In this week’s podcast we learn the following: Chad is working through the five stages of grief about Albert Pujols and MSU (he is filled with ANGER); Tom doesn’t read a ton of nonfiction, but when he does, it tends to focus on all things violent (see a theme?); faux-karaoke singers on the subway might suck, but Karaoke Culture is awesome; and book people like to totally flip out at most every opportunity (we are an unstable people).
Anyway, in terms of our actual “Best Nonfiction of 2011” lists, you have to listen to the full podcast to get all the details, but here are a few highlights:
Along with The Hour of the Star and Scars, I won’t stop talking about this until my tongue is ripped from my mouth. (So violent!)
Carrere is on my proverbial list of “authors I must read,” especially this book, the one he wrote about Philip K. Dick, Lives Other than My Own, The Adversary, Class Trip & The Mustache.
I think everyone in America should read this book. Especially people enrolled in Business School. And anyone who doesn’t get the Occupy Movement.
For those who became interested in Mexico and Ciudad Juarez via Bolano’s 2666 . . .
This week’s intro/outro song is “Midnight City” by M83, the first song to be featured both on a Three Percent Podcast and a Victoria’s Secret commercial. Not much of a spoiler here, but I’ll be talking about M83’s epic Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming on next week’s “Best Music of 2011” podcast. And although we don’t usually post videos, I feel obliged to share the video of this song with anyone who hasn’t seen it. It’s a perfect complement to the song itself—triumphant and a little spooky, with glowing eyes and a bit of smashing. Enjoy!
Prose translators will likely disagree, but I believe translating poetry requires a significant level of talent, a commitment to the text, and near mania, all of which suggests that the undertaking is the greatest possible challenge. The task is to. . .
The biggest issues with books like The Subsidiary often have to do with their underpinnings—when we learn that Georges Perec wrote La Disparition without once using the letter E, we are impressed. Imagine such a task! It takes a high. . .
Following The Infatuations, Javier Marías’s latest novel seems, like those that have preceded it, an experiment to test fiction’s capacity to mesmerize with sombre-sexy atmospheres and ruminative elongated sentences stretched across windowless walls of paragraphs. Thus Bad Begins offers his. . .
Death by Water, Kenzaburo Oe’s latest novel to be translated into English, practically begs you to read it as autobiography. Like The Changeling, as well as many other works not yet released in English, Death by Water is narrated in. . .
Jocelyne Saucier’s Twenty-One Cardinals is about the type of unique, indestructible, and often tragic loyalty only found in families. For a brief but stunningly mesmerizing 169 pages, Twenty-One Cardinals invited me in to the haunting and intimate world of the. . .
We know so very little; so little that what we think to be knowledge is hardly worth reckoning with at all; instead we ought to settle for being pleasantly surprised if, on the edge of things, against all expectations, our. . .
Many of Virginie Despentes’s books revolve around the same central idea: “To be born a woman [is] the worst fate in practically every society.” But this message is nearly always packaged in easy-to-read books that fill you with the pleasure. . .
Ilja Leonard Pfeijffer’s La Superba is appropriately titled after the Italian city of Genoa, where, after escaping the pressures of fame in his own country, the semi-autobiographical narrator finds himself cataloguing the experiences of its mesmerizing inhabitants with the intention. . .
It took reading 44 pages of Intervenir/Intervene before I began to get a sense of what Dolores Dorantes and Rodrigo Flores Sánchez were up to. Recurring throughout these 44 pages—throughout the entire book—are shovels, shovel smacks to the face, lobelias—aha!. . .
As presaged by its title, contradiction is the theme of Peter Stamm’s novel, All Days Are Night. Gillian, a well-known television personality, remains unknowable to herself. And Hubert, a frustrated artist and Gillian’s lover, creates art through the process of. . .