I checked out the newly opened Barnes and Noble on 86th and Lexington in New York this past weekend, gift card in hand. The store is so huge, I hardly knew what to look at first. I picked through the fiction, quirky non-fiction bestsellers and cooking section on the first level, giving the second basement level not much more than a glance. A friend tells me they have a THIRD level with an event space, which I’m glad I didn’t see. (One hour of mega store book browsing is enough, thanks!) Also, the place doesn’t have cell phone reception, so my husband and I kept losing one another in the cavernous space.
That aside, I picked up some good reads:
“On Beauty” by Zadie Smith
“Absurdistan” by Gary Shteyngart
“The Kite Runner” by Khaled Hosseini
“The Hunger: A Story of Food, Desire, and Ambition” by John Delucie (for my husband)
I know, I know. I could have checked these off any bestseller list. To be honest, my picks didn’t stray from the “notable fiction” table. But I’ve been on a non-fiction binge for a few years, so I guess it’s time to catch up. I’ve read White Teeth by Zadie Smith and enjoyed it (up until the last few pages) so I’ll be happy to pick up Smith’s latest. But before I crack any of these, I’ll be wrapping up Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood. Stay tuned for more on that soon.
A couple film-related post scripts:
It seems there is a recent German film also under the title Absurdistan. Anyone know if this is based on the book?
It didn’t occur to me until writing this post that Delucie’s memoir borrows its name, The Hunger, from the Whitley Strieber novel and 1980s cult vampire film with David Bowie and Catherine Deneuve. Is he trying to draw some blood-sucking allusions about the service industry lifestyle, perhaps?