The Dusty Bookshelf: September 2016
What’re the beleaguered folks at Coach House reading this month to stave off bad feelings as the sun begins to set earlier?
I’m halfway through The Two Kinds of Decay by Sarah Manguso (FGS, 2008), lovely little snippets all gathered very smartly about living with a bizarre autoimmune disorder. I'm not one for misery memoirs, but this is part of that terrific new wave of super-sophisticated poetic memoirish-ists. Like, David Markson meets the New York Times’ Think Like a Doctor column.
Next up, a toss between After James (Tin House, 2016), the new novel by maestro Michael Helm; with a neuroscientist, a creativity drug, a poet-turned-literary-detective and an identity-stealing conceptual artist, I really feel I can't go wrong. But I'm also keen to start Nine Island by Jane Alison (Catapult, 2016), a novel about a woman living in a glass tower who's decided to eschew love. I read the first page and fell in love but had to finish a whole pile of work first and so it's just sitting there waiting for me ...
I just finished reading Jade Sharma’s Problems (Coffee House Press, 2016). They describe it as Girls meets Trainspotting, which is very apt.
I'm currently reading – and don't judge me – David Cay Johnston’s The Making of Donald Trump (Melville House, 2016). It’s in an effort to understand the enemy. Somehow, none of the terrible stuff that he’s done is all that surprising.
As I do whenever the Detroit Tigers fail to win a World Series (every year I've been alive), I'm reading Bless You Boys by Sparky Anderson (Contemporary Books, 1984). This is a painful exercise that tucks the whole summer in.
Aside from that I'm eagerly finishing Jamaal May's The Big Book of Exit Strategies (Alice James, 2016), the follow-up to his stunning debut Hum, and Lina Wolff's Bret Easton Ellis and Other Dogs (And Other Stories, 2016). My bedside table is beginning to buckle, though.