the contextual life

thoughts without borders

On the Shelf :: On My List This Week

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Back once again with this week’s wants.

Hottest Dishes of the Tartar Cuisine by Alina Bronsky with translation  by Tim Mohr
Another tantalizing one from Europa Editions. This one is all the rage with my local indie booksellers. They can’t stop raving about it—and facing it out on the shelves. In their review, Vol. 1 Brooklyn said, “Not only is The Hottest Dishes of the Tartar Cuisine one of the finest examples of dark humor writing to come out this year, but translator Tim Mohr’s work from the novel’s original German is done so well that you practically expect English to be the first language of author Alina Bronsky.” I’m sure I’ll get around to this one before the end of the summer.

Townie: a Memoir by Andre Dubus III
Andre Dubus III grew up in depressed mill towns in Massachusetts and turned to drugs and violence. This one is getting a ton of praise and all the interviews with the author have been fascinating. Listen to him on WNYC’s Leonard Lopate Show.

Read Hard: Five Years of Great Writing from the Believer
Whoever designed the cover on this one was smart. The names alone in this collection are enough to make you run to the cashier. Jonathan Lethem, William T. Vollmann, Ben Ehrenreich, Sam Lipsyte, Rick Moody, Stephen Elliott . . . No really, must I go on or are you already lacing up your shoes?

Otherwise Known as the Human Condition: Selected Essays and Reviews by Geoff Dyer
Another collection of essays that have caught my eye is by British journalist and novelist Geoff Dyer. I saw him in conversation with Sam Lipsyte the other month and found him incredibly charming and intelligent.  This is a roundup of Geoff’s work over the past two decades pulled from three of his other books. Check out these great interviews with him on The Marketplace of Ideas and WNYC’s Leonard Lopate Show. You can also read the review over at The Millions.

The Disappearing Spoon: and Other True Stories of Madness, Love, and the History of the World by Sam Kean
I’m kind of a sucker for science history books. I’d rather read about the characters than memorize the mathematical formulas behind their experiments. In The Disappearing Spoon, Sam tells us the stories behind the elements. Check out the series of posts Sam wrote for Slate.

God Bless You, Dr. Kevorkian by Kurt Vonnegut with an introduction by Neil Gaiman
Even before Dr. Kevorkian died last week this was on my list.
From the Seven Stories Press website: “What began as a series of ninety-second radio interludes for WNYC, New York City’s public radio station, evolved into this provocative collection of musings about who and what we live for, and how much it all matters in the end.”


Written by Gabrielle

June 10, 2011 at 6:09 pm

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