Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A Reed Next Round Up

Greetings all.  I took a couple of weeks off as Mrs. Next was on Spring Break and we spent considerable quality time together.  Lovely, of course, but I'm behind so a couple of quick hits before I post on Howard Norman's upcoming What Is Left the Daughter.

* I Tweeted this just the other day but just love the idea of Keef being at the library.  He would certainly bring a bit of swagger to any collection

* Sherman Alexie won the PEN/Faulker aware for War Dances, his last book for Grove, against some serious competition (  As an avid Alexie admirer, I enjoyed it though it was obvious he was moving on to another house.  The short stories collected alongside his poems and lists seemed a mix of contractual obligation and permission to "let the kid do as he pleased" as though this was his last summer at home before leaving for school.  Still, that's not to say I didn't love parts.  He can still a turn a phrase and tell a story with the best of them and his ability to create and flesh out little vignettes of human desperation reminds me of Carver, if Carver were funny. 

* Went to a used bookstore for the first time in what seemed like ages.  I had almost forgotten how enjoyable it was to roam the aisles with no real agenda and just allow the books to present themselves.  While I could have spent far more time and money, I was stingy with both and left with Joe Meno's Hairstyles of the Damned, and two Richard Russo titles, Straight Man and Nobody's Fool.

* Happy to report that Reporting At Wit's End is a delight.  St. Clair McKelway's collection of New Yorker pieces from the 1930's through the 1960's show their age at times but the stories are of a time and place we'll never see again told in a way that captures the spirit, soot and savvy of a New York about which we can only smile and reminisce.

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