Once again, our staff covers the entire spectrum of literature in our weekly Friday Reads recommendations post. From non-fiction to essays, historical fiction to the Paris Review blog, there’s a little something for everyone:
A lovely piece on radio journalism on The Paris Review blog.
And a thought-provoking exploration of female intellectuals and solitude, my favorite piece to emerge in the recent flurry of Sontag-inspired musings.
James is reading a manuscript called Here and Now:
Letters between Paul Auster and J. M. Coetzee, coming from Penguin in 2013. A great pleasure reading two great literary minds discussing craft, politics, life… But for Paul Auster fans who can’t wait, his memoir Winter Journal is coming this August from Holt.
The best part about reading Mantel is that even though most of her readers likely know how the book is going to end (WILL HENRY EVER GET TO MARRY ANNE??), you’re still sitting on edge of your subway seat with anticipation. She’s just that good.
Henry has winning National Book Award Winner Just Kids by Patti Smith.
A memoir of Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe as just two kids starting out in search of themselves in late ’60s New York. The writing flows across the page.
Gabrielle is currently on a huge essay kick. Currently occupying her (metaphorical) nightstand is Tom Bissell’s Magic Hours.
Bissell was once an editor at W.W. Norton and uses his insight into publishing to discuss the serendipitous nature of bringing books back from out-of-print status. In another essay he discusses a cult filmmaker who made a movie so bad it’s good. I’m in the middle of his piece on another filmmaker, Werner Herzog, and it’s making me want to drop all my weekend plans in favor of sitting on my couch with his oeuvre. If you’re looking for some great autobiographical essays on all things arts & culture related, look no further. You can listen to Tom talk about his book on Bullseye with Jesse Thorn. He was also interviewed at The Rumpus.
Justin, publicist and resident sports enthusiast, is reading Soccernomics (Revised and Expanded Edition) by Simon Kuper and Stefan Szymanski.
I think the subtitle says it all “Why England Loses, Why Spain, Germany, and Brazil Win, and Why the US, Japan, Australia, Turkey—and Even Iraq—Are Destined to Become the Kings of the World’s Most Popular Sport.”
PS. Glory, glory Metro football; let’s beat the Impact.