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in which the author discusses five books he’d read, if time permitted.
1. A Moment in the Sun, by John Sayles.
I can’t figure out if this is a novel or non-fiction, but it’s a 1,000-page book about the late-20th century gold rush written by the dude who cast a teenage Will Oldham in Matewan, so get your reading glasses and man-up and let’s plow through this epic—-together.
2. Dream Life: An Experimental Memoir, by J. Allan Hobson.
I think this is a book by a psychiatrist who goes on some extreme kind of journey of self-discovery by analyzing his own dreams—-not in a Freudian sense, but in some kind of Jack Kerouacish/Beat way i.e.: “By the time I was (biologically) 30 weeks old, I was able periodically to activate my still-tiny brain. I did so reliably and enduringly. I was floating in the amniotic fluid of my mothers’ uterus…” et cetera, et cetera. I guess this is a cool narrative device to discuss infant development, but coming from a Harvard psychiatry prof, emeritus, it’s pretty weird.
3. A Little-Known Story about a Movement, a Magazine, and the Computer’s Arrival in Art: New Tendencies and Bit International, 1961–1973, by Margit Rosen.
ISO: a gigantic art book featuring high-quality reproductions of dot-matrixes and essays including words like “superposition” and “kinetic.” Must smell really good.
4. Horoscopes for the Dead: Poems, by Billy Collins.
Poetry—-like spinach, not something that we necessarily like, but something that we feel must be good for us.
5. D.V., by Diana Vreeland.
You know you’ve strayed too far from playing punk rock when you come across a new edition of a former Vogue editor’s 1984 memoir edited by George Plimpton in the mailroom and you’re like, “Yes!”