Monday, October 11, 2010

Readings: The Current List

For much of my life I did most of my reading in bed. But I never read in bed any longer. I now do all my reading in my recliner, deep in the basement of my chilly house, often in the company of a cat or two.

People sometimes ask me what I'm reading. This is irksome because I'm never reading just one thing. And when they ask, the full list evades my tongue. And as I mentally grope to run down the full inventory, I see their faces begin to go out of focus after the third title anyway. What I am providing is too much information.

To accommodate this tall stack of titles, I have a small end table of blonde wood next to my recliner. Because this long since proved insufficient to hold a sufficient quantity of volumes, as well as the couple of notebooks I find it necessary to have at hand, I added a snack table, also of blonde wood, next to the end table. It is about an inch higher than the end table. But that's alright. It does the trick. The fact that it is also of blonde wood is just a happy coincidence.

So, in the event that you are one of those people with some curiosity as to what I'm reading, I'm going to provide you with the full list. Read it all, or read it not. Read some of it now and come back later to finish it. Or don't. That's the beauty of it: you choose.

So here we go:

The Elephant Vanishes by Haruki Murakami (stories)
The Book of Folly by Anne Sexton (poetry)
The Dick Gibson Show by Stanley Elkin (novel)
The Vintage Book of Contemporary American Poetry, ed. J.D. McClatchy (1990)
The Ohio Review - Number Fifty-five, ed. Wayne Dodd (1996)
I Hotel by Karen Tei Yamashita (novel)
Anne Sexton - a Self-Portrait in Letters, ed. Linda Gray Sexton and Lois Ames
Stories from the Sixties, ed. Stanley Elkin
And a Voice to Sing With by Joan Baez (autobiography)
The Paris Review Interviews, Vol. II

That's the complete list. You see what I'm up against when people ask. I've already posted notes on readings from some of these books, either here or on Facebook. And I'll be posting more. I recommend them all, by the way. That pisses you off some, doesn't it?
Addenda: I should mention that I'm also reading The Collected Stories of Amy Hempel, but I left that at work. I have Anne Sexton's The Awful Rowing Towards God at work, too. Sorry.