Welcome to the first Friday of August. As summer starts to wind down, our team has recommendations on how to make the most of these last weeks of summer reading.
On her last Friday in the Picador offices, intern Anya has just started Little Century, Anna Keesey’s debut, recently released from Farrar, Straus & Giroux.
Both Daniel and P.J. have Ben Lerner’s Leaving the Atocha Station as their read this week. P.J. recently finished it, and describes it as, “a book about a young American a’ramblin’ and a’wanderin’ around Madrid, sort of writing an epic poem.” Daniel is only 100 pages in, but this passage in particular struck him:
And yet when I imagined the total victory of those other things over poetry, when I imagined, with a sinking feeling, a world without even the terrible excuses for poems that kept faith with the virtual possibilities of the medium, without the sort of absurd ritual I’d participated in that evening, then I intuited an inestimable loss, a loss not of artworks but of art, and therefore infinite, the total triumph of the actual, and when I realized that, in such a world, I would swallow a bottle of white pills.
Alaina just finished Blame by Michelle Huneven, on Jennifer Weiner’s recommendation. She is just getting around to some of her galleys from BookExpo of America, and has plans to pick up One Last Thing Before I Go by Jonathan Tropper next.
Darin is enthralled by FSG’s All We Know: Three Lives by Lisa Cohen, a group biography of Esther Murphy, Merceds de Acosta, and Madge Garland.
High society, fashion, and old school lesbianism: these are a few of my favorite things.
Justin is working on Philip K. Dick’s Ubik.
Gabrielle just finished Christopher Beha’s debut novel What Happened to Sophie Wilder. She says:
It was enjoyable to read not only for its excellent writing but also because it made me think about life’s big issues: family, death, and faith. Christopher will be in conversation with Picador author Garret Keizer on Tuesday, August 21st at McNally Jackson to discuss Garret’s his latest book, Privacy. All in the area are invited. It’s going to be great—and lots of us Picadorians will be there. We’re fun.
This morning, I started Dashiell Hammett’s The Maltese Falcon. I have a serious blind spot when it comes to noir and need to correct it ASAP. I foresee lots of cigarettes, whiskey, and gunshot wounds in my future.
Stephen called Jess Walter’s Beautiful Ruins the “perfect summer read: absorbing, funny, stylish.”
And lastly, James recommends the “uncommonly honest” interview of Bret Easton Ellis in the Spring 2012 edition of The Paris Review.