Donna Tartt — The Secret History
January 4, 2016
Hahahahaha oh my god. This was great. I don't think I have anything non-dumb to say about it, though. It has a generous sprinkle of the ol’ Gatsby nature, so tune in if you like watching rich people swan-dive into dumpsters? It's tense and incredibly slick? It's out of sync with consensus chronology somehow? I DON'T KNOW. I just loved it.
Well, wait, I have this little fragment: it's God’s own perfect antidote to Pamela Dean's rendition of Tam Lin. (That's too obscure for a real book review [which luckily this isn't], but if you've read Dean's Tam you know exactly what I mean, even if you liked it in a way I couldn't.)
Rainbow Rowell — Fangirl
A li'l novel about being young and sucking.
A lot of this book is about struggling with anxiety and embarrassment, and kind of generally just being at a lower level of social development than everyone around you, and damn, for me that made it a tough read. But it's really well-constructed, it abjures easy outs, and it follows through on its swing. Good shit. 👌🏼
James Baldwin - The Fire Next Time
??? ??, ????
I distinctly remember reading this at an outdoor table at the La Bonita on Alberta Street during one of the last four summers, but apparently I never wrote it down. What the fuck.
Well, it's been long enough that I only have a vague impression of its content anymore. Also, I read it soon after Ta-Nehesi Coates'd done a periodic series of blog posts about Baldwin and his legacy, so I feel like what I'm most remembering is TNC's Baldwin rather than the undiluted substance.
It was a heady and confronting book, and quite short (two long essays), but that's almost all I remember of it — I retained the sensation, but I lost the précis. I'll have to revisit someday.
Various cartoonists - Wolfen Jump (comics)
This compilation is incredibly silly!! AFAICT the brief was "Whatever you want as long as WOLFMEN, also try and be at least slightly anime."
Most of the stories are like 8 pages tops, which isn't enough time to do... really... anything... story/character-wise, but at least 2/3 of them were good fun with high-quality high-personality art. If you're not sure whether to give a shit, read this and it should clear up everything.
Kimmy Walters - Uptalk (poetry)
Aug 9 (sorta)
Like with short stories, I don't read poetry collections whole or in order, and I always cache away fragments for winter.
Kimmy Walters writes the kind of poetry that characters in a Kelly Link story probably write. She is great. I also kind of want to name-check Aimee Bender here, too, but don't have a full theory of what the shared strand is. Pervasive surrealism combined with a method of playful transgression.