january 1–15, 2017


  • A. R. Ammons, Garbage
  • For a project on garbage, maybe never to be finished.

  • Karen Weiser, Or, the Ambiguities
  • Not sure that I loved this, but it’s nice that there’s still more to be mined from Pierre.

  • Iris Murdoch, The Italian Girl
  • One of the slightest of Murdoch’s novels that I’ve read so far: a bit too happy to indulge in the Gothic.

  • Jai Arun Ravine, The Romance of Siam: A Pocket Guide
  • I loaned this out before I could write something more substantial about this, and I kind of wish I hadn’t: this is one of the most thoughtful things I’ve read on the idea of Thailand and how that’s been received. Deserves more attention.

  • John Ashbery, Breezeway
  • I had a panic that Ashbery was about to die and I went out and bought this, thinking I might not have another chance to buy one of his books while he was still alive. A little slighter than I wanted?

  • Aleksandar Hemon, The Lazarus Project
  • I am confused why everyone gets excited about Dave Eggers and George Saunders when they could be getting about Hemon, who is better than either.

  • Georges Simenon, The Late Monsieur Gallet, translated by Anthea Bell
  • Georges Simenon, Teddy Bear, trans. John Clay
  • Georges Simenon, Betty, trans. Alastair Hamilton
  • I like how simple these are: working my way through Simenon trying to come up with ideas.

  • Jenny Diski, On Trying to Keep Still
  • I miss Jenny Diski’s writing, and I wish more of her books came my way: there’s the consolation of knowing that I haven’t read them all yet.


  • The Pink Panther, directed by Blake Edwards
  • For Me and My Gal, dir. Busby Berkeley
  • The Friends of Eddie Coyle, dir. Peter Yates
  • Monkey Business, dir. Norman Z. McLeod
  • Tod für fünf Stimmen (Gesualdo: Death for Five Voices), dir. Werner Herzog
  • Garlic Is as Good as Ten Mothers, dir. Les Blank