Futher material by this group can be found at Northlakefilms.com. Late Bloomer was their first film.
McSweeney’s is offering a bloody delicious deal this week, The Bundle To End All Bundles:
This gargantuan, 13-book bundle earns you a treasure trove of reading material and quality paper goods. Perfect for you, your friends, your co-workers, your relatives, and any combination thereof!
This bundle includes:
Read Hard ($18 retail)
The Better of McSweeney’s, Vol. 2 ($18 retail)
The Best of Wholphin ($19.95 retail)
The Latke Who Couldn’t Stop Screaming by Lemony Snicket ($11 retail)
The Wild Things fur-covered edition by Dave Eggers ($28 retail)
The Furry Journal ($12 retail)
Misadventure by Millard Kaufman ($22 retail)
Animals of the Ocean (in Particular the Giant Squid) by Dr. and Mr. Doris Haggis-on-Whey ($18 retail)
Binky Brown Meets the Holy Virgin Mary by Justin Green ($29 retail)
Comics Section from the San Francisco Panorama ($10 retail)
The Clock Without a Face by Gus Twintig ($19.95 retail)
Maps and Legends by Michael Chabon ($24 retail)
Thanks and Have Fun Running the Country: Kids’ Letters to President Obama ($12 retail)
Regular Price: $224.00
Sale Price: $75.00
I’ve been talking about books a lot this week, but it’s only just occurred to me that I never seem to tell anyone what it is I read. Ridiculous, considering how much of it I do, even now, after I’ve made it a mandate to only read in interstitial places like line-ups or on the bus. (I’m going slowly blind, in that way where the more I read, the faster my eyes disintegrate, and yet… and yet.. books! Reading! The world!) The closest I come is when I press a title upon some unsuspecting friend. “This one!” I say, “It’s essential. It will broaden everything, give you an entirely new framework of reference.” Or, “It’s fun, the main character only talks in rhyme.” So, in the interests of disclosure, and to line them up in my mind, here’s the books I’ve read from cover to cover in the past four weeks, some for the nth time:
Boneshaker by Cherie Priest, The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi, Googled: The End of the World As We Know It by Ken Auletta, The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work by Alain De Botton, Palimpsest by Catherynne Valente, (my latest favourite book), A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by David Eggers, Clouds End by Sean Stewart, Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations by Clay Shirky, and Spook Country and Zero History by William Gibson.
Intelligent, graceful fiction, touched by poetry and the hard, clever edges of the technology sector? Delicious! Probably the best run of tasty books I’ve had in years. Plus, Palimpsest was a surprise delight. I was completely devoured in the first three pages, and still have yet to make my way back out. Fingers crossed for as lucky a streak-of-good, I’m currently wading my way through:
The Language Instinct: How the Mind Creates Language by Steven Pinker, The Witches of Eastwick by John Updike, The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2009 edited by David Eggers, (already a favourite), and Tony’s copy of Freedom and Necessity by Steven Brust and Emma Bull that even at page 92 I’m still not sure I’m going to like.
It has been a struggle to sleep this week, and when I do, there has been no comfort in it. I dream of California, but not the California I had lived, full of bleak stories I tell now with terrible humour, but of the possibilities I could interpret from every building I walked past, their sunburnt lawns, every house a microcosm, every business an untold discovery, and the palm trees swaying almost shadowless to the sky, perfect emblems of hot modern fantasy lining every street.
I blame my current reading material.
Before I go to sleep at night, I read. Being a basic thing, there are variations, but it always the same pattern. Finishing with the computer, I turn off my lamp, plug in the ornamental lights, and snuggle in underneath them with my book. When I am done, I pull the plug. It is almost ritual, except that it carries no meaning. It is only the reputation of necessary movements, like washing dishes or putting on a shirt one sleeve at a time, that create the illusion of depth. Every day, the same ingredients.
This week I was reading White Oleander, a harsh book yet beautiful, set in Los Angeles. I am told it was turned into a film once, but I never thought to see it. Why are all my favourite books set in L.A.? Reminiscent of buying my fierce summer clothing on the boardwalk in Venice, they are almost always written by women, couched in some foreign manner of prose that still remains english, always reminding me so strongly of my own writing – as if I were to live there again, it would be my turn to write a book, something powerful and achingly frail, like the bones of the body that I miss so much. Visiting the wild beaches was like stepping into fairyland. A fairyland punctuated by stairs and people in cheap foam and plastic flip-flops.