Yes, this one’s overdue, just like all my other entries. Deal :). So, two weeks ago, I read some cool stuff, mostly from The Best of Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet and a couple of old issues of Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine
- Geoffrey H. Goodwin, “Stoddy Awchaw”
- Theodora Goss, “The Rapid Advance of Sorrow”
- Sarah Monette, “Three Letters From the Queen of Elfland”
- Gigi Vernon, “Solomon’s Wedding”
- Gigi Vernon, “The Maidservant’s Letter”
- Janice Law, “The Girl Watcher”
Yeah, I said I was gonna read Dogeaters by Jessica Hagedorn. Sue me. I’ll get to it this week ;).
…I have to pass on listing the various short stories I’ve read this week, unless you want me to regurgitate the table of contents for the last half of Barry Hannah’s Airships.
To tell the truth, I’m going to slow the short-story reading for a bit, even though I want to just continue with reading more Hannah. I snatched up a used copy of Hannah’s collection High Lonesome at one of the used bookstores. Instead, while I edit my last couple of stories, I’m going to read American Son and Dogeaters, slated to be the 6th and 7th novels I’ve read in the past four years.
It used to be a point of pride with me to be able to brag about how many shorts I’ve read at the expense of novel reading. I’ve come to realize, since I devoured Nick Sagan’s Idlewild trilogy and Ben Tanzer’s Lucky Man, that I do just shove them down my literary throat. I go through novels like I go through showings of Scent of a Woman or A Few Good Men on cable TV–before I know it, I’ve spent a couple of hours–2 to 3 days in the case of novels–doing nothing but taking it all in. Case in point, I’m a third of the way into American Son, and if I did nothing else for the rest of the night, I know I could finish it.
I attended a presentation at the local library yesterday by poet, author, and teacher Luis H. Francia, called “Longing and Belonging: The Idea of Home in Asian American Literature”. Don’t worry, I’ll keep my thoughts on the eye-opening themes of his lecture, how they’ve impacted my personal views on my culture which impacts on my writing, to myself (for now!). Suffice it to say that I was honored to get to speak with the man briefly afterward, and was pleased that the library actually carried two out of the three books he suggested to me, namely the novels Gangster of Love by Jessica Hagedorn and Brian Ascalon Roley’s American Son. The library didn’t have the third, Hagedorn’s Dogeaters, but a local bookstore did.
Yeah, I bought it and borrowed American Son. Yeah, I know I already bought a crapload of books to read. I bought a couple more on top of that last week, too. I’ll read what I want. Hey, quit yelling at me…
Last week, I got through some awesome stuff…
- Mary Robison, “In Jewel”
- Amy Hempel, “Three Popes Walk Into a Bar”
- Karen Joy Fowler, “Heartland”
- Barry Hannah, “Green Gets It”
- Barry Hannah, “Our Secret Home”
- Amy Hempel, “The Man in Bogotá”
- Amy Hempel, “When It’s Human Instead of Dog”
- Amy Hempel, “Breathing Jesus”
- Ray Vukcevich, “Pretending”
- Jeffery Ford, “What’s Sure to Come”
With that, I’ve finished off the first quarter of The Collected Stories of Amy Hempel, which was originally the collection Reasons to Live–so, I’ve technically finally finished one of the many collections I’m multitasking on. And, at the rate I’m going, I’m going be done with Hannah’s Airships in pretty short order, too.
I know it looks like I just buried my nose in a book the whole weekend. In fact, I took my Saturday and went to the local comic show where I got to hang for a few minutes with an editor from VERTIGO comics. I’ll talk about that next time, maybe.
- Italo Calvino, “Good for Nothing”
- Karen Jordan Allen, “Alternate Anxieties”
- Amy Hempel, “Pool Night”
- Rachel Pollack, “Burning Beard: The Dreams and Visions of Jacob ben Joseph, Lord Viceroy of Egypt”
- Barry Hannah, “Water Liars”
- Barry Hannah, “Love Too Long”
- Barry Hannah, “Coming Close to Donna”
- Mary Robison, “I Am Twenty-One”
- Barry Hannah, “Quo Vadis, Smut?”
(Comments on it, here)
You’d think that since my last entry, I hadn’t read any stories since June. So untrue. I’ve had other things to write but my reading list, but I figure I’d just try to get back into the swing of it.
So, some (but not all) of the cooler short stories I’ve read this past week…
- K. Tempest Bradford, “Black Feather”
- Amy Hempel, “Beg, Sl Tog, Inc, Cont, Rep”
(Some thoughts on it here)
- Csilla Kleinheincz, “A Drop of Raspberry”
- Michael DeLuca, “The Utter Proximity of God”
- Amy Hempel, “Going”
- Rista Abouradi-Hoffman, “While Smoking”
- Nalo Hopkinson, “Tan-Tan and Dry Bone”
I know what I’ve said about commenting on short stories. But I’ve read a couple of things worth talking about at certain places. All of these stories are worthy of comment, but alas–so many stories, so little time.
Back in the day, I used to post a list on the other blog of the short stories I’d read in a week and say a few words about them. I started to get worried though when I started noticing that the blog was coming up in search results for some of the more “classic” stories, Babel’s “My First Goose,” for instance. And these visitors would spend more than enough time to copy and paste, too. I’m probably paranoid, and I can’t actually say I’ve ever said anything of substance. Still, I’m sure there was at least one desparate individual out there, cramming to get a last minute extra-credit assignment done and tried to Google and doodle his way to an easy essay. Well, screw him/her.
I felt I read through a lot of stuff lately worth mentioning, so I figure there’s nothing wrong with putting a list together of stuff you should check out if you have the chance: