IDT Staff Reading List in January (2006)

Ross Simonini: God Lives in St. Petersburg by Tom Bissell; Jernigan by David Gates (for an Interview); The Family Daughter by Maile Meloy (for Review); Home Land by Sam Lipsyte (for an Interview); Denial of Death by Ernest Becker; Perfume by Patrick Suskind

Lisa Szkatulski: I’m working on Living to Tell the Tale, the memoirs of Marquez (One Hundred Years of Solitude, Love in the Time of Cholera, etc). It chronicles his life from earliest memories until he proposes to his wife in the fifties. It’s really good, and pretty much shows how he found all the pieces (characters, conflicts, settings) of 100 Years in his own life. Pretty sweet. I’m also saving up for The Design of Dissent: Socially and Politically Driven Graphics, by Milton Glaser. Should be a great read / coffee table book.

Robert Birnbaum: Read Sigrid Nunez’s wonderful new novel, The Last of Her Kind. Reading Julian Barnes’s Arthur & George and a book about Spinoza and Leibinz called The Courtier and the Heretic by Matthew Stewart. And a beautiful memoir by Gail Caldwell (A Strong West Wind), Peter Blauner’s Slipping into Darkness and various parts of Best American Essays 2005 especially Andrea Barrett‘s “A Sea of Information” and Robert Stone’s remembrance of Ken Kesey.

Jessica Rowland: The World is Flat, The End of Poverty, Travels of a T-shirt in the Global Economy (which is actually quite fascinating), Dress Your Family in Courderoy & Denim, and get my quick fixes from NY Magazine. Also – to those on the social justice circuit – I received a book called “Edges” about the Israel/Palestine Conflict, and then a social satire called Junk about a government ban on junk food. I haven’t had time to start either, but both seem worthwhile – especially edges, which is done by a Brooklyn writer.

Eric Lagergren: I’m moving through three or four things. Reading The Great Influenza (talk of bird flu influencing this read? You be the judge). Also reading Trauma and Recovery by Judith Herman, and Nothing Like it In the World, by Ambrose (about the transcont. rr). And smatterings of other things here and there.

Krissy Haltinner: A Million Little Pieces (we know about that one!); The Pilgrimage – Paulo Coelho (just finished Veronika Decides to Die by him, great book. All of his works are great); Night Draws Near: Iraq’s People in the Shadow of America’s War – Anthony Shadid; Debt for Sale – Brett Williams; Critical Latin American and Latino Studies – Juan Poblete

Drew McNaughton: Running After Antelope by Scott Carrier, Your Baby & Child by Penelope Leach, Best American Science and Nature Writing 2005, and a Zoology textbook.

Jesslyn Roebuck: I’ve just finished reading Nicaraguan poet and Sandinista, Gioconda Belli’s memoir entitled The Country Under My Skin, and a book of her poems, From Eve’s Rib. Both were pretty good reads although the memoir is a tad dense in parts. If interested in the more literary side of things, I suggest her book of poetry. For the social justice side, I’d suggest the memoir. It gives a good look at an insider’s view of inciting revolution and social change from within. Now, I’m reading a book about Social Security in order to write a review for the social justice site. Among other things, an oldie but goodie, Emerson’s “Self-Reliance and other Essays” brings things back into balance.

Matt Borondy: I’m pondering a line from David Foster Wallace’s essay on Updike in Consider the Lobster: “Rampant or flaccid, Ben Turnbull’s unhappiness is obvious right from the novel’s first page. It never occurs to him, though, that the reason he’s so unhappy is that he’s an asshole.”
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