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in which the author discusses five books he’d read, if time permitted.
1. It Is Almost That: A Collection of Image & Text Work by Women Artists & Writers, edited by Lisa Pearson. Images drawn distinctively delight the eye, as does text worded cleverly or in an otherwise memorable fashion. The fact that said distinct, clever images and text are borne aloft to the eye from the pens of womyn could be considered a further boon, but in this gender-neutral world, is beside the point.
2. Dogfish Memory: Sailing in Search of Old Maine, by Joseph A. Dane. I visited Maine once as a small child. Somewhere south of Portland, there’s a beach called “Old Orchard Beach” and I don’t remember why my family decided it would be a smart idea to drive hundreds of miles to this one particular New England beach from Philadelphia which is within 60 miles of many fine beaches, but we did. We tried to swim, but it was too cold, and we tried to walk around, but it was too rocky, so I’m not sure what exactly what went down, though maybe there was some ice cream involved. I relate this story not to warn anyone away from Maine beaches which, though freezing and unpleasant to walk on barefooted, have their stolid, existential Yankee charms, but only to recommend that any visitors to any Maine beaches should bring chairs to sit on and books to read since, once they arrive on the beach, traditional (or, at least, what I think of as “traditional”) beach activities (i.e. swimming, sunbathing, surfing, bonfires with Frankie and Annette) aren’t really on the menu.
3. Age of Greed: The Triumph of Finance and the Decline of America, 1970 to the Present, by Jeff Madrick. Does anyone else think that worst thing about the 2008 financial crisis was that Chevy Chase Bank became Capital One? C-One: f*ck your long-line havin’, bad lollipop pushin’, freezing lobby hostin’, bad font logo sportin’ broke azz. And no, I don’t want a new mortgage. I’m here to withdraw $10 for lunch.
4. Orientation and Other Stories, by Daniel Orozco. The main character of one of these stories is “The President-in-Exile.” I like that. It’s a gutsy move—-like if I wrote a novel and made Kurtis Blow the main character just because I f$cking felt like it that day. I tell ya, It takes brass balls to sell fiction in this town.
5. I‘ve Never Met an Idiot on the River: Reflections on Family, Fishing, and Photography, by Henry Winkler. If the former Fonz is now a fisherman, does that mean that fishing is fly?