books that tied. There were a bunch in this slot, mostly owing to being discussed either on this site or on The Quarterly Conversation.

#6: More Ties

Ditto for the #6 slot.

You can see last quarter's best-selling titles here and the entire series here.

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You’re missing out on the ones I buy on your recommendation from…shame…


The Surrender is Veronica Scott Esposito’s “collection of facts” concerning how she embraced her true gender.


Two long essays of 10,000 words each on sex in—and out of—literature . . .

The first essay dives in to Nicholson Baker’s “sex trilogy,” explaining just what Baker is up to here and why these books ultimately fail to be as sexy as Baker might wish.

From there the book moves on to the second essay, which explains just why Spaniard Javier Marías does right what Baker does wrong . . .


5 essays. 2 interviews.

All in all, over 25,000 words of Latin American literary goodness.

3 never-before-published essays, including “The Digression”—a 4,000-word piece on the most important digression in César Aira’s career.

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