Friday, March 27, 2009

to be read pile

So here's an idea I just came up with. I'm really disorganized with my reading. My bookshelf is overflowing. I have books sitting on my bed, on my endtable, in my bathroom, on the vanity, on the computer desk, couches, the table, and in my car. I'm usually reading about three or four at a time. I pick up whichever one and read. Typically this is a good system, I read what I feel like when I feel like it. But too much of a good thing can have consequences. Sometimes I forget I'm reading a certain book and it drops by the wayside. Forget about it for so long I can't pick it back up. This has happened with great books, like "The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao" and recently with "The Kindly Ones". So I decided to make an official TBR pile. And to take its picture. And post it online. Maybe you could do the same, and we could share and geek about what we're currently reading?

Disclaimer: I'm not a reviewer. I don't really "review". I kind of babble about what I think is cool. So, yeah.

I recently finished these two:

"Last Days" by Brian Evenson and "The Cold Spot" by Tom Piccirilli.

"Last Days" is about a cop who loses an arm and gets wrangled into helping a group of mutilators solve a murder mystery. It is completely absurd and violent and awesome. You learn very little about any of the characters, the whole thing plays kind of like a dark dream, colored in dark greens and velvets and reds, where no one's really got a face. You get pulled along with the hero, who wants nothing to do with any of it, into the frying pan and then out for a quick lay-down in a hospital bed and then right back in. It's great. And it's a quick read, which is also awesome.

"The Cold Spot" is a revenge story about a dude who's been a wheelman since he was like ten who decides to become a schoolteacher until some shit goes down and he's gotta bust heads, with the help of his thief granddad. It's a pretty straightforward story, but Piccirilli is a fucking master storyteller, and if you didn't know that, well, now you do. The pacing in this thing is spot on. (I was going to change that last sentence. Because it's called "The Cold Spot". And it puts me in a weird place. Do I acknowledge the pun, do I let it slide?) Read it and take notes. Or just read it, and give me back my highlighter.

This is my current TBR pile:

I'm reading the top book, "Private Midnight" by Kris Saknussemm. Fun fact via Wikipedia: When Saknussemm's first book, "Zanesville" (which is Bizarro Gold) came out, there were rumors that "Kris Saknussemm" was a pseudonym for David Foster Wallace. This one, "Private Midnight", had the "James Ellroy meets David Lynch" quote I mentioned a few blogs ago. The prose, so far, has been stellar.

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