Eat the Document by Dana Spiotta
I first read Eat the Document last winter, starting it while stranded in Kansas City during the blizzard that hit the city during the American Booksellers Association Winter Institute. Thanks to my weather-induced captivity, I was able to get a lot of reading done, and I was absolutely blown away by Eat the Document. I just read it again for the second time last week, and it’s lost absolutely none of its power in the months since. A riveting read that tries to address the moral difference between art-making and direct action—and the costs associated with either choice. Definitely one of the most memorable books I’ve read this year.
Spectacle by Susan Steinberg
Spectacle is my favorite short story collection of 2013. Nothing else has even come close for me. I read this once in the spring, and then again these past few weeks with my grad students. And in between I kept going back, peeking again. Aggressive, formally innovative, and absolutely gorgeous at the sentence level. There’s nothing else quite like this book, no writer quite like Susan Steinberg.
The Counselor by Cormac McCarthy
Why would they release the book of a screenplay two weeks before the movie? Who knows. But McCarthy’s one of my favorite writers, so I sat down and read this the same night I bought it. I can’t wait to see it in the theatre this next week.
Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter
Another book I was rereading, for discussion with my grad students over the next few weeks. An incredible novel, written in a wide variety of voices, each of them unique and each of them successful. Pasquale is one of the best characters I’ve read in a while, and his supporting cast is just as memorable. Jess Walter has long been one of the hardest working writers around, and its great to see all the new success this book has brought him.
You Good Thing by Dara Wier
I picked this book up at the Wave Books table at the Pitchfork Music Festival this summer, my last stop after six weeks of book tour. I finally sat down with it last night and read it cover to cover in a single sitting. Like everything else Wave Books publishes, it’s fantastic.
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