Boring personal reading habits ahead....

On New Year's eve I made a resolution to read 50 books in 2008 and, after lagging behind for most of the summer but soaring back in Autumn's third quarter, I have just completed my 50th. Now I don't have to read anything for the rest of the year! No, but this might be the first New Year's resolution I've actually completed (full disclosure: There was also a half-hearted 100 film component which I'm way behind on.) My only rule was that the book had to be finished in 2008, but had to be read from front to back. This allowed me to finish up a bunch of collections and half-read novels I had lying around, but not count anything I didn't completely finish (thus leaving them as half-read things to finish up next year....aka the circle of life)

In chronological order:

1) The Aspern Papers – Henry James
2) How the Water Feels to the Fishes – Dave Eggers
3) Hard to Admit and Harder to Escape – Sarah Manguso
4) The Bloody Chamber – Angela Carter
5) The Art of the Possible – Kenneth Koch
6) Crying of Lot 49 – Thomas Pynchon
7) American Psycho – Bret Easton Ellis
8) Erasure – Percival Everett
9) Chronicle of a Death Foretold – Marquez
10) Venus Drive – Sam Lipsyte
11) Minor Robberies – Deb Olin Unferth
12) A Fan’s Notes – Frederick Exley
13) Captain Maximus – Barry Hannah
14) The Angle of Yaw – Ben Lerner
15) The Voice at 3:00 AM – Charles Simic
16) All the Pretty Horses – Cormac McCarthy
17) Chord of Light – Zbigniew Herbert
18) Stars of the New Curfew – Ben Okri
19) Wittgenstein’s Nephew – Thomas Bernhard
20) Men and Cartoons – Jonathan Lethem
21) Ant Farm – Simon Rich
22) 60 Poems – Charles Simic
23) In Persuasion Nation – George Saunders
24) Paradise – Donald Barthelme
25) Partial List of People to Bleach – Gary Lutz
26) McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern #24
27) The Nimrod Flipout – Etgar Keret
28) The Elements of Style – Strunk and White
29) The World Doesn’t End – Charles Simic
30) I Killed Adolf Hitler – Jason
31) Rock Springs – Richard Ford
32) What I’d Say to the Martians – Jack Handey
33) The Wavering Knife – Brian Evenson
34) Ghost Town – Robert Coover
35) Housekeeping – Marilynne Robinson
36) Knightfall - Dixon et al
37) i hate to see that evening sun go down – William Gay
38) Home Land – Sam Lipsyte
39) Ultramarine – Raymond Carver
40) The 13 Clocks – James Thurber
41) Flash Fiction Forward – ed. James Thomas & Robert Shapard
42) The Drowned River – Thomas Lux
43) Flash Fiction – ed. James Thomas et al
44) My Custom Van – Michael Ian Black
45) I Pass Like Knight – Jonathan Ames
46) Eternal Enemies – Adam Zagajewski
47) Der Struwwelmaakies – Tony Millionare
48) Emergence – Steven Johnson
49) The Dog of the Marriage – Amy Hempel
50) Coming Through Slaughter – Michael Ondaatje

That's 18 story collections, 14 novels, 8 poetry collections, 5 comics/graphic novels, 3 humor collections and 2 non-fiction books.

I'll leave further analysis (favorite books, etc.) till the end of the year.


Go forth and read!

Please check out the new fiction section at Guernica magazine edited by Ben Marcus.

In particular, two good friends of mine have pieces up:

* She Is, Because by Rozalia Jovanovic

* Regards from Mozambique by Dyannah Byington


I will always be Tom Brady to Todd Zuniga

A big thank you to everyone who came out to Opium's Literary Death Match last night, especially Mark Asch at The L Magazine for asking me to fill in and Todd Zungia at Opium for allowing me to and for hosting such a fun and wacky event.

For those of you who missed it, I won my first (the reading) round, but lost in the face-off laser tag duel against Dennis DiClaudio. Specifically the final blindfolded round. I'm not saying he cheated, but is it possible he had a remote radio feed implanted in his ear allowing a team of laser tag specialists to direct him around the stage? Just saying.


Last minute reading

Hey everyone! Through a series of semi-probable events, I am going to be reading at Opium Magazine's Literary Death Match tomorrow (that's Tuesday night).

7PM at The Kitchen, 512 W. 19th St.

These death matches are supposed to be pretty fun and all the cool kids are there. (You're a cool kid aren't you? [Then prove it!])

Apparently there is a round of reading then the two favorites move on to a feat of strength... so if you want to see me fall on my ass trying to do pull-ups or something come on out.

(NOTE: There is a 7 dollar charge... but you get a free copy of Opium in the deal)

Here is the official blurb:

New York City

Prepare for NYC?s biggest Literary Death Match of the year, as Opium teams up with The Kitchen to create a spectacle like none other.

An epic lineup will feature three of NYC?s best reading series and LA?s finest. Katherine Taylor (Vermin Reading in LA), Thomas Hopkins [Now Lincoln Michel] (L Magazine?s Annual Literary Upstart), Dennis DiClaudio (Guerrilla Lit) and Thaddeus Rutkowski (Poetry v.
Comedy) will be judged by the New Yorker?s Ben Greenman, videogum.com?s Gabriel Delahaye and funnylady Jodi Bullock.

Avoid the line and pre-order your ticket now!

When: October 14, 7 p.m. (doors at 6:30)

Where: The Kitchen, 512 W. 19th St.

Cost: $7 (admission, plus Opium7:7)

Result: Ridiculousness and gunfire!

Afterparty: The Park, 118 10th Ave.


Before B-Day

- James Wood on Republican "verbage."

Sarah Palin, alas, talks the difficulty. She may claim, as she did in last Thursday’s Vice-Presidential debate, that “Americans are cravin’ that straight talk,” but they are sure not going to get it from the Governor—not with her peculiar habit of speaking only half a sentence and then moving on to another for spoliation, that strange, ghostly drifting through the haziest phrases, as if she were cruelly condemned to search endlessly for her linguistic home: “I do take issue with some of the principle there with that redistribution of wealth principle that seems to be espoused by you.”

- Annie DeWitt starts a new lit blog.

- Someone punched the CEO of Lehman Bros?

- New Achewood.