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Jodi Angel, author of You Only Get Letters from Jail and Matthew Spektor, author of Amerian Dream Machine reading at Powell's Books Monday, July 22, 7:00pm
Emma Komlos-Hrobsky (Assistant Editor, Tin House Magazine): I just finished Tin House Books’s own Me and Mr. Booker by Cory Taylor. I’m generally a slow reader, but I drunk this book down in one swift, gleeful gulp. The eponymous Mr. Booker, a dapper English film professor whose flirtatious coyness might actually be avoidance, had me thinking of the [...]
Masie Cochran (Associate Editor, Tin House Books): I’m reading Airships by Barry Hannah. I read this collection in high school, again in college, and keep coming back to it every few years. I love “Testimony of Pilot, “(take a second and read An Amazing Sentence Shape by Kate Brittain), “Green Gets It,” and “Our Second Home.” But this week, for whatever reason, [...]
Devon Walker-Domine (Open Bar Intern): Among my current reads is Adrian Oktenberg’s The Bosnia Elegies, a staggering work that, through the adept merging of journalistic and poetic styles, succeeds in conveying the vastness and complexity of Yugoslavia’s dissolution, both on a national and a personal level. The loss of a loved one, of a voice, of [...]
Emma Komlos-Hrobsky (Assistant Editor, Tin House Magazine): Since finishing Dana Spiotta’s Stone Arabia a few weeks ago, I’ve had a hard time finding fiction to dig into; everything I’ve started has felt a little precious by comparison. (I cannot say loudly enough: you must read this book.) Instead, I’ve been getting my fix by weaving in and [...]
Heather Hartley (Paris Editor): First published in 1972, John Berger’s Ways of Seeing explores how we look at art and by extension how we see—literally and figuratively. A rich mix of art history and cultural theory, three out of the seven essays consist solely of images—classical paintings like Rembrandt or Velasquez, early 70s advertisements and pop images of [...]
Meg Storey (Editor, Tin House Books): I read Martha Baillie’s The Incident Report in two sittings. Told in one-to-three-page chapters, Baillie’s novel is the best kind of quick read: a quick shot to the heart. Miriam, the librarian-narrator, reports her interactions with the regular (and often slightly disturbed and nutty) library patrons alongside her own story of grief over [...]
John Jeremiah Sullivan, Jacques Réda, Maggie Nelson, Jonathan Hickman, and E.M. Forster…
Diane Chonette (Art Director): In the brief window of time between putting Oliver to bed and tucking myself in, there is room for a bit of mindless entertainment. If we are between seasons on the current favorites, our go-to Netflix choices oscillate between anime, old sci-fi, and old British travel shows. In the last month, we’ve been heavy [...]
Emma Komlos-Hrobsky (Editorial Assistant, Tin House Magazine): Everyone told me how seismically great Dana Spiotta’s Stone Arabia was; everyone was right. Spiotta does the most deft work in evoking the vagaries of a completely original set of family relationships. I’ve never quite met any of these characters before, and I feel like I know them perfectly. I [...]
Meg Storey (Editor, Tin House Books): One of the books I picked up at AWP was Justin Torres’s debut, We the Animals, which I devoured on the plane ride home. Composed of sections that don’t so much tell stories as provide glimpses into the home life of a pack of mixed-race brothers, this short novel nonetheless [...]
Diane Chonette (Art Director of Tin House): After reading The Education of Werner Pfennig by Anthony Doerr in the latest issue of Tin House, I wanted more. So, while I’m reluctantly waiting for his forthcoming novel, from which the excerpt was pulled, I’ve picked up his 2007 memoir, Four Seasons in Rome: On Twins, Insomnia, and the Biggest Funeral [...]
Michelle Wildgen (Managing Editor, Tin House Magazine): I spent February in a hell of winter’s making, but also watching Argo and realizing that at least some of its gut-wrenching tension comes from the fact that it exploits something we all know and dread: the endless string of checkpoints in air travel. Except instead of getting somewhere twelve hours [...]
Emma Komlos-Hrobsky (Assistant Editor, Tin House Magazine): I just dove into my fourth rereading of Julia Child’s memoir, My Life in France. Everyone loves Julia for her bon-vivance and skill and the sanity of her priorities (butter, wine, food that’s about pleasure and artistry rather than consumption). I love her also for her prose. Julia, with an assist from [...]
Elissa Schappell (Editor at Large): The Music Instinct: How Music Works and Why We Can’t Do Without It by David Byrne, front man of the most successful art school band ever, The Talking Heads, has written a book that manages to be both personal and scholarly and altogether fascinating. The man is a genius. On one page [...]
Tony Perez (Editor, Tin House Books): Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief, by Lawrence Wright. I’d been looking forward to this book ever since the New Yorker published Wright’s Paul Haggis piece back in 2011 (It was that rare occasion when you finish a 25K-profile and think this should be longer). I’ve been particularly interested in L. Ron Hubbard’s [...]
A recap of what we read, watched, and listened to this month.
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 [...]
Cheston Knapp (Managing editor of Tin House): For the past few years my wife and I have flown back east to spend Christmas with my parents, on their twenty-ish acre farm in rural Virginia. But this year we decided to stay put, have it at our house in Portland. We resolved to start traditions of our own. [...]
Elissa Schappell (Editor at Large): “A Full Service Shelter” by Amy Hempel. One of my favorite short stories was one we published in Tin House. The structure, repetition of the lines, “They knew” ie. “They knew me as the one who held the scarred muzzle of a long-nosed mutt in sick ward and sang, “There is [...]
Coplin, Beha, Watkins, and Ausubel.
Nanci McCloskey (Director of Publicity): I have to be honest, I’m a junkie for literary biographies. I love learning about writers’ upbringing, their idiosyncrasies, their sexual escapades. The dirtier the gossip, the better. Every Love Story Is a Ghost Story by D.T. Max did not disappoint. For better or for worse, I feel like I know David Foster [...]
A great sprawl, stretching from coast to coast, that focuses in on writers who have made some impact on me this year.
The fact remains though that this time of year all anyone can talk about is lists.
Mary Ruefle, Michel Houellebecq, Jonathan Lethem, and more!
Friday Reads: Capote, Gates, and Oyeyemi.