Recent Reads 2020

By Ecstatic Attic

By Ecstatic Attic

Seven Samurai Swept Away in a River

Jung Young Moon

$14.95 $13.75

This is a very strange little book. Almost seamless stream-of-consciousness. So many different explorations and tangents. The experience of reading it somewhat stretched the parameters for what I might typically think of as a novel and at the same time it was somehow soothing to read. When I first picked it up, I thought I would finish it in a day or two because it's such a slim volume. Instead, I ended up reading it in little sips over several weeks which was perfect. It was a good change of pace to read a novel not driven by any plot at all. Sort of like going tubing on a lazy river on a hot summer day. Nothing moves very quickly but eventually you do get somewhere and you've spent a nice day out on the water in the sun.

Neurotribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity

Steve Silberman

$20.00 $18.00

Well-written and engaging. A good portion of the history about the diagnosis and treatment of autism was horrific and infuriating and extremely saddening to contemplate. It gave me a lot of perspective on how and why our current health care system probably came to be overall, not just in relation to mental health. We are still untangling things that were set in motion almost a century ago! The author approaches all of this with warmth and compassion, especially when writing about the lives of specific autistic people, and ultimately the book gives me hope. I think this book is a great resource for anyone who is interested in learning more about autism in particular and neurodiversity in general.

No Walls and the Recurring Dream: A Memoir

Ani Difranco

$28.00 $25.20

this is great. everyone go read it. dudes espesh. but, everyone.

The Brave Cowboy: An Old Tale in a New Time

Edward Abbey

$15.99 $14.71

Devastating. As relevant today as when it was first published over 60 years ago. Abbey's writing is masterful. A modern American cowboy story, if you will.

A Wizard of Earthsea

Ursula K. Le Guin

$8.99 $8.27

I have not read nearly enough Le Guin! And I had never read any of the Earthsea books before. Loved this first book and can't wait to read the rest of the series!

Jaws

Peter Benchley

$17.00 $15.64

Believe it or not, I'd never read this before. It turned out to be very timely reading! The situation in JAWS is strikingly similar to what is going on with COVID-19. All I can say is that I sincerely hope we can make better decisions than most of the people in Amity.

Narcissism: Denial of the True Self

Alexander Lowen

$17.00 $15.64

Sing Backwards and Weep: A Memoir

Mark Lanegan

$28.00 $25.20

Severance

Ling Ma

$17.00 $15.64

One of the pull quotes on the back cover of the copy I read says "...might just be the first and only coming-of-age, immigrant experience, anti-capitalist zombie novel you'll ever need" (Maris Kreizman, The Cut) and that sums it up pretty well. This was published in 2018 but the author was terrifyingly prescient in her imaginings of how a global pandemic would manifest... down to the N95 masks and the way businesses, society, and infrastructure would crumble. This book was loaned to me quite a while ago but I never got around to reading it. Just happened to find it in a stack of books in the house and when I realized what it was about, I figured now (in the midst of COVID-19) would be as good a time as any to read it.

There There

Tommy Orange

$16.00 $14.72

Interior Chinatown

Charles Yu

$25.95 $23.36

A cleverly crafted fictional examination of what it means to be Asian American from one man's perspective on growing up & living in Los Angeles' Chinatown. Los Angeles' Chinatown also happens to be Hollywood's (and therefore much of the world's) stand-in for everything Asian so there's a lot to chew on here.

Bad Dirt: Wyoming Stories 2

Annie Proulx

$16.00 $14.72

All of these stories are terrific. A nice selection and none too long. The language is beautiful and direct. Her characters and places have names that stop your brain in a good way. The magical realism is unexpected and wonderful. Very enjoyable!