Steve Erickson

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:

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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)]

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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]

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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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Underdog Literature, December 2012: 15 fresh or brilliant, off-the-wall titles

Underdog Literature December 2012 WordPress.

Here are 12 books that caught my interest lately.

Fresh, off-beat, quirky or curious titles – all published in 2012 – that might deserve more attention:

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01: RICHARD KRAMER, „These Things happen“, 272 pages, 2012. [quirky domestic drama, written by a former „My so-called Life“ writer.]

02: PHILIP SINGTON, „The Valley of Unknowing“, 298 pages, 2012. [set in the GDR, a story in the style of „The Lives of Others“]

03: LEANNE SHAPTON, „Swimming Studies“, 336 pages, 2012. [Essays / Memoir, German title: „Bahnen ziehen“ (Link, Perlentaucher)]

04: KEVIN YOUNG, „The Grey Album“, 476 pages, 2012. [Essays / Experimental]

05: WILEY CASH, „A Land more kind than Home“, 320 pages, 2012. [literary Thriller]

06: GILLIAN FLYNN, „Gone Girl“, 419 pages, 2012 [Thriller / Bestseller].

07: JESS WALTER, „Beautiful Ruins“, 337 pages, 2012 [Bestseller].

08: FLORIAN ILLIES, „1913 – Der Sommer des Jahrhunderts“, 320 pages, 2012. [German (Link: Perlentaucher)]

09: PIA ZIEFLE, „Suna“, 304 pages, 2012. [German]

10: VERONIQUE BIZOT, „Un Avenir“ / „Eine Zukunft“, 130 pages, 2011. [French; German edition (Link, 2012)review at Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (Link)]

11: KERSTIN EKMAN, „Schwindlerinnen“ / „Grand final i skojarbranschen“, 448 pages, 2011. [Swedish, German edition 2012 (Perlentaucher)]

12: MICHEL ROSTAIN, „The Son“ / „Le Fils“ / „Als ich meine Eltern verließ“, 160 pages, 2011. [French Memoir, German Edition 2012 (Perlentaucher)]

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Here are nine 2012 books that I’ve featured / mentioned here before… and that might (still) be worth a look:

01: STEVE ERICKSON, “These Dreams of you”, 309 pages, 2012.

02: SHANNON MESSENGER, “Keeper of the Lost Cities”, 496 pages, 2012. [Young Adult / Fantasy]

03: CLAIRE LEGRAND, “The Cavandish Home for Boys and Girls”, 352 pages, 2012. [Young Adult, Horror]

04: FRANCIS SPUFFORD, “Red Plenty”, 448 pages, 2007. [Science Fiction; German version published in April 2012: „Rote Zukunft“, Rowohlt]

05: JENNY LAWSON, “Let’s pretend this never happened”, 318 pages, 2012. [Memoir / Comedy]

06: NICK HARKAWAY, „Angelmaker“, 482 pages, 2012. [post-modern, absurdist Sci-Fi Noir]

07: GAITO GASDANOW, „Das Phantom des Alexander Wolf“, 192 pages, 1947. [Russian emigré writer, new German translation]

08: GERMÁN KRATOCHWIL, „Scherbengericht“, 311 pages, 2012. [German, Link (Perlentaucher)]

09: NORA BOSSONG, „Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung“, 296 pages, 2012. [German, Link (Perlentaucher)]

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Here are 3 books not published in 2012 (…to round up „Underdog Literature’s“ usual „15 new recommendations, every month“ format):

01: TAIYE SELASI, „Ghana must go“, 336 pages, 2013.

02: SAMANTHA HUNT, „The Seas“, 193 pages, 2004.

03: J.L. CARR, „A Month in the Country“, 135 pages, 1980.

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

01: SIMON MAWER, „The Fall“, 442 pages, 2003.

02: NATALIA GINZBURG, „All our Yesterdays“, 300 pages, 1952.

03: KVETA LEGATOVA, „Zelary“ / „Der Mann aus Zelary“, 156 pages, 2001 [Czechian].

04: WILLY RUSSELL, „The Wrong Boy“, 506 pages, 2002.

05: MARKUS FELDENKIRCHEN, „Was zusamengehört“, 318 pages, 2010. [German]

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…and finally, here are three books that I read – and that were really good:

5 of 5 stars: ALEXIS M. SMITH, „Glaciers“, 174 pages, 2012.

5 of 5 stars: MARLEN HAUSHOFER, „The Wall“ / „Die Wand“, 284 pages, 1962. [Austrian]

4 of 5 stars: DANIELA KRIEN, „Irgendwann werden wir uns alles erzählen“, 240 pages, 2011. [German]

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