Like a lot of my favorite books, I bought Spurious by Lars Iyer partially due to the cover design – two plastic bags hovering provocatively on the edge of a parking lot (Melville House can really do a good book cover). But, like with all of my favorite books, what was inside the book changed my life. This book (and the rest of the Spurious Trilogy – Exodus and Dogma) oozed a sticky, refreshing style that completely shook me. I quickly became obsessed – with the culmination of the staccato chapters, with the overbearing third-person presence of the shit-talking W., with the unending push behind every idea that propels every image to its bleak, (il)logical extensions. I also loved this book for the unique central characters and their obsessions – two academics in philosophy who acknowledge that “the corpse of the university floats face down in the water”, who are also then “poking it with sticks,” and, of course, who talk unendingly about Kafka and Joy Division.
Snow’s on the ground, the winds are chilly, and the holiday season looms. December can be an unexpected month for new books. But there are a host of gems due out in the coming weeks, including a number of great works in translation, some boldly inscribed poetry, and new and unpredictable novels from some of our favorite writers. Here are some December books that caught our eye.
In our afternoon reading: musicians react to Ferguson, Chuck Wendig on social media and empathy, an interview with Anthony Hegarty, Emily St. John Mandel on the new Lars Iyer novel, and more.
Checking in with Flying Lotus, Lars Iyer, and Justin K. Broadrick; thoughts on new books from Kerry Howley, Claudia Rankine, and Jim Ruland; an excerpt from Sean H. Doyle’s forthcoming book, and more.
New writing from Zadie Smith, Eimear McBride on Agota Kristof, Jordan Ginsberg on Dan Harmon, thoughts on EMA’s zine, a playlist from Lars Iyer, and more.
Joshua Cohen on Eimear McBride’s novel, Leslie Jamison on Marilynne Robinson, a Joyland fundraiser, thoughts on Lars Iyer’s latest, and more.
“When the nostalgia train hits a time when you were actually an adult, you palpably experience the constructedness of history.” At Artforum, Rhonda Lieberman looks at the New Museum’s “NYC 1993: Experimental Jet Set, Trash and No Star.” Nick Antosca makes the case for Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning: “a movie Werner Herzog, David Lynch, and Shivers-era David Cronenberg might make if they teamed up to shoot a Bourne knockoff in Louisiana on a shoestring budget.” THE2NDHAND‘s Todd Dills on his novel […]
Four words: Numero Group reissues Unwound. No big deal; just Patti Smith reading from Virginia Woolf’s The Waves. HTML Giant interviewed Lars Iyer, whose Exodus is out now from Melville House. So, about that contentious New York Public Library renovation? Michael Kimmelman has some questions about that. The New Yorker on polite graffiti. Chris Mautner on unjustly forgotten comics anthologies. A look back on Neil Gaiman’s The Books of Magic. Follow Vol. 1 Brooklyn on Twitter, Facebook, Google + our Tumblr, and sign up for our mailing list.