What I’ve Been Reading This Week

So far I am at a 4-year low for the number of books I have read by this point in the year. It really bums me out. I get anxious and depressed when I don’t read as much as I want to. Seriously. Though, I have been reading more lately, so I’m feeling pretty good.

The Oregon Trail Is The Oregon Trail Gregory SherlOn Thurdsday I read The Oregon Trail Is the Oregon Trail by Gregory Sherl. This little book of poems is by far one of the greatest books of poetry I have read in years, as well as one of the best books, of any type, I have read recently. It is thrilling to see what words can do. This was such a fun and compelling book.


The Skating Rink Roberto BolanoOn Friday I read The Skating Rink by Roberto Bolano. This is the 4th Bolano I’ve read (after The Savage Detectives, Amulet, and By Night in Chile). It wasn’t exceptional until halfway though, and then it gained momentum like a landslide. I’ve noticed that with Bolano; his books begin very quiet and modest, but there comes a point when it gets good. Real good. I’m sure this quality weeds out a lot of readers that aren’t immediately grabbed, but those that finish the books are rewarded. Maybe that’s why he has such a dedicated following. Anyway, this one was about as good as Amulet, but not as good as Savage Detectives or By Night in Chile.


Meat Heart Melissa BroderOn Saturday I read Meat Heart by Melissa Broder. This is a book of poems. They challenged me. Not quite as immediately rewarding as the The Oregon Trail poems from Sherl, but I really liked it. I want to re-read it soon, because I think I’ll get more out of these poems each time I read them. Also, The cover is beautiful.



Nothing A Portrait Of Insomnia Blake ButlerOn Saturday night I started Nothing: A Portrait of Insomnia by Blake Butler. It’s his first nonfiction book. I like it so far, though I’m not far into it. It seems to read slowly, which is nice because I enjoy it and I don’t mind taking my time. I like Blake’s fiction, and this one has the same linguistic style, which I’m sure has repelled many people who’ve only picked it up because they wanted to read about insomnia, or to find something about themselves and their sleeplessness within it. I could see how they could get frustrated. It’s not concise language; there’s more to it. Blake’s language takes over. If some people had purple prose, Blake Butler has black prose.

The Complete Works Of Marvin K Mooney Christopher HiggsToday I began The Complete Works of Marvin K. Mooney by Christopher Higgs. Straight up metafiction. ‘Experimental’, if you will. I hate that term to describe art. Anyway, I’m really enjoying this book. It’s actually very readable, as sometimes intentionally weird fiction can be more work than fun. I’m 60 pages deep, and I really want to read more.



So those were my books this week. What have you been reading?

Three Awesome New Books From Lazy Fascist Press

Lazy Fascist Press is a relatively young publisher, but it has quickly grabbed the alt-lit scene by the throat, and it shows no sign of letting go. They already have an impressively strong catalog, and it just keeps getting stronger. In fact, they just released their first offerings of 2012 – not one book, not two, but three books all at once, and they are a trio of face-melters. Here is a look at these three new books from Lazy Fascist Press.


Anatomy Courses by Blake Butler and Sean KilpatrickAnatomy Courses by Blake Butler & Sean Kilpatrick

Blake Butler put out two books in 2011, both from Harper Perennial, and now he is back at the small press party, serving spiked punch with fellow wordsmasher Sean Kilpatrick. What they are saying about this one is that it is – well, I don’t know what they are saying [really, look, no info: (huh?) (nevermind, it’s there now)], but I do know that if it is anything like what I would expect from these two, well then that is enough for me to want to read it. And that should be enough for you, too.



Zombie Bake Off Stephen Graham JonesZombie Bake-Off by Stephen Graham Jones

Is it weird that I consider Stephen Graham Jones one of my favorite living writers, even though I have only read one of his books? Seriously, it was that good. There is just something so compelling and exciting about his style. I have vowed to read every single one of his books, and at the rate he is publishing, he’s not giving me much time to catch up. Seriously, the man works hard. Well, here is another to add to the list. This review calls Zombie Bake-Off a combination of “Desperate Housewives, WWE, the Food Network, and George A. Romero.” Sounds delicious.



The Obese Nick AntoscaThe Obese by Nick Antosca

Okay, so Nick Antosca is the only author on this list who’s work I have not previously read, but not for lack of interest. Now, with the release of The Obese, that Antosca-absence is going to have to change, and soon. Touted as “a bloody satire about body image and America’s obesity epidemic”. They are calling it “Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds – with obese people.” How could I not want to read it?



So those are the three brand new books that just came out from Lazy Fascist Press. Their pages are still warm from the printers. I haven’t had a chance to pick up copies of my own yet, but once I do get my hands on these monsters, I’ll be writing about them. If you’ve read them yet, share your thoughts in a comment and let me know which one to start with.


In this, my first widescreen episode [Thanks for letting me borrow your camera, Anni], I talk about Artifice Magazine Issue #1.

If I seem distracted [especially toward the end] it’s because I hear people in my house.

You can check out the magazine at their website: www.artificemag.com