1. Suddenly, a Knock on the Door, Etgar Keret. Every decade or so, it seems someone reinvents the short story – there was Donald Barthelme, Raymond Carver, Lydia Davis, and now Etgar Keret. Even though his stories are only a few pages long, I limit myself to one per day because I want this book to last as long as possible.
2. Here Comes the Sun: the Spiritual and Musical Journey of George Harrison, Joshua M. Greene. A fascinating portrait that takes George’s devotional side seriously. When was the last time a rock star bio made you want to be a better person? This one will.
3. George Oppen: New Collected Poems edited by Michael Davidson. These poems are challenging, but not because they’re impenetrable or obscure. In fact, what’s most provocative is their clarity and candor.
4. The Gastronomical Me, MFK Fisher. When I tire of watching Iron Chef, I return to these feather light essays that capture not just appetite but also the manners, customs and rituals that surround it. MFK Fisher is the Jane Austen of food writers.
5. The Autobiography of William Carlos Williams. I love hearing about the early days of modernism from such a reliable source. Whether he’s delivering a baby, hanging out with Ezra Pound, or writing a poem, Doc Williams calls it as he sees it.
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