By Candlelight

Posted: November 4, 2012 in Misc

(pic via)

One of the lucky, I was only without power about 4 days due to Hurricane “Super Storm” Sandy. Since I work from home and there was not much else to be done in the dark, I took advantage of the absence of electric buzz to catch up on some reading. All of the following come with my enthusiastic recommendation:

Exit, Civilian” and “The Next Country” by Idra Novey
Boneshepherds” by Patrick Rosal
Frankenstein” by Mary Shelly
Poetry’s June, September, and October issues
“Drops of God,” Volume 4 and New World by Tadashi Agi
Higurashi no Naku Koro ni, Massacre Arc, Volume 1 by Ryukishi07
Or Something Like That” by Bud Smith

Reading the Higurashi manga and rereading a good chunk of “Frankenstein” by candlelight on Halloween was by far the best experience of the storm, or at least the most mood-appropriate. Idra Novey has quick become one of my favorite contemporary poets, and Patrick Rosal (whom I discovered at the Brooklyn Book Festival along with Ms. Novey) is definitely in the running as well. “Boneshepherds,” which I took for a collection that would have a few choice pieces but ultimately disappoint, had me fighting back sympathetic tears on more than one occasion and marveling at the author’s diversity of techniques and talent with the word most of the rest of the time. Of the issues of Poetry I finally caught up on, June, with its selection of W. S. Di Piero’s work, was the most enjoyable. And if you’ve yet to check out Bud Smith’s short story collection, “Or Something Like That,” do yourself the favor and stop procrastinating. The best thing about reading his stories is that he never takes the reader where they’ve been taught to expect to go, all the while with a humorous, Bukowski-influenced, realist wit.

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