Stacking the TBR stack…
August 11, 2011 § 4 Comments
Poets & Writers is one of my favorite writing mags. It’s a support system, an info ship passing across my mental scape, a collection of well pointed essays on the writing scene, a flash of what we can be and/or apire to on the page, a summary of what’s new, what’s right/write, what’s deeper than puffery, what to look at…
And reading from cover to cover, the temptation to write down (nearly) every book that is discussed or mentioned in writer bios as their accomplishments turns one’s head from thoughts of writing to a compulsion to read….ah, the passive side of writing, the sina qua non of mentors, the thrilling read to fill the gaps when one is dancing around one’s desk, eyeing a manuscript in process and getting ready to approach it. At such times, it’s grand to have P&W there, cheering one on, pushing sweetly from the content of its pages.
Here are some of the books mentioned, referred to and/or touted in the May/June issue…cuz I’m often one behind…and I think they belong on (my) TBR stack (and check out some of the links for photos, actual stories by refernced authors to read, some wonderful “author” blogs and the grand old etcetera , as ee cummings would say):
SWAMPLANDIA! by Karen Russell – novel – it comes off the her short story “Big Ava” in her short story collection called “St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Rasied by Wolves.” I raved about this story a few years ago. Just. such. excellent. writing. And…bizarre but excellent story.
THE WILDING by Benjamin Percy – novel
REFRESH, REFRESH – Benjamin Percy – stories
THE LANGUAGE OF ELK – Benjamin Percy – stories
THE WORLD BENEATH by Aaron Gwyn – novel
DOG ON THE CROSS by Aaron Gwyn – short stories
WHERE ARE YOU GOING, WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN? by Joyce Carol Oates
BLOOD MERIDIAN by Cormac McCarthy – novel
THE THINGS THEY CARRIED by Tim O’Brien – novel
The above “grouped”works will have some violence in them but done with taste and class (sounds crazy, but it’s true), as in, not showing the reader everything that happens, only inferring it. These were used in an article on how to use violence effectively (if you are including it in your writing. Right – it sounds bizarre but it was a damn fine article and a lot of this country’s fave writers use violence in their writing, actually.)
THE END OF BEING KNOWN by Michael Klein – memoir – he’s a poet so I suspect his memoirs, and he has TWO of them already (see just below) are likely well painted.
TRACK CONDITIONS by Michael Klein – another memoir
THE SUMMER WITHOUT MEN by Siri Hustvedt – novel – this author is a student of the Brain and its various functions, quirks and amazingness. Curious. Worth giving it a whirl, methinks.
SILVER SPARROW by Tayari Jones – novel – she has some significant writing freinds, including Judy Blume. Look for her blog: tayarijones.com.
LIVING ARRANGEMENTS by Laura Maylene Walter – short stories (coming soon)
TEN THOUSAND SAINTS by Eleanor Henderson – novel
AMERICAN WEATHER by Charles McLeod – novel
Oh, there are more mentioned within the magazine’s pages.
And in a very wrapped-up, intense meeting today, another bookaholic who happens to be from the West Coast leaned over to ask if I’d read Kingsolver’s The Lacuna. Well, no, I haven’t. But the seed has been planted and I can barely wait to get to the library, hoping to cheat having to stack another book on the TBR stack. Yeah, sure.