A few new books with dark and somber covers to match late-autumn Michigan. The first two are the second and third issues of Salvage, which bills itself as “a quarterly of revolutionary arts and letters,” and has the tagline “bleak is the new red.” It is good. Really really good. I first heard about it when researching different *punk literary subgenres, and came across an article about China Miéville wherein he discussed his involvement with Salvage. Miéville has lengthy essays in each of the issues I have so far purchased (2, 3, 5) and likely will have more in the future issues which arrive as part of my subscription. Well, of course I purchased a subscription.
On the right is the latest shipment from Two Lines Press, which continues to surprise me with wonderful books.
On the reading front, I have mostly recovered from the week at the AWS:Reinvent conference in Las Vegas, and am partway through The Monster Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson and Flex by Ferret Steinmetz. Both are quite excellent reads and they are absolutely nothing alike. I highly recommend both.
A small update this week, which given the mountain which arrived last week is just fine. This is the latest from my subscription to the excellent Open Letter Books, which was the first publisher to which I subscribed, back in 2014 or 2015.
I spent all of this past week in Las Vegas for the AWS:Reinvent conference, which left me with a decent amount of time for books on the airplane and in airports. I read Mirra Ginsburg‘s wonderful translation of Bulgakov’s The Master and Margarita from cover to cover, and made significant dents in Sunvault and Volume 5 of The Apex Book of World SF. I also made a little headway in the extraordinary Scarborough by Catherine Hernandez, but reading such a book in the middle of the Las Vegas strip made me want to burn the place to the ground. I will revisit Scarborough over the holidays, when I won’t be surrounded by the monetized fetishizing of the worst of first world indulgences.
Several new additions to the library at Winkelman Abbey. The titles by Yang, Palmer, Jemisin and Dickinson I ordered from Books and Mortar here in Grand Rapids. The Sanchez in the latest from my subscription to Deep Vellum, and Granta and Poetry round out the haul. Subscriptions are the best. So are superb local bookstores.
The week of November 11 brought fifteen(!) new books and journals to Winkelman Library. The top two rows are the contents of the most recent Grab Bag from Subterranean Press, one of the premiere publishers of special editions of genre fiction. The bottom row includes, from left, the latest issue of Peninsula Poets; The Diaries of Emilio Renzi: The Happy Years, which is the latest book from my subscription to Restless Books; Imaginary Cities by Darran Anderson, which I picked up at Books and Mortar; issue 54 of McSweeney’s, and All That Is Evident Is Suspect: Readings from the Oulipo 1963 – 2018, published by McSweeney’s. All this should keep me busy for the next week or so. The books in this photo are #217 to 231 in the 2018 Reading List post, where I have included links for ordering and author information.
Only one new acquisition for the first full week of November, but that one thing was actually three things – three chapbooks, to be precise, from Ugly Duckling Presse. The collection (the box for which is at the top of the photo) is called Ideas Have No Smell: Three Belgian Surrealist Booklets. The three are Transfigured Publicity by Paul Nougé, Abstractive Treatise on Obeuse by Paul Colinet, and For Balthazar by Louis Scutenaire.
I have to say, in the brief time that I have held a subscription to Ugly Duckling Presse they have been absolutely knocking it out of the park.
This past week was an excellent time to be a reader at the Winkelman Abbey. A fantastic variety of books and journals arrived throughout the week. The top row of this photo is ALL FIVE VOLUMES of the Apex Book of World SF, published by the excellent folks at Apex Publications.
The bottom row contains, from left, Resist Fascism from a Kickstarter campaign run by Bart Leib of Crossed Genres Publishing. Next to that is The Way North, an anthology of Upper Peninsula writing which I picked up when I ordered an upcoming volume of poetry by Jack Ridl, which I will undoubtedly post here when it arrives next spring. Third in is the latest issue of Apex Magazine by the same folks who created all of the books in the top row. On the right side of the bottom row is a recent issue of Sugar House, a lit journal which I picked up for research purposes as I plan my next round of poetry submissions.
All in all, excellent additions to my library.
Another week, another stack of books added to the Library of Winkelman. Starting at top left we have the most recent issues of Locus Magazine and Poetry Magazine. I picked them up at my employment alma mater Schuler Books and Music. At top right is a recent issue of StoneBoat Literary Journal, to which I have recently submitted some poetry. While they did not accept my work, I do very much appreciate theirs, so I will be submitting more poetry and fiction in the future.
The whole bottom row is the second shipment from my subscription to Ugly Duckling Presse. Fast on the heels of the first bundle which arrived only a couple of weeks ago, this one includes more poetry in translation as well some fiction and nonfiction. From left, the books are:
Diana Hamilton – God Was Right
Anna Vitale – Our Rimbaud Mask
Vasilik Gdenov – Alphabet for the Entrants
Artis Ostrups – Gestures
Zahara Patterson – Chronology
Lisa Rogal – Feed Me Weird Things
Alexis Almeida – I Have Never Been Able to Sing
It is safe to say that I am completely in love with Ugly Duckling Presse. Though their annual subscription is expensive, given the quality and variety of work they publish, I consider it absolutely worth the price.
Another week, another collection of new reading material. This post is exceptional for reasons I will get to in a moment, but first: the books. Starting at the upper left, is issue 7.1 of Storm Cellar Quarterly, which I picked up for research as a possible venue for submitting poetry. Next is Passing by Nella Larsen, published by Restless Books but not part of my subscription. Restless is doing some seriously good work in bringing forgotten and underrepresented voices into public awareness. Next is the easiness and the loneliness, poetry by Asta Olivia Nordenhof, from my subscription to Open Letter Books.
The bottom row is my reward for backing a Kickstarter campaign from Copper Canyon Press to publish Ursula Le Guin’s last collection of poetry, So Far So Good. Next to that is a broadside of her poem “July”, and on the right side is a special-edition reprint of one of Le Guin’s early collections, Wild Angels.
Le Guin didn’t come into my awareness as a poet until many years after I began reading her fiction, so when this Kickstarter appeared shortly after she passed away I jumped at the opportunity. Copper Canyon continually turns out superlative work and in this they have done justice to the final collection of a magnificent writer.
This was an excellent week for The Library at Winkelman Abbey. First up is the latest issue of Pulphouse Fiction Magazine, followed by the latest issue of Apex Magazine. Both of these are the results of successful Kickstarter campaigns. Next are the two latest books (Tentacle by Rita Indiana, Slip of a Fish by Amy Arnold) from my subscription to And Other Stories. On the top right is Ink by Sabrina Vourvoulias, from Rosarium Publishing.
The entire bottom row is my first shipment from Ugly Duckling Presse, to whom I subscribed back in July when I had a little extra money and no immediate household needs. From left to right they are Orange by Christine Herzer, Wolfman Librarian by Filip Marinovich, This Window Makes Me Feel by Robert Fitterman, Feeling Upon Arrival by Saretta Morgan, Defense of the Idol by Omar Cáceres, and Dear Angel of Death by Simone White. All are poetry, and all are beautiful editions of beautiful writing.
Once again, this week’s haul is made up entirely of books from independent publishers. Save for Ink, all are part of annual subscriptions. If Rosarium ever offers a subscription to their catalog, I will be the FIRST in line to purchase one.
Last week brought a small pile of books. On the left is Sunvault: Stories of Solarpunk and Eco-Speculation, which I picked up as research material for an upcoming anthology submission. The second, Scarborough, was recommended to me by my girlfriend, and on quick glance looks like it will be a fantastic, emotional read. Celadon is collection of poetry by my friend (and 3288 Review contributor!) Ian Haight. Checkpoint is the most recent arrival through my subscription to Restless Books.
Bonus note: all four of these are published by indie publishing houses!
One day I will be retired or otherwise unemployed, and on that day my pile of unread books will start to shrink. Or more likely, continue to grow at a slower pace.