Underdog Literature, June 2013: 15 fresh or notable, off-the-wall titles

Underdog Literature WordPress June 2013.

Here are 15 books that caught my interest lately.

Fresh, off-beat, quirky or curious titles that might deserve more attention:


01: SUSAN NUSSBAUM, “Good Kings Bad Kings”, 336 pages, March 2013.

02: MATTHEW SPECKTOR, “American Dream Machine”, 464 pages, March 2013.

03: LAUREN BEUKES, “The Shining Girls”, 368 pages, April 2013. [Mainstream time-travel thriller]

04: MA JIAN, “The Dark Road”, 384 pages, April 2013. [China]

05: COLUM McCANN, “TransAtlantic”, 259 pages, May 2013. [still haven’t read anything of him.]

06: TAO LIN, “Taipei”, 256 pages, June 2013.

07: MIGUEL ÁNGEL ASTURIAS, “The President”, 288 pages, 1946. [recommended by Clemens Setz]

08: JESUS CARRASCO, “Intemperie” / “Die Flucht”, 224 pages, January 2013. [Dystopia, Spanish]

09: GEORGE PACKER, “The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America”, 448 pages, May 2013.

10: JANET MALCOLM, “Forty-One False Starts: Essays on Artists and Writers”, 320 pages, May 2013. [Essays]

11: NICK FLYNN, “The Reenactments”, 320 pages, January 2013. [Memoir]

12: DAVID BATCHELOR, “Chromophobia”, 128 pages, 2000. [Cultural Studies / Art Criticism]

13: RUTU MODAN, “The Property”, 232 pages, May 2013. [Graphic Novel]

14: MASON CURREY, “Daily Rituals: How Artists Work”, 304 pages, April 2013. [Trivia / Nonfiction]

15: MONIKA HELD, “Der Schrecken verliert sich vor Ort”, 272 pages, March 2013. [German: I liked Mara Giese’s review – here (Link, German)]


Here are five books that made me curious enough to buy them:

01: STEVE ERICKSON, “Zeroville”, 329 pages, 2007.

02: LIDIA YUKNAVITCH, “The Chronology of Water”, 268 pages, 2011. [Memoir]

03: KATE SOUTHWOOD, “Falling to Earth”, 264 pages, 2013.

04: JUDITH KUCKART, “Wünsche”, 301 pages, 2013. [German]

05: MARTIN KLUGER, “Abwesende Tiere”, 1040 pages, 2002. [German, recommended by Jo Lendle]


usually, I also promote three books that I read – and that were really good.

but I’ve spent the month finishing a long, nerdy (paid) Marvel Comics book translation for a German publisher…

…and spent all my reading-time with old Superman comics to prepare a slew of Tagesspiegel articles I will write this month – now that “Man of Steel” is finally in theatres.

I also watched “Iron Man 3” – and it was near-perfect superhero fun: 4 of 5 stars.


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  1. Die ersten beiden Memoiren-Bücher von Nick Flynn gehören zu meinen Lieblingsbüchern aus den letzten 10 Jahren. Unglaublich in der Erzähllogik, teilweise dermaßen poetisch, schon der Klang der Titel macht mir Gänsehaut: “Another bullshit night in Suck City” und “The Ticking is the Bomb”. “Reenactment” kann nur fantastisch sein. Was den Film betrifft, um den es sich dreht, bin ich allerdings skeptisch … Dem DeNiro im Trailer nehme ich den gestürzten Poeten nicht ab …

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