Here’s what we’re reading this week at Diesel!
Anna in Brentwood
A Single Man
By Christopher Isherwood
I never got a chance to see the Oscar-nominated film adaptation, but reading the descriptive, dreamlike, emotionally-charged novel, I don’t see how the experience could be made any more visceral.
Colin in Oakland
By Terry Pratchett
I normally don’t read sci-fi/fantasy, and I thought I was too cool for Terry Pratchett. But it turns out he’s smarter than I am! This book is funny and witty and just really, really good. Consider me converted.
Geo in Brentwood
By Robert Walser
These 25 short pieces are the first English translations, selected from Walser’s six-volume German original. Walser printed these stories on tiny strips of paper, legible only through a magnifying glass or microscope. Luckily for us, they’ll been enlarged for our reading pleasure. This edition, however, includes facsimilies of both the original microscripts and the German texts.
By Roberto Bolano
In a beautiful edition from New Directions — small format black and gold covers, without jacket, red endpapers, creamy paper and black ink — Antwerp is a poetic distillation of Bolano’s sensibility. Reading it slowly.
Jon Stich in Oakland
Yoga for People Who Can’t Be Bothered to Do It
By Geoff Dyer
False advertising alert: this book is not actually about yoga. Instead it’s a collection of travel essays. Very funny, in that distinctly British sort of way.
The first rule of writing may honestly be that there are no rules…but that doesn’t mean that all the aspiring authors out there can’t do with some advice from time to time. Inspired by Elmore Leonard‘s book 10 Rules of Writing, The Guardian asked a bunch of different writers—including Margaret Atwood, Geoff Dyer, Anne Enright, Richard Ford, P.D. James, and Neil Gaiman—to offer up their personal commandments of good prose. The results are helpful, humorous, and occasionally “huh?”-worthy.
However, none of these esteemed authors mentions the second official rule of writing, which is, obviously, “Don’t talk about Fight Club.”
(Cartoon by Austin Kleon.)
One of the best things about the bookselling biz is that you get to spend the majority of your time surrounded by books. All day long, we get to see, touch, smell. (Yes, we have been known to sniff the books—don’t tell us you aren’t likewise guilty!) Unfortunately, sometimes it’s rather like being a dieter in a candy shop, because there’s never enough time to actually read all that we’d like to. Which is why the mere idea of these luxurious Reading Weekends in Sussex, England, has us drooling onto our Penguin Classics.
Forget about those busy tourist trips that leave you needing another vacation to recover from the first: this is all about enjoying the English countryside, eating delicious food, and—our favorite—curling up with a good book. Plus, there’s always a renowned author on the premises: past guests have included Geoff Dyer and Louis de Bernieres. Where do we sign up?
(Okay, rhetorical question: you can register here.)
—Via India Knight