Here’s what’s on my bookshelf.
The National Book Award Finalists have been announced. I hardly recognize a one. How — how! — is this possible? But it sure looks like Junot Diaz is having one hell of a Fall 2012, and it’s only October 11. There’s the release of his long-awaited short story collection, with 2 reviews in The New York Times (2!); there’s the MacArthur Genius Grant with its stash of cash. And now, an NBA finalist. Mr. Diaz has got some serious magic fairy dust floating about.
Am I going to read this? Are you?
Yesterday I started reading this memoir, and about every other page I think, * sigh* I want to write a book like this. I was going to pick up a paperback, but it turns out that Mr. Carter had already rounded up a first edition and sealed it up in sun-proof plastic.
I’m hardheaded, so I’m reading this prized copy anyway, but I swear I’m doing my very best not to smudge it with chocolate finger prints or break the spine (notorious spine-breaker that I am). I’ll be really careful. I won’t even read it in the bathtub
anymore or leave it on the couch where the puppy tried to eat it.
I’ve been waiting for this short story collection to show up in my mailbox, and it’s finally arrived. I met Charles McLeod at San Jose State back when he was a Steinbeck Fellow. He’s brilliant and talented and hard-working, that Charles, and he writes about modern America like nobody else. Check out this opening line from “Eden’s”: Crumpler had a tire iron and wasn’t calming down. The two of us were in the worst part of Fort Worth, searching for a rib place that sold Oxycontin out of its kitchen.
Who could stop reading with an opening like that?