Often people leave free books in boxes outside their brownstones in my neighborhood. I invariably peep the offerings, which usually have one or two books I'll take home, and always provide an interesting profile of their former owner. There was an exceptional situation a few blocks from my place today. Here's what I took home and what I didn't:
  1. "Rilke on Love and Other Difficulties" by Rainer Maria Rilke
    This was the first title that grabbed me while scanning to gauge overall quality of selection. Copped.
  2. "The Real Life of Sebastian Knight" by Nabokov
    Nabokov's first novel in English, been on the "to read" list since 2011. Note to self: make a "to read" list on list app. Copped.
  3. "Living with Hypothyroidism" by Alan Rubin and Sarah Brewer
    Did not cop.
  4. "Say Her Name" by Francisco Goldman
    I don't know anything about this but Junot Diaz gave a blurb and I respect him. Copped.
  5. "A Thousand Plateaus" by Deleuze and Guattari
    Costs minimum $18 at a book store. Copped.
  6. "Rotten English" edited by Dohra Ahmad
    Junot Diaz also gave a blurb for this one. Does Junot Diaz give hella blurbs or did the former owners of these books only read novels he recommends?? Copped.
  7. "The Pilates Method of Body Conditioning" by Sean P. Gallagher
    CD attached. Nevertheless did not cop.
  8. n+1 Research Branch Pamphlet Series #2 "What We Should Have Known: Two Discussions"
    I am an n+1 devotee but this book's subject is a mystery. The back cover reads obscurely; "it was like a hiatus in my life. I did stuff before college and I did stuff after college, but what the hell did I do in college?" Copped.
  9. "Brooklyn" by Colm Toibin
    I already read this. Junot Diaz gave a blurb. Beginning to suspect he is the Ebert of contemporary fiction. Did not cop.
  10. "The Intelligence of Evil or The Lucidity Pact" by Jean Baudrillard
    Read "Simulacra and Simulation" my sophomore year of college and it blew my mind and changed my life. Copped.
  11. "Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die: Musings from the Road" by Willie Nelson
    HOLY SHIT. Confirming that this is the best books-left-on-sidewalk-for-free situation of all time. Copped, without a doubt.