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What We’re Reading
Jakob Vala (Graphic Designer): This week, I’ve been rereading Shirley Jackson’s Life Among the Savages to drive away the winter blues. This lightly fictionalizedmemoir chronicles Jackson’s misadventures in domesticity in the 1940s. Jackson is most famous for her horror and here she uses the same wit and mastery to describe the ridiculous adventures of her constantly growing family. The story is a bit slow to start, but about halfway through, during a shopping trip with ten children (two real, eight imaginary), the reader is thrown into utter chaos. This is one of my favorite books, but I refuse to read it in public, lest anyone catches me giggling over the pages.
Desiree Andrews (Assistant Editor, Tin House magazine): I just started Speak, Memory: An Autobiography Revisited. I’m not far enough into it to give much of a critique but so far the prose is standard Nabokov, which is to say, lovely, faultless, and devastating. I can’t image not falling in love with it.
Lauren Lederman (Editorial Intern, Tin House Books): I know this year’s Oregon Book Award nominees are already out but I’m still catching up on last year’s nominees. I started Mink River by Brian Doyle recently and I love getting lost in the small town world of fictional Neawanaka, Oregon. It’s lyrical, a little magical, and has a lot of heart. I’ve really come to care deeply about the characters in the book, even Moses the crow.
Emma Komlos-Hrobsky (Editorial Assistant, Tin House Magazine): After much anticipation, I finally started Lauren Groff’s Arcadia. I grew up in Boulder, a place still that remembers its 60s and 70s co-ops and communes and other sojourns into hippie living. Tales of those ventures live large in my mind, but I’ve never felt like I’ve been to step inside them, at least not without populating them with extras from Forrest Gump. I’m taking particular pleasure, then, in being inside Arcadia‘s very real-seeming world, seeing the disfunction in its commune brewing after a scant dozen pages. I’m already equally fascinated with what’s working here and what’s not, and with the characters who hang in the balance of this experiment.