Thursday, May 07, 2015


The semester's not properly over yet (two more weeks of this-and-that), but I do have a bit of a breather today, to my relief - this semester has been sufficiently taxing that I basically have no willpower left, I was toiling till three o'clock yesterday on something I should have been able to finish by ten in the morning!


Haven't been logging light reading partly because it has been mostly Xanax-style tranquilizing reading rather than of general literary interest. Should probably make some attempt to get it down here for the record: here are recommendations if you need to bathe your brain in well-written and undemanding urban fantasy....

SEVEN books about demons by Diana Rowland, TWO novels and TWO novellas by Melissa Olson about supernatural crime-scene cleanup, THREE very appealing novels by Anne Bishop on more science-fictional animal shape-changer lines and then TEN or so in an earlier fantasy series that unfortunately deployed the same stylistic means for having animal shape-changers talk telepathically to people (eroding my belief in the particularities of either of the fictional worlds), THREE demon/super-natural power novels by John Conroe (who is a very good writer but who has marred his series by giving his protagonist too many powers), ONE funny one by Harry Connolly with the appealing title A Key, an Egg, An Unfortunate Remark.

Also Elizabeth Wein's new installment in the WWII flying YA books (these are wonderful), Meghan Daum's new anthology of essays by writers who don't have children, two utterly brilliant novels by Hanya Yanagihara (I have reviewed A Little Life for Bookforum and won't say more here now, but this was a great link - indeed I know these young men very well myself).

And a few other things that deserve posts of their own!

Interesting stuff out and about town: my friend Preeti Vasudevan's absolutely beguiling Veiled Moon at the Met; an unusual sound-installation project called Earshot, a collaborative project by my former student Jason Bell among others. This took place at a very nice little bar in Williamsburg (two free cocktails were included in the very modest ticket price, and I also had what was pretty much the platonic ideal of a grilled ham-and-cheese sandwich - ruminations on the difference between Morningside Heights and Williamsburg very strong in me, I live in a neighborhood where I can live mostly in my own head, I am not worried about how I dress or the quality of the food and drink I consume or the self-performance of life on the street and for the most part those around me share my values, Williamsburg is a neighborhood where the hipster aesthetic leads to an ethos of INSTANTIATION - people actually care to the utmost about whether it really is a delicious cocktail or sandwich or a good shirt or beard or what have you....).

Closing tabs:

A comprehensive history of the gym.

Stephen Elliott on the strange experience of having his memoir turned into a movie.

Visualizing the migration of honey buzzards.

Test-driving Buckminster Fuller's Dymaxion. (Needlessly snarky, but I wished I could share this one with my father - we had a very good memorial for him in Philadelphia a couple weeks ago, and I need to write up what I said there so that I can post it here.)

Additional posts to follow, only I need to leave shortly to head downtown for POWERLIFTING, which has been the balm to my soul this semester - without that plus copious amounts of urban fantasy on my Kindle, I am not sure how I would have survived the semester....

1 comment:

  1. This post is the reason I am not you. (Many other reasons, of course, but here is the reading essence of it.)