Teaser Tuesdays: Mislaid by Nell Zink

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.

mislaid

Here, I found you an outstanding book! Read this book! First, read this sentence.

When two females vanish from a patriarchy, both of them attached to a homosexual, the ripples can be truly minimal.

Sad, funny, true. That’s my three-syllable review. Seriously, Mislaid has everything in it that is in life, and it’s less than 300 pages. I am impressed.

Stay tuned, as ever, for my longer review.

This quotation comes from an uncorrected advance proof and is subject to change.

Teaser Tuesdays: Martin Marten by Brian Doyle

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.

This is one of those I fear to even say much about, because I might ruin its perfection. Best book of 2015 so far, for sure.

marten

I have one sentence for you today:

You could, as Dave many times had, just sit there in the sun with your back against a tree and watch and listen to the river sprint and thurble and trip and thumble; you had to invent words for the ways it raced and boiled and dashed and crashed, and indeed Dave had once spent an afternoon trying to write one long word that would catch something of the river’s song and story when it was full of itself like this, not yet the shy trickle it would be in summer and fall, before the Rains came on All Souls’ Day, and then the dim chamber of winter, when snow fell slowly all day every day for weeks at a time, and the woods were filled with soft slumps and sighs as trees shed their loads.

I love so much about this sentence: how it acknowledges what words cannot do, and then uses words to do so much; how its length mirrors the length of the failed word of the river’s song and story; how it encompasses four seasons; the lovely sounds of it. Are you convinced?

This quotation comes from an uncorrected advance proof and is subject to change.

Teaser Tuesdays: “Here is New York” by E.B. White

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.

here is new york

I’ve heard about this essay over the years, and have finally gotten around to reading it for a class I’m taking. I think it’s quite lovely and expressive, and I suspect it still rings true in the New York of 2015, though E.B. White wrote it in 1949. I especially loved this line:

And the fan takes over again, and the heat and the relaxed air and the memory of so many good little dinners in so many good little illegal places, with the theme of love, the sound of ventilation, the brief medicinal illusion of gin.

I think it is the illusion of gin that did it for me.

You can read the full essay here.

Teaser Tuesdays: Call Me Home by Megan Kruse

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.

call me home

What a beautiful book. I had the added feeling of synchronicity, that it handles a move from Texas to my very region of Washington state. But even without sharing those personal details with this family, I think this is a moving story. And then these lines.

There was a bar for every loneliness, he suspected. A bar for every sad story, and one for every joy. All of those things, contained in the shifting glass, the water rings and fingerprints across old wood, the smell of sweat.

I’m a sucker for writing about bars, as place and atmosphere. Stick around.

This quotation comes from an uncorrected advance proof and is subject to change.

Teaser Tuesdays: Spinster: Making a Life of One’s Own by Kate Bolick

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.

spinster

There is a lot to love about this book, in which a fun, intelligent woman discusses singledom and the arguments in favor, while exploring the lives & writing of those who’ve gone before her. A Maximum Shelf is coming. For now, I wanted to share these charming lines.

Because I’d started contributing to magazines and newspapers as a graduate student, the transition was seamless enough, save for the fact that reviewing books makes it very easy to never go outside.

I certainly identify, Kate. Here’s to continuing to make an effort to go outside (& also loving what we do).

This quotation comes from an uncorrected advance proof and is subject to change.

Teaser Tuesdays: The Secret Place by Tana French

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.

secret

I love Tana French. Obviously I was excited about her latest, which I am accessing via audiobook (because I have loved past audio editions of her work, especially The Likeness).

This one is shaping up to be as good as I’d hoped. Check out this passage about teenaged girls meeting at the mall. Probably we can all recognize the angst…

And at least back when they were twelve they just put on their coats and went. This year, everyone gets ready for the Court like they’re getting ready for the Oscars. The Court is where you bring your bewildering new curves and walk and self so people can tell you what they’re worth, and you can’t risk the answer being Nothing zero nothing. You like so totally have to have your hair either straightened to death or else brushed into a careful tangle, and fake tan all over and an inch of foundation on your face and half a pack of smoky eyeshadow around each eye, and supersoft superskinny jeans and Uggs or Converse, because otherwise someone might actually be able to tell you apart from everyone else and obviously that would make you a total loser.

Stay tuned.

Teaser Tuesdays: Hammer Head: The Making of a Carpenter by Nina MacLaughlin

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.

hammer head

When I saw this book, it reminded me immediately of Dirt Work, which I loved. Similar concept: young woman is educated to be an academic, a writer, a journalist with a background in the classics in this case; fed up with that world, but having few or no skills in the other, she nevertheless gets out there and takes on something new. Nina MacLaughlin answers an ad for a carpenter’s apprentice, and learns a physical trade.

But clearly, also, she couldn’t leave the writing behind. Check out this sentence.

I was usually alone when I walked the bridge, occasionally drunk, a few times crying, one time kissed by someone I didn’t like too much.

It is constructions like that that make me want to be a writer, too.

This quotation comes from an uncorrected advance proof and is subject to change.

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