Bookish Notes

I’ve got a few things to mention here, and the first is that the next pick for the Slaves of Golconda reading group is Barbara Comyns’s novel The Vet’s Daughter. Everyone is welcome to join in the discussion, which will begin on January 15th.

The next is that I’m proud to announce my good friend and cycling partner, Megan Searfoss, has published a book on running, called See Mom Run!

See Mom Run

I helped Megan edit the book and so have had a chance to read an early version of it, and I can say that it’s perfect for anyone who wants to start or improve their running but has time limitations, whether those limitations come from motherhood or some other source. Megan is an amazing person — an incredible athlete, coach, business owner, mother, friend, and now author — and she 0ffers great advice and inspiration in the book. If running interests you, check it out!

The next thing to mention is I celebrated Small Business Saturday by visiting a local bookstore (of course) and got to meet Roz Chast, cartoonist for the New Yorker. I’ve laughed at her cartoons for ages, and loved asking her to sign my copy of her latest book, Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?, which Hobgoblin is chuckling over at this very moment. Along with her at the bookstore was crime novelist Peter Spiegelman, and so I picked up the first of three books in a series, Black Maps. The only shopping I ever do on the post-Thanksgiving weekend is book shopping (I hardly ever do any other kind, actually), and I love, love, love the newly-born tradition of having authors in bookstores during the weekend to sign books and make recommendations. By the way, I made sure to get recommendations from both authors, and while I felt like I was already spending too much money and so didn’t actually buy these books this time, their recommendations are now on my list: Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters from Roz Chast, and Winter’s Bone by Daniel Woodrell from Peter Spiegelman.

And now, since it’s been forever since I’ve written abo0ut my recent reading, here’s the shortest of short round-ups:

  • Joanna Ruocco’s novel Dan: strange with wonderful writing, sort of post-apocalyptic-but-not-really, surreal. It made me start the book over from the beginning once I’d finished.
  • Kathryn Harrison’s The Kiss: not for the faint of heart. A memoir about incest, beautifully written, very disturbing, fascinating.
  • Blake Butler’s 300,000,000: I bailed on this one. It was darker and stranger than I could handle at the moment, but it might be something I return to later.
  • Ian McEwan’s The Children Act: I liked this one — lots to think about, a slow-paced novel that stayed compelling all the way through.
  • Karen Green’s Bough Down: a mix of prose poetry and art. So basically unclassifiable, and absolutely gorgeous. I’ll be reading this one again. A grief memoir about the loss of her husband.
  • Heather Lewis’s Notice: another one not for the faint of heart. Seriously. But if you want to think about the darker side of sexuality, it’s great.
  • Lynne Sharon Schwartz’s Ruined by Reading: A Life in Books. I enjoyed this. It won’t make my best-of list when it comes to books about books, but it was still fun.
  • Attica Locke’s Black Water Rising: a mystery book group pick, and very good. A good story, strong characters, and about themes that are both always important and particularly pertinent right now: power, money, race, labor, oil.
  • E. Lockhart’s We Were Liars: A YA novel, and a lot of fun, with good plot twists and turns.
  • Lee Ki-Ho’s At Least We Can Apologize: part of Dalkey Archive’s series of Korean novels. Darkly comic social satire; I laughed and winced my way through this. It has a great premise and a lot to say about power and violence.

Happy Thanksgiving to my American friends, and happy weekend to everyone else!


Filed under Books

2 responses to “Bookish Notes

  1. Didja get a chance to listen to the podcast I recorded with Lynne Sharon Schwartz in April? If not, it’s at


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