Best non-fiction piece? Best fiction?
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At the mention of non-fiction all the thoughts just skittered out of my brain like mice running away from the cat.
In the following issue one of those review/essays on procrastinating. Possibly required reading in order to join this group. Unfortunately the book they were reviewing costs 65.00 !!! That is a very good reason to procrastinate about buying it!
Also, I'd recommend the article by Rebecca Mead called Middlemarch and Me: What George Eliot teaches us in the Feb 14th/21st 2011 Anniversary Issue. Here are a couple of quotes that I liked:
In her journals, which were not published in their entirety until twelve years ago, Eliot writes with anguish about her limited accomplishment, and a sense of too often falling short of her capacities.
Once, when she was asked which real-life person had been the inspiration for Causabon--a man whose "soul was sensitive without being enthusiastic; it was too languid to thrill out of self-consiousness into passionate delight; it went on fluttering in the swampy ground where it was hatched, thinking of its wings and never flying"--she tapped her own breast.
Great short story by Frances Hwang. "Blue Roses" , no poems jumped out at me, cartoons were a bit strange some of them. The review of Keith Richards' memoir was fun. That's it.
I liked that the cover "Summer Getaway" was by Adrian Tomine, a graphic novel writer that I've just discovered.
I had already read the article by John Cassidy "The Volcker Rule" about Paul Volcker's attempt to get Obama's version of the financial reform legislation passed. As with most legislation, compromise was necessary to get it passed and the Volcker Rule (keeping commercial banks from speculating in the financial markets) was weakened.
The Jonathan Franzen article about the illegal killing of songbirds in the Mediterranean was interesting. Apparently, people in Cyprus, Malta and Italy love to eat songbirds. The trappers lure the birds by playing birdsong at high volume and then the birds get stuck on lime-sticks. Franzen says 5 billion birds migrate through the Mediterranean every Spring and 1 billion are killed deliberately.
My favorite piece in this issue was the fiction short story by Karen Russell "The Dredgeman's Revelation." Russell just published Swamplandia which has gotten great reviews. I really liked Russell's writing so I'm excited to read her new book.
Moving excerpt from Joyce Carol Oates' book about her husband's death. Beautifully done. So different from the Didion in mood and pace and outlook.
Only one more to read in December as it was a double issue! Yippee!
Great Quote from today's reading (on energy efficiency) Dec 20-27 2010 issue: "Coincidentally or not, the growth of American refrigerator volume has been roughly paralleled by the growth of American body-mass index." p80