Sunday, September 18, 2011

Another New Book for Me!

Just picked this up. Super excited.

Short Letter, Long Farewell by Peter Handke

Friday, September 16, 2011

New Books for Me!

Some books I just picked up at Half Price Books after trading in some old books:

Disgrace by J.M. Coetzee
In Persuasion Nation by George Saunders
Frog by Stephen Dixon

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Audio of "The View From Mrs. Thompson's" by David Foster Wallace

On this tenth anniversary of The Horror, listen to David Foster Wallace read his essay from Consider the Lobster, The View From Mrs. Thompson's.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

All Roads Lead to Michigan

After American Salvage, Q Road is probably Bonnie Jo Campbell's strongest book. I recently interviewed this past summer for Knee-Magazine, so I had the chance to read her entire catalog.

Q Road is a novel told from multiple view points, with each chapter devoted to a single character. As the story moves along, the characters lives begin to intermingle. It is at once about a small Michigan township and of course, like any great story, it is also about the world. While the novel is heavy on characters, Campbell doesn't take the easy way out and leave readers with no plot to latch onto. Let's just say it involves fire.

If you haven't read Bonnie Jo Campbell, then you're missing out.

Northwest Living

Livability by Jon Raymond
272 pages
published by Bloomsbury USA

I read this because it contained the basis for two films I rather enjoyed, Old Joy (titled Old Joy in the story collection) and Wendy & Lucy (titled Train Choir in the story collection). Overall the stories were kinda middle-of-the-road. Characters tended to be a bit flat and sometimes the stories felt a bit MFA-ish. There was just an overarching tone or voice that I feel I've been reading in contemporary American fiction and I don't like it.

But check out the two films directed by Kelly Reichardt. They're excellent. She also directed the recent Meek's Cutoff, which looks amazing and I think Jon Raymond did the screenplay.

I had high hopes because the movies were so great, but I really shouldn't compare the two. I also picked up his novel, Half-Life, so maybe that will be better.