What Books We're Reading in 2016
This year I've tried to stick to books that are already in my library. If I get these 10 books under my belt I'll be a more accomplished reader than I was last year. & this doesn't include the myriad articles on my online newsfeed, the New Yorker that I receive weekly, the back catalogue of McSweeney's & The Believer. To a year of great reading!📚
- •"The Other Side" by Lacy JohnsonMy former professor and would-be friend. I owe it to myself (and her) to read this book, a rape-survivor memoir but promisingly so much more. About reaching the other side of Self, perhaps; the transmogrification of a young woman into a fierce, evolved artist and human.
- •Don QuixoteThe whole of it. I started it last summer and got about 150 pages in. It was getting increasingly enjoyable and deeper and I don't remember why I put it down.
- •Between the World and MeDr. Quinn gave it to me; it won the National Book Award; it has important things to say about current race relations in America. But most of all it's the musical lucidity of the language and writing itself that I'm most looking forward to.
- •"Modern Romance" by Aziz AnsariI have no plans to join Tinder but I am keen on contemporary life, or the life not lived by me (i.e., the Tinder life; the casual dating life). Plus "Master of None," his Netflix show, was brilliant. And it got a blurb from Dave Eggers!
- •"A People's History of the United States" by Howard Zinn'Cause it's about damn time!
- •"My Struggle," Books 1 thru 5 by Karl Ove KnausgaardBook 5 of which is expected to be published in April. Why devote hours of my precious to this series, about a man living a normal life? Because the form, let's call it long-longform, is itself a literary experiment. Because it is for some reason interesting to me—I relate to it as a straight man, as an intro-extrovert, as a music lover, literature lover. Knausgaard clearly has an intense relationship with life, which is always welcome.
- •"Where I'm Reading From" by Tim ParksEssays. I know Parks from the pages of The New York Review of Books and have been interested in his essays because they are literary and unpretentiously intellectual. This book is a reassessment of everything pertaining to the always-shifting literary landscape, and his language is sharp and accessible, my favorite. Lots of food for thinking about how we read and take in books.
- •The Book of GenesisBoth the King James "Authorized" version and R. Crumb's version. Just for funsies.
- •Something from my Library of America collectionI don't know yet. Maybe all the Roth.