Tuesday, 19 December 2006

In BookMooch news: today a woman in Missouri mooched my extra copy of Ada, or Ardor: A Family Chronicle by Vladimir Nabokov. That's an additional three points, bringing my total points to almost 12 (you get a tenth of a point each time you submit notification that you have received a book). That's enough for 12 books from Australians or six books from overseas. Yippee.

But I've had problems with books I've mooched. Two are still pending, and have been for over a month. I wonder if it's because, coming from overseas, they've been mailed surface.

Nevertheless, I recently received two mooched books. One is Rituals by Cees Nooteboom. I've been wanting to read something by this often-mentioned Dutch writer for some time. My favourite visual arts critic, Sebastian Smee, has named him in reviews. Well, I found an Australian BookMooch member with a copy, and it arrived within days. That's the advantage of mooching from people in your own country: fast delivery.

The other book that arrived recently is What It Takes: The Way to the White House by Richard Ben Cramer. This is a work of literary journalism published in 1992 that takes a behind-the-scenes look at the struggle that was the 1988 presidential election. I came across Cramer when reading The New New Journalism, which I reviewed in September.

If you want to see my BookMooch inventory, click here.


mouse said...
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Anonymous said...

" Two are still pending, and have been for over a month. I wonder if it's because, coming from overseas, they've been mailed surface."

Yes, almost everyone from the USA on BookMooch will send books surface mail, and it takes typically 6 to 8 weeks to arrive. It's *much* cheaper, about 1/3rd the cost. I use it all the time, and 2 months is typical, otherwise we're looking at $10 USD to send each book.

- John from BookMooch

Anonymous said...

Hm, I've only read Lolita and Pale Fire by Nabokov. I heard he's extremely stubborn about completely accurate translations of texts.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and I love Umberto Eco too. I recently read his How to Travel with a Salmon - no one is better in merging the profane and the profound than him.

Matthew da Silva said...

You're right, but don't forget he's been dead for just on 30 years, so you should most correctly use the past tense. He was very particular about a lot of things.

His idea of translation is best exemplified by the one he did of Pushkin's Eugene Onegin. Very different from your standard rhyming English translation, but a lot of fun to read. The footnotes are also very good fun. He researched the voice to use extensively, going through the works of dozens of eighteenth-century English poets to find the mot juste.

Matthew da Silva said...

John: one was sent on October 4 and the other was sent on October 18.