I'd love to say that there's some strategy to my fall reading. But really, I wander a little aimlessly around the world of books, waiting for something to seize me. My reader is rife with fall book lists right now, but I don't limit myself to new releases or even new reads. In fact, I try to reread books frequently and there are certain books I love to reread at certain times of year.
Likely to my detriment, I can have an inexplicable resistance to reading certain books. Sometimes, the more somebody tells me I ought to read something, that I'm sure to love it, the more I'll fight it. I don't think this is simply my inherent bolshie streak. It can be that strange gap between what you ought to love given everything else you love and what you actually do that the heart of each of us dwells, I think.
But even if I do read their books, you don't need another list with Deborah Levy and Jhumpa Lahiri on it. There are other writers who won't get the same press and make award shortlists, who won't work the PR machine or tweet so compellingly. There are books your local bookstore won't display prominently, perhaps won't even get in stock unless you ask. I'm always drawn to such discoveries and many of my favourites have fallen from those mysterious places.
There's also a different shade of pleasure that comes from discovering something rather than simply following a bankable list. My favourite thing about blogging isn't just that some of you read and follow my book recommendations. It's that you sometimes end up reading a book that you would not have otherwise crossed paths with otherwise. So, if I happen to be your gateway to something new, nothing could make me happier.
- Young Skins by Colin Barrett: Mary Costello's The China Factory was one of my favourite books of recent years. I'll basically read any new writer Stinging Fly publishes.
- I just finished Evie Wyld's All The Birds, Singing and am now working systematically through all her available writing. After the Fire, a Still Small Voice was published prior to that, in 2010.
- Éireann's a blog friend and I much admire both her work for her writers and her own writing. I'm excited to hold Her Poems in my hands.
- It seems strange that I don't really count myself a poetry reader and yet I read poetry every day. It's like I haven't fully realized something about myself. This book made it onto my wishlist a few months ago and I can't remember why, but with a title like Woman Reading to the Sea it's coming home. You can read some of Lisa Williams' poetry here.
- Donna Tartt's book has already been getting a lot of press. This is in the category of books I might ordinarily resist but I'm drawn to this one and all that's being said about it.
- I started The Luminaries last weekend. This book exemplifies all that's strange and magical about purchasing decisions: A dreamy mood and desire to get lost in something vast. A mention of David Mitchell. A cover that appealed to the moonchild in me. A overwhelming desire to hold something with real weight.
- I always miss reading William Trevor's stories when I stay away too long. Courting controversy, I will say that I really believe there's an argument to be had about Trevor versus Munro. Revisiting Cheating at Canasta is bound to confirm this.
- I loved Divisadero when I first read it and found myself thinking of it the other day, some of its lines humming in me. I think there's something in it I'm craving right now that I haven't quite realized I'm excited to reread it and discover what that is.