Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Books & Books

Boo! I'm still here!

Back three weeks later, it seems, but with a worthy round up of summer book recs, all licked up and passed along to a lucky few of you. I highly recommend any and all of these titles. HIGHLY. I toted them along with me this summer to the beach, on the plane, in grassy parks, to coffee shops, and in my bed on Sunday mornings when sleeping in once again failed me. All summer, I've been chattering away about Patti Smith and Bennie Salazar, Robert Cohn and Lady Brett Ashely with friends and with strangers with excitement and urgency. MMMmmm, a delicious summer it has been indeed.

"Yet you could feel a vibration in the air, a sense of hastening. It had started with the moon, inaccessible poem that it was. Now men had walked upon it, rubber treads on a pearl of the gods. Perhaps it was an awareness of time passing, the last summer of the decade. Sometimes I just wanted to raise my hands and stop. But stop what? Maybe just growing up."

Out of everything I picked up this summer, this book was my favorite.
I loved this book. If you've been in my presence in the past few months, you're more than aware of this, and perhaps writing this down will temper my constant gushing.

Just Kids is Patti Smith's telling of her early days in New York with Robert Mapplethorpe before she became Patti Smith, the rock and roll queen with the hard edges and poetic superiority. In fact, that she even becomes that gritty rocker seems far fetched, up until those last few chapters. Her voice and her telling of this story was surprisingly soft, loving, and protective-- you'll notice it right away.

It's also a love story to New York (choc full of passion, lust, heartbreak, and tragedy) and an homage to the late 60s and early 70s spent here on these streets. She allows us entry to that electric time spent at the Chelsea Hotel, Max's Kansas City, and CBGBs. She started out in Clinton Hill, did you know that? My heart skipped a bit when I read her cross streets-- just blocks from my first real apartment in this city.

Old news, (what, with the Pulitzer) but this one's worth your time! A Visit From The Goon Squad opens with one of the best first chapters of all time then snatches the main character out from under us to tell a story that spans 50 years and three continents, jumping through time and voice. It's about rock-and-roll and dreams and what becomes of us all eventually. It's also a relatively quick read, choc full of wit and intelligence.

Fun fact: Egan found out about the Pulitzer while lunching at Olea in Fort Greene-- my favorite!

My cover doesn't look like this, because I bought my copy at Powell's in Portland, and it's probably a first edition or something. Jealous, much?

I think I've ragged on enough about Hemingway and his short stories on this bloggy, so just trust me that they are GOOD, RELEVANT, and not all about hunting and wars!

Remember GATZ? Well, shortly after finishing The Sun Also Rises, I was offered a plus-one ticket to see the Elevator Repair Services' The Select (The Sun Also Rises.) Such a treat! If only this pattern followed suit in the rest of my life! (Oh, you liked Just Kids? Here's a free front row seat to see Patti Smith. Oh, you liked Harry Potter? Welcome to Hogwarts!)

And if you really want to enter the world of Hemingway's Lost Generation, read this one with a liquor cabinet nearby. So boozy! (So awesome.)

This is my current read, compliments of one Miss Lo Ashley Hoffman. I should be done with it by now, as I sat staring at a pool for what must have been a grand total of 20 hours in the past few days. But my brain apparently turned to mush in Miami and all I could possibly bring myself to read was the cocktail menu. ("Four Falanghinas please. No, that's just for me. Yes, all at once, thank you.")

Nevertheless, I'm finally entering the world of Fillory and I look forward to sharing more. Anyone want to join me for the ride? Two person book club? I hear the last sentence tops all.

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