I usually waiting until the year is over to make a list of my favorite books, but it’s been a pretty good year so far, so I thought I’d share my 10 favorite books from the past six months of reading, in the order I read them:
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- A.R. Ammons, Tape For The Turn of the Year
In 1963, Ammons got a roll of adding machine tape from the hardware store and decided to write poems on it every day until the tape was used up. I started the book on December 6 of last year, and followed along with each entry until January 10th.
- Denis Johnson, Largesse of the Sea Maiden
Beautiful stories. A perfect swan song.
- Paul Elie, Reinventing Bach
Takes a look at Bach’s work through the recordings of his works throughout the years. I especially liked reading about Glenn Gould and Pablo Casals.
- Diane Ackerman, A Natural History of the Senses
I originally thought my new book would have more about the senses in it, so I picked this up for research. Very dense, lush book.
- Duane Tudahl, Prince and The Purple Rain Sessions
A day-by-day play-by-play of Prince in the recording studio at the height of his powers. I did a lot of skimming and skipping around, but really enjoyed it.
- Eleanor Davis, You & A Bike & A Road
A comic diary of Davis’s bike across the south. I love her work so much. This might end up my book of the year.
- Lizzie Goodman, Meet Me In The Bathroom
An oral history of NYC music from 2001-2011. How much you enjoy it will probably depend on your familiarity with the music — I was eighteen and a freshman in college when I saw The Strokes in Newport, KY, in 2001, so it made me pretty danged nostalgic.
- David Sedaris, Calypso
I mean, what’s there to say? The dude makes me laugh out loud... and he keeps getting better and better.
- John Berger, Confabulations
Considering how much Ways of Seeing influenced me, I’m ashamed I haven’t read more Berger. This was the last book he published before he died.
- Chris Ware, Monograph
A gorgeous, gigantic tome dedicated to the work of one of our great Midwestern artists.
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