Per usual I’m reading about four books right now.
I just finished Amy Tan’s new book The Valley Of Amazement.
It is no shock that I am a pretty huge Amy Tan fan. This book takes place in China and covers familiar Mother/Daughter relations in a new way. This is historical fiction written without the eye of the colonizer as the focus. Which is to say it’s not about White people being centered. The story is about Flower (courtesan) houses, life in China in the early 1900s. I should confess I am a total history nerd. I love it. I can’t get enough. More so when it is the history of POC told by POC.
So this was right up my alley.
At first I wasn’t totally into it but I was completely drawn in by the careful details about Shanghai at the time. I was pleased to recognize a few Chinese words. I will say after reading some other reviews that this is maybe not a book for prissy American sensibilities. Also not for people who don’t really understand that this was not modern life and that those values are not American/Christian values and people need to deal with that
If you love fairly sweeping and very detailed stuff this one is a good one. I’ll probably reread it soon.
I’m currently reading Nothing: A Portrait of Insomnia by Blake Butler. We know I’m also an awful insomniac. I’m not super far into the book but I’m enjoying it a lot. I’m not super super familiar with his work in general, I like what I’ve read so far. I found the beginning portion really beautiful.
You can read a bit of it at TNB here. There is a rhythm to this book as I’m reading it that feels a little somnolent but not enough to really sleep. Or maybe I’m projecting but as I read it, I can feel that pained longing for sleep one gets when the insomnia is a mother fucker. Before you get to the really crazy part.
Now I have to talk about 2666 by Roberto Bolano. I finished it a few weeks ago and holy shit. No holy shit really.
The scope of this is just amazing. It is an entire little universe that meanders from country to country and goes back and forth. I like this book for the same reason I loved 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami, it is just epic and fuck I can’t.
Bolano achieved something for me that few books I read do. There were points that made me squirm and feel uncomfortable enough to need a time out from the book. Sex and murders and violence. It was all done in such a way that settled into my bones while I was reading it and I find myself thinking about it at odd moments. That is what makes a book really great to me.
I was just floored. This was actually my first Bolano bok, read on the remembered recommendation of a friend. I will probably get obsessive and want to read ALL his books.
Now on to the intertubes shall we?
Okay my homie J. Bradley has this piece Thread Counting at matchbook and dudes, that first line killed me. It is really great you should go read it right now.
Via HTMLGIANT I watched this video by Steve Roggenbuck made my day when I watched it. It reminded me of some pleasant memories and I enjoyed it. Check it out.
At Metazen I just read this piece by Kelsy Ipsen and it is really lovely.
An author I admire from afar Lavie Tidhar, has this story that was on PodCastle quite a while back. Buried Eyes. This story comes from the world of Gorel and the Pot Bellied God which is FANTASTIC guns n sorcery. Buried Eyes however is honestly one of my favorite things in the entire world. I’ve listened to the story I don’t know how many times and Lavie’s work is one of the reasons I started listening to Podcastle in the first place and continue to do so.
The narrator for that piece Graeme Dunlop is also a favorite of mine.
Over at Shotgun Honey I really loved this piece last month by Paul Heatley. That is a pretty cool magazine and you should read it on the regular.
In other news you can still head over to etsy and for a dollar or two grab a story by me to read. I’ve been sick and busy so I haven’t uploaded anything new yet but I have a couple of reprints waiting in the wings.
I also discovered a stash of almost finished work I thought was lost when my desktop PC died. I was so excited I stayed up far too late last night getting some of that organized and ready for a edit.
Now let us hope I can get over this head cold/ear (I have ear problems) fuckery so I am not so fucking extra exhausted and upset.
That’s all for now.