Tuesday, December 9, 2014

12/9: Essays to Gift to Those You Love or Like Enough to Get a Gift of Essay cont.

With so many excellent recommendations coming in we've decided to give over a day or two this December to the Essay Lovers' Gift List. Today's offerings follow below, sometimes with annotations, sometimes without. & Happy holidays as we continue our advent countdown. We will be reading.


                                                                      Matthew Gavin Frank:

Thrown- Kerry Howley
Lake Superior- Lorine Niedecker
Pirates You Don't Know- John Griswold
Ultrasonic- Steven Church
The Art of Cruelty: A Reckoning- Maggie Nelson
Inscriptions for Headstones- Matthew Vollmer
Swallow- Mary Cappello
Quench Your Thirst with Salt- Nicole Walker
Species of Spaces and Other Pieces- Georges Perec
End of the Sentimental Journey- Sarah Vap

& some essays:
It Hates Its Double Bond - Natalie Vestin: http://bhreview.org/it-hates-its-double-bond/
I Am the Pulverizer- Brandon Davis Jennings: http://passagesnorth.com/current-issue/i-am-the-pulverizer/
Still, Rivers- Monica Berlin: http://passagesnorth.com/current-issue/still-rivers/
Ledge- Jill Talbot: Ledge by Jill Talbot | The Normal School: A Literary Magazine 


                                                                           Dustin Parsons:

Claudia Rankine's Citizen: Yeah, yeah, I know it was up for the NBA for poetry, but the essay-lover in you all will appreciate the lyric prose-like being it is.

Joe Sacco's Journalism: Published as a collection last year, but nobody in last year's list mentioned it so I wanted to plug it. Eye-opening graphic reportage in the short form.

Iain McCalman's The Reef: One of the most expansive books I've seen, including interesting history and cultural considerations in the formation of the public "persona" of The Great Barrier Reef.

Matthew Gavin Frank's Preparing the Ghost: Best book I've read this year in any genre. Funky, weird, honest, and true. You'll never look at your curtain rod the same way.

Leslie Jamison's The Empathy Exams: The title essay defines empathy, the rest of the essays are determined to complicate it. 


Chelsey Clammer:

Here you go (in order of how much I loved them):

1. Limber by Angela Pelster

2. Empathy Exams by Leslie Jamison

3. You: An Anthology of Essays Devoted to the Second Person edited by Kim Dana Kupperman

4. The Object Parade by Dinah Lenney

5. Half in Shade by Judith Kitchen—This book was released in 2012, but Judith died a few weeks ago, so it might be nice to add it in

6. Detailing Trauma by Arianne Zwartjez—came out in 2012, but it's a damn fine masterpiece

And if you think Eula's new book is a collection of essays rather than chapters, then that one, too.


Sonja Livingston:

John Griswold's Pirates You Don't Know, and Other Adventures in the Examined Life &I'll add to the list for Judith Kitchen's book-length meditation, The Circus Train.


Phillip Lopate:

Here are some recommendations of essay books:

1) The Essays of Leonard Michaels
2) Book of Days, by Emily Fox Gordon
3) The Unspeakable, by Meghan Daum
4) Loitering, by Charles D'Ambrosio
5) The Empathy Exams, by Lesile Jamison
6) Living, Thinking, Looking by Siri Hustvedt
7) (what the hell) Portrait Inside My Head, by Phillip Lopate

Arianne Zwartjes:

Hi, Essay-Daily-ers! My two cents on worthy essays & nonfic I've been devouring and pondering in 2014:

Re-reading Annie Dillard's For The Time Being, which if you haven't read it is a must-read of the lyric nonfiction world.

And just finished slowly, leisurely making my way through Fanny Howe's The Winter Sun: Notes on a Vocation. Neither of these new; both of them very, very  necessary.

Have been reading (and disturbed by) the graphic-novel version of an essay from 2014, "Terms of Service: Understanding Our Role in the World of Big Data," which can be found as a pdf on Aljazeera.com.

Other essays/nonfic I have loved this year (though not all published in this year): Boyer Rickel's "Morgan: A Lyric," from Guernica. Sarah Manguso's The Two Kinds of Decay. Marina Abramovich's 100 Pisama / 100 Letters: 1965-197, which I wrote about here for this very website earlier in the year. Lynn Kilpatrick's "Your Body is an Essay," which also appeared here, and which is wonderfully smart and sharp. And--last one---"A Hoopoe's Unguiding Narrative," also from Guernica, R. Namy's exploration of growing up in Iran with Jewish roots---is a supremely interesting read.


                                                                    Tommy Mira y Lopez:

-Dodie Bellamy's The TV Sutras

Read this recently for a class and it's stuck with me. Like the unnamed cult it investigates, it operates on different planes--a kind of is-this-nuts? sincerity mixed with a knowing incisiveness about the hegemony and patriarchy within a specific system of power.

-Alison Deming's Zoologies

When I was young, I built a miniature Noah's Ark for a school project. I stuffed it with every toy animal I could find; plastic giraffes and tigers and zebras and all other kinds of creatures stuck their necks out from every porthole the two stories had to offer. I'm glad to have finally found that ark in book form.

-Eric LeMay's In Praise of Nothing: Essays, Memoir, and Other Experiments

Get the virtual edition, for sure, and download it to phone or tablet. Then when everyone else is checking Instagram or texting or Yelping or doing their own respective thing, pay them no mind. Open up an essay (preferably the title one) and read. You'll be doing yourself a service.

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