I might be the last person to read Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell. I also might be the last person to have discovered audio books. So I’m listening to Cloud Atlas, really. Is this reading? I say probably. I’d love to talk about Mitchell’s unbelievably convincing period prose or the zany book in a book in book narrative structure or the fact that some asshole is turning this into a movie, but I can’t because I’m not a good listener.
Rudy Martinez, Marketing, Quip Expert (Quipspert)
In anticipation of my upcoming trip to London, I am reading George Orwell’s Down and Out in Paris and London. Yes, it is self-absorbed, but also vividly picaresque and offers some soothing Orwellian insights on poverty. I’m consistently drawn to the late 1920s seediness of these two cities, even though Orwell (supposedly it’s largely autobiographical) roamed the streets with no food or shelter and there’s nothing warming about that. But there’s charm in suffering, isn’t there? If not, at least there’s a whole chapter devoted to fine (read: guttered) British slang.
Orwell said it: “There is only one way to make money at writing, and that is to marry a publisher’s daughter.”
Simona Blat, Editorial Assistant-ing, Keeper of The Fashion
I’ve (finally) started Grave Mercy, by Robin LaFevers, after the wonderful YA blogger Jen Ryland recommended and (so very kindly!) donated her copy to me. It was brought up during a conversation about strong female heroines and beautiful dresses on the covers – check! and check!
Katie Hoffman, Editorial Assistant-ing, Lover of BSG
I’m reading Gillian Flynn’s GONE GIRL, because darn old Lisa Brackmann couldn’t stop gushing about it. So far, so gush. Dang can this lady write!
Juliet Grames, Senior Editor, Eater of Dates
I’m reading ESCAPE THEORY by Margaux Froley, which isn’t out until next year, so you are tres jealous. Whilst reading this book on the treadmill, I unwittingly ran for over AN HOUR when I intended to do 30 minutes. It’s that good. In Books-That-Are-Out news, I recently finished EVERYDAY by David Levithan, which has an amazing premise and displays his usual mastery of everything that is writing and pulling at your heartstrings and making you FEEL THINGS. But something about it felt a little flat to me…and there was this one detail that got repeated over and over again without any evident point, which leads me to believe that it wasn’t intentional. Final rating: meh.
Meredith Barnes, Marketing, User of “Whilst”
I’m on a break from Keith Richards’ Life (which I’m still loving), for a Southern fiction fix. Just starting Salvage the Bones. Wow, what a voice, what a protagonist. Jesmyn Ward is the real deal.
Bronwen Hruska, Publisher, Boss Lady
Editorial Note:Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin is potentially the best Southern fiction this blogger has ever read. And it’s a mystery that’ll knock your soxx off.
Over vacation read Dostoevsky’s THE GAMBLER and most of Ben Marcus’ THE FLAME ALPHABET. More on the latter when I finish. The Gambler is great and a lot of fun, if a bit of a mess (Dostoevsky wrote it in a month). But the unpolishedness of certain pieces and the structural oddity of it as all whole only adds to the crazy, racing energy of it.
Am listening to audiobooks of Tom McCarthy’s C and Patti Smith’s JUST KIDS. C is amazing, though I wouldn’t recommend it on audio, since it’s syntactically a bit too complex, the ideas a bit dense, to take in via Ipod, at least for me. But I’m almost done, so am soldiering through, and I do think it’s interesting to take in a book about evolving communication technologies in this form. Mostly, Je ne regrette rien. JUST KIDS is wonderful. Patti reads her own audiobook, which is a bonus, though it also would have been interesting to see what a different actor would have brought to it.
Mark Doten, Editor, Abrev-er
Editorial Note: If you don’t click on Mark’s name, above, and take a gander at his headshot, your life will never be quite complete and you won’t know why.
I just finished For Out of the Heart Proceed by Jensen Beach. This is a wonderful collection of inter-related stories that is reminiscent of Hemingway’s In Our Time in style and construction, though it is a bit more sentimental. I flat out inhaled this book. The publisher, Dark Sky Books, is one of the more exciting small presses out there and Beach is a great introduction to the house.
Paul Oliver, Marketing, New Guy
*I just wanted to use “SCOTUS.”
Editorial Note: What a ridiculous thing to call the highest court in the land. Don’t even get this editor started on the indignity that is “POTUS.”