I’m happy the holidays are over. I’m usually happy when they arrive, but I’m always more than ready for things to get back to normal. I like my job, and I like my routine, and even though I love presents and I adore my family, I kind of wish that Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the New Year happened every third year.
It’s been a good fall for me, though. My new story “Field Trip” is up at Devilfish Review. There are other stories I like in this issue, as well, namely In A Bubble, a weirdly disturbing 1001 Nights trip.
I had a fabulous time reading submissions for the second issue of Interfictions Online in August and September. So many of the stories were interesting, and a few were truly great. It was the best kind of work.
Haul of the season (gifts, purchases, and books kindly lent):
- Miniatures by Norah Labiner
- This is the Story of A Happy Marriage by Ann Patchett
- Fingers by William Sleator
- Family by J. California Cooper
- The Together Teacher by Maia Heyck-Merlin (You’d think I’d have this organization thing down by year 8, but she had me at “adult Trapper Keeper.”)
- Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang (Terrific story for students: Liking What You See: A Documentary)
- Maddaddam by Margaret Atwood
- The Dinner by Herman Koch (People seem to be very angry about this book, but I think that the comparison to Gone Girl does it such a disservice)
- The Flamethrowers by Rachel Kushner
A couple of these books I procured at Malvern Books, a new small-press book shop in Austin. I had no idea what kind of shop it was, and I fought bewilderment as I browsed the books on my first visit – I didn’t recognize many of the books, and the ones I did recognize I already had. It took a few minutes to realize that the shelves were filled with books that chains (and even Book People, the big Indie here in town) would never touch. It’s a miracle store. I’ve been back a few times, and each time I leave with something I probably shouldn’t have spent the grocery money on. Please – the two of you who read this sometimes-blog -say a little prayer for this book store’s business.
They have a neat blog going, too, full of interesting reviews and information – like this post about publishing that features prominently a cover of Mary Jo Buttafuoco’s memoir about pyschopaths and the people who love them.