January was Manuary in Villa Lile-Pastore. There was really no desperate need for me to participate in a whole month of reading only dudes, but y'know, brotherhood. What happened was this, last year my reading habits strayed dangerously into the weiner camp, too many novels about boys sulking, boozing, taking themselves seriously, and falling for nasty femmes...all that testosterone can seriously increase the risk of being a dick. There are times when you've got to look at yourself and say hey champ, you are not doing your bit for the world as you want it to be. Likewise there are other times when it's equally as important to say screw it, you owe the world jack, but you do owe yourself the wondrous thrill of reading Joyce Carol Oates, or Megan Abbott, or Dorothy B. Hughes, Edith Wharton, Michelle Tea, Toni Morrison, Elizabeth Bishop, Amy Hempel, Diane Di Prima, Mary Gaitskill etc. So anyway, at the end of last year for 2 months i only read female authors, and it was of course high-rankin'. Anyway, my darling squeeze had the opposite realisation, she was worse actually, her page-to-weiner ratio scored abysmally low, which is why Manuary.
Goat Mountain by David Vann
Extreme butchosity and bad camping times in the wilderness. This was grim and hypnotic.
Franny And Zooey by J.D. Salinger
Salinger can do no wrong. Manages to be both frothy and profound, and probably somewhere in it you'll find the meaning of life.
Selected Poems - Kenneth Fearing
Really enjoyed this. Fearing's poems are almost pop-arty; a collage of modernity, whitmanesque riffs, and the language of hardboiled noir.
The Riverside Villas Murder by Kingsley Amis
I think if you're going to do Manuary right you ought to read at least one arrogant misogynistic alcoholic prick. *Enter Kingsley Amis* Enjoyed this, not his greatest work, and morally way off, but fun.
The Primal Urge by Brian Aldiss
My first Aldiss, and an early one. Not great, kinda pointless, like an extended joke with an actual punchline in the last paragraph. Still, the Sixties. Sigh.
Raw Material by Jorg Fauser
Tale of communes, student politics, struggling to be a writer, sex, opium, and booze. An outsider gem from the German 70's counterculture, funny, cynical and probably all true.
Coffee, Tea, or Murder? by Donald Bain
I've read a few of these and this was by far the crappest yet. Shame on you Donald Bain. Shame. On. You.
(Here's what Sian read...go have a look)