Last week I did a Nonfiction Shopping Guide. Now I’ve got this list of fiction titles published this year, for all you last minute shoppers.
When compiling the nonfiction list I limited myself to twenty titles, even though I could’ve easily made it thirty or fifty with the amount of good material published this year. For this list I bumped the number to thirty, but could’ve easily exceeded it. I’ll present them in no particular order. (N.B. I’ve omitted works published by fellow giants, which was hard considering the awesomeness of Baumann’s Solip and Simmons’s Happy Rock to name but two.)
These obviously represent my own interests and therefore omit plenty of titles I’m sure were great. Also, in the interest of transparency, my click-throughs use my Amazon Affiliate number, which means that I receive pennies when you click on the titles and end up purchasing something, pennies I save up and use to buy baby supplies.
I did this last year and some folks seemed to dig it; plus, I enjoy the hell out of making lists and reading lists like these so I’m doing it again this year.
Even granting that these represent my own interests (film, philosophy, art, literature, etc.) and therefore omit plenty of titles I’m sure were great but fall outside my purview, with so many badass nonfiction books published this year it was nearly impossible to select only twenty titles. Tough cuts had to be made.
So my thinking behind this list was to present you with books that might not already be on your radar. Which is to say, a brilliant book such as Scott McClanahan’s Crapalachia: A Biography of Place, or Rebecca Solnit’s The Faraway Nearby, or Jamie Iredell’s I Was a Fat Drunk Catholic School Insomniac, for instance, aren’t on this list because I figure you’ve already read them or are at least aware that they are completely awesome and that you need them.
Without further blah blah, you can expect two more of these in the coming days, one for fiction and one for poetry.
If you’re like me and haven’t even begun shopping yet, hopefully this list will help you find something for someone. Oh and for those who care, my click-throughs use my Amazon Affiliate number…the pennies that come back to me when you click on the titles go toward diapers and baby soap for my four month old son.
Halloween isn’t just the fat kid’s holiday or an excuse for women to dress in revealing costumes, it’s a celebration of the darkness in all of us, that which civilized society is desperate to deny.
Most importantly, it’s a reason to watch kick-ass movies.
Below is a list of films, via youtube, that most probably haven’t seen. The quality of some are moderate, but enjoyable, and adds to the charm of the film, especially those from the seventies.
I feel like most people right now watch whatever is conveniently served via Netflix, Amazon or Hulu The hunt has been lost with the near death of the video store. Something I personally dislike.
My goal isn’t just to talk about movies but also to encourage people to go outside of their cycles, to look for films worth remembering.
Happy Halloween, shitheads.
You heard the 2013 National Book Award longlists came out last week, I presume.
Perhaps you noticed the dearth of small press titles, and the ubiquity of familiar names and themes?
For what it’s worth, I begrudge none of the recipients their nomination. In all sincerity, I’m sure they’re fine books. But honestly I wouldn’t know. I’ve read zero of them. Not a single book in any of the categories. And excluding the YA category, since I know little to nothing about that genre, I’m really only interested in reading six of the thirty selected. For the most part, the official selections just don’t represent the type of material I would choose to spend my limited time reading.
That said, I see no reason to denigrate the official list. I do, however, see plenty of reasons to offer a different list of praiseworthy books that deserve more attention. So, I offer this revision in the spirit of the mission statement of the N.B.A.: “to celebrate the best of American literature, to expand its audience, and to enhance the cultural value of great writing in America.” Hopefully this might encourage others to expand the scope even farther by creating their own revised longlists.
To compose my revised longlist of National Book Award nominations I first need to deterritorialize the genre categories, because many of the works I think deserve this recognition resist easy categorization as “fiction,” “poetry,” or “nonfiction.”
Next, I will constrain myself to those books written by non-HTMLGIANT contributors, because it would probably seem too nepotistic to include them.
As well, I’ll constrain myself to books that privilege text over image, which means I’ll exclude a bunch of rad comics that could easily make my list. And I’ll exclude “scholarly” texts, despite there being a fuckload of good ones this year.
And finally, I’ll select thirteen books, because the official judges selected ten in each of the three categories and I’d rather there only be one category and I’d rather it be odd rather than even in number.
Now then, in alphabetical order of author’s last names, my selections for the 2013 National Books Award Longlist:
Janice brought this up a few days ago, but I think it bears repeating. Johannes Göransson continues to mash blueberries and puncture orchids while juggling swords and cacti over at the Harriet blog this month with his “Corean Music” posts.
8/9 – Brooklyn, NY @ Unnameable Books 7pm Danniel Schoonebeek, Mark Cugini, Jennifer H. Fortin, Nate Pritts, Nick Sturm hosted by Alexis Pope8/10 – New York, NY @ H_NGM_N H_NG__T 49 West 11th Street #3&4 with Wendy Xu, Ben Kopel, Curtis Purdue, Jennifer H. Fortin, Nate Pritts, Nick Sturm hosted by Russell Dillon
8/11 – Washington, DC @ Three Tents Reading Series with Carrie Lorig, Aubrey Lenahan, Nick Sturm hosted by Mark Cugini
8/12 – Pittsburgh, PA (TBA) with Carrie Lorig, Nick Sturm
8/13 – Akron, OH (TBA) with Carrie Lorig, Mike Krutel, Nick Sturm
8/14 – Cincinnati, OH (TBA) with Carrie Lorig, Austin Hayden, Nick Sturm
8/15 – Lexington, KY @ Black Sheep Reading Series at Black Swan Books with Carrie Lorig, Nick Sturm hosted by Adam Clay
8/16 – Chattanooga, TN @ Fusebox with Carrie Lorig, Nick Sturm
8/17 – Athens, GA @ Avid Poetry Series at Avid Bookshop 6:30pm with Wendy Xu, Jess Grover, Nick Sturm hosted by Dan Rosenberg
8/18 – Atlanta, GA (TBA)
8/21 – Delray Beach, FL (TBA) with Steven Karl, Caroline Cabrera, Phil Muller
8/22 – Miami, FL (TBA) with Steven Karl, Caroline Cabrera, Phil Muller
Get Sturm’s HOW WE LIGHT from H_NGM_N Books
Watch Sturm’s Book Trailer for HOW WE LIGHT
Get Lorig’s NODS. from Magic Helicopter Press
a.k.a. “Playing catch up with the stacks .”
In this series I share with you a stack of my recently acquired and most anticipated reading materials. The last time I did one was back in March. In 2012 I did one in November, August, and March, and in 2011 I did one in May.
This time, I figured I would review them, taking as my formal inspiration Julia Cohen & Mathias Svalina’s short-lived but totally rad Home Video Review of Books.
Conceptual provocateur Kenneth Goldsmith’s new project involves printing off the entire internet. You can follow his Tumblr about it. There you’ll see he’s getting a lot of press for this idea. Some of it positive, some of it negative.
Change.org is actively seeking to stop Goldsmith from going through with his proposition. They’ve started a petition, which you can read here.
If you’re opposed to Goldsmith’s project, you can sign that petition.
If you support Goldsmith’s project, you can join him, and according to his proposal, “Every person who contributes to Printing out the Internet is listed as a participating artist in this group show. LABOR is the best young gallery in Mexico — everyone gets a great line on their resume.”
If you don’t care, you can obviously ignore the whole thing.
“Hello Poetry Lovers”
for the O, Miami Poetry Festival 2013
This week I begin teaching a six week summer course on conceptual literature. For those of you who might be interested, click through for the reading list I’ve assigned my students.
This is the first time I’ve ever donated to a Kickstarter project, because this is the first one that really compelled me to participate. Check out their project page to see a video of kids reading poems from the anthology and talking about the avant-garde, and then consider joining me in donating to this worthwhile project:
Black Radish Books is proud to present KINDERGARDE: Avant-garde Poems, Plays, Stories, and Songs for Children, an award-winning anthology that features 85 experimental writers from across the country, including: Anne Waldman, Beverly Dahlen, CA Conrad, Christian Bök, Douglas Kearney, Eileen Myles, Etel Adnan, giovanni singleton, Harryette Mullen, Joan Retallack, Johanna Drucker, Juan Felipe Herrera, Julie Patton, Kenny Goldsmith, Kevin Killian, Leslie Scalapino, Lyn Hejinian, M. NourbeSe Philip, Noelle Kocot, Robin Blaser, Rosmarie Waldrop, Sawako Nakayasu, Vanessa Place, Wanda Coleman, and many others!
Our goal is to make the book as widely accessible to kids as possible. And since we are an independent, collective press, we need additional support to fund this project thoroughly. We’re hoping that 100 people will purchase books through this Kickstarter campaign so we can fully fund a large print run of the KINDERGARDE anthology.
The KINDERGARDE project helps kids know that there are many ways to think and be in the world and that their ideas are important — no matter how different or “strange” they may seem. By supporting this project, you are expanding kids’ ideas about what literature can be and do. And you are also supporting creative risk-taking and open-mindedness. Join us!
The Parable of David Shields’s How Literature Saved My Life
by Greg Gerke
My Mississippi writer friend gave me David Shields’s new book. Interesting, I said. I wasn’t sure I would read David’s new book—I looked at it askance, then I put it back in its wrapping paper. I was surprised they still made hardcover books.
Tell me about the Guillotine Project.
Guillotine is an ongoing series of handbound chapbooks with letterpress-printed covers, and each chapbook is a single essay. I’ve been making zines for years, and had wanted to take the leap and publish other people’s work for a while, but wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to be doing. And then last year I sort of stumbled into the opportunity to publish the full version of Vanessa Veselka and Lidia Yuknavitch’s conversation about violence at the Believer blog, which I had loved and found completely brilliant, as well as my friend Bojan Louis’s talk about genocide and book-banning in Arizona.