This Bird Needs Books

Like the feathered occupants of my reoccurring dreams, I’ve flown south for the winter.   For the next three weeks, I’ll be staying with family on the coast of South Carolina.  I stepped into the PDX airport around noon yesterday.  I arrived in Charleston, SC at 3 PM today.  Thanks to strange holiday delays, I spent over 24 hours straight in airports.  While it was certainly an experience, it was not an experience I particularly want to repeat.

The last month has been the sort of time period that zooms forward with little chance for, say, updating one’s half-assed fiction blog.  I did manage to finish a draft of “Champ”, but right now it holds itself together so tenuously that I’m loathe to post it here.  This blog has been helpful as a fiction repository, but not so much as a feedback generator.  I think I’m going to stick to publishing more polished pieces.

While pining for Portland and a particularly sweet distraction that lives there, I’ll probably be doing a fair bit of writing over this vacation.  Mostly, though, I’m interested in reading.  Now that I’m out of class, I can go back to self-edification.  I have a few books that I’m already set on reading, but I could always use more suggestions.

A Reading List

  • The Vintage Book of Contemporary American Short Stories, edited by Tobias Wolff – I bought this one on sale in at the PDX Powell’s when I realized that I was going to be the next day in airports and panicked.  The purchase of this book, which is 552 pages long and contains 33 stories, immediately calmed me.  It turned out to be a very worthy investment.  I’m currently about 400 pages in.  Very good stuff.
  • Kafka, by Robert Crumb and David Zane Mairowitz – Given to me as a gift right before I left town, this appears to be a biography of Kafka illustrated by R. Crumb.  So, basically, this is one of the most perfect gifts that I have ever received.
  • The Road, by Cormac McCarthy – I’ve been meaning to read this one ever since I heard that a post-apocalyptic novel won The Pulitzer.  The existence of the movie, which right now I’m not particularly intending to see, had the happy effect of reminding me that I needed to read the book.
  • Brief Interviews with Hideous Men, by David Foster Wallace – I’ve read all the other DFW shorts collections besides this one.  It’s time.  I’m pretty sure they’re making a movie out of this one as well.  The idea of a film version of DFW fiction kind of squicks me out.  I don’t think they’ll attempt to make a cinematic representation of the footnotes.  But what if they did?


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