Saturday, 4 July 2015

What i read in June..

June was an excellent reading month! Sian and i both had birthdays and bought each other a bunch of books, and we also had some time off work, so not even The Man could interfere with our book-guzzling. Oh, and the sun came out and that was nice too, and everything's peachy. Here's what i read.

It Always Rains On Sunday by Arthur La Bern (1945)
This was a decent early kitchen-sink type of affair. I'm a fool for a novel that all takes place in one day, so if you're into that and like a bit cockney-speak, you might want to snap up this lovely new reissue on the London Books Classics range.

The Ice Queen by Alice Hoffman (2005)
Hoffman doing what Hoffman does best, small-town americana, a bit of myth and magic, and a whole heap of grim realness. Lightning-strike victims, sex in the bath.

The Wallcreeper by Nell Zink (2014)
She's kinda a big deal right now, and her writing will definitely divide people, but i found this totally compulsive, fucking nuts, intensely smart and hurty. It reminded me a little of Miranda July in that way that she dissects something to the point of seeming both ridiculous and profound in a new way.

The End Of Vandalism by Tom Drury (1994)
I really loved this. More small-town shenanigans. This is one of those novels that takes its time, rambles all over the place, doesn't seem to be doing much and then somewhere in there you start to realise just how much you are enjoying yourself. Full of warmth, dry humour, sadness and sweetness, if you like a bit of Richard Russo or Gilmore Girls you should check it out.

The Fever by Megan Abbott (2014)
Let's just stop for a second and appreciate how utterly fantastic Megan Abbott is. An author i feel genuinely lucky to be living at the same time as, and who can seemingly do no wrong. Her latest is very much in the same territory (teenage girls) as Dare Me, except it's about a strange inexplicable epidemic, girls having seizures, highschool, sex, a weird flourescent lake...pulp meets YA.

In The Enemy Camp: Selected Poems 1964-74 by William Wantling (2015)
I've been waiting for some Wantling to be reissued for YEARS people. Admired by Bukowski, an ex-con, heroin addict who fought in the Korean war, Wantling was of the new wave of post-beat 70's poets - raw, taboo-busting, but also sensitive and courageous. Thurston Moore's disappointing intro tries to depict him as some of rock'n'roll poet, whatever that means, lame. 

Sylvia by Leonard Michaels (1992)
Set in early-60's Manhattan, this seems to be a mostly autobiographical novel about a young writer that falls in love with the Tom Cruise-level mental Sylvia. Yeah, i know all you need right, another book about a seductively damaged fantasy-girl and the POOR DUDE who gets burned. But, it good. Real good. 

1965: The Most Revolutionary Year In Music by Andrew Grant Jackson (2015)
Ahh...i love the Sixties. Can't really go wrong with a book about the Sixties.

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