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Skinny Dipping Into Books

I like the rain. I want to have a spring bookworming rain party full out with wellies—but not those Hunter Boots; absolutely not—, with yummy airy things like puffed pastries, meringues, mini fluffy cheese cakes, mousse dessert, macaroon, biscuits, crepe, and Earl Grey tea, definitely Earl Grey tea.  and Tillandsia. We'd have lots of "air plants". Lots! And We'd read, but not anything structured. We'd bring books, trade books, read out-loud, pass books around between sentences and paragraphs. We'd leave with books we hadn't discovered.


I like books like I like my Jazz; euphoric, dangerous, occasionally a bit manic, sorrowful, bleak, raging, mood-incongruent, mournful, unforgivingly ragged, symbolic in a quiet way, warm apple pie for the soul. Give me a Plath style. Yōko Ogawa, M. Roach,

Criteria: Not rated on likability of characters. Not objective. I like Moxie Soda; chances are you don't.

time spent in that before bed reading slot:

5-until blurry eye 4-Later than I intended, but I still kept to my extended, extended reading time 3-I really should have been to bed an hour ago  2-customary 30 minutes. 1-book. side table. eyes closed.

How are common themes handled?

5-With an aesthetic that repurposes everyday themes into something fresh. Think of Hole Celebrity Skin covered by Cat Power  4-there is a comfortable air of familiarly.
3-Deja Vu 2. No deviation from its mates  1. Devastatingly trite, redundant, and stale.

Where would you keep it post-reading?

5-Next to my bed.  4-it's the center piece of my favorite bookshelf 3. On my other favorite bookshelf, but it's a bit dusty over their 2-Great cheap bookends 1-It never made it out of the box marked 'moving'.

Emotional response-

5- Where is my teddy bear? Emotional-hangover 4- If I wasn't so emotionally stunted I'd cry.
3. Did James Cameron co-wrote this? Artfully contrived. 
2- calculative emotional manipulation. This was literally written by James Cameron.1- I…feel…..nothing.

Mechanics (plot structure, voice, presentation, word choice, sentence structure, characters, writing style, pacing, and consistency):

5-Chanel 4-Prada 3-J-Crew 2-Gap 1-Old Navy

Currently reading

The Complete Stories
Flannery O'Connor
I am No One You Know
Joyce Carol Oates
Unclean Jobs for Women and Girls
Alissa Nutting, Alissa Nutting

a rawness you can't scratch at

The Devil All the Time - Donald Ray Pollock



Well, that hurt. I feel physically exhausted.




After thoughts:


What am i doing reviewing this precious, brilliant piece of literature. I clearly won't do it justice. 


This novel is like an Amanda Palmer song (her earlier work,  think Astronaut). It starts soft and then ruptures your insides, quivers there for awhile, before leaving you anew, slightly traumatized, and utterly jolted. 


Individual stories, capturing the lives of two sets of characters divided into two towns, carefully weave together an utterly stark and bleak novel, that covers the gauntlet of human behaviors and emotions. The book is steeped in anger and sorrow. It's here where we examine, along with the author, religion, death, trauma, family dynamics, depression, learned behaviors (think salivating dogs), and choices. yes choices are central here. What do we do with what we have, and why? The why part isn't confronted directly, as the author works with subtleties, offering supporting stepping stones for his readers that are neither dramatic or quiet, but natural and relatable. 


I felt physically ill at times. I closed my kindle (yes I'm one of those people) and sat quietly, breathing deeply. you see everything in that book could, and perhaps does happen. People suffer, people hurt each other, and people recover; if you can even call THAT recovering. there is no returning to baseline for these characters. In this way it is a slow read. there is meaning between those words. If you close your eyes you can smell the blood, taste the metallic taste of adrenaline, Listen to the crackle of overcooked hamburgers.... you might even be at the side of an abandoned, desolate road, next to a hitch hiker, blood streaming down his now deformed body, willing back a confession as a gun points at your temple. This is transcending. this is some good, real, raw shit.