The Summer Book, by Tove Jansson. Life on a Finnish island. Thoughts on death and aging, the cruelties and joys of children, a model Venice constructed out of driftwood, minor housebreaking. Dry, smart, observant.
Varamo – César Aira (fav. 2012 release)
The Map and the Territory – Michel Houellebecq
The Private Lives of Trees – Alejandro Zambra
The Melancholy of Resistance – László Krasznahorkai (one of the best books I have read)
Real excited for the translations of A.G. Porta and Daniel Sada coming out this year.
Treasure Island!!! was really excellent. I’ve been finally reading Long, Last Happy and it has been blowing my mind, but I am spacing it out a little, will probably make it last for most of the year. Right now I am not completely in love with anything I am reading but I hope that will change after AWP.
Bernard Tschumi’s Architecture & Disjunction
Edward Mullany’s If I Falter at the Gallows
Jarett Kobek’s ATTA
Katrina Palmer’s Dark Object
Johan Jonson’s Collobert Orbital
Michel Houellebecq’s The Map & The Territory
Christian Hawkey’s Ventrakl
THE FIRST PAGE OF “THE AMERICANS” BY GERTRUDE STEIN
THE FIRST TEN-FIFTEEN PAGES OF “INFINITE JEST” BY DAVID FOSTER WALLACE
THE FIRST STORY (“THE DIVORCER”) IN “THE DIVORCER” BY GARY LUTZ
THE ESSAY THAT BEGINS “THE COMPLETE WORKS OF MARVIN K. MOONEY” BY CHRISTOPHER HIGGS
THE FIRST CREATION ACCOUNT IN “THE BOOK OF GENESIS”, BY GOD
THREATS by Amelia Gray was a real treat for books of 2012 I’ve read. I’m really looking forward to Hot Pink by Adam Levin. Finally read Light Boxes by Shane Jones, Freight by Mel Bosworth and Us by Michael Kimball, those are all great reads. For less contemporaneous awesomeness I suggest The Plummeting Old Women by Daniil Kharms.
super mario 64 by nintendo – i loved the way bowser’s psychosexual power grab, accentuated by bondage and flame, finally met its match in mario’s cunning ability to jump, crawl, swim, and even fly his way to greater reproductive success with unparalleled style and joie de vivre; the author’s use of three softly rendered dimensions weaves mimesis at a distance, mirroring reality in all its awful complexity while distilling a form as readily digestible as the proverbial mushroom; truly a work of contemporary fiction the whole family can enjoy!
I was so into Dan Simmons, read and loved The Terror and to a lesser extent Drood. Then he published that godawful political novel and now I have to wait until I forget about that to read anything else he did.
I have not! I’ve only read the ND ones. That’s an early one right? I’ve heard mixed things, and by mixed things, I mean someone mentioning something once, and this excerpt from a 2-star Amazon review: “This is not his best book. “How I Became a Nun” is as wild and wonderful
as novels ever get, and “An Epidose in the Life of a Landscape Painter”
is just as good. But this is a wide-screen, panoramic epic odyssey, and
Aira has filled it with all sorts of set pieces: battle scenes,
allegorical journeys, “Pilgrim’s Progress” episodes, a visit to the
underworld, digressions into politics, and so forth. A lot of this is
the familiar machinery of nineteenth-century novels.” — which turned me off, but maybe I should read it anyway, eh? He is one of my favorite writers.
AT THE TIME ZZZZIPP TOOK IT OUT HE WAS MAYBE NOT READY TO GET INTO THAT KIND OF AIRA BUT NOW ZZZZIPP THINKS HE WANTS TO READ ANY AIRA. IT IS NOT A ND AIRA AND IT IS LIKE 250-300 PAGES OR SOMETHING AND THE FIRST PARAGRAPH DOES NOT SOUND LIKE “AIRA” BUT IT IS AIRA AND FOR THAT REASON…
Probably ‘White Teeth’ by Zadie Smith. It’s been on my reading list for about six years. It’s really very good. An amazing debut from a writer who was still only in their early twenties when it was published. And it’s big as fuck.
I liked the characters Tengo and Aomame. I loved hearing Murakami’s thoughts on writing, via Tengo’s inner monologues. The book was an easy read, yet I found it to be profound the entire time, like there is something under the surface that I can’t quite touch on. It reminded me of The Alchemist in that sense. I loved the parts when they were at the butterfly house. I LOVED the part when he reads to her about the Hiyaks, and it just goes on and on and on. The teenage girl (can’t remember her name) is so quirky and funny. He gives a reveal on Tengo’s history to the reader, but not to Tengo himself, which blew my mind. I’ve never seen something like that done before. I found Ushikawa to be fascinating. I will probably always remember the town of cats. The scene with Aomame in the room with leader is probably the best scene I’ve ever read in any book. Yeah I’m gushing, but 1Q84 is seriously in my top five favorite books of all time.
murakami leaves me hard, never finishing me off. entertaining, sure. but i want the bitch to waste me. not leave me blue and begging.
i’m fine with his simplicity, his sentimentality. but nigga can’t write an ending.
i was somewhat into tengo and aomame. aomame more so. i was calling the teenage girl (fuka-eri) marie calloway. the sakhalin segments were cool. as was the bit about jung. but i want more. and i’m not saying i want the book to be longer. i want it to be more creative. more fucked up, as my nephew says.
the town of cats was cool. and i wanted that to represent the entire novel. i wanted the whole thing to be that quietly sinister. but it wasn’t.
for me, the entire book can be summed up in murakami’s own words:
“from the man’s voice it was hard to guess his age, looks, or build. it was the sort of voice that provided no tangible clues. tengo felt he wouldn’t remember the voice at all, as soon as the man hung up. individuality or emotions–assuming there were any to begin with–were hidden deep down, out of sight” (888).
The best books (Pee on Water and Goat in the Snow) keep telling me to read The Little Girl Who Was Too Fond of Matches. I can’t wait to get four hands on Snowflake/Different Streets. I’ll have to look for The Incompossible. Good title.
Moby Book (genuine typo, thanks Tyoyeu I mean APLOD!) I mean Moby Dick is probably actually the best BOOK I have read in 2012 but that’s only because I read Emily Pettit’s Goat in the Snow and Dana Ward’s This Can’t Be Life in 2011. About read them both again and then they will be the best.
The two booksellers who’ve borrowed my review copy of Satantango both said it’s worth the golden wait.
That was a very clear explanation of your opinion.
“i’m fine with his simplicity, his sentimentality. but nigga can’t write an ending.”
I agree actually. The ending was not the strong point. Book three was probably the worst book, though I still loved it. I am kind of sympathetic though, because I myself struggle with writing endings. Stephen King used to struggle with many of his endings. For me, I think the ending to a book isn’t quite as important, if the rest of the book is phenomenal. If it’s a super plot based book, then I think a great ending is crucial. But if the book kicks ass, and it is more character driven, I can deal with an ending that doesn’t quite tie things up.
“the sakhalin segments were cool”
I don’t recall what that was.
“as was the bit about jung”
Yeah that part was good. The stuff about Chekhov’s gun was good. I also loved the part where Aomame is picking up this guy to sleep with, and the bartender tells them all about police uniforms, and all this other stuff. The bartender is just very knowledgeable on an assortment of topics. It’s toward the beginning of the book, you might not remember it.
“i want it to be more creative”
Give me a break. Creativity was the strength of this work.
“more fucked up”
Come on. It’s a book about a cult raping kids, creepy tiny people, a mother who got murdered etc. How much more fucked up can it get? Maybe he could’ve written a novel on genocide.
“the town of cats was cool. and i wanted that to represent the entire
novel. i wanted the whole thing to be that quietly sinister.”
To me, it WAS. The entire thing was that sinister. And the town of cats theme resounded throughout the book.
Regarding the sinister thing, what about the part where that one guy sends Ushikiwa to the bottom of the sea? To me, that was sinister.
Besides, I didn’t think the book was supposed to be entirely evil. It was a blend of dark and love.
Entirely evil books are just too damn depressing. Also, your tumblr is cool!