Thursday, February 21, 2013

Things I've Read on the Subway

I've been reading a lot of great, invigorating stuff on the subway lately. I want to tell you about some of it:

- I read two of the latest Tiny Hardcore books. First, Casey Hannan's Mother Ghost, which you need to do yourself a favor and buy right away, because you will be getting in on the ground floor of something destined to be very big. I know everyone's telling you to buy this book already and it's probably starting to feel a little like peer pressure, but seriously, these are some of the best and most perfectly-honed short stories I've ever read (you know how perfect they are, they cause me to use boring phrases like "perfectly-honed.") If you don't believe me, just read this story in SmokeLong and tell me it's not one of the best things you've ever experienced. Just tell me.

Second, I finally read James Tadd Adcox's The Map of the System of Human Knowledge, and that, too, is an utterly magical book, in a way that's pulled off so artfully that you don't even notice that it's being done. That's Tadd Adcox for you, master prestidigitator. I honestly don't think it's possible to make a mistake buying a Tiny Hardcore book. They are all just so good.

- Two things that were once in Spanish and one in Hebrew, which are gradually opening me up to things published in translation, which was sadly beaten out of me in college:

Juan Pablo Villalobos' Down the Rabbit Hole, is one of the most disquieting and exciting things I've read in a looong time. It's narrated by an 11-year-old kid who lives in an enormous palace in Mexico with his druglord father. So there's all this decadence and atrocities, but filtered through the mind of an 11-year-old, who's more concerned about his hat collection and laying hands on a Liberian pygmy hippopotamus than anything else. It's disturbing and amazing and really, really funny. You guys should read it, really. Only about 70 pages long, but totally worth it. Something you could revisit many times and always find something new in.

Alejandro Zambra's Ways of Going Home is such a subtle book. It seems so casual at first glance (and therefore easy to read), a character and his narrator, but then there are these very deep, transformative currents beneath the surface. It's a tiny little boiling sea of a book.

I'm reading Etgar Keret's Suddenly, A Knock on the Door, and it's definitely my favorite of his collections that I've read so far.

My mom has a blog on her website now. She is so much more current than I am.

There's a lot of garbage that I could throw at you right now link-wise, but you can find that in other places on this website. My two particular favorites, however, are definitely:

1) this story called "Enemies" that went up on Spork a few weeks ago. The paragraph makes try to force you to read it quickly, but you should really take it slow. Give it some time to breath in between those paragraphs. I'm serious.
   (this is a PARTNERS story; you can read other PARTNERS stories here (for the title) and here. PARTNERS is a collection that will hopefully exist in a real way sometime in the future.

2) this interview with me on NANO Fiction's website. Really I cannot say enough about this journal. It's really stellar, all the work in there has such a cohesive tone, making it so satisfying to read. I feel like I've said this already, somewhere. Call it reinforcement.

Thank you for reading, as always.

p.s. It is amazing; one of the most frequent draws to my blog is people searching "vegan cum" on google, and being led here, to the post in which I used the latin form of that phrase. Those people must be so confused. I have no wisdom for them. I don't know what it tastes like. I'm sorry.