Barry Lopez is a national treasure.
A fine-tuned treatise on music, politics, history, philosophy & various social phenomena...Saturated with an acerbic wit, it may be the only book you'll ever need.
A ton of writers with their own esoteric, often gorgeous, definitions of American landscape terms. I looked up "arroyo" first, then got lost. A treasure
A tight homecoming story. Coming home to Detroit. With some great asides to race, it's about family, about the city.
A fabulous and spare post-apocalyptic...pastoral? Anyway, it's a lovely outdoorsy book with probably the best gun nut EVER. A nice and terrifying time in a significantly depopulated Colorado.
Charlie Smith continues to turn out beautiful prose. This time its a lush homage to his own Key West (as well as other southern Florida environs: the Everglades, Miami, Cuba) through the desperate lens of a no-nonsense family/crime saga.
A solid police procedural set in New England. Also, there happens to be an asteroid coming to destroy everyone--pre-apocalyptic hijinks ensue.
Our hero continues to solve cases as the asteroid, and all the paranoia, conspiracies and general madness continue. I suppose hijinks might've been the wrong word.
Gann's third book could be the product of Robert Stone spending the winter at Dan Woodrell's.
The absolute best writing about conservatism.
Really, it's Marilynne Robinson, I mean, she's great right. (tho the Moses stuff was totally over my head.)
While many of the recipes need to be spiced up, the techniques for homemade vegan cuisine (and protein substitutes) are the best you'll find.
This is a near perfect book (and I kinda hate memoirs).
Social Democrat and historian Tony Judt offers a concise discussion of the failures (and successes) of the Left in the 20thC, the current dangers of a backlash from the right and the hole in social services that only the State can fill--both because these services will never be profit generators and because of Our (the State's) moral obligation to one another...We know inequality has been rising since the late 70's. How much are we willing to stand?
A lovely take on the myths of Christendom, the formulation of stories (esp. ontological ones) and the impetuous, fickle & slightly schizophrenic behavior of prophets everywhere and always amen.
I can't stand Ron Carlson. The Wind River Range in Wyo Wyoming is a terrible place. My favorite place. Like the vast whole of the disappearing, ranchless, heartless, undiscovered West.
Yeah. Uh-huh. Believe the hype.
Terrible angels these children. Setting out to destroy paradise to remake it. Old themes and idealism but well said and quite real--like full weight of the French government real. This Semiotext(e) intervention series is just wonderful. The books are gorgeous and smart. I'll let you know about #2: The Violence of Financial Capitalism by Marazzi.
Spare. Well-crafted. American. American. Masculine (unbigoted). Sam Shepard sometimes lives on his Kentucky horse farm.
With her charming circular logic and attitude of a satisfied mat on the doorstep of this world, Ruefle fulfills the poet's charge.
These American essays are painful, subtle, loving, generous...of mixed race. Hers is the heart that bleeds freely, suffering the wounds of Our History, clear-eyed and sober.
Healthy, lit crit from one who is, above all, a professional reader and lover of books. Truly. A judicious piece that says much for "the benefit of the doubt" owed a writer. The folks at the NYT Book Review would do well to read this.
The Paris Review's 2008 Plimpton Prize winner and author of Samedi The Deafness, Jesse Ball, is back with another style-driven, hardly intelligible tour of his imagination. It reads like interlocking fables, features a pamphleteer and I didn't understand a bit of it. Wonderful.
For those of us with a love/nostalgia for "the construction arts" AND all that raw landscape under the vast godless skies of the West.
"Why do we human beings typically experience awe...when we try to comprehend, grasp, certain things, such as the origin of space and time, the being of nothingness, the nature of understanding itself? I cannot see what evolutionary advantage this combination gives us--the combination of insufficiency of intellectual grasp together with consciousness that the grasp is insufficient." Page 85
Beautiful noir--L.A., dogs, werewolves. Written in free verse with some fine lines and great breaks that open trenches of meaning without slowing readability. Kinda like McCarthy's The Road that way, its so fast you can't stop to watch the pretty words & thoughts go by.
"I do not entirely understand what 'sprituality' is, I said... But as for the creator of this world...his name is Grigory Kotovsky and he lives in Paris, and judging from everything that we can see through the windows of your remarkable automobile, he is still using cocaine." Page 327
I really hate the way he writes but he just says the best damn stuff about interconnectedness and cosmic whatnot and general hippie/punk realism. And he says it in a pulpy way. And it's a nice story.
"it is the death of the father to which the son is entitled...he will not hear of the small mean ways that tempered the man in life...not see him struggling in follies of his own devising. No. The world which he inherits bears him false witness. He is broken before a frozen god and he will never find his way." --The Judge Page 145
"I anticipate you as farmland anticipates the wilderness to come when all that's ordered is the sum of thought in a white wren's head as it flutters among red apples. Red, red apples and the smell of blood." (160)