Mara Naselli: The New New Journalism, a book of interviews edited by Robert Boynton, an essential reader for people interested in studying the craft of reporting nonfiction, and (rereading) John Hersey's Hiroshima, a classic in of the narrative nonfiction form. Also, just arrived on my doorstep, a purchase inspired by a superb and hauntingly vivid article I found in VQR by John Ghazvinian-- Untapped: The Scramble for Africa's Oil.
Summer Block: I'm studying short stories and how they work, since I've been embarking on writing some myself. I'm reading or re-reading stories by Tolstoy, Checkhov, Somerset Maughm, Thomas Mann, Kafka, Borges, Hemingway, you name it. One interesting anthology I picked up is Children Playing Before a Statue of Hercules, compiled by David Sedaris.
Robert Birnbaum: Big Girls by Susanna Moore, Heyday by Kurt Anderson, The Custodian of Paradise by Wayne Johnston, The Lisbon Crossing by Tom Gabbay, The Age of Betrayal by Jack Beatty, Black and White by Dani Shapiro, The Ministry of Special Cases by Nathan Englander, Endless Things by John Crowley, The Second Coming by Walker Percy, The Paris Review Vonnegut interview, Paul Wolfowitz profile in The New Yorker, Charles Murray on Jewish Genius in Commentary, Brendan Bernhard's appreciation of George ws Trow in The New York Sun, Tom Englehardt at TomDispatch.com on Seymour Hersch
Matt Borondy: I'm migrating the bulk of my reading habits to the online world while trying to avoid obnoxious, agenda-pushing opinions about the Va Tech shootings. Yesterday I picked up my copy of On the Road and re-read the first chapter and realized I pretty much have that book memorized despite having only read it once, about ten years ago. Mainly I'm trying to figure out how to make this blog better. What do you think?