Flavorpill sez: This hilarious satire of race and gender roles is one of the funniest books I’ve ever read from the 1970s. Ross, who wrote for RichardFlavorpill sez: This hilarious satire of race and gender roles is one of the funniest books I’ve ever read from the 1970s. Ross, who wrote for Richard Pryor, here tells the story of a girl born to Jewish and black parents who travels from Philadelphia to New York City in search of her father.
Here, apparently, is the story of a group of young ladies trying to make it in the publishing industry and have lots of fun in NYC — written in the 19Here, apparently, is the story of a group of young ladies trying to make it in the publishing industry and have lots of fun in NYC — written in the 1950s. Cool! Here's a Guardian piece on why this book is enjoying a new life today (hint: Mad Men). Neat!...more
From one of the genius booksellers at the marvelous Word Books:
There is a catastrophic event over San Francisco Bay. No one has taken the blame. In onFrom one of the genius booksellers at the marvelous Word Books:
There is a catastrophic event over San Francisco Bay. No one has taken the blame. In one of the most interesting styles I have ever read, Hrbek tells the story of a young man coming to terms with the loss of his sister and the strange world events happening all around him. For any post-apocalyptic fan this one really sparkles. It's one that takes us into the future to make us dwell on the present.
It is a beautiful awful toxic horrorshow; it's a Superfund site and a nightmarish breeding ground for a dense plethora of caHere is our Gowanus Canal:
It is a beautiful awful toxic horrorshow; it's a Superfund site and a nightmarish breeding ground for a dense plethora of carcinogens and diseases both known and unknown to mankind. On its banks sits a shiny new Whole Foods, a slew of high-end restaurants, and some of the most expensive real estate in the country. It's been the site of immersive art projects and a scrappy boat club, a jumping-off point (sometimes literally) for citizen science projects, and the final resting place for a handful of confused and lost sea creatures. It's a deeply, deeply fascinating place.
Here are a few facts about the Canal:
* It was once among the most trafficked bodies of water in the entire country, back when Brooklyn's banks were all major shipping channels and the borough served as an industrial powerhouse on the world stage. * Due to a century of illegal dumping and industrial slurry runoff, the bottom ten feet of the Canal is packed tight with what's called "black mayonnaise," which is every bit as repulsive as it sounds. * New York City runs on a "combined sewer system," which loosely means that while much of our poop is sent to treatment plants or flushed into the ocean (sorry, world!), the system is built, in cases of extremely high levels of sewage or extremely heavy rainfall, to flush its excess into—you guessed it—our surrounding small bodies of water, such as the Gowanus. Here is a picture of that happening; I hope you're not eating breakfast.
To be clear: that's raw, untreated sewage flowing into a body of water surrounded by residences, food storage warehouses, eating establishments, and the like.
Having lived in Brooklyn for 15 years, a lot of this I know firsthand, but many of these fun facts came directly from Joseph Alexiou, whom I have seen doing fascinating lectures about the Canal at the Brooklyn Brainery and the Brooklyn Historical Society. He's a thorough historian and a very engaging speaker, and I absolutely cannot wait to get his book in my hot little hands.
Perhaps I'll even read it on the banks of the Canal—although I'll bring a facemask and noseplug, just in case. ...more
I haven't heard of Kristin Hersh and I don't even really know if I've ever listened to Vic Chesnutt's music but holy hell, look at this review from LiI haven't heard of Kristin Hersh and I don't even really know if I've ever listened to Vic Chesnutt's music but holy hell, look at this review from LitHub's Great Bookseller Fall 2015 Preview:
This is an amazing memoir from the bestselling author of Rat Girl and founder of the band Throwing Muses. It paints a beautiful portrait of musician Vic Chesnutt, his unique friendship with the author, and the sorrowful broken darkness they each deal with. The language is warm, intimate and poetic; it’s like On the Road and Sylvia Plath had a baby. It’s so gorgeous it actually hurts to read. I have not been so moved by a piece of art, any art, in years. Even with the inevitable tragic ending, Hersh keeps you hanging on with her delicate and sublime prose. You know you are circling a vortex but the water is so perfect you don’t care. This story aches, laughs, stuns, and pulls you into it like a siren song. You will put it down and want more of both Chesnutt and Hersh, and feel all the more brokenhearted at the enormity of the loss.
Says Flavorwire in their 33 Must-Read Books for Fall 2015: Unlike anything in contemporary US fiction, The Story of My Teeth — as the unforgettable protagonist “Highway” explains — is composed of “hyperbolics, parabolics, circulars, allegorics, and elliptics.”
Stephen Sparks of Green Apple Books: The Story of My Teeth is a delightful and melancholy foray into the life of one Gustavo “Highway” Sánchez Sánchez, an auctioneer whose collection pushes the very boundaries of the believable. Luiselli, a darling of independent booksellers everywhere, is an exuberant writer and Sánchez is one of the singular literary creations of our time. I fucking love this book.
And Jeremy Ellis of Brazos Bookstore: The story of The Story of My Teeth fascinates me: an emerging writer collaborates anonymously with a group of juice factory workers to write a story about art, identity, and who can own either. Wonderful and strange, The Story of My Teeth transgresses against straightforward storytelling by witnessing and remixing to make something so fresh and new that it defies easy description. Just know that it dazzles on every page. I love this book....more
Pulitzer winner Jefferson’s personal history is — as she says about vigorous analyses of race, gender, and class prerogatives — as fundamental as “utensils and clothing.” This is to say that it’s one of the truly indispensable books of 2015....more
From Flavorwire's summer comics roundup: Homer’s Odyssey has been done a million times in a million different mediums, yet Fraction aSooooo prettttty.
From Flavorwire's summer comics roundup: Homer’s Odyssey has been done a million times in a million different mediums, yet Fraction and Ward’s take manages to come off as entirely original. It certainly helps that it’s now a gender-bent (Odyssia!), futuristic science-fiction epic. The ambitious series can be a touch confusing at times, but the stunning, trippy artwork keeps everything moving....more
From this awesome Flavorwire roundup of great comic series to read this summer: Easily one of the most exciting comic series in recent history, BitchFrom this awesome Flavorwire roundup of great comic series to read this summer: Easily one of the most exciting comic series in recent history, Bitch Planet is a modern, feminist take on the women-in-prison exploitation genre. The dystopian series is about “non-compliant” women who are sent to a space prison.
Says the L Magazine: A wickedly funny but also undeniably tragic look at the entrenched state of race relations in this country. Beatty touches on eveSays the L Magazine: A wickedly funny but also undeniably tragic look at the entrenched state of race relations in this country. Beatty touches on everything from tacitly allowed segregation in public schools, to appropriation of black culture and art, to murder at the hands of the police. And Beatty does it all with his uniquely poetic voice, which will leave you laughing as you cry, and crying as you laugh, until it’s all just one big wail over this world of ours.
Says the L Magazine: It is impossible to live in New York City right now and not have strong feelings about gentrification—its effects, its inevitabilSays the L Magazine: It is impossible to live in New York City right now and not have strong feelings about gentrification—its effects, its inevitability, its origins, its end point. And yet it feels all too frequently like the same things are being written about it over and over, like nothing new has been introduced to the larger conversation. Well, that’s all changed with Gibson’s incredibly thorough oral history of gentrification in New York City, in which he talks to everyone from developers and politicians, to landlords and renters. At turns infuriating and illuminating (and oftentimes both!), this book is essential reading for anyone who lives in New York City now....more
I admit that I don't much care for EDM, but this sounds like such a fascinating cultural history. From Flavorwire:
Matos draws a direct line from theI admit that I don't much care for EDM, but this sounds like such a fascinating cultural history. From Flavorwire:
Matos draws a direct line from the post-disco epiphanies of Chicago house and Detroit techno to the 21st-century robotics of Daft Punk and glittering EDM mega-festivals, party cruises, campouts, and other bacchanals where saucer-eyed dancers should be drinking a lot more water than they probably are. In a book that’s as much detailed ethnography as musical history, Matos — a veteran of the ’90s Midwest scene — builds from email lists, party fliers, archived DJ sets, and fresh interviews to find the first widescreen perspective on one of the United States’ most obscured cultural legacies....more
Oh come on, how am I only hearing about this now? A book by a copyeditor that is part memoir, part cultural grammatical history of the world, part styOh come on, how am I only hearing about this now? A book by a copyeditor that is part memoir, part cultural grammatical history of the world, part style guide—I have got to be like the #1 person in the target demographic for this. I feel like the universe owes me a copy just because both I and this book exist on the same terrestrial plane. Don't you think?
In the face of an etymological mystery, Norris is “ecstatic.” She retraces the evolution of the comma (invented by a Venetian printer, Aldo Manuzio, in 1490 “to prevent confusion by separating things”) and recounts the arcane history of pencils (which were obscure until the Civil War created a demand for “a dry, clean, portable writing instrument”); she pays a visit to the Paul A. Johnson Pencil Sharpener Museum. She explores the “secret burden of gender” carried by the English language, following the 165-year-old American quest for gender-neutral pronouns (ne, nis, nim; ip, ips; ha, hez, hem; ta; shem, herm; ho, hom, hos; ze, zon), in the context of her own struggle with pronouns and acceptance during the transition of her transgender sister. She delves into the origins and evolution of American English and looks ahead to fresh threats: “Are we losing the apostrophe?”
Says one of the brilliant booksellers at Word Bookstore: Ah, bureaucracy: our sad weird giant utopia built on hold music, long lines, and paperwork. ISays one of the brilliant booksellers at Word Bookstore: Ah, bureaucracy: our sad weird giant utopia built on hold music, long lines, and paperwork. In The Utopia of Rules, anthropologist and activist David Graeber (the man who brought us Debt, not to mention the Occupy slogan "We are the 99%!") lends his acute brain-powers to the pencil pushers and cogs, approaching them using everything from Batman to Max Weber, fantasy lit to the German Postal Service. The result is a demanding, important examination of a subject that bolsters institutional violence, paralyzes the imagination, and, perhaps most alarmingly, silences the types of conversation this book starts....more
Says one of the brilliant booksellers at Word Bookstore: A surrealist mystery that involves an exclusive literary society, their secret -- possibly muSays one of the brilliant booksellers at Word Bookstore: A surrealist mystery that involves an exclusive literary society, their secret -- possibly murderous -- past, a famous disappearance, and a disease that causes the words in books to morph, scatter, change? Yeah, it's got a lot going on; but I could not stop reading and exploring the bizarre world of Rabbit Back. If you enjoy the mythic and fantastical, and don't mind an ending with a few loose ends, I highly recommend you pick this one up. ...more