Tag Archives: thea

On Our Nightstand, August 3rd-9th

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

Anna in Brentwood
The Jokers
By Albert Cossery
This was the first of Bookslut‘s Jessa Crispin’s Bright Books for Dark Times, and I can already feel it making everything a bit sunnier. The atypical revolutionaries in the novel use humorous pranks to reveal the truth about their city’s corrupt, buffoonish governor. This book is so smart and engaging, but sadly I’m almost done. I guess I’ll have to read through the rest of Crispin’s list!

Christine in Oakland
The Windup Girl
By Paolo Bacigalupi
A great social commentary on the fate of humanity when Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) and the Monsantos of the world gain ultimate power.

Geo in Brentwood
The Air-Conditioned Nightmare
By Henry Miller
One week after reading Simone de Beauvoir‘s America Day by Day, a travelogue on America written by a French writer, I’m now reading a travelogue on America from an American expatriate from France. The compare/contrast exercise will surely be riveting.

Margaret in Oakland
Faithful Place
By Tana French
I went from thinking that I wasn’t going to like this, the third novel in French’s mystery series, because I didn’t like the main character’s role in the second book, The Likeness. But now, reading this tightly structured, beautifully characterized novel, I think Faithful Place is French’s best, period.

Thea in Malibu
Dreaming in Cuban
By Cristina Garcia
With that poetic magical realism so characteristic of Latin American writers, Garcia tells the story of the different generations of the del Pino family in the aftermath of the Cuban revolution.

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On Our Nightstand, July 27th-August 2nd

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

Anna in Brentwood
Breakfast at Tiffany’s
By Truman Capote
This is embarrassing to admit, but I’ve never seen the 1961 movie nor read Capote’s 1958 novella. I’m loving the latter, and the accompanying short stories, however: they’re subtly insightful and sort of sneakily moving. I want to see the film now, but even more I want to read more of Capote’s work!

Colin in Oakland
Ghostwalk
By Rebecca Stott
I don’t usually read mysteries, but this book is really well written, evoking Cambridge, England, in the 17th century and weaving an atmospheric spell. Plus it features ghosts, romance, animal liberation terrorists, and Isaac Newton! What more could you want?

Geo in Brentwood
America Day by Day
By Simone de Beauvoir
In preparation for an upcoming road trip, I thought I’d learn about this ‘Great American Experience’ from a Frenchwoman.

John Evans
When That Rough God Goes Riding: Listening to Van Morrison
By Greil Marcus
One of the greatest contemporary musical visionaries gets the full treatment by one of our most fascinating cultural critics. Mystical music-making meets brilliantly visceral criticism–loving it!

Thea in Malibu
Eat, Pray, Love
By Elizabeth Gilbert
So I’m a little tardy hopping onto the bandwagon for this one, but better late than never. A soul-searching story of finding happiness and spirituality in different corners of the world, Eat, Pray, Love has made me think about where I find joy in my own life.

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On Our Nightstand, July 20th-26th

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

Anna in Brentwood
The Thieves of Manhattan
By Adam Langer
Like last year’s delightful How I Became a Famous Novelist, Thieves is a playful skewering of the book world that displays surprising insight about the creative urge. To be honest (an important issue in this book), it never even made it to my nightstand because I zipped through it in less than a day.

Geo in Brentwood
The Idea of Communism
By Tariq Ali
A thoughtful short book (or long essay, whichever you prefer) that examines the evolution of Communism, from the theory that Marx and Engels bring forth in The Communist Manifesto to its many derivations: Leninism, Stalinism, Trotskyism, Maoism… The -isms are infinite and, Ali argues, grow further and further from what Marx and Engels had perceived in the first place.

John Peck in Oakland
The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet
By David Mitchell
After taking genre-bending fiction to incredible heights with his first three novels, it’s been interesting to see David Mitchell stick to more traditional narrative structures on his fourth and fifth (Black Swan Green and Thousand Autumns, respectively). I’m about a third of the way through this book, and loving it—I’m resisting the urge to dog-ear my favorite pages, so it’s filling up with little scraps of paper as I make my way through it.

Thea in Malibu
Ceremony
By Leslie Marmon Silko
Ceremony tells the story of Tayo, a young Native American trying to navigate the clash of his traditional identity with the damaging aftermath of WWII. Silko’s writing is beautiful, poignant, and moving. Not to be missed!

Thomas in Brentwood
Don Quixote
By Miguel de Cervantes (trans. by Edith Grossman)
The noble quests of Donny Q reassure that chivalry is a battle still worth fighting. Grossman’s translation captures Cervantes’ distinctly modern wit that keeps him so relevant.

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