Essential Reading: July 2013
The reading slump continues this June with me reading only three books for the month (one I finished in July but we’ll let it slide won’t we?) which is as follows:
- Dance of the Happy Shades by Alice Munro (5/5)
- The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon (5/5)
- Self-Help by Lorrie Moore (4/5)
Even though I’ve only read three books this month, I’m still fairly happy and not really disappointed. I’ve read quality works for June, Michael Chabon’s masterpiece lives up to its name ten times over, and the stories of Moore and Munro will be in my thoughts for a long time after I’ve read them. In fact, Munro and Moore were instrumental in my decision for this month’s theme which is Short Stories. My list for July is:
- No One Belongs Here More Than You by Miranda July – I read July’s story, “Something That Needs Nothing”, part of Eugenides’ edited anthology, My Mistress’s Sparrow is Dead. I felt that it was a story filled with devastating details about the nature of young love and its devastating effects when real life kicks in. That story made me want to read her collection as soon as I can.
- How We Are Hungry by Dave Eggers – Eggers has been in my radar for quite some time now since I read some good reviews about A Heartbreaking Work of a Staggering Genius. His short story collection seems like a good place to start reading his oeuvre.
- Dangerous Laughter by Steven Milhauser – Just like Miranda July, Milhauser is one of the authors that I’ve discovered by reading an anthology. In this case, I read Milhauser’s “Flying Carpets” from The Paris Review’s Object Lessons and I instantly liked his prose enough for me to pick up his collection of shorts.
- Oblivion by David Foster Wallace – I have several reasons for wanting to read David Foster Wallace. He is very frequently heralded as one of the greatest writers of his generation; his graduation speech/book, This Is Water, moved me; and his masterwork, Infinite Jest, is being read (and raved) by two of my friends. Reading this short story collection is actually a no-brainer at this point.
- Varieties of Disturbance by Lydia Davis – Truth be told, I wasn’t really interested in Lydia Davis before but, ever since she won the Man Booker International, she is now on my radar. It also does not hurt that I found her book in Booksale.
It seems that my special relationship with short stories is not over yet and I hope that it won’t be over for a very long time. Also, I’m pretty excited about my list for July and I’m also confident that this will end my reading slump.