• Everything That Rises Must Converge

    Flannery O’Connor

    vacation to the south continues, or really had been going on throughout the poetry days. these short stories share a theme of misunderstanding, especially between family members with misaligned philosophies. many parallels of characters trying to do in essentially flawed manners (trying to prove something, trying to be better than others, etc). well-crafted stories: no wasted words, all the pertinent details & nothing unnecessarily thrown in. though also pretty much non-upbeat throughout.more

  • The God of Small Things

    Arundhati Roy

    also from the thrift store in woodside. there’s a pleasing cadence to this narrative, a careful rhythm sidestepping between pasts and presents.

    A carbreeze blew. Greentrees and telephone poles flew past the windows. Still birds slid by on moving wires, like unclaimed baggage at the airport. A pale daymoon hung hugely in the sky and went where they went. As big as the belly of a beer-drinking man.

  • Ella Minnow Pea

    Mark Dunn

    just breezed right through this “progressively lipgrammatic epistolary fable” (go on, look ’em up, if you don’t know), which addie heartily recommended when we talked over tea in tarrytown last month.

    at first the delivery seemed a little too cute for my taste, but it’s a pretty smart book that won me over quickly. a fictitious island where language is a national art form and everyone communicates obsessively through letters, no telephones or computers?

    uh, shall we?

    i know that supposedly the days are getting longer now, but really it doesn’t seem that way at all. the hours between arriving home from work and having to get myself to bed in order to start over the next day seem to be...more

  • Manhattan Transfer

    John Dos Passos

    new york city circa the early 1990s is almost a character in itself in this multi-focused story about various people with intersecting lives living and passing in the city. it’s amazing how even though the city is markedly different, certain descriptions portray it surprisingly the same as what it’s like today. i was struck by how the quality of light, the passings of days, and the way the seasons refract down the avenues were entirely familiar. some things don’t change.

    it might be less enjoyable to read without some intimacy with the city and its geography. but the perspective on these various lives, partially focused on the industrial-revolutionized working class, is fresh and sharp. an editorial review calls this the classic...more