Dust on the Bookshelf

In search of a summer reading group?
February 26, 2012, 17:24
Filed under: Books, Dust | Tags: , , ,

Hello readers!

I am using this post to plug a summer reading group that I am working on with James Marks and Josh Cohen that you are all invited to participate in.

It will be a summer of William Faulkner!

Quick background: last summer the boys hosted a reading group of The Pale King by David Foster Wallace through their website: tpkteam.com

We will be using the same site to host this virtual and interactive book club. This summer it’s Faulkner. It’s good to sweat while reading Faulkner and so I hope that all of you will consider reading with us.

It is a basic format. We’ll be reading a few texts over the season and you can jump in whenever you want on any or all of the books/stories. We hope to start a conversation fostered by posts and comments. There will also be supplemental criticism and related texts for those interested in that.

Emphasis on low-pressure and low-commitment. I know that some of you (my mother) have long-standing book clubs that already meet regularly. How long has it been now mom? I have early memories of getting kicked out of the house with dad when “the ladies who read” came over.

But TPKteam only requires you open your computer and maybe an account at your local library. Below is the reading list (the first is a short story) and I hope you will all check it out. We’ll be starting in June!


faulkner in hollywood “A Rose for Emily” (1930)
As I Lay Dying
The Hamlet
Requiem for a Nun
“Race at Morning” (1955)

you can find some of my thoughts on the reading list here.

Summer approaches! Now where did i leave my pipe and typewriter…

The Book Bench: Obama’s Summer Reading : The New Yorker
August 24, 2011, 11:30
Filed under: Books | Tags: , , ,

The Book Bench: Obama’s Summer Reading : The New Yorker.

The President and I have a shared summer reading book. I have not written about this one, but I do recommend The Bayou Trilogy by Daniel Woodrell for some sizzling southern crime fiction.

Here’s what the article’s author X had to say about the book:

Daniel Woodrell’s bayou, meanwhile, is a world apart—from princes or sun-drenched, charming bookstores. One of the characters in “Muscle for the Wing,” the second book in Woodrell’s trilogy, describes his own ideal vacation:

“Aw,” Shade said, “listen, up there it’s another world. That’s what I want on my vacation. I don’t want a beach version of St. Bruno. I want another world for five days. The river up there, it’s not the color of shoe leather like this one here. Huh-uh. It’s cleaner’n baby piss and cooler’n Duke Ellington. You drop in a six-pack and in ten minutes you got the perfect beer.” He emptied his own mug of brew. “I got a pup tent, too, you know. For comfort.”

Pup tents, six-packs, baby-piss metaphors—it all sounds nothing like the public image of the President (and in fact, sounds a bit like a caricature of his emerging opponent, Rick Perry.) But that’s what fiction offers, quick and reliable transport to another world, places that can feel immediate but that are unreachable even by Air Force One, Marine One, and a motorcade to the beach.

And if you still want more, a cool site with Obama’s tenure reading list: http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2011/08/14/obama-s-book-club.html

I suddenly feel so close, yet so far, from Martha’s Vineyard.
Enjoy some rest, Mr. President.