Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Epic Saga of Reading Infinite Jest

On April 29, 2010, I began an epic journey. I put aside my fears of books over the 400 page mark (aside from Harry Potter) and decided to read David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest. Why? It's hard to explain, but I was getting tired of reading short stories and novellas, and I wanted to read something that would feel like an accomplishment when I finish. Not to mention the fact that so many of my online friends have been talking about, and quoting, Infinite Jest and David Foster Wallace non-stop lately. It felt like the right time to pick up the brick of a tome, coming in at 1079 pages I think it's safe to consider it a brick. I have no idea how long it will take me, especially considering it's not the only book I'm reading due to queereads, but I'm determined to finish it. This will not be another one of the many that end up in the pile of half-read books. It's also the only book I've felt the need to write in, no underlining or marginalia (I love when I can use the word 'marginalia'), but I wrote the date I bought and started reading it in pencil on the first page so I can remember how long it took me to read. Now that I've started reading Infinite Jest and love it so much already, I want to read all of his other books too. I've had a copy of Brief Interviews with Hideous Men at home for a while and never got around to reading it, now I'm glad I have it to read when I eventually finish Infinite Jest. It's highly likely that I'll pick up a few more of his books, some essays perhaps, before I'm ready to read them just so I'll have them at hand when I have the time. I also got a copy of Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip with David Foster Wallace by David Lipsky and I read the first 20 pages of that on lunch yesterday. I couldn't help myself, I think David Foster Wallace is an addiction and I don't want an intervention.

Warning! Spoilers after the jump.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Elizabeth Recommends

Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies
by Jared Diamond
W.W. Norton

Have you always been interested in anthropology? Do you want to find a good book to guide you through the discussion as it exists today? This is your book!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Willy Vlautin LIVE May 5th at Sam Weller's

Last night we hosted Richmond Fontaine front man Willy Vlautin and guitarist Dan Eccles. Willy read excerpts from his latest novel Lean On Pete, while Eccles strummed the guitar, lending a nice atmosphere to the event. In-between reading, they played music, live in the book store. If Willy’s good natured vibe is contagious, which I believe it is, I’d feel safe saying everyone got something from last nights event. Willy signed copies of his books (which we still have a few of!) and spent time talking with his fans and then played nearly 2 hours at the State Room following the reading. A modest 2 piece, Willy and Dan, played hard, giving a great performance, and again chatting after the show with fans, in the lobby of the State Room. Two down to earth dudes, Willy and Dan, couldn’t have given us a better show.