finished a couple of books over the weekend —

August 15, 2011 § Leave a comment

Other People’s Love Letters, edited by Bill Shapiro: Much less than I expected. What was I expecting? Tales of anguish and redemption springing off each page; a book of pop-up love stories, the kind that can unfold a castle before your eyes. The problem I suspect with collating love letters in a venture of this sort is that you get a self-selecting population that reads and responds to open calls for materials published in books of this kind. That was an overly elaborate way of saying that if you were an alien reading this book you’d be convinced that white middle-class urbanites have this love thing staked out all for themselves, and that the rest of the earth either doesn’t feel or doesn’t write. Still, took down some useful lines (“You’re beautiful. By the way. Where do you stand on chains?”). Some jubilant. Some embittered. Some I will be reusing in smutty fanfic. Ha ha ha.

Soccer in Sun and Shadow, by Eduardo Galeano: Loved this. No, really. Feverish admiration for how this guy gets it, and when I say it, I mean, my soul. Galeano is great on the obsessiveness of fandom, and nigh unbeatable on the variety of plot twists that can occur in the time between a ref’s bookending whistles and cause traffic accidents and/or spontaneous designations of national holidays in countries on the other side of the world. And his clever, twisting language! So muscular, yet spare.

Longer thoughts on the latter book here.

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