A 70 percent list

A 70 percent sales discount changes everything; specially in a bookstore. Even if it is never nice to see a bookstore close, even if it is a big chain like Border's, a 70 percent discount cannot be easily ignored. So I went. Spooky experience. The store was almost empty and there was not much left in sections I normally find interesting, i.e. fiction, philosophy, history... There was indeed a lot left under romance, young adults, computer and sports but the amount of books under the other sections was just about the right size to actually be able to browse through them all. And I did find some interesting specimens. I wouldn't have bought most of the books I did buy had they not been on sale, but the 70 percent lens changes the approach completely. Suddenly, a book I would find interesting yet would never buy under normal circumstances becomes appealingly buyable, which perhaps confirms the belief that there is no such thing as a bad book but just wrongly or badly priced books. In any case, here it is the 70-percent-off-book list I got myself today (in order of appearance):

* The Verso Book of Dissent: From Spartacus to the Shoe-Thrower of Baghdad (2010). A collection of fragments written by dissidents that looks promising, specially for epigraphs.
* Shane Jones, Light Boxes (2009-Novel). The premise of the novel is that February is a God that has taken over a town and just doesn't let spring arrive; a Katechon of sorts, if you will.
* Marguerite Duras, The Lover (1984-Novel). Considered a masterpiece. Blanchot discusses it in The Unawovable Community and I guess that's where my curiosity comes from.
* William Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg, The Yage Letters (1963). Compiles the letters between these two while Burroughs was traveling through South America searching for yagé, the mythical hallucinogen of the Amazon. Also includes excerpts from Burroughs' diary during his expedition. The perfect obscure text to quote among literary people and just too quirky to pass on this one.
* Paul Auster, Timbuktu (1999-Novel). I love Auster but the main character is a dog and I always shun away from talking animals. The perfect example of a book I would have never bought at regular price.
* Paul Auster, Sunset Park (2010-Novel). Auster's latest novel involving a (as usual) somehow bizarre cast of characters struggling through the 2008 economic recession. An example of a book I would have bought anyway at regular price.
* Roland Barthes, A Lover's Discourse: Fragments (1977). Don't know what to expect here but Barthes is usually insightful no matter what, so why not.
* Thomas Paine, Common Sense (1776). It just made common sense to buy this one for $2.

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