It’s time for the Picador crew’s Friday Reads,
Reading some entries I didn’t get to the first time around. A new highlight, his entry on MEATLOAF: “There are so many Meatloaf records that do the job they were employed to do (defining every minute of the arc of a paaarty), yet few of them rival Bat Out Of Hell, an album that demands to be listened to in a speeding car, driven by your designated driver, in the early hours of the morning, on the way home from a country ball, as you lie slumped in the back seat, your tuxedo covered in cold sweat, cheap red wine, and the lipstick of someone else’s woman.”
Daniel is reading Roberto Bolaño’s The Ruin of Amalfitano, Ben Lerner’s piece on the demise high school debate from the latest issue of Harper’s and finishing up The Unquiet Grave.
Wonderful and totally engaging. A moving, sometimes funny family saga, but epic in scope and deeply profound in the questions it poses about how we find meaning in our lives.
I’m also reading Field of Blood by Denise Mina,a crime story set in early 80s Scotland. Excellent characterization, an original protagonist, grizzly crime, and a dark sensibility. I’m sold and will be reading more from Mina.
After last night’s book launch for Object Lessons: The Paris Review Presents the Art of the Short Story at Greenlight Bookstore in Brooklyn, a panel discussion that included author Donald Antrim, contributor David Means, and Paris Review editor Lorin Stein, Gabrielle is fast-tracking Antrim’s novel The Hundred Brothers to the top of her reading list and taking it home tonight.
It was a tough call between (finally) reading Antrim (possibly the last of the Picadorians to do so) and checking out Jonathan Franzen’s latest essay collection, Farther Away, which we’ll be publishing next year in paperback. There was a great write-up of the book on The Smart Set and once again, decisions, decisions.
I’m trying to expand my literary horizons by reading things I typically wouldn’t — in this case, a collection of essays. Pulphead is a fantastic introduction to what a collection of this kind can do. Even though I’m only a few essays in, I feel confident saying that this particular literary exploration has gone very, very well.