Friday, October 1, 2010

Pimp My Library

As suspected, I haven't been able to finish El laberinto de la soledad on time. Even gave myself a 25-page a day quota. Utterly disrupted by: a) my friend Don's all-night 30th birthday, b) theft of my iPhone under really bizarre circumstances, c) fact that I had to finish reading a book about Steve Jobs to write an article about him for ten year-olds.

So, I'm killing time by considering a certain bit of news my friend has imparted. Basically, the National Library has no idea what books to buy! There's a lady whose job it is to spend X number of dollars per month on new books, and she has no idea what the reading public wants, so she's eager for people to make suggestions.

And given my reliance on the National Library for this project, I've got a small list of books I wouldn't mind them adding to their collection. (This isn't even counting the ones banned or semi-banned in Singapore.)

1. Janet Frame’s “Owls Do Cry” (New Zealand)
2. Tayeb Salih’s “The Wedding of Zein and Other Stories” (the Sudan)
3. Tao Lin’s "Shoplifting from American Apparel" (USA)
4. "Princess, Priestess, Poet: The Sumerian Temple Hymns of Enheduanna" (Iraq)*
5. Frantz Fanon's "Black Skin, White Masks" (Martinique) **
6. Tiffany Murray's "Happy Accidents" (Wales)

* This is especially cool, since Enheduanna (2285 BC - 2250 BC) is the first named author on historical record.

** NLB actually has Fanon, but only in its reference section. What gives? They're scared it's going to trigger an anti-neocolonialist revolt?

If you're so inclined, do leave a comment about what other books you think we need stocks of.

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