Friday, July 26, 2013

Bookmarks List/Bedside Table

Currently reading and enjoying...

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?


  1. Currently loving Dara Weir's You Good Thing from Wave Poetry. And trying to finish Neil Gaiman's American Gods. Thanks for intro to crapalachia...sounds amazing.

  2. I'm reading Bird by Bird by Anne Lamotte. And my nursing CEUs, A Review of Alternate Therapies.

    1. That nursing book sounds interesting, actually...

  3. I saw another favorable review of Crapalachia--I'm guessing in the NY Times? So you didn't find the language burdensome, swamp-like? And a few things Happen? Maybe I'll try it--the area has always interested me.

    I hope this doesn't sound pretentious, but blogging about Emerson and Thoreau made me more interested in their work than I was back in student days, and through their work, I'm now interested in their lives. We happened to poke around Melville's farm near Pittsfield, MA last fall, while visiting my daughter in CT, and the other day I found my long-forgotten bio of him by Andrew Delbanco. It's VERY readable. But first I want to stick with Emerson and Thoreau, probably scattershot as usual for me. And Hawthorne, who may or not have had a sexual relationship with Melville and had a catty word or two about Thoreau. I had not realized that they all hung out together, probably at Starbucks--Louisa May Alcott and her pappy too. Apparently there was at least some flirting going on--gotta find out who with whom. You know . . . you've seen one commune, you've seen 'em all . . .

    Sorry you asked?

    Also, I've been liking a few poems in journals and small volumes, more than I usually do. Maggie Smith (online) in your very own Columbus, Paisley Rekdal (online), Matt Rasmussen (Tupelo winner), Jamaal May (Kenyon and Ploughshares), and others I'm forgetting at the moment. I feel that I have forever been approaching the notion that Kenyon and Ploughshares are in a league of their own--which of course just means I like and respect them more consistently than I do others.

    Sorry you asked? I could go on . . . Or could I?

    1. Of course I'm not sorry I asked. Thanks for your ideas here! :)

      Ok, I adored Crapalachia, so completely. The language is beautiful and MOVES (hence me finishing it in one sitting). Lots of stuff happens, for sure....I admired the author's language so much (very natural, funny, observant, and surprising). The opposite of swamp-like.

      All good recommendations--thanks. Maggie Smith is wonderful (in real life and on the page) :).


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