Reading Virginia Woolf’s The Waves, often-times in one of her qoutidien pubs in Bloomsbury, London. Definitely causing myself some emotional turmoil.
Simona Blat, Editorial Assistant, Soho’s Senior Olympics Correspondent
(Paul-torial Note: The Waves is amazing. Personally my favorite Woolf.)
I just finished With The Animals by Noëlle Revaz. The setting is modern France but the point of view is a farmer who owns a small plot of land. The book is vulgar, violent and claustrophobic. I loved it. One of the blurbs on the book, by the Belgian poet Guy Goffette, sums it up best: “As Céline invented a shocking, off-kilter urban language, so Revaz recreates peasant speech. A true punch in the face to beautiful prose.”
Paul Oliver, Marketing, Philosopher of Face Punching
I’ve picked up My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me again. Since it’s a short story collection, I only read a couple stories at a time. Being an anthology of fairytale retellings, I love it. Stories by Aimee Bender, Neil Gaiman, Joyce Carol Oates, John Updike; legends from Russia, Denmark, Italy, Japan; edited by folklorist Kate Bernheimer. It’s haunting and wonderful.
Katie Hoffman, Editorial Assistant, Lover of Creepily Titled Books
Chad Felix, Intern, Ambitious
(Editorial Note: Almost linked Infinite Jest to this video)
I’m reading THE TIGER’S WIFE, finally. I’ve had a copy since last summer and am enjoying it so much I’m really irritated I put off reading it before.
Juliet Grames, Editor, Late to the Party (But, as a Good Cook, still welcome)
Finished Tom McCarthy’s C on audiobook. Huge, brilliant book about, among many other things, the evolution of communications technology from the 1890s to 1920s. In scope and ambition, towers over most recent novels I’ve read, though I’m still in many ways thinking through it and can’t offer a concise critical appraisal. I defnitely need to revisit portions of the text as a physical book. Note of warning on that point: not the best fit for audio, for me, at least. The sentences are often syntactically complex, and I had to go back repeatedly to understand just what was being said. Though for those with more highly evolved ears than my own, I will say that the narrator was generally quite good, even if my brain couldn’t keep up.
Reading as a palate cleanser between my own writing bits of Dennis Cooper’s essay collection, SMOTHERED IN HUGS (Harper Perennial), which is remarkable in all sorts of ways, and includes a very candid interview Cooper did with Leonardo DiCaprio circa ROMEO + JULIET, which no studio would let a big star worth that much $$$ participate in these days.
(Editorial note: This editor loved ROMEO + JULIET with the love of many fiery, tacky, overwrought hearts)
Also just received and am halfway through M Kitchell’s SLOW SLIDINGS (Blue Square Press). Had read a couple pieces of it before, but great to see the larger book. Something very mysterious and, to quote his publisher, *seething* about the work. One of the most exciting formally extreme writers now working. Ghosts, architecture, desire, little diagrams—what’s not to like?
Mark Doten, Editor, “You’re only reading one book this week?”
I’m reading Tom Rachman’s The Imperfectionists. Someone gave me this book. It’s covered in reviews and seals (prestigious, non-aquatic) and blurbs about how it’s the best book ever. Maybe it’s the best book ever about European newspapers and the melancholy people who work for them. It probably is. You should ask someone to give you this book, read it, and then call me and tell me if you disagree.
Rudy Martinez, Marketing, Back from the Airport Vortex. Alive.
Still chugging through MIDDLESEX, which is amazing and keeping me up too late at night. But, since I’m on my Kindle with it, I have no actual sense of where I am in the book. 65%? I hate that. Middlesex is a hugely compassionate book. I’m incredibly impressed by Eugenides. Next up is a second attempt at The City of Bohane, which thwarted me the first go-around with A Clockwork Orange-esque seemingly made up language that I’m assured is real-ish Irish slang. I remain skeptical.
Meredith Barnes, Marketing, Not Irish
Round two of pretentious reading this week features Nabokov’s Lolita. It sort of feels like 50 Shades’ perverted grandfather, but the writing is definitely beautiful. I’m not too far in and a little conflicted about it, so more to come.
Jess Benmen, Intern, Laughs at your scandalization by 50 Shades