Tag Archives: Joyce Carol Oates

What I’ll be reading very soon.

Like I’ve said I keep saying, I’m almost done with the Oates memoir. Last night, I picked up two books from the library to ease my fear that I will be without reading material while I’m away again this weekend. Both of my picks are short story collections to continue my celebration of Short Story Month 2011, and to hopefully find some fodder for more short story reviews. What’s on the docket? I’m glad you asked…
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Another weekend, over. Okay, so the weekend was over well before today, but still. Today it’s really real.

I’m so close to finishing Joyce Carol Oates’s memoir, it’s sickening. The chapters are getting shorter and shorter, and she’s starting to use closure language. I feel silly saying this, but I’ve actually been preparing myself for the end of this book. I’ve become so invested, and it’s been such an emotional ride that I fear I may need a week or two to recover afterward. And as much as I want to read Joan Didion’s memoir, but the wiser part of me tells me I should space them out about a year. What books have you read that have left such an impact you needed a recovery period afterward? Suggestions of good transition reads for after?

Well, today’s my final day to contemplate what books I’ll be discussing at the Porter Square Book Bloggers Event on June 3 at 7pm. I think I have it narrowed down to three… but, you’ll just have to come to the event to find out what they are! I’ll update you with pictures and a list of the other bloggers’ picks after the event. But until then, soak in that suspense, baby!

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Library Fined

Yikes. Today was a to-do list if I’ve ever had one. I had to get my bike’s flat tire unflattened, clean the entire house, wash my sheets, assemble care package for a friend, finish writing/submit my story to my writing group, and go to the library. You see, I’ve been holding Anne Roiphe’s Art and Madness and Joyce Carol Oates’ A Widow’s Story hostage for the past week. Both of these books were due since before I went to Philly last weekend, but I haven’t had time to take them back! I tried to renew both copies online only to discover that about 40 other people were in a digital line to read them as well. Luckily, Oates’ book was on the speed read shelf so I didn’t have to pause my reading or, worse, take it as a sign from the universe that I should splurge on the (still in hardcover) book.

I suspect I’ll buy both of these ladies’ memoirs in paperback some day in the hopefully near future. Oates’ prose is shattering, unforgiving, and so wrenching. I’m afraid to read it in public. I’m afraid to read it alone where I will no doubt crumble into a fit of tears that only delays my reading. It’s a nearly impossible read, but well worth it so far.

All of the windows in my apartment are open, and the breeze is coming straight at me at my desk right now. Tomorrow my boyfriend and I are going on a daytrip where I plan to read and be inspired by the sight of the ocean and a seaside town. Any big plans for the weekend? What do you plan to lie in the grass and read?

(Photo via storydj)

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Next week, on The Things They Read…

Well, perhaps not next week, but in the coming weeks I have some great reviews planned! Despite not having a review mailbox (PO boxes ain’t cheap) listed on the blog, I am always open to receiving books to review! My list tends to lean toward books that have been out a while, so receiving newer books is always a great incentive to keep up to date on the current publishing scene. So, what do we have in store?
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Has American fiction lost its voice?

Harper Perennial’s editorial director sent out a tweet yesterday about Regina Marler’s review of Sourland by Joyce Carol Oates:

I responded with a short story writer I’ve been immersed in for the past month, Lydia Davis, who has a very distinct style and voice. But it got me thinking, was this some reviewer’s device for saying that Joyce Carol Oates has a distinct voice, or is this an actual belief regarding contemporary American fiction?

It’s worrisome, as a fiction writer in America, to hear these sorts of opinions expressed, let alone in this flippant manner. So I wanted to spread the question to you, our readers and fellow book lovers. What are the distinct American voices in fiction these days? Do you agree with Regina Marler? Tell us why!

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Nerd Out & Get the Word Out: Boston Book Festival 2010

By Melanie Yarbrough
They have Woodstock and Lillith Fair, Burning Man and even a Strawberry Picking Festival. And finally, last year, Boston started its annual book festival, for the rest of us.

This Saturday, October 16th, marks the second annual Boston Book Festival in Copley Square (which means a great view of the Boston Public Library!). They’ve posted the schedule and description of events here, and I thought I’d share what I’m most excited about. Ready, set, nerd out!

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