Crapalachia: A Biography of a Place, by Scott McClanahan (published by Two Dollar Radio, a Columbus-based press!). Boy oh boy oh boy....this is some gorgeous, demented writing (my favorite combination). I recommend this book SO MUCH. I meant to read just a few chapters to start with, but I ended up reading the whole thing in one sitting.
One of my favorite passages:
“I felt darkness because I had been deep in the hollers, and I knew glory because I had stood on top of the beautiful mountaintops. More mountaintops, please. More mountaintops.
This is a lie I was told as a child, but it’s still true. The New River is one of the only two rivers that flows directly north. The other one is a river called the Nile. Those rivers are inside of me. I have a river inside my heart. You have a river inside your heart. There are diamonds inside of both of us. We are all flowing North.”
“Lost at Sea,” by Casey N. Cep, an essay on the trope of the shipwreck.
This essay, “Smells Like Words,” by Rebecca Steinitz (at The Millions), on anosmia (lacking the sense of smell). Fascinating!
And you? What are you reading? What should I be reading?