Tag Archives: 2666

Doggone It

Rosecrans Baldwin, whose debut novel You Lost Me There comes out later this summer, has written a hilarious piece about the most commonplace cliché you never knew existed: “Novelists can’t resist including a dog barking in the distance.” And, Baldwin reveals, “Having heard the dog’s call, it seemed like I couldn’t find a book without one,” citing examples from works as diverse as William Faulkner‘s Light in August (“She did not answer for a time. The fireflies drifted; somewhere a dog barked, mellow sad, faraway”), Henning Mankell‘s The Eye of the Leopard (“She begins to tell him. The curtain in the kitchen window flutters gently, and a dog barks in the distance”), Harper Lee‘s To Kill a Mockingbird (“Ripe chinaberries drummed on the roof when the wind stirred, and the darkness was desolate with the barking of distant dogs”), Colum McCann‘s Let the Great World Spin (“The street throbbed around me. Nobody’s fault but my own. The bark of a dog flew by”), and Roberto Bolano‘s 2666 (“The window looked out over the garden, which was still lit. A scent of flowers and wet grass drifted into the room. In the distance he heard a dog bark”).

What is going on? Are writers everywhere suffering from some unknown canine obsession? And are we going to find dog-bark-hunting in our future reading simply too irresistible? You bet we are! We plan to keep track of any we uncover and may share them with you at a later date; we would love it if you did the same. Is this the best new party game or what?

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On Our Nightstand, July 6th-12th

Here’s what we’re reading this week at Diesel!

Anna in Brentwood
The Hole We’re In
By Gabrielle Zevin
A fascinating and brutal look at the financial crisis through the story of one family. Zevin’s unflinching characterization and dark humor make this book hard to read—and at the same time, impossible to put down.

Elise in Oakland
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle
By Haruki Murakami
My previous encounters with Murakami didn’t leave me a fan, so I was reluctant to read this. But it’s amazing—dreamy, but still rooted in reality. There are a lot of storylines but they’re not hard to follow because I’m interested in every single one of the characters.

Geo in Brentwood
God’s Lunatics
By Michael Largo
An A-Z reference guide about the funnier, stranger side of religion. Entertaining, eerie, and a tad bit disturbing!

John Peck in Oakland
The Return
By Roberto Bolano
After reading the 900+ page epic 2666, this book of Bolano’s short fiction is like dessert.

Kim in Malibu
The Laws of Simplicity
By John Maeda
The annoyingly multitalented John Maeda (MIT professor! RISD president! Graphic design superstar!) examines the idea that less can actually be more—or at least, more meaningful—in relation to design, technology, business, and life in general. Seeing as how Maeda’s ideas often blossom into iconic, why-didn’t-we-think-of-this-sooner epiphanies, I expect to learn a lot from this slim volume.

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On Our Nightstand

Taking a page from NPR, here’s the first in a series of (hopefully) weekly updates on what we’re currently reading here at Diesel.

Anna in Brentwood
The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin
Yeine Darr is an outcast from the barbarian north. But when her mother dies under mysterious circumstances, she is summoned to the majestic city of Sky. There, to her shock, Yeine is named an heiress to the king. But the throne of the Hundred Thousand Kingdoms is not easily won, and Yeine is thrust into a vicious power struggle with cousins she never knew she had. As she fights for her life, she draws ever closer to the secrets of her mother’s death and her family’s bloody history.

Cheryl in Brentwood
Extraordinary Knowing by Elizabeth Lloyd Mayer
Extraordinary Knowing is an attempt to break through the silence imposed by fear and to explore what science has to say about various “inexplicable” phenomena. From Sigmund Freud’s writings on telepathy to secret CIA experiments on remote viewing, from leading-edge neuroscience to the strange world of quantum physics, Dr. Mayer reveals a wealth of credible and fascinating research into the realm where the mind seems to trump the laws of nature.

Geo in Brentwood
No. 44, the Mysterious Stranger by Mark Twain
Based on Twain’s boyhood memories of the Mississippi River Valley and of the print shops of Hannibal, the story is set in medieval Austria at the dawn of the printing craft. It is a psychic adventure, full of phantasmagoric effects, in which a penniless printer’s apprentice—a youthful, mysterious stranger with the curious name 44—gradually reveals his otherworldly powers and the hidden possibilities of the mind.

John Evans
Rhythmanalysis by Henri Lefebvre
Rhythmanalysis displays all the characteristics which made Lefebvre one of the most important Marxist thinkers of the 20th century. In the analysis of rhythms–both biological and social–Lefebvre shows the interrelation of space and time in the understanding of everyday life. With dazzling skills, Lefebvre moves between discussions of music, the commodity, measurement, the media, and the city. In doing so he shows how a non-linear conception of time and history balanced his famous rethinking of the question of space.

John Peck in Oakland
You’re A Horrible Person, But I Like You: The Believer Book of Advice
A compendium of advice from the producers, writers, and actors of The Office, Saturday Night Live, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Knocked Up, Flight of the Conchords, The Daily Show, Arrested Development, Reno 911!, and The Hangover along with other people who should really never give advice.

Kim in Malibu
2666 by Roberto Bolano
The lives of a throng of unforgettable characters—including academics and convicts, an American sportswriter, an elusive German novelist, and a teenage student and her widowed, mentally unstable father—intersect in the urban sprawl of SantaTeresa—a fictional Juárez—on the U.S.-Mexico border, where hundreds of young factory workers, in the novel as in life, have disappeared.

Margaret in Oakland
The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer
Julie Orringer’s astonishing first novel, eagerly awaited since the publication of her heralded best-selling short-story collection, How to Breathe Underwater, is a grand love story set against the backdrop of Budapest and Paris, an epic tale of three brothers whose lives are ravaged by war, and the chronicle of one family’s struggle against the forces that threaten to annihilate it.

Thomas in Brentwood
The Story of Art by E. H. Gombrich
The finest introduction to art ever written!

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