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In which the author briefly discusses five new books he’d read, if time permitted

1. The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis, by Lydia Davis.
Don’t bother studying the jpeg—this book has a really, really intense neon-orange cover which cannot be reproduced on your computer screen. In fact, I wouldn’t have glanced at this book twice if not for its excruciatingly-tinted dust jacket. However, once I did take a second look, I found that MacArthur Fellow Lydia Davis writes brutal, minimalist prose that is the aesthetic equivalent of that dust jacket’s punishing, unrelenting slice of the ROYGBIV frequency spectrum.

2. Going Rogue: An American Life, by Sarah Palin.
Why not?

3. Peter & Max: A Fables Novel, by Bill Willingham.
Goth fairy tales + illustrations – pretensions to “graphic novelhood” = sign me up.

4. Questioning the Veil: Open Letters to Muslim Women, by Marnia Lazreg. You know how new atheism is sorta cool, but that, after reading some self-important Christopher Hitchens or Richard Dawkinstomes, you kinda wanna believe in God again just to be a contrarian fuck? In a similar way, I expect this book that would convince Muslim women not to wear veils would convince me that they should wear veils. But, then again, I’m not a Muslim woman, nor have I read this book.

5. A Boardwalk Story, by J. Louis Yampolsky.
There’s not much popular or critically-acclaimed art made in, around, or about Atlantic City. Well, there’s the Bruce Springsteen song “Atlantic City,”and the Burt Lancanster movie Atlantic City, and the Jack Nicholson movie “The King of Marvin Gardens.” But, face it: though good bands occasionally play the Borgata, Max’s Kansas City has probably impacted our culture more than Atlantic City. However, I like things that don’t impact culture. That’s why I want to read a debut novel about Atlantic City by a retired accountant.