What We’re Reading: August 2009

I’m getting ready to get into The Amateur American by high school classmate J. Saunders Elmore, Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri, and hopefully I’ll get my hands on a copy of idt copyeditor Stephanie Johnson’s new story collection, One of These Things is Not Like the Others.

-Matt Borondy

I’ve got the latest issues of American Short Fiction and One Story next to me on my couch, alongside James Hannaham’s God Says No and the new Flannery: A Life of Flannery O’Connor by Brad Gooch (the latter two by Little, Brown).

-Stacy Muszynski

* The Two Kinds of Decay, by Sarah Manguso. I can’t decide whether I love it or hate it, but I can’t stop reading it.
* Scorch Atlas by Blake Butler. An undamaged copy.
* Picking Bones from Ash by Marie Mutsuki Mockett. Multi-generational saga re Japanese women. Not my usual fare, but enjoying.
* The Unnamed by Joshua Ferris. Just a few pages in, but methinks it’s very ready-for-filming – intentionally or not, I don’t know. Also: one of those “I could have written that” books, even though I probably couldn’t have written it. (At least, the first few pages.)
* Booklife by Jeff VanderMeer. The sort of book that, 99% of the time, is outdated two months after it hits shelves. I think this may fall into that 1% category, though. Flipping through it, some interesting considerations of writing &/vs. maintaining an “online presence.”

-Matthew Tiffany

I’m continuing my binge-reading habits. The current binge comes in response to my best friend’s wedding a couple weeks ago. The wedding was on the Georgetown campus, and it had me missing both Jesuit education (we went to a Jesuit high school and I played/sang a classic Jesuit hymn for the wedding ceremony) and also everything Irish (among other Irish things, he and the groomsmen wore bright green bow ties). So I’m reading A Jesuit Education Reader to sate one fix, and for the other, I picked up a 600-page collection of Irish music called Songs of the People. It’s an amazing book, despite chapter 23, entitled “Cruel was my father”.

-Andrew Whitacre

I just finished Andre Dubus III‘s The Garden of Last Days, and now I’m reading Steve Martin’s memoir Born Standing Up and a slew of geeky Batman comics. I know, I know…

-Matt Okie

I’m reading Wild Nights by Joyce Carol Oates, then Arlington Park by Rachel Cusk. Recently finished Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver and The View From Castle Rock by Alice Munro. Both great reads.

-Alexandra Tursi

More or less here is my recent reading…

The Tragedy of American Foreign Policy, William Appleton Williams
Four Freedoms, John Crowley
Laura Ryders Masterpiece, Jane Hamilton
Ravens, George Dawes Green
Rain Gods, Jame Lee Burke
You or Someone Like You, Chandler Burr
That Old Cape Magic, Richard Russo
Wanting, Richard Flanagan
Midnight Picnic, Nick Antosca
Home Game, Michael Lewis
Nobody Move, Denis Johnson
The Winter Vault, Anne Michaels
Road Dogs, Elmore Leonard
Mirrors, Eduardo Galeano
The Dangerous Life and Times of Warren Zevon, Crystal Zevon
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qHDdqubE7zQ

-Robert Birnbaum

Right now I’m reading What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew: From Fox Hunting to Whist – the Facts of Daily Life in 19th-Century England – a garage sale find that’s actually a really fun read, providing context for Victorian literary allusions to things like money, medicine, or the peerage.

-Summer Block Kumar

I’m knee deep in graphic novels for the upcoming school year. Rereading Persepolis, Maus and newest Buffy comic season.

On a less graphic note Pride and Prejudice and Zombies as well.

-Sarah Presite

i am reading jesus’ son by denis johnson, because i seem to have a short attention span lately…

-Anna-Lynne Williams

Am currently rereading Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights and Alasdair Gray’s The Ends of Our Tethers, and am also reading Hugh Kenner’s Mazes and Virginia Woolf’s Flush. A somewhat random assortment of texts, maybe because I’m on vacation…

-James Warner

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  • Richard C. Morais

    The escapist literature on my bedside: Don Quixote, by Miguel De Cervantes and translated by Edith Grossman. I have many times picked up this classic that many great writers insist all literature flows from, but never had the stamina finish it. Not a problem anymore – maybe it's age or just the new translation by Grossman.

    Also: The Bird Artist by Howard Norman, a weird National Book Award Finalist about a murderer, and that amusing period piece, Don Camiillo Takes The Devil By The Tale, by Giovanni Guareschi. I still remember with fondness the amusing film I saw as a boy, with the great actor Fernandel, about the the Catholic priest and Communist mayor in the Italian village.
    – Richard C. Morais
    http://www.richardcmorais.com/