Michael J Seidlinger’s SUMMER READS

SUMMER READS: Starting today and over the course of the next couple weeks, I’ll be posting some summer reading recommendations by various writers.

I asked the writers to recommend a few books for summer reading, or to talk about some books they’re particularly looking forward to delving into this summer.

First up, some great picks from Michael J Seidlinger:


starkweather_front_final_cropThe First Four Books of Sampson Starkweather by Sampson Starkweather (Birds LLC, 2013)

I only recently discovered this guy’s poetry and I am truly kicking myself for it. His poems weave together humor and pop culture references. The book is 328 pages of I-have-no-idea-what-to-expect but if it’s anything like what I’ve read at Typo Magazine and other journals, there’s a lot of good in this three hundred page book.

And that name. Mannnnnnn… now I’m in the mood for a good film noir. Someone recommend me a good film noir.



61TLRRxzABL._SY300_Maximum Minimum Wage by Bob Fingerman (Image Comics, 2013)

Seemingly people have more time to read in the summer but, for me, I tend to find that the opposite is true. Therefore you’ve got to love the existence of graphic novels. Much like a movie, the average graphic novel only asks the reader for an hour or two.

With Fingerman’s “Maximum Minimum Wage,” we see through the eyes of Rob Hoffman, a cartoonist working on smut rags to pay the bills, as he, alongside his girlfriend, Sylvia, go about the apathy of their oddly relatable lives. It looks like Fingerman’s series channels other comix writers like Daniel Clowes and Brian Wood. During the heated summer months, I tend to go for narratives that point at the bleakness of modern life with a lot of sarcasm and, as the back cover blurb states, “cringe humor.”



51O3XRB3DcL._SY300_The Summer is Ended and We Are Not Yet Saved by Joey Comeau (ChiZine Publications, 2013)

No I’m not choosing this one just because “summer” is in the title. For those that aren’t familiar with Comeau’s work, he wrote Overqualified, The Complete Lockpick Pornography, and is responsible for the webcomic, A Softer World.

Plot wise, there’s a kid named Martin going to Bible camp but of course he gets more than what was stated in the brochures. It’s a horror novel published by ChiZine; you can expect some ghastly and grotesque twists and turns… and amazing book design.





51zHGL2H0GL._SY300_Lexicon by Max Barry (Penguin, 2013)

A new book from the guy that wrote Syrup, Jennifer Government, Company, and Machine Man? Sure why the hell not. Barry’s novels tend to successfully meld together humor and high concept plot structures and this one looks to be no different: A school in Arlington, Virginia teaches kids the act of persuasion. It’s like Harry Potter but instead of magic, they study linguistics. No doubt about it, I’m intrigued to see what Barry might do with this concept. Please don’t suck, please don’t suck.






9780141195674_p0_v1_s260x420The Room by Hubert Selby Jr. (Penguin, 2011)

The Room is the only title I have yet to read by Selby and it’s inching closer in my to-read pile. The book is supposed to be incessantly dark, angry, and transgressive. A convict stuck in a cell left to his hate-filled, misanthropic thoughts. This is the kind of book that’ll make me hate the heat of summer even more than I already do.







2013authorphotocolorMichael J Seidlinger is the author of My Pet Serial Killer and The Laughter of Strangers, forthcoming from Lazy Fascist in November 2013.



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  1. Sam Moss

      interested to hear your take on selby’s ‘room’.

  2. Michael J Seidlinger

      From what I’ve heard, I will either be immediately engrossed or completely alienated.

  3. Sam Moss

      for full alienation read all of Selby’s Room in a small locked Room while watching Wiseau’s ‘the Room’ on repeat

  4. Michael J Seidlinger

      Full immersion. Who needs a sensory deprivation tank now?

  5. nimeide