Mas Libros

3 Jul

Readers of this, uh, journal will be familiar with my occasional updates recounting the riches (by that I mean books) bestowed upon me by the book publishers of the world. These annotated lists of published books are neither comprehensive nor ordered by any criteria other than my own idiosyncratic tastes and interests.As the summer creeps along, who couldn’t use a list of books? Especially one that doesn’t depend on best seller lists or award long-lists.

Breasts: A Natural and Unnatural History by Florence Williams (W. W. Norton & Company)

My Extraordinary Ordinary Life by Sissy Spacek & Maryanne Vollers (Hyperion)

The Long Road To Antietam: How the Civil War Became a Revolution by Richard Slotkin (Liveright)

When the Night by Cristina Comencini (Other Press)

Expelled: A Journalist’s Descent into the Russian Mafia State by Luke Harding (Palgrave Macmillan)

Kurt Vonnegut: Novels & Stories 1950-1962:


Kurt Vonnegut: Novels & Stories 1950-1962: Player Piano / The Sirens of Titan / Mother Night / Stories by Kurt Vonnegut, Sidney Offit (Editor) (Library of America)

When in doubt about what to read, Vonnegut’s works are a sure thing. The Library of America editions are usefully packaged.

Gun Dealers’ Daughter by Gina Apostol (W. W. Norton & Company)

The 100 Greatest Americans of the 20th Century: A Social Justice Hall of Fame by Peter Dreier (Nation Books)

Silly idea, useful information

Prehistoric Times by Eric Chevillard (Archipelago Books)

New Collected Poems by Wendell Berry(Counterpoint)

The Demands by Mark Billingham(Mulholland Books)

New TV series features Billingham’s homicide detective Tom Thorne.

Skios: A Novel by Michael Frayn (Metropolitan Books)

How to Build an Android: The True Story of Philip K. Dick’s Robotic Resurrection by David F. Dufty (Henry Holt and Co)

Little America: The War Within the War for Afghanistan by Rajiv Chandrasekaran (Knopf)

The Age of Miracles: A Novel by Karen Thompson Walker (Random House)

Lots of book biz buzz. Feels like ALice Sebold’s The Lovely Bones

Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72


Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72 by Hunter S. Thompson (Simon & Schuster)

Paperback reissue of Thompson’s classic— a bastard child of Theodore White’s Making of the President series.

Search Sweet Country by Kojo Laing, Binyavanga Wainaina (Introduction) (McSweeney’s)

Living, Thinking, Looking: Essays by Siri Hustvedt (Picador)
Smart lady and a fine writer. Read her riveting novel What I Loved .And have a look at my chat with her

I Must Resist: Bayard Rustin’s Life in Letters (City Lights Publishers)

Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion by Elizabeth L. Cline (Portfolio)

Beautiful Ruins: A Novel by Jess Walter (Harper)

Rick Russo says this novel is a masterpiece. I agree. My chat with Jess will show up sooner or later. Stay tuned

The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty (Riverhead)

Dropped Names: Famous Men and Women As I Knew Them by Frank Langella (Harper)

My Cross to Bear by Gregg Allman (William Morrow)

A Hologram for the King by Dave Eggers (McSweeney’s)

An American Son: A Memoir by Senator Marco Rubio (Sentinel)

Too Much Magic: Wishful Thinking, Technology, and the Fate of the Nation by James Howard Kunstler

Too Much Magic: Wishful Thinking, Technology, and the Fate of the Nation by James Howard Kunstler (Atlantic Monthly Press)

James’s The Long Emergency focused on the peak oil problem and this new opus draws out all the scary consequences of American denial of oil depletion. James’s website ClusterFuck Nation is worth looking at

The Absolutist by John Boyne (Other Press)

A People’s Guide to Los Angeles by Laura Pulido , Laura Barraclough, Wendy Cheng (University of California Press)

What a great idea. More people should do this kind of guide

This Bright River: A Novel by Patrick Somerville (Reagan Arthur Book)

Birdseye: The Adventures of a Curious Man by Mark Kurlansky (Doubleday)

Waiting for Sunrise: A Novel by William Boyd (Harper)

2312by Kim Stanley Robinson (Orbit)

A Wedding in Haiti by Julia Alvarez (Algonquin Books)

Capital: A Novel by John Lanchester (W. W. Norton & Company)

Thirty-Eight Witnesses: The Kitty Genovese case by A M Rosenthal


Thirty-Eight Witnesses: The Kitty Genovese Case (Melville House)

The Ball: Discovering the Object of the Game (P.S.) by John Fox (Harper Perennial)

As Texas Goes…: How the Lone Star State Hijacked the American Agenda by Gail Collins

As Texas Goes…: How the Lone Star State Hijacked the American Agenda by Gail Collins (Liveright)

Gail Collins is the one good reason to read the New York Times op ed pages (unless you need an emetic in which case The Tom or Dave Brooks will do the trick). Any way the silly state of Texas deserves her Swiftian once over

Guy Noir and the Straight Skinny by Garrison Keillor (Penguin Books)

The Kissing Sailor: The Mystery Behind the Photo That Ended World War II by Lawrence Verria, George Galdorisi, Foreword by David Hartman (Naval Institute Press)

Canada by Richard Ford (Ecco)

Richard Ford’s writing is still unerringly on target. This story is Ford at his best.

America, You Sexy Bitch: A Love Letter to Freedom by Meghan McCain, Michael Ian Black (Da Capo)

Is this for real?

Twilight of the Elites: America After Meritocracy by Christopher Hayes (Crown)

Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake by Anna Quindlen (Random House)

Bruce Springsteen and the Promise of Rock ‘n’ Roll by Marc Dolan (W. W. Norton & Company)

The Great Divergence: America’s Growing Inequality Crisis and What We Can Do about It by Timothy Noah (Bloomsbury Press)

Killer on the Road: Violence and the American Interstate by Ginger Strand

Killer on the Road: Violence and the American Interstate by Ginger Strand (University of Texas Press)

A modern day In Cold Blood?

What Happened to Sophie Wilder by Christopher Beha (Tin House Books)

Mr Beha is a smart guy and literary polymath (is there such a thing?) Billy Giraldi chats with Beha at the new LA Review of Books
And Billy chats with me here

City of the Big Shoulders: An Anthology of Chicago Poetry by Ryan G. Van Cleave (Editor)( University Of Iowa Press)

Eric Hoffer: The Longshoreman Philosopher by Thomas Bethell (Hoover Institution Press)

Who Is That Man?: In Search of the Real Bob Dylan by David Dalton (Hyperion)

Call of the Mild: Learning to Hunt My Own Dinner by Lily Raff McCaulou (Grand Central Publishing)

Jazz/Not Jazz: The Music and Its Boundaries by David Ake (Editor), Charles Hiroshi Garrett (Editor), Daniel Goldmark (Editor) (University of California Press)

Existence by David Brin (Tor Books)

The Lost Ones by Ace Atkins (Putnam)

Busy guy, Ace is. He also wrote the new Robert Parker/Spencer novel— which is a truly bad idea.

The Lola Quartet by Emily St. John Mandel (Unbridled Books)

I’vE read 2 of Ms St John Mandel’s novels and I would say she is a writer to watch (meaning to read)

Western Avenue and Other Fictionsby Fred Arroyo (University of Arizona Press)

At Home on the Rangeby Margaret Yardley Potter (Author), Elizabeth Gilbert (Introduction)
(McSweeney’s)

This Bright Riverby Patrick Somerville (Reagan Arthur Books)

Hollywood Movie Stills by Howard Finler


Hollywood Movie Stills by Joel W. Finler (Titan Books)

The Historic Unfulfilled Promise by Howard Zinn, Mathew Rothschild (Foreword) (City Lights Publishers)

Lot’s of Howard’s work is being published and republished which is great.But make sure you read his magnum opus, The People’s History. For sure

A Book Forged in Hell: Spinoza’s Scandalous Treatise and the Birth of the Secular Age bySteven Nadler (Princeton University Press)

Crushed Mexican Spiders: And Possibly Forty Ships by Tibor Fischer (Unbound)

Tibor has an interesting publishing history which you can learn about here

Butterfly in the Typewriter: The Tragic Life of John Kennedy Toole and the Remarkable Story of A Confederacy of Dunces by Cory MacLauchlin (Da Capo Press)

Interventions by Richard and Kate Russo

Interventions by Richard Russo, Kate Russo (Illustrator) (Down East Books)

In a gesture aimed at the the electronic book juggernaut Rick Russo gives us a handsome slip cased set of stories with art provide by his daughter and published by small Maine publisher Down East Books.

Time Between Trains: Stories by Anthony Bukoski (Holy Cow! Press)

America the Philosophical by Carlin Romano (Knopf)

This is a silly book by a smart guy.Go figure. William Giraldi slogs through it so we don’t have to. Its (the critique) worth reading on its own.

When Captain Flint Was Still a Good Manby Nick Dybek (Riverhead)

Best of Enemies: A History of US and Middle East Relations, Part One: 1783-1953by
Jean-Pierre Filiu & David B. (SelfMadeHero)

Presidential Campaign Posters: Two Hundred Years of Election Art by The Library Of Congress (Quirk Books)

At the Edge of the Abyss: A Concentration Camp Diary, 1943-1944 by David Koker, Robert Jan van Pelt (Editor), Michiel Horn (Translator), John Irons (Translator) (Northwestern University Press)

False Negative by Joseph Koenig

False Negative byJoseph Koenig (Hard Case Crime)

Currently reading The Folded Earth by Anuradha Roy (Free Press)

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3 Responses to “Mas Libros”

  1. David Dufty July 4, 2012 at 9:12 am #

    Hey, thanks for including my book, “How to Build an Android” in your list. It looks like you’ve got quite a lot of reading ahead of you, but if by chance you make it to mine by the end of summer, I’d really like to know what you thought of it.

  2. pablo medina July 4, 2012 at 4:15 pm #

    What a great and crazy list! I’m glad you include Fred Arroyo’s Western Avenue. He is a writer to watch.

    • Holly Schaffer July 5, 2012 at 11:17 pm #

      I, too, am glad you chose to include Fred Arroyo. Thanks for the shout out!

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