Three Books (Books acquired, 16 Oct. 2020–John Barth, Walker Percy, and Padgett Powell)

Chimera by John Barth. First edition 1973 hardback from Random House. Jacket design by George Giusti. I couldn’t pass up this pristine first edition Barth today when browsing the used bookstore with my kids. I first read Chimera twenty or more years ago, as an undergrad, and it broke my brain a bit. The Last Gentleman… Continue reading Three Books (Books acquired, 16 Oct. 2020–John Barth, Walker Percy, and Padgett Powell)

Could Barthelme be considered your literary father?

BLVR: Could Barthelme be considered your literary father? He played a significant role in the shaping of Edisto, yes? Padgett Powell: Barthelme edited the book, cutting for cleanliness and strength. In terms of my overall development as a writer, he lamented that he had found me already “fully formed.” By this he meant that I was, then,… Continue reading Could Barthelme be considered your literary father?

Blog about book browsing on a Friday afternoon (and mostly looking at covers)

I’ve made a habit of prowling around my own shelves each week, trying to build a small stack of books I can part with. I then head up the street to trade the books in. Lately, I’ve done a decent job of leaving with far fewer books than I brought in to trade—hell, last Friday… Continue reading Blog about book browsing on a Friday afternoon (and mostly looking at covers)

RIP Harry Crews — A Rambling Riff on a Southern Great

Harry Crews died today at 76 in Gainesville, FL, where he lived and worked for years. This isn’t an obituary—I’m sure  you can find them elsewhere (I haven’t looked yet, but they’ll be out there)—it’s more a riff about me than Crews. Solipsistic, narcissistic, sure. Let’s say I feel a sense of unearned pride for… Continue reading RIP Harry Crews — A Rambling Riff on a Southern Great

The Believer’s 2010 Reader Survey: (What Some Jokers Thought Were) The Best Books of 2009

The Believer‘s annual reader survey is always kinda sorta interesting. Here’s the top 20; linked titles go to Biblioklept reviews: Buffalo Lockjaw—Greg Ames Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned—Wells Tower Let the Great World Spin—Colum McCann Invisible—Paul Auster A Gate at the Stairs—Lorrie Moore Inherent Vice—Thomas Pynchon Juliet, Naked—Nick Hornby Chronic City—Jonathan Lethem Wolf Hall—Hilary Mantel The… Continue reading The Believer’s 2010 Reader Survey: (What Some Jokers Thought Were) The Best Books of 2009

The Believer Book Award Editors’ Shortlist Announced

The new issue of The Believer popped up in the mail today (just as I’m finishing up the art issue from way back in November). This issue announces the editors’ short list, full of books I haven’t read. Here’s the list with editors’ comments (from their website): Christopher Miller, “The Cardboard Universe: A Guide to… Continue reading The Believer Book Award Editors’ Shortlist Announced