Puff Chrissy’s Shelf Porn: Part 9 3


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And welcome back to Part 9 of Puff Chrissy’s Shelf Porn. In this feature, I take a weekly look at one of my book shelves and throw out some thoughts about the books living there. Let’s get started…

George Carlin’s words work better on stage, but Napalm and Silly Putty is certainly a good effort. He is missed.

Great American Prose Poems, edited by David Lehman, was an impulse purchase in Krakow and ended up being a wonderful surprise. Some amazing writing in this book. If you want to see what can be accomplished in a few words, this is worth picking up.

Neil Gaiman returns yet again with the delightfully creepy Coraline. I wish they had children’s books like this when I was little.

Miscellaneous Writings by H.P. Lovecraft is an awesome collection of letters and what not. A must have if you’re interested in the writer and are hoping to see who he really was as a person.

Everything Bad is Good For You by Steven Johnson is a wonderful book, and really helped me to put together a lot of my ideas for my MA work. Johnson has a nice way of expressing his ideas without making you feel left out. It’s a bit dated at this point, but still worth checking out.

Towing Jehovah and Blameless in Abaddon by James Morrow are the funniest books about the death of God that you’ll find. I haven’t read these in a long, long time, so I’m not sure how they hold up. But I do remember laughing quite a bit when I read them.

I love Cormac McCarthy’s work. However, I just never liked Cities of the Plain and All the Pretty Horses.

Thomas Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow took me a while, but I did finish the book. It felt like an accomplishment on a lot of levels. A weapon of a book full of a lot of digressions and cool moments, the book is talked about for a reason.

L. Sprague de Camp’s biography on Lovecraft is good, but I’d be interested in reading someone’s take on the man.

Steve Martin’s Shopgirl is a great novella and confirmed to me what an astounding writer Martin is. For a small book, there’s plenty here to enjoy.

Man and Boy by Tony Parsons hit me emotionally when I first read it, especially the ending. Parsons has really grown into a solid writer and I’m afraid to read this one again to find it lacking, especially when compared to his more recent work. That said, Man and Boy is geeky fun with a lot of heart.

C.S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia are the first books I remember reading. I used to go to the North Tonawanda library when I was a kid and get these books one at a time, and when I finished them, I’d start all over again. I’ll have to take another stab at these someday to catch all the stuff my young brain wouldn’t notice.

Alfred Bester is one of those writers that people keep forgetting about. Both The Stars My Destination and The Demolished Man are colorful and alive, and it feels like the stories want to explode off the page.

Hermann Hesse’s Siddhartha is something I read when I was in university and I remember it striking a chord with me. Though, I’m not sure why at the moment. I’ll need to give this one another read sometime.

That’s it for this week. See you next Friday when I take a look at yet another shelf. It never ends…

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About Christian A. Dumais

Christian A. Dumais is an American writer, humorist and public speaker living in Wrocław, Poland. He has published fiction, journalism, and academic articles in several magazines and journals such as GUD, Shock Totem and Ha!Art. His first collection of short stories, Empty Rooms Lonely Countries, was published in 2009. He also created, edited, and contributed to Cover Stories, a euphictional anthology of 100 stories inspired by songs, which was published in 2010. His most recent book is SMASHED: The Life and Tweets of Drunk Hulk.


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3 thoughts on “Puff Chrissy’s Shelf Porn: Part 9

  • S. Bradley

    The Morrow books hold up very well, in fact. One of my fellow IB English teachers here at PHU is close friends with the author (she even had a character in the second book loosely based upon her), so I had access to the whole series. The absurdity in the series is just awesome. To this day I can’t eat a Filet-o-Fish sandwich (which isn’t very often, thank God) without thinking, “This is what God tastes like!” Again, like House of Leaves, a somewhat more obscure title that I was certain nobody else had read. Thanks, PuffChrissy!

    Actually considered teaching Siddhartha to my sophomores at one point. A parent, during one open house, spied a copy in my class library. He came up, shook my hand, and said that having that book in my classroom gave him confidence that I would teach his child the right things. Now I keep two copies.

  • Christian A. Dumais Post author

    Scott: I just went and read up about Morrow. I hadn’t realized how many books he’s put out and it never occurred to me there was a third book in the series. As for Siddhartha, I can see that book being taught at 10th grade. I certainly wish I would’ve read it earlier than university.

    AlooFar: Thanks for stopping by. I liked your thoughts about Carlin on your site.