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What I’m Reading And Re-Reading in 2016

January 7, 2016

Me and Ir'ene Lara Silva .jpgFrom “Our Indigenous Flesh” a reading and discussion event sponsored by our press, Aunt Lute Books on September 24, 2015, Galeria de la Raza in San Francisco, CA.  

I’m re-reading Ire’ne lara Silva’s Flesh to Bone, (Aunt Lute Books 2013).  A brilliant collection of nine stories of myth and fire and ultimately transformation.  The prose is stunning.

Other books I’m reading are Ed Pavlic’s Who Can Afford to Improvise? James Baldwin and Black Music, the Lyric and the Listeners.  A great read.  My favorite chapter is “Shades Cannot Be Fixed, On Privilege, Blindness, and Second Sight.”

For a change of pace check out Paris Was Ours by Penelope Rowlands.  She’s gathered writers and essayists such as C.K. Williams, Simon Shimon, David Sedaris,  Julie Lacoste and many others who talk about their lives since moving to Paris.  The essays made me wish I’d emigrated to Paris about fifteen years ago.  Alas.  I know, I know Paris has been badly abused in 2015, but the Parisians refused to be broken in spirit by terrorists.  Good for them.  I would love to move there for a year, or ten, but that will have to wait for a while until I can save a ton of money.

Patrick and Brian at HEirloom Cafe.JPG

Patrick, left, Brian right, the Heirloom Cafe, New Year’s Eve 2015.

Since moving to Athens, Georgia in August 2014, I’ve made a good habit of dining at the Heirloom Cafe on Chase Street.  This New Year’s Eve I took a break from reading and writing and had another incredible meal at Heirloom.  Four courses paired with delicious wines.  And we began with champagne.  A great part of the charm of Heirloom are the baristas, chefs, and sommelier. Picture above are Patrick (sommelier) and Brian, (he makes the best martinis in the entire universe) two foodies and fab hosts, and friends, at the Heirloom.  I highly recommend the restaurant.  It’s my home away from home.   Howe New Year's Eve.jpg

At the Heirloom Cafe, New Year’s Eve. Cheers!

After eating and drinking my way to New Year’s Day,  I sat on the couch and re-read Dr. Tatiana’s Sex Advice To All Creation by Olivia Judson.  It’s written from the point of view of moorhens, stick insects, fig wasps and many other creatures great and small all asking for sex advice.  It’s smart, funny and just the kind of book you will want to read after too many glasses of bubbly.  This from page 69.


Dear Dr. Tatiana,

My name’s Rob, and Im a bedbug.  Xylocoris maculipennis.  I’ve read that if I have sex with my friend Fergus, he’ll deliver my sperm when he next has sex with Samantha.  Is this for real? 

Making Mischief between the Sheets

See what I mean.  Something for everyone.  I tend to read this book about every 2 years since it first came out.

Also on my bedside table is a copy of Jimmy Carter’s Our Endangered Values: American’s Moral Crisis.  After watching my fill of this year’s Presidential debates and how the candidates snipe at each other, I recommend reading instead of watching television.  The Presidential election has become a race of proliferating nonsense.  See Carter’s chapter “Attacking Terrorism, Not Human Rights.”

As for me it’s back to teaching beginning January 11, 2016.  My new course is  The Walking (un)Dead: American Indians as Zombies, Ghosts, and Ghouls in 20th century novels.  (Again, something for everyone.)  I’ve long thought American Indians are the original zombies at least as far as stereotypes go.  In my future blog posts in coming months I’ll be posting about how the course is going. And other events.




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