This was a good week for books! A little over half of them (3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9) are from publishers to whose catalogs I subscribe. A couple (2, 11) are from Kickstarters, one (1) is for research for an upcoming call for submissions, and the last (10) is just because it is an interesting title on an interesting subject.
Last week was light on new reading material arriving at the house, in no small part because I’m taking a break from buying books because I’ve spent so much money recently on new books. These are all from subscription. From the top: Apex Magazine #111, McSweeney’s #53 and the September/October issue of Poets & Writers.
McSweeney’s has a waterproof vinyl cover and arrived in a plastic Ziploc bag similar to one which might be found in a department store, containing an assortment of underwear of t-shirts. The bag also contained a number of balloons, each of which has printed upon it a paragraph of text which may or may not be part of a short story if the balloons were all inflated and arranged in the proper order. Oh, McSweeney’s. Never stop being wonderful.
- Here is a wonderful speech by V.E. Schwab, on doorways and gatekeepers in the world of Fantasy literature.
- A Survey of Some of the Best Science Fiction Ever Published – brief reviews of “best of” collections of authors going back to the 1920s, along with brief bios of those authors.
- August is Women in Translation month, and here is a great list of recent works by women writers, including several from some of my favorite publishers.
- Good list of Latin American alternatives for some of the books in the English-speaking canon.
- And here is an excellent list of books by Malaysian writers.
- Metafilter posted their latest thread of links and conversation concerning the ongoing pillaging of the USA by the inbred cannibals of the 1%, led by emasculated man-baby iDJiT.
- And finally, blues and soul legend Aretha Franklin passed away earlier this week. Here is a video of a second-line in the Treme district of New Orleans, honoring Aretha.
- Just finished reading At the Existentialist Cafe by Sarah Bakewell and Paternus: Rise of Gods by Dyrk Ashton. Now reading Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse and Art of War, an anthology commissioned by Petros Triantafyllou, with all profits being donated to Doctors Without Borders.
- Squealing coward white nationalists marched in Portland, OR a few days back. They were met by leftist and antifa counter-protesters. There was some violence, mostly perpetrated by the police upon the anti-fascists. To be clear, the mere existence of white nationalism, as represented by Alex Jones and the majority of Trump supporters, is an act of violence. Therefore any reaction to the existence of white nationalism, in any context, under any circumstances, is automatically an act of self defense. Punching fascists is, in fact, a moral obligation.
- More squealing coward white nationalists marched in Washington, DC over this past weekend. Almost two dozen of them were brave enough to leave their parents’s basement and go downtown, where they were met by hundreds upon hundreds of counter-protesters. And once again, police took the side of the white nationalists and fascists.
- On that note, Metafilter has posted the latest catch-all thread for links and conversation about the increasingly frayed and tapeworm-riddled tenure of emasculated president iDJiT.
This was a good week for books. From top to bottom: Selected Poems of Sergei Yesenin, Voronezh Notebooks by Osip Mandelstam, First Love and Other Stories by Ivan Turgenev, Selected Poems of Vladimir Mayakovsky, The Freeze-Frame Revolution by Peter Watts, Celadon by Ian Haight, Granta issue #144, Apex Magazine Issue 110, and Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse.
For links to these authors, books and publishers, please see their listings on my 2018 Reading List page.
Thanks to a small gift card from work, I was able to pick up the four Russian authors from Amazon.com. They are unusual-enough titles that I didn’t want to burden the local bookstores with hunting them down. The Watts and Roanhorse books I ordered from Books and Mortar here in Grand Rapids, and I have ongoing subscriptions to the two journals. I picked up Ian Haight’s book at a small signing in Lowell this past Monday. It was great to finally meet Ian, after publishing him in Issue 1.3 of The 3288 Review, back in early 2016.
Since I just finished reading At the Existentialist Cafe by Sarah Bakewell and Paternus by Dyrk Ashton, Trail of Lightning is currently at the top of the to-read pile, and I can’t wait to dive in.
- Tor.com’s lists of books coming out in August
- Metafilter has posted their latest catch-all thread for the increasingly irrational tenure of the increasingly irrational president iDJiT.
- The Believer, one of the best lit magazines out there, has just made its entire archive freely available online. This is amazing!
- Gaming’s Toxic Men, Explained
A small bonus from work allowed me to pick up a few books which have been on my want list for some time. Yeah, I have eclectic reading tastes. From top to bottom, they are: New Kind of Rebellion, by Rachel Gleason; The Black Tides of Heaven and The Red Threads of Fortune by JY Yang; Ambiguity Machines by Vandana Singh; Afrofuturism by Ytasha L. Womack; New Poets of Native Nations, edited by Heid E. Erdrich; and The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O. by Neal Stephenson and Nicole Galland.
* My partner and I have been spending our Sunday afternoons studying, writing and watching The Mind of a Chef, which is all kinds of distracting and wonderful and a purveyor of the worst kind of wanderlust. Anthony Bourdain is the executive producer and narrator of each episode. Like all of his shows, he makes even the most exotic and high-concept meals accessible (in concept, if not financially) to even the most casual non-foodie viewers.
* I spend a lot of time reading news of the literary world. To keep things organized, I use Feedly, which I picked up after Google shut down its Reader service. This is a partial list of the lit news resources I read: Book Riot, NPR Books, Brain Pickings, Electric Literature, Literary Hub, Locus Online, Publisher’s Lunch, The Millions, New York Review of Books, Tor.com, Words Without Borders, Aerogramme Writers’ Studio.
* Some words: suppose, oppose, impose, depose, compose, transpose
* Metafilter has posted a good catch-all thread discussing a recently published study from the Southern Poverty Law Center: The Alt-Right is Killing People. The post, and many of the comments, provide additional links to stories which add context and nuance to the points discussed. As always with Metafilter, the comments are worth reading.
* I’ve been following The Edge for oh, about fifteen years now. It looks like they may be closing up shop, as they just asked their last question: “What is the last question?” The link goes to the (hundreds of) answers.
* The squealing cowards who oppose gun control have the blood of 32 more people on their hands. The NRA is a terrorist organization and they pull the strings of their lickspittles in the GOP. The emasculated orange coward-in-chief has, of course, done what all Republicans do and is blaming the victims. For a continually up-to-date score of the Republican-sanctioned violence in this country, see the Gun Violence Archive.
* As of the date of publishing this post, I have 631 books catalogued in LibraryThing.