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Day 28: January Reads
new books by Dana Stevens, Jami Attenberg, and Kathryn Schulz
The monthly books column is back! Ideally I’d like these to go out on the first of the month, but I’m still putting my life back together after the crazy autumn, and later is better than never. This month I wanted to draw your attention to three books—one I’ve read, and two from the TBR pile.
The first is Camera Man: Buster Keaton, The Dawn of Cinema, and the Invention of the Twentieth Century, by Dana Stevens, out January 25th from Simon & Schuster. I just loved this book so much. The first time I sat down to read just a few pages of it, hours had passed before I looked up again. Here’s a fantastic interview with the author on Fresh Air, which I highly recommend you listen to. Stevens, film critic for Slate, has a brilliant way of weaving together the life of Keaton with the century that was unfolding around him. Her passion for the topic is palpable; I found this incredibly interesting and surprisingly moving.
The next is I Came All This Way To Meet You: Writing Myself Home by Jami Attenberg, available as of January 11th from Ecco. It has a killer opening that I strongly identified with:
“For a long time, I worked day jobs that were different from the one I have now. For twenty years, I hustled. I ran the cash register at a pharmacy. I counted pills. I sold lottery tickets. I squatted on the ground and counted boxes of enemas during monthly inventory. I shelved books in a college library. I waitressed. I wiped countertops. I took out the trash when my shift was over, and married the ketchup bottles, too, cleaned off the dried, red crust from the tops, which led to a loathing of ketchup, the scent of it, the taste, the texture, for the rest of my life…”
Third is Lost & Found by Kathryn Schulz, which is also out as of January 11th, from Random House. I haven’t actually started this one yet, but I will read anything Schulz writes, and once even jokingly proposed marriage to her in an essay (we’ve never met, I promise I’m not a stalker) based solely on this New Yorker piece by her. The subject matter of her new book is intense, but I know that Schulz will do it justice.
Hope you’re all having a good start to your week.