September 13, 2013

The Pleasure of Discursive Commentary: On the Paratext Novel and the Drunken Pornographer 5


A friend once even showed me a porno with a commentary track. While the director offers her insights into the filming process, along with increasingly belligerent rants about her colleagues, she gets completely shit-faced. After about 30 minutes, she passes out, and for the rest of the movie, you can hear her snoring breezily in the background.

August 27, 2013

On The Pleasures and Solitudes of Quiet Books 24


“Books are solitudes in which we meet,” Rebecca Solnit wrote. But before the meeting comes the solitude, the book as a private space that a reader steps into, and there are moments when escaping into a book is a bid for some measure of seclusion. If the solitude you crave at the moment is a quiet one, here’s a short reading list of quiet books that I’ve recently read and admired.

August 26, 2013

A Breaking Bad (and Beyond) Reading List 7


The books on this list range from the personal to the mythological to the journalistic, and some intertwine all three. They all depict a world of stark contrasts. There is danger here.

July 9, 2013

The Bolaño Syllabus: A Final Reckoning 9


What you need to read, what you might want to, and what you can pass over without losing sleep.

July 8, 2013

Most Anticipated: The Great Second-Half 2013 Book Preview 19


At 9,000 words strong and encompassing 86 titles, this is the only second-half 2013 book preview you will ever need.

June 13, 2013

Don’t Let the Story End: Five Spinoff Novels I’d Love to Read 10


I’d love to read a novel narrated by Eloise’s mother. She’s a rich fuck-up, to be sure, maybe a functioning alcoholic with a penchant for Bloody Marys at breakfast and champagne every afternoon.

May 28, 2013

The Cookbook As Literature 11


If you can read, you can cook—and if you can’t cook, you can always read cookbooks.

April 30, 2013

Modern Farce 2


There is an almost gravitational pull towards farce that draws everything from Congressional budget negotiations to the badminton competition at the 2012 London Olympics into its field. Several recent farcical works have crafted its chaotic order to predictably entertaining effect. If you missed any of these the first time around, fear not.

April 24, 2013

Tumblr Index: Your Guide to Artistic and Literary Tumblrs, Part III 15


The third (and final) installment in our Great Taxonomy of Literary Tumblrs, featuring Daily Cheever, Neruda Cats, Poets Without Clothes (NSFW), Free Crap on the Side of the Road, and more.

March 13, 2013

After The Dinner: A Round Up of Newly Translated Dutch Fiction 3


It seems to be a Dutch national record: Herman Koch’s novel The Dinner reaching the ninth position on the New York Times bestseller list. It’s time to take a closer look at some newly translated Dutch fiction.