Bergen-Leaving-TomorrowI’m reading again. Very happy about this. Not that I can keep up with my valentine, but enough to be enjoying the fiction and poetry I have at hand.
I have just finished the rookie now commie well this her how to Ruchti more commie fuck this isn’t working. I’m trying to use the voice to text function of my Mac.

Colourless Tsukuru  Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami was a blast. It’s story about a close group of school friends. Their breakup fascinated me. I’m interested in the subject personally for a novel called Preachers Kids I hope to write, and it reminded me of A separate peace by John Knowles, and more recent novels based on a single incident such as the Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan and Julian Barnes Sense of An ending, I think it’s called.

I downloaded Roberto Bolano’s 2066, yesterday,  after receiving some encouragement from a friend. I did not made it through Bolano’s The Savage Detectives. I started laughing almost from the very first page and the riff on academic pretension and conferences and giving papers that starts the novel is hilarious. Let’s hope his sharp wit continues. I am interested to see what happens next.

Most of the 2014 novels I read in December and January. I’m not finished with 2014 yet. David Bergen’s Leaving Tomorrow is an unflinching look at growing up and our conceits when we are young, with his usual clarity of style. I appreciate the reference to other books and other writers. It’s natural even when Bergen uses the opportunity to express his thoughts on how best to write and to read. With all of the self-consciousness of post post post modernism, it’s surprising how little this figures into what’s being written in the 21st-century.  line

Maurice Mierau, another friend of mine published his memoir Detachment with Freehand books this fall. I admire the book as much as it’s promotion.  In addition to its subject of adoption and making an intentional family, I was interested to see how his memoir compared to “auto(biographical) fiction” such as Mariam Toews’  All My Puny Sorrows. All three books mine the personal and as I was reminded “we all have but one story to tell, our own, ” or so W.O. Mitchell was supposed to have said.

I didn’t only read Mennonite authors, A natural tendency as the executive editor of Rhubarb, as much as anything to do with my heritage. I haven’t got to Rudy weeps Wiebe’s Come Back yet, but was amused by the fuss he created by suggesting that the comic and laughter in particular was actually an evasion, an escape, a defense.

I really enjoyed Michael Crummeys Sweetland, and was surprised it didn’t receive more attention from critics and prize juries.  I also read Angie Abdu’s older novel The Bone Cage, about competitive amateur sport, which reminded me of  Lynn Cody’s The Antagonist.

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