Tuesday, April 14, 2009

All Travelers Are Lost: Recommendations from Across the Land

In his essay “On Lullabies,” Federico García Lorca talks about the difficulty of attempting to describe his travels, and about “trying to avoid the sort of ugly erudite data that tire out audiences; it is emotional data I shall try to emphasize.”

On the tour, I got to see a lot of people I love, and to meet a lot of new ones: These people in turn told me about a lot of things that they liked that they thought that I would also like—to read, to watch, to hear, to drink, to eat, to use, to do, etc. Here, because lists and geographic regions are two of my fave ways to organize information, is a list of some of that data, a haphazard and organic look at what came up when we were where:

In LA:

To Read:
Wired for War: The Robotics Revolution and Conflict in the 21st Century, nonfiction by P.W. Singer
Feed, a YA novel by MT Anderson
We Have Always Lived in the Castle, a novel by Shirley Jackson (read it; loved it)
The Haunting of Hill House, a novel by Shirley Jackson (read it; loved it)
Double Takes: Pairs of Contemporary Short Stories, an anthology edited by T.C. Boyle
Pride of Baghdad, a graphic novel by Brian K. Vaughan and Niko Henrichon
Pretty much anything by T.C. Boyle

To Ride:
The Metro (rode it; loved it)

To Visit:
The Museum of Death
In San Francisco:

To Read:
Effi Briest by Theodore Fontane
A Miracle, a Universe: Settling Accounts with Torturers by Lawrence Weschler
Seeing is Forgetting the Name of the Thing One Sees: A Life of Contemporary Artist Robert Irwin by Lawrence Weschler
Mr. Wilson’s Cabinet of Wonder: Pronged Ants, Horned Humans, Mice on Toast, and Other Marvels of Jurassic Technology by Lawrence Weschler
The Second Coming of Mavala Shikongo by Peter Orner
Esther Stories by Peter Orner:
In Portland: To Read:
“Detroit Arcadia: Exploring the Post-American Landscape,” an article by Rebecca Solnit in Harper’s (read it; loved it)

In Seattle:

To Read:
Ouisconsin: the Dead in Our Clouds, poetry by Bryan Tomasovich
All About Lulu, a novel by Jonathan Evison:
In Bellingham:
To Read:
Valley of the Dolls, a novel by Jacqueline Susann

To Watch:
The Naked Kiss by Samuel Fuller
Shock Corridor by Samuel Fuller

In Tacoma:
To Read:
“Writer, Reader, Words,” an essay by Jeanette Winterson (read it; loved it): "The serious writer cannot be in competition for sales and attention from the ever expanding leisure industry. She can only offer what she has ever offered; an exceptional sensibility combined with an exceptional control over words." Yes.

To Listen To:
Centro-matic (listened to it; loved it)

In Minneapolis:

To Read:
Exposure, a novel by Kathryn Harrison

To Watch:
The Danish Poet, a short film

To Listen to:
Laura Nyro
Wendy Waldman

To Drink at:
Kochanski’s Concertina Bar on the south side of Milwaukee (formerly Art’s Concertina Bar)
Grumpy's, near the Loft, which featured prominently in the short story Rebecca Kanner read (drank there; loved it):
In Milwaukee:

To Read:
Ada, Or Ardor by Vladimir Nabokov
Pnin by Vladimir Nabokov
The Dark Half by Stephen King

To Watch:
Along Came Polly

In Chicago:

To Read:
Dark Horses: Poets on Overlooked Poems, an anthology edited by Joy Katz and Kevin Prufer
The Bodyfeel Lexicon, poems by Jessica Bozek
Lady Chatterley’s Lover, a novel by D. H. Lawrence
Specs, a literary magazine
You Must Be This Happy to Enter, short stories by Elizabeth Crane (read it; loved it)

To Watch:
Gossip Girl

In Boston:
To Read:
Slice, a literary magazine
The Normal School, a literary magazine
How Sassy Changed My Life: a Love Letter to the Greatest Teen Magazine of All Time by Kara Jesella and Marisa Meltzer

In Provincetown:

To Read:
The Man Who Loved Flowers, a short story by Stephen King from the collection Night Shift

To Drink at:
The Governor Bradford (drank there; loved it):

In Providence:

To Read:
Last Days, a novel by Brian Evenson:

On the Winding Stair, short stories by Joanna Howard

To Look at:
The art of Ben Watkins

To Listen To:
Keith and the Girl

In New York:
To Read:
Sometimes My Heart Pushes My Ribs by Ellen Kennedy (read it; loved it)
The Art Instinct: Beauty, Pleasure and Human Evolution, nonfiction by Denis Dutton
Chilly Scenes of Winter, a novel by Anne Beattie
Gigantic Sequins, a literary magazine
The Agriculture Reader, a literary magazine
Official Correspondence from the Senator, a chapbook by Jeremy Schmall
Jeremy Hoffeld in New York, a blog by Jeremy Hoffeld in New York (read it; love it):

To Watch:
The Cross and the Switchblade

To Look at:
The art of Judy Pfaff

To Listen To:
GG Allin

To Drink:
Negroni: 1 part gin, 1 part sweet vermouth, and 1 part bitter (normally Campari), recommended by Brendan:
Kombucha recommended by Tao Lin:
To Attend:
The In the Flesh Reading Series
Lit Crawl NY

To Wear:
Other people’s stylish glasses, like Jeremy here, wearing Jeremy's glasses:

In Baltimore:
To Read:
Megillat Esther, by JT Waldman

To Learn How to Cook:
Almond-crusted tomato sandwiches

To Visit in Memphis:
The Crystal Grotto
The Peabody Hotel, containing the ducks

In DC:

To Read:
How Soccer Explains the World: an Unlikely Theory of Globalization by Franklin Foer
Books from the small press Beothuk

Rod Blagojevich Writes 25 Things About Himself on Facebook” on McSweeneys by Sean Carman (read it; loved it)

“Maybe You Can Go Home Again” by Sean Carman at the Inside Higher Ed blog (read it; loved it)

To Learn How to Cook:
Shweji, a Burmese dessert:
To Visit in NYC:
The Grolier Club, America's oldest and largest society for bibliophiles and enthusiasts in the graphic arts

In Chicago (again):
To Attend:
Theatre productions (especially Sketchbook) by Collaboraction

In Fayetteville:
To Read:
Night of the Gun, a memoir by David Carr
The Last Fine Time, a memoir by Verlyn Klinkenbourg
Linebreak, a literary magazine

To Watch:
Meet Me in St. Louis
Ordinary People

To Wear:
Your scarf over your head when a winter storm blows in suddenly and you’ve forgotten your umbrella:

In Memphis:
To Read:
The Book Thief, a YA novel by Markus Zusak
The Territory of Men: a Memoir by Joelle Fraser
The Man Who Turned Into Himself: a Novel by David Ambrose

To Watch:
The Visitor

To Listen To:
Cry Softly, Lonely One by Roy Orbison

To Visit:
Stax Museum of American Soul Music

In Edwardsville:

To read:
Cradle Song, poetry by Stacey Lynn Brown

To Wash With:
Milk Milk soap from Fresh

In Champaign-Urbana:
To Read:
Anything by Richard Powers, but especially The Gold Bug Variations and The Echo Maker

In Bellingham again:
To Read:
Blessing of the Animals, a collection of essays by Brenda Miller
Cool for You, poems by Eileen Myles
American Husband, poems by Kary Wayson
No Sweeter Fat, poems by Nancy Pagh
Body Language, short stories by Kelly Magee
“On Difficulty in Poetry,” an essay by Reginald Shepherd (read it; loved it)
“Captivity,” an essay by Sherman Alexie
Sayonara Mrs. Kackleman, a kids’ book by Maira Kalman

To Eat:
Ritter Sport Dark Chocolate with Marzipan

To Know About and Maybe Try to Go to Sometime:
Hedgebrook: a rural retreat on Whidbey Island for Women Writers

In Chicago again:

To Read:
Inside a Red Corvette: a 90s Mix Tape, a poetry chapbook by Becca Klaver of Switchback Books from Greying Ghost Press (read it; loved it)
a / long / division a poetry chapbook by Hanna Andrews of Switchback Books from Tilt Press (read it; loved it):
The Man without Qualities, a novel by Robert Musil

In Ann Arbor:
To Read:
Big World, short stories by Mary Miller, from Short Flight/Long Drive Books
The Sicily Papers, a travel memoir by Michelle Orange, from Short Flight/Long Drive Books
Walking Dead, a zombie comic created by Robert Kirkman
Murder (a violet), poems by Ray McDaniel
Saltwater Empire, poems by Ray McDaniel
Anything by Mike Alber

To Watch:
Let the Right One In

To Eat:
Grilled peanut butter sandwiches with garlic salt

To Visit:
Big Jar Books in Philadelphia (which I can’t totally tell if it exists)

In Chicago again:

To Read:
Cinema Muto, poems by Jesse Lee Kercheval
This Must Be the Place, poems by Alice George
Bestiary, poems by Elise Paschen
Strange Trades, poems by Kristy Odelius
Ender’s Game, a novel by Orson Scott Card
Wisecrack: Feminism & Comedy, a literary magazine
The Fifth Child, a novel by Doris Lessing (read it; loved it)

To Watch:
Silent films from Wisconsin Bioscope

In Carlsbad, California:
To Read:
Hardboiled novels by Ross Macdonald
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, a novel by Agatha Christie
Why Did I Ever?, a novel by Mary Robison
Reader’s Block, a novel by David Markson
Wittgenstein’s Mistress, a novel by David Markson
Cloud Atlas, a novel by David Mitchell
Deer Head Nation, poems by K. Silem Mohammad
My Life, poems by Lyn Hejinian
Candy in Action, a novel by Matthue Roth
A Harper’s article about the NYC sewage/wastewater system (something about the Big
Hit Wave, a chapbook by Jon Leon (from Kitchen Press)
Telling It Slant: Avant Garde Poetics of the1990s edited by Mark Wallace and Steven
Haze, poems by Mark Wallace
The Temporary Worker Rides a Subway, poems by Mark Wallace (read it; loved it)
speculations descending therefrom a poetry chapbook by K. Lorraine Graham (read it; loved it)
Telling the Future Off by Stephanie Young
Books from Tougher Disguises Press
Books by James Meetze
Accidental Hedonist, a food blog
The Traveler’s Lunchbox, a food blog by Melissa Kronenthal

To Watch:
“Kittens Inspired by Kittens” on Youtube (watched it; cracked up)
The Haunting (the 1963 version)

To Listen To:
“It Never Rains in Southern California” by Albert Hammond (listened to it; cracked up)
Something Cool by June Christy
Wanda Jackson (listened to it; cracked up/squirmed with discomfort)
Keith Jarrett
The Pernice Brothers

To Eat:
Persian Cucumbers (especially in drinks) (ate/drank them; loved them)
Bee Pollen (ate it; felt healthy)

To Floss With:
Crest Mint Glide

To Write With:
Stablio Point 88 Fineliner pens

To Consider as a Potential Future Pet:

To Someday Name a Cat:
Pianoface (but Lorraine gets first dibs)

In Carbondale, IL:

To Read:
The Only World, poems by Lynda Hull (read it; loved it)
Transparent Gestures, poems by Rodney Jones
The Unborn, poems by Rodney Jones
Things That Happen Once, poems by Rodney Jones
Carolina Ghost Woods, poems by Judy Jordan
My Psychic, poems by James Kimbrell
Isabella Moon, a novel by Laura Benedict:
Calling Mr. Lonelyhearts, a novel by Laura Benedict
Town Smokes, short stories by Pinckney Benedict:
Dogs of God, a novel by Pinckney Benedict
The Wrecking Yard, short stories by Pinckney Benedict
Reveries of the Solitary Walker by Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Anything by the poet Jack Gilbert
I Am Legend, a novella by Richard Matheson
Hell House, a novel by Richard Matheson
Grimalkin and Other Poems by Thomas Lynch
The Night the Ghost Got In, a short story by James Thurber
Men, Women, and Chain Saws: Gender in Modern Horror Film by Carol J. Clover
Leaving Iowa, by Michael Meyerhoffer

To Watch:
Feasting on Asphalt on the Food Network by Alton Brown
L’il Pimp (a Laffs from the Hood Production)
Count Yorga
Planet of the Vampires
Killer Shrews
The Giant Gila Monster
It’s Alive
Phantom of the Paradise

To Attend:
Duff’s Reading Series in St. Louis

In Indianapolis, IN:
To Read:
Modern Love, a fiction chapbook by Andrew Scott, from Sunny Outside Press
Freight Stories, a literary magazine for contemporary fiction

To Join:
Andrew’s Book Club, a book club for short story collections, run by Andrew Scott


Anonymous said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.



beth rooney said...

I posted my comment on the wrong post entry. Geez, I got lost in the list mania!

Kathleen Rooney said...

To answer your question in the other comment, this won't be the last post! We still have a reading in May in Chicago: the much anticipated 25th city in the 25-city tour. So it's not good-bye; it's 'til we meet again, which is way better.

Melissa said...

May I recommend, from Fayetteville, to read, our beloved Donald Harington, especially The Architecture of the Arkansas Ozarks ... visit http://www.tobypress.com/books/architecture.htm

Kathleen Rooney said...

Hey, Melissa--yes, you *may* recommend that. Thanks!