Recommended Reading #1

I’ve decided to retire the Carousels on this blog and turn it into a regular Recommended Reading feature instead. These lists will include anything noteworthy I’ve been reading lately that I want to share with all of you. There’s just so much out there now, and sometimes it’s hard and very time-consuming to find the real gems. If you have anything you’d like to share yourself, you can always send me an email. I’m always looking.

So it begins:

  1. Quaint Magazine, Issue 4
  2. The Long Goodnight of Violet Wild,” Part 1 by Cat Valente (and Part 2)
  3. “Logic” by Richard Siken
  4. “Teach Me Something” by Amy Silverberg
  5. “Someday I’ll Love Ocean Vuong” by Ocean Vuong
  6. “Eating the Bible” by Robert Vivian
  7. “This Was Ugly” by Lauren Gordon
  8. “Tonight, in Oakland” by Danez Smith

Carousel #15

  1. Here’s a neat idea: a subscription service where your favorite cultural icons put together mail goodies for you that are personally meaningful. You can see all the different people doing this at Quarterly Co.
  2. The Nobel Prize winner for literature was announced recently: the Chinese writer, Mo Yan.
  3. An online friend of mine posted a list from her creative writing syllabus called, “A Bad Poem: The Satanic Six.” She mentioned to me how, although the class itself was not very inspiring, she had to keep the list itself. It’s perfect.
  4. Check this out: Storyswaps! A cozy place where two writers read each other’s stories. Here is one from Casey Hannan and Molly Laich.
  5. More news on literary awards: Hilary Mantel won this year’s Man Booker prize. Apparently it’s her second time winning it. I’ve only just heard of her recently. The New Yorker did a profile on her and you should read it.
  6. Writing about my paper hoarding habits this week, I happened upon this blog of some truly great papercrafting.

Carousel #12

  1. You can see what people are reading on the subways over at The Underground New York Public Library.
  2. Another great blog I discovered: Pen and Ink. Tattoos and the stories behind them.
  3. Many people were upset earlier this year about having no Pulitzer Prize awarded for fiction. In the New Yorker, writer Michael Cunningham (who was one of members of the jury that decides which three books are to be judged) discusses how exactly the process worked.
  4. Over at the Rumpus, writer and internet hero Roxane Gay talks about women writers, “women’s fiction,” and gender disparity in the publishing landscape. Also good books that I want to read.
  5. Here’s a collection of really weird book titles. Some will make you laugh out loud, some will leave you scratching your head.

Carousel #6

  1. Apparently, there’s been some book banning going on in Arizona in regards to the Mexican-American immigrant experience. I’m still regularly shocked and appalled by the racism and censorship that is allowed in this country.
  2. A graphic novel adaptation of the classic children’s book A Wrinkle in Time is coming out this year. Check out the cover.
  3. I read a story about a father’s struggle with his little daughter’s cancer. It follows the family’s grieving process and how they cope with her illness. Utterly brutal and sad, but also deeply beautiful.
  4. I found a new place to get books: The Book Depository! Free international shipping, and their prices are actually pretty good too. Excellent.
  5. I discovered The Safety Pin Review, a relatively new literary journal that features 30-word fiction and shows it off on the back of shirts around town by the journal’s “operatives.” Love it. Now if only I can teach myself to write fiction in thirty words or less.
  6. I’m pretty sure I’ve listened to Catgroove over a hundred times throughout this week. I’m also pretty sure electroswing is my new favorite thing. Parov Stelar is amazing. All of his music is going on my MP3 player as soon as possible.