Comprised of filmmaker Werner Herzog's diary entries written during a three week pilgrimage from Munich to Paris (on foot!) in the winter of 1974 to visit a dying friend. At it's heart, this book is an exploration of grief and loneliness, a reconciliation of having a body, being a body, and a triumph of emotion and physicality. Poetry for when we're at our most human
Can your grandma's weird Facebook posts, that guy from high school who seems to post Instagram selfies from a different country every day, The Internet of Things, Twitter poets, and that one Youtube video you've seen a thousand times be considered Art? In Magic and Loss, critic Virginia Heffernan positions digital culture and the internet itself as a work of art—from the content it hosts down to its very design—a testament to humanity that rivals both the Great Pyramids and the Sistine Chapel. An engaging, forwarding-thinking book about the magic of this new experience and what may have been lost along the way.
At the beginning of Chuck Klosterman's But What If We're Wrong?, the author and columnist states that his newest book is not a collection of essays. But, I mean, he's totally wrong. It's definitely a collection of essays. Full of hilarious insights and Klosterman's signature wit, each piece attempts to examine twenty-first-century culture through the lens of future generations. What if gravity isn't gravity as we know it? What if in 300 years music historians don't care about the Beatles? We're going to be wrong about a lot of things. And maybe that's okay.
Black Wave, the newest metaliterary offering from Michelle Tea, is a moving portrait of identity, queer culture, sobriety, and finding a place (as well as peace) in the world, even as it ends—a near-perfect novel, a near-perfect memoir, a perfect combination of both. I loved it so much I cried and laughed and cried again. In public, even. You can throw as many words as you want at this book and they'll all stick: visceral, gripping, vulnerable, hallucinatory, apocalyptic, and—most importantly—hopeful. There are enough words, but there will never be enough praise. Black Wave demands to be read.
Surgeon General's warning: This book is so good, you'll be hooked! Just kidding. It's an addictive read! Forgive me. Nell Zink is back with another charmingly idiosyncratic novel (and, in my opinion, her best) following last year's Mislaid and The Wallcreepers before that. It's calledNicotine. It's a story about family as well as the strange people in our lives who become like family. It's quick-witted, unafraid of modernity, and it comes highly recommended. The fact that each of her books have been written in only three weeks time is barely a portion of what makes Zink such an interesting voice in contemporary literature.
Sarah is an artist with a particular problem: she can't draw. She's terrified that there's no such thing as an original idea, that it's all been done before. So she drops out of school and wanders the streets of Philadelphia, encountering both past and future versions of herself. In the wonderfully empathetic hands of A.S. King, Sarah's existential crisis and journey to overcome past trauma is both moving and encouraging. I wish I could have had a book like this as a teenager; I'm glad I have it now. Still Life with Tornado is perfect for anyone who's ever felt like they're floating but not dreaming.