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2012 Literary Excursion


Fiction took more of a backseat to poetry, this year, but I did fall into some standout reads. Completely adored new efforts from Shane Jones and Ben Marcus, solidifying them, for me, as writers who don't experiment just for the sake of it. Daniel Fights A Hurricane, while not as good as Light Boxes, had all the riveting despair and hope that Light Boxes offered in a yummy, compact volume. The Flame Alphabet was different from Ben Marcus's earlier work, but it got more empathy out of me than any novel has in a long time. I hope the mainstream success of these two signify a shift in publishing towards more original work that plays with the idea of what a novel "should" be.

In the Young Adult arena, The Hunger Games trilogy was a disappointment, though not written as badly as other teen reading out there now, while Lois Lowry's The Giver trilogy is a classic that needs no explanation for its resilience. And, after reading Giovanni's Room, I suspect I've found a new favorite writer in James Baldwin. The first ten pages sucked me in, and as much as I love books, that doesn't happen to me too often.

Didn't read too much non-fiction, but I spent a lot of time with the Mozart biography, which was insightful for someone who knew little about Mozart, but a little too accessibly written. Aside from that, none of it held my attention enough to be memorable. That's probably something I should try to rectify in the new year.

POETRY, yo. I discovered some great poets I hadn't read before, like Valzhyna Mort and Nate Slawson, and, thanks to a Modern Poetry class through Coursera, I finally opened up to classics like Bishop and Ashbery (whose collected works I plan to go through next year). Since accepting my new role as a poet (as opposed to a novelist), I'm excited to faceplant into whatever poetry I can get my hands on, and I think I've become more open-minded towards things I may not have read before. The doors are open, and the poetry is endless.

Fiction
The Angel Esmerelda – Don DeLillo
I Am A Very Productive Entrepreneur – Mathias Svalina
The Flame Alphabet – Ben Marcus
The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins
Catching Fire – Suzanne Collins
Mockingjay – Suzanne Collins
Cataclysm Baby – Matt Bell
Suddenly, A Knock on the Door – Etgar Keret
Little Dorrit – Charles Dickens
Naked Pictures of Famous People – Jon Stewart
Citrus County – John Brandon
The Weather Stations – Ryan Call
Short Dark Oracles – Sarah Levine
Cure All – Kim Parko
Daniel Fights A Hurrican – Shane Jones
The Giver – Lois Lowry
Gathering Blue – Lois Lowry
The Messenger – Lois Lowry
NW - Zadie Smith
A Wrinkle in Time – Madeline L’Engle
The Fifty Year Sword – Mark Danielewski
Giovanni’s Room – James Baldwin
Trout Fishing In America – Richard Brautigan
In Watermelon Sugar - Richard Brautigan

Non-Fiction
The Creative Habit – Twyla Tharpe
Mozart: A Life – Maynard Solomon
Take Care Fake Bear Torque Cake – Heidi Lynn Staples
This Is Not A Pipe – Michel Foucault
Shitty Mom – Laurie Kilmartin
Just My Type – Simon Garfield
Every Love Story Is A Ghost Story – D.T. Max
This Is How You Love Her – Junot Diaz
What Light Can Do – Robert Haas
Parenting Beyond Belief – Dale McGowan

Poetry
On Subjects of Which We Know Nothing – Karen Carcia
Yo-Yo Logic – Lauren Shapiro
Panic Attack, U.S.A. – by Nate Slawson
Heavy Petting – Gregory Sherl
The Trees The Trees – Heather Christle
Beauty Was the Case That They Gave Me – Mark Leidner
The Oregon Trail Is The Oregon Trail – Gregory Sherl
I Don’t Mind if You’re Feeling Alone – Thomas Patrick Levy
Collected Body – Valzhyna Mort
The First Four Books of Poems – Louise Gluck
Love, An Index – Rebecca Lindenberg
The Last 4 Things – Kate Greenstreet
Betting on the Muse – Charles Bukowski
Mistake – Meredith Stricker
Ghost Machine – Ben Mirov
Listening For Earthquakes – Jasmine Dreame Wagner
Wolf Face – Matt Hart
The Grief Performance – Emily Kendal Frey
Carnavoria – Laurie Saurborn Young
Victory – Ben Kopel
The Mining Camps of the Mouth – George Kalamaras
The Best American Poetry 2012 – Mark Doty
Self-Portrait In A Convex Mirror – John Ashbery
Collected Poems and Prose – Elizabeth Bishop (just poems)
All Black Everything – Weston Cutter
Source to Mouth – Brandon Krieg
Plainsight – Justin Runge
Horse Latitudes – Paul Muldoon
The Pill Versus the Springhill Mine Disaster - Richard Brautigan

Plays
Proof – David Auburn
Shoppers – Denis Johnson
Five Modern No Plays – Yukio Mishima

Graphic Novels
Not Simple – Natsume Ono
The Walking Dead Compendium One – Robert Kirkman

Chapbooks
Halfsteps and Cloudfang – Daniela Olszewska
Small Hollering – Jamie Kazay
I Cannot Pretend To Be A Ghost Today – Sasha Fletcher
The Bible – Gregory Sherl
The Wilhelm Scream – Jeremy Behreandt
How the Days of Love and Diptheria – Robert Kloss
Treesisters – Joseph Rippi
Meat is All – Robert Borgstrom
The Tiny Jukebox – Nate Slawson
Feral – Patty Paine
a city / bottle boned – Megan Burns
Focus on Grammar – Gillian Devereux
Some Citrus Makes Me Blue – Megan Fernandes
Going Attractions – Brian Foley
Once Was A Weather – Trey Moody
The Point Or What I Cannot Recall – Tyler Flynn Dorholt
Bye Land – Tony Mancus
Least – Jon Cone
Legal Pure – Eric Amling

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