More Books, Less Problems

I’ve been acquiring a lot of books recently. This is unusual for me, and I blame the temporary homelessness. Books are my portable home. I curl up in them much like a hermit crab wriggles into a shell. When I move into my new place next week, hopefully I’ll go back to being an unapologetic library rat.

About a month ago, I picked up William Wallace Cook’s insane/awesome Plotto: The Master Book of All Plots and Cheryl Strayed’s Wild. I traded Wild for a copy of Strayed’s Tiny Beautiful Things, which a friend got signed for me at the book’s launch party in San Francisco.

I just returned from a trip to Portland. I arrived back to East Coast with six more books than when I had left.

After spending a late night in Powell’s, I emerged with used copies of the following:

  • Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned – Wells Tower
  • Rendezvous with Rama – Arthur C. Clarke
  • The Boy Detective Fails – Joe Meno

My friend then lent me three more books:

  • Accelerando – Charles Stross
  • Hyperion – Dan Simmons
  • Ringworld – Larry Niven

So if you ask me what I’m reading at any time during the next few months, the answer will almost certainly be science fiction or contemporary fiction. But isn’t it always?

I do feel like I should balance out this list with some ladies, though. Jo Walton’s Among Others has been calling my name, as has Edith Pearlman’s short story collection Binocular Vision. I’ve also never read a whole Kelly Link book, which seems like a terrible gap in my reading history. Any other suggestions?

Hey, Internet: Vol. 4

BERG Cloud Little Printer

As seen above. This reminds of the internet with things essay I linked to a while back. I’m still forming opinions on the whole papernet concept.   On one hand, working with small presses has gotten me into the idea of texts as tangible, beautiful objects.  On the other hand, I feel like I would end up with lots of little bits of paper cluttering up my house. Either way, I’m still in love with the Little Printer’s design.

The Disappointment Author: Lethem vs. Wood

Metacritical smackdown!  There’s not much I can say about this article besides, “Oh, snap!”  Also, I love this quote. “When the critical work is at its finest, the audience is like a crew of medical students standing around a doctor at work — even when we disagree with the way things are being handled, we can still see the body of evidence and draw our own conclusions.”  Yes!

Unpacking My Library Six different authors discuss their book collections. I’ll admit, I mostly read this for the Gary Shteyngart stuff. “I’m big on sniffing books.” What a dreamboat.

Reasons Not to Self-Publish in 2011-2012: A List I’m leaning heavily on The Millions this week, but my excuse is that The Millions publishes a lot of really great stuff.  I’m always fascinated by the shifting possibilities and markets in the publishing industry, both as a writer and as someone who works for small presses.  Edan Lepucki tells it like it is.

David Foster Wallace’s Syllabi More neat stuff from the Harry Ransom Center’s archive. Can it just be a running joke that every time I post a bunch of links, at least one of them will be about DFW?

Things I Ate in Skyrim Lovely.  Good writing about video games always warms the cockles of my withered, cynical little heart.

SPEKTRMODULE 01: Fire Axes in SpaceWarren Ellis made a little musical audio show broadcast thing recently.  I’m really enjoying it.  It makes me want to write about space ships.  Ghost ships.  Ghost space ships.