For now, but maybe permanently. I’ve been missing Peace Corps, thinking about mediocrity, trying to think big and write thoughtfully, two things which I don’t do very well on this blog. More saliently, I’m applying to grad school, and spending half the week luxuriously writing fiction from morning till midnight–it’s so nice and awful–and the other half the week writing corporate press releases and nonfiction about Uganda, because you know what they say about bitches and eating and all that. I’m reading more than ever, but my wheelhouse is being systematically raided by this routine, and I don’t think it’s a bad thing that this blog is the first lamb to be slaughtered.
Best Little Bookshelf in Texas came out of twinned ideas–one, that popular literature is inspiring but sometimes awful, and two, that reading critically allows you to separate the inspiring/awful in literature but also in everything. Right now, I’m bidding both to write something on the inspiring side of the divide and to restock that old wheelhouse so that if I ever return to book reviews they’ll be sharper and better.
So thanks for reading, this last two years! I still can’t believe that so many people have kept coming to this blog when there are so many
Youtube videos of corgi puppies running legitimate publications that you could all be looking at instead. I wish I still had the free time and writing stamina to keep doing this, but unfortunately my stamina is used up by trying to keep myself from day-drinking and watching the video for Rihanna’s “Cheers”–and my free time by doing exactly that. I have felt continually honored and grateful to have your attention–so thanks for every visit, again.
A final weigh-in on the things that have occupied my bookshelf of late, rereads and not:
The Leftovers by Tom Perrotta: awful. How did this get such good reviews?
The Tiger’s Wife by Tea Obreht: great. Heartfelt, striking, mature but told with a wistful child’s imagination.
1000 Years of Good Prayers by Yiyun Li: best short story collection I’ve read in a long time. She’s amazing.
The Emperor’s Children by Claire Messud: one of my favorite books, and one of the best I’ve read about ambition/NYC/head-up-your-assery.
Saturday by Ian McEwan: kind of incredible, with the reveries that sustain the one-day plot a masterpiece of craft rather than a gimmick.
The Possessed by Elif Batuman: good, unlikely, a little draggy despite subject matter that I thought I’d take to instantly.
Fun Home by Alison Bechdel: great! Super sad. There should be more graphic novels about lesbians with gay dads growing up in funeral homes.
Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder: inspiring, well-written, what I am trying to rip off for my current book.
Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace: my second attempt to finish the book and probably my last.