Some Books I Read Recently and Loved

Angela Woodward's Natural Wonders. A reread. I have loved everything I've read of Woodward's. I cannot recommend her work highly enough, but I'll keep trying.

John McPhee's Basin and Range. Alternately fascinating and boring, but also incredibly lyrical and surprising. A perfect book to read while daydreaming, or to read to induce daydreaming.

Jessica Lee Richardson's It Had Been Planned and There Were Guides. There are some really beautiful stories in this collection. Not only formally inventive but also very conscious and smart about its use of form.

John Keene's Counternarratives. I especially liked the novellas/long stories, but to say so isn't entirely fair, because the whole is every bit as interesting as the parts. I think that's rarely the case with collections of short fiction, but then this is an exemplary collection of short fiction.

Mark de Silva's Square Wave. De Silva writes about music the way Steve Erickson writes about film, leaving the reader with a sense of awe and wonder at the medium's boundaries.

Joan Didion's The White Album. Another reread. I like it more each time I reread it; the essays that had seemed less interesting—I think especially those that more closely resemble profiles or "Talk of the Town" pieces—make more sense to me now.

Barry N. Malzberg's Beyond Apollo & Galaxies. About which AD Jameson once wrote a great "25 points." I really had no idea what to expect when I started these, but I think they far exceeded whatever that was.