I’m approaching Wish List Wednesday a little bit differently this week. In addition to my new finds, I’ll include articles or resources that have led me to new books within the last week.
Online Schools has a list of the 100 Essential Reads for the Lifelong Learner, which is divided into Fiction Classics, Non-Fiction Classics, Recent Literature, Autobiographies and Memoirs, Biographies, World Literature (that’s right), History, Political Science, Language Arts and Literary Theory, and Science, Math, and Social Studies.
Ellen Ullman’s By Blood showed up on last week’s Wish List Wednesday, but this article made me all the more excited to read it, and Mo Willems’s We Are in a Book! is the first picture book I’ve been interested in since Go the Fuck to Sleep.
Because of this Tin House article, I now want Mentors, Muses, & Monsters: 30 Writers on the People Who Changed Their Lives.
Here are the five books that apparently changed the way Eric Weinstein thinks about writing. I totally get numbers 1-3 and need to read the other two.
Shalom Auslander lists his 10 favorite comic tragedies, and includes some good ones but neglects to mention MY ALL-TIME FAVORITE COMIC TRAGEDY.
American Tabloid doesn’t sound like the kind of story that would normally be my bag, but Adam Levin makes it sound like something I want to check out.
WHAT ELSE IS NEW ON MY WISH LIST:
Sider, a man of twenty-eight, is confronted in the Tyrol by a giant mountain named Stag’s Head and an ancient hovel standing under a high, black cliff. Out one day on a hike, he encounters two women who will mark his fate: the elder Errata, dressed in red, and the younger Orea, dressed in blue (the two colors of the Virgin Mary). From this point on Sider is on a quest for the All, the Absolute, and to achieve eternity by atoning for the misdeeds of a past life. Willing to risk his entire fortune and sanity, he succumbs to his dreams and hallucinations as Orea, or her doppelgänger, becomes for him the apotheosis of the Feminine, a representation of the goddess Nemesis who initiates him into the mysteries of life and death through her attribute of divine retribution.
Three Ways of the Saw offers a startling new voice in traditional storytelling that carves out a territory all its own. The vibrant prose of this debut collection—ranging in both style and length from experimental and realistic to flash and longer form fiction—searingly probes and dissects the idea of connection and alienation with one’s self, the world and others.
Always gritty, often cruel, yet quietly insightful, this jagged chain of vignettes is for readers who try to hold their thoughts together with duct tape while never quite grasping the things they just can’t seem to name.
At a loose end after college, Ellis Barstow drifts back to his home town and a strange profession: reconstructing fatal traffic accidents. He seems to take to the work immediately , and forms a bond with his boss and mentor, John Boggs, an intriguing character of few but telling words.
Yet Ellis is harbouring a secret. He was drawn to the reconstructionist’s grisly world by the fatal crash that killed his half-brother Christopher and that still haunts him; in fact his life has been shaped by car accidents. Boggs, in his exacting way, would argue that ‘accident’ is not the right word, that if two cars meeting at an intersection can be called an accident then anything can – where we live, what we do, even who we fall in love with.
For Ellis these things are certainly no accident. And he harbours a second, more dangerous secret, one that threatens to blow apart the men’s lives and which, as the story’s quiet momentum builds, leads to a desperate race towards confrontation, reconciliation and survival.
In this fascinating, informative, and entertaining collection, internationally acclaimed, award-winning author Colm Tóibín turns his attention to the intricacies of family relationships in literature and writing. In pieces that range from the importance of aunts (and the death of parents) in the English nineteenth-century novel to the relationship between fathers and sons in the writing of James Baldwin and Barack Obama, Colm Tóibín illuminates not only the intimate connections between writers and their families but also, with wit and rare tenderness, articulates the great joy of reading their work. In the piece on the Notebooks of Tennessee Williams, Tóibín reveals an artist “alone and deeply fearful and unusually selfish” and one profoundly tormented by his sister’s mental illness. Through the relationship between W.B. Yeats and his father, or Thomas Mann and his children, or J.M. Synge and his mother, Tóibín examines a world of family relations, richly comic or savage in its implications. In Roddy Doyle’s writing on his parents we see an Ireland reinvented. From the dreams and nightmares of John Cheever’s journals Tóibín makes flesh this darkly comic misanthrope and his relationship to his wife and his children.The majority of these pieces were previously published in the Londron Review of Books, the New York Review Review of Books, and the Dublin Review. Three of the thirteen pieces have never appeared before.
In this new collection of a novella and three short stories, each piece tackles the relationship of the dominant and the submissive male—or the daddy and his “boy.” In one story, two straight men fall in love with each other. In another, a nerd picks up a dangerous black sailor and takes him home—but there’s a classic twist at the end. A third story presents the growing animosity between two roommates that culminates in a rape.
All of the stories are brand-new and not available elsewhere. This includes one tale using the characters of Mordden’s popular Buddies series, about a New York actor desperately caught between “playing” his life as the aggressor and the victim.