My birthday is May 25--I'll be twenty-nine--but I went ahead and ordered the books I want.
|Martin Amis - Time's Arrow|
I've been meaning to check out Time's Arrow since I first heard of it, and my recent fiction workshop with Joan Connor, who vouches for the book, reignited my interest.
|Frank Bill - Crimes in Southern Indiana|
As someone who was born in Louisville and raised in Southern Indiana, I'm naturally curious about this one. Porter Shreve, who was a Visiting Writer at OU last quarter, recommended it to me. Also, Adam Moorad sent me a pic of him holding it, further leading me to believe that I should check it out.
|Paula Bomer - Nine Months|
I actually knew Paula Bomer before I knew she was Paula Bomer--when she was posting on HTMLGiant as "pr." Following her tenure there, I kept in touch, always ensuring to read her work. I own and enjoyed Baby & Other Stories.
|Italo Calvino - Invisible Cities|
I've been meaning to check out Calvino's work for years. In fact, I find it strange that I haven't encountered it before. Usually when I read an author whose work is new to me I buy their most notable book. Based on what I've heard, Invisible Cities is his.
|John D'Agata & Jim Fingal - The Lifespan of a Fact|
For my Form and Theory of Literature class, which is taught by Eric LeMay and focuses on nonfiction, we read "About a Mountain" and a corresponding excerpt from The Lifespan of a Fact. I wasn't ever interested in D'Agata's work until the brouhaha, which is kind of funny, and though I've been told the authors knew this book was going to be published during their e-fight, I still find their correspondence entertaining. Like a reality show, I want to believe it's real even if it's not.
|Tim Horvath - Understories|
I raved about Tim Horvath's Circulation so, needless to say, I'm eagerly awaiting his short story collection Understories. I love the cover, too.
|Greg Hrbek - Destroy All Monsters and Other Stories|
A fellow PhD candidate at OU recommended this to me. Hrbek was a professor of his a while back.
|Jac Jemc - My Only Wife|
As the poetry editor of decomP, Jac's been working with me for a few years now. I always enjoy reading about her rejections. Looks like Understories and My Only Wife will have to duke it out for Best Cover of the lot.
|Joe Meno - Office Girl|
Like many, my introduction to Meno's work came via Hairstyles of the Damned. Since then I've bought all his books--my favorite being Bluebirds Used to Croon in the Choir--and I'm looking forward to Office Girl.
|Dinty W. Moore - The Mindful Writer: Noble Truths of the Writing Life|
What's with the proportions? It's a small book; I felt I should represent that. Moore directs OU's creative writing program. I'm in it. There you go.
|Georges Perec - A Void|
Been meaning to read this for a long time, too. In the above-mentioned Form and Theory class, we talked about the OuLiPo a couple weeks ago and partook in various exercises that utilize constraints. Writing without "e" is maddening. I'm intrigued to see how this book works, if it does.
|Hannah Pittard - The Fates Will Find Their Way|
Pittard recently accepted a fiction position at OU, and though I didn't get to meet her or see her read, I plan to get acquainted with her work this summer. Hopefully I'll get to take a workshop with her in the coming years.
|Donald Ray Pollock - Knockemstiff|
Another recommendation from Porter Shreve, though I'd heard of Pollock beforehand. I've got The Devil All the Time, which I picked up for cheap at OU's library sale, but have yet to get to it.
|Mark Richard - The Ice at the Bottom of the World|
This is another recommendation from James Miranda, the PhDer who recommend the Hrbek book.
|Patrick Somerville - This Bright River|
Trouble was good, but The Universe in Miniature in Miniature was great. I've been meaning to read Somerville's The Cradle, but if his prowess with the short form is any indication, This Bright River should prove worthwhile.
|Emma Straub - Other People We Married|
I don't remember when I first heard of Emma Straub--sort of like you don't remember the first time you heard of me (yeah, right [it's one of your fondest memories])--but there's something about that cover I really like, even if it does adhere to the huge words style of cover.
|Patrick Wensink - Broken Piano for President|
I learned Patrick lives in Louisville through Goodreads, so we decided to go to a reading at Carmichael's one night. Ours is the typical friendship story: triumph, betrayal, redemption.
So, with my birthday three weeks away, you're not asking yourself why I'm posting this early, but I'll tell you anyway. The reason is that I'm going to be very busy for the next month. Next week is OU's Lit Fest:
In addition to lectures, lunches, and readings, I'll have coursework to keep up with. Thankfully, Memorial Day weekend will provide some rest prior to the home stretch.