Monday, April 9, 2018

Sloane Crosley, Peter Carey, and, More Importantly, Birds

Tim and I took separate trips recently and some of the pictures in this post are from his trip to Florida. Absent are pictures of me and the kids visiting grandparents, which was a great time but didn't get captured because my photographer was off gallivanting with pelicans.

While I was packing, Tim came up with a pile of books I could take, novels I hadn't yet read, essays I might be interested in. They had to be paperback, obviously, because I was flying with two kids by myself and didn't want to add a five-pound book to my back. My only goal was not to swipe Tim's birthday copy of Hanif Abdurraqib's They Can't Kill Us Until They Kill Us, put out by Two Dollar Radio, an indie press based in Columbus, OH.  

Two Dollar Radio doesn't need my paltry PR, but when I see a book written by someone who doesn't live in Brooklyn, put out by a small midwestern press, I basically freak out with pride and joy.      
However, look at my hypocritical buns when I tell you one of the books Tim offered, which I stayed up reading and finished before the trip even started, was Sloane Crosley's I Was Told There Would Be Cake. Crosley grew up in Westchester County, New York and worked in publishing for years before starting to write full-time. In other words, I'm pretty sure she lives in Brooklyn. (I'm mostly joking about this Brooklyn thing. I love it there and would live there myself if I didn't need trees and grass and the whisper of bears so much in my life.) 

Of course, I devoured I Was Told There Would Be Cake, which was, stunningly, Crosley's debut in 2008. She has another collection, How Did You Get This Number?, which I intend to read (not just because it has a bear on its cover but let's face it, that never hurts). Her new book, Look Alive Out There, just landed on my dining room table, courtesy of Tim, so it looks like rip-roaring evenings for me ahead: a baby, a bed, a pile of books.

Should that be the name of this blog?

I know your days have been hanging on this update but I did, in fact, finish All the President's Men and even enjoyed it. My enthusiasm might have been boosted by an outing with Tim to see The Post. If you don't want to move into Ben Bradlee's moody blue living room after seeing that movie, there might be something wrong with you. 

Or maybe you just aren't a Pisces.

So now I can watch Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman, who has been accused by multiple women of sexual harrassment, in the movie version of All The President's Men which I will undoubtedly watch by myself one evening while Tim falls asleep six minutes in.

I read this essay by Claire Dederer, who writes sentences I'd like to eat.  It's called What Do We Do with the Art of Monstrous Men? and that, my friends, is a question we should all be asking right now.

In case you're curious, I brought Theft, by Peter Carey, on my trip and may have spent more time watching The Great British Bake Off than reading, but that's only because I don't have Netflix at home. Theft alternates chapters in the voice of two brothers and while I found it VERY ENTERTAINING – especially because one of the brothers, who is a little off, uses intermittent caps to hilarious effect – the switching voices between chapters slowed down my reading a bit. LET THAT BE A LESSON TO YOU, CLEVER WRITERS. 

I do love Peter Carey, though, and hope one day to grow up to have a bio pic rival his.

In other news, I have a story at Bull about a man whose girlfriend has died, who attends the funeral at her family's home in Missouri. If that premise isn't a side-splitter, I don't know what is. 

Seriously, I'm very happy to have a story at Bull. It has duck decoys, confused people, and a small dog, and you can check it out here.
That's all for now. Ellis is grinding his teeth together, an altogether excruciating sound. And yes, he's biting me with the new ones. Thank you for asking! 


  1. Your work always inspires me to be more adventurous in my selection of reading material! Thank you for your insights. (The children featured in the pictures are ESPECIALLY BEAUTIFUL, as are the birds.)

  2. Thank you, Peggy! It's funny how up for reading anything I am these days. I used to be so picky and never commit to anything. Now I will read 600 pages of anyone I trust/am slightly intrigued by. I think it has to do with the break from parenting. As in, an author is not a toddler yelling indiscriminate domestic rules in my face all day long. At least, if they're any good, they aren't? :) Anyway, thank you for reading!


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