What We’re Reading

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Memoirs of My Nervous Illness and Recommended V-Day Reading

I just finished Daniel Schreber’s Memoirs of My Nervous Illness and now I’m finishing up My Mistress’ Sparrow is Dead, a love story anthology edited by Jeffrey Eugenides (in time for Valentine’s Day).

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Sloths, comics, and The Lagoon

A couple of months ago I read a pretty great graphic novel called The Lagoon, by Lilli Carre. It’s kind of hard to explain what it’s about–there’s a thing living in a lagoon, and weird stuff happens when it sings. The drawings are perfect. It’s actually a perfect book, or almost. Then, for Christmas, I […]

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David Foster Wallace and a Quiet Purging

Last we blogged I bragged. “I’ll read a slew of women and one man,” I wrote. Big talk.I started off well–beautifully, sadly, amazingly, actually–with Yiyun Li’s A Thousand Years of Good Prayers and Jennifer Pashley’s States.I had intended then to fold back the cover of Doris Lessing’s The Golden Notebook, but before I got to […]

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Roberto Bolano, Jim Harrison, and more

In no particular order: 2666 by Roberto Bolano, The Romantic Dogs by Roberto Bolano (poems), Saving Daylight by Jim Harrison (poems), Just Before Dark by Jim Harrison (non fiction), Flying by Eric Kraft, Runner by Thomas Perry, Waltzing with Bashir (graphic novel), Angels and Ages by Adam Gopnik, The Savage Detectives by Roberto Bolano, Life […]

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The Way Through Doors, The Elephant Vanishes

I just picked up the new Jesse Ball novel The Way Through Doors at Powell’s the other day, and I’ve brought it with me to Marfa, TX where I’m spending the month of February. That and The Elephant Vanishes by Murakami.–Anna-Lynne Williams, music editor

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Animal, Vegetable, Miracle + War and Peace

When not enjoying LSAT review books, I’m reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver, and I’m in year 2 of my quest to read War and Peace (made it to page 857 thus far).–Alexandra Tursi, visual arts editor

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Thelonious Monk, Neil Gaiman, Neal Stephenson

I’ve been taking my time through the Thelonious Monk Reader. Took it out from the MIT library and realized, hey, why would I ever buy old books again?I’m also reading Smoke and Mirrors, Neil Gaiman’s short story collection. And also Neal Stephenson’s ginormous book Anathem, which honestly I can’t imagine finishing–turns out I’m not so […]

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When Sonny Bravo Met Holden Caulfield

Spurred by what one critic said of Dagoberto Gilb’s The Flowers (that its narrator Sonny Bravo could be Holden Caulfield), I read The Flowers then reread Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye. The narrators do share the word “phony,” it’s true. Rather than interchange them, I’d like to see them meet.Finished a novel that debuted in […]

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Rereading Steinbeck

I’m rereading everything Steinbeck for my 11th grade English class (The Pearl, Of Mice and Men, and The Grapes of Wrath).For fun I’ve got Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six-Word Memoirs and Veronica by Mary Gaitskill (I adore her). -Sarah Presite, assistant fiction editor

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The Omnivore’s Dilemma

I just finished reading, Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma, and Jeffrey Eugenides’ Middlesex. On deck is Carl Bernstein’s A Woman in Charge: The Life of Hillary Rodham Clinton. -Jesslyn Roebuck, contributing editor

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How to Rig an Election

For this fiction editor, no fiction lately! I recently finished How to Rig an Election: Confessions of a Republican Operative, am in the middle of Sacco and Vanzetti: The Men, the Murders, and the Judgment of Mankind, and have Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions waiting on my nightstand after reading a […]

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Why the Devil Chose New England for His Work

I just finished reading Jason Brown’s collection of short stories, Why the Devil Chose New England for His Work, David Bornstein’s How to Change the World: Social Entrepreneurs and the Power of New Ideas, and Daniel Stashower’s The Beautiful Cigar Girl: Mary Rogers, Edgar Allan Poe, and the Invention of Murder. -Sherry Saturno, interviews editor

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The Reluctant Fundamentalist

James Warner: I just read The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid, and Christine Falls by John Banville (writing under a mysterious pseudonym). I’m now engrossed in Mark Helprin’s Refiner’s Fire–not very close to me politically, that guy, but I can forgive anything of someone who writes that kind of prose.-James Warner, assistant fiction editor

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The Magus (still)

I’m just finishing The Magus, still, I’ve been on that one for a while. But as soon as I started reading it, it immediately fell into my Top 5 list. And I always take my time with those. Remembrance of Things Past, Of Human Bondage, Lolita.I’m going to be traveling most of this month, so […]

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The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle

I just finished rereading Murakami’s The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, which is pretty great but I don’t think matches up to some of his subsequent books. Before that was South of the Border, West of the Sun (also by Murakami), and before that was a cool little comic book called Tales of Woodsman Pete, by Lilli […]

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