it's been a while since i've done one of these so i figure it's time.
i finished reading otessa moshfegh's short story collection Homesick for Another World and, well, heck. it's always interesting to see how a writer creates patterns in their short story collections. there aren't any characters or places that reappear through this, but it's so thematically consistent and well summarized by the title: characters who have no place in the world, but aren't necessarily searching for one, who don't act rationally or empathetically, at points in their lives that don't mark the beginning or end of anything but feel significant somehow. the sequencing also feels very deliberate: there was one story, about halfway through, that made everything else click together in my head, like a rosetta stone. as someone who is constantly questioning where i fit in the world and searching for meaning it was refreshing to read about people who don't, even if they're awful antisocial people. idk if i'd recommend this as an introduction to the short story collection as a format (or to people who prefer paperbacks, as it's pretty new and might only be available in hardcover, or to people who are looking for something light to read for the spring/summer) but i loved it.
now I'm starting on A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan. I'm only a few chapters in so I can't say too much for sure about it, except that it's about a woman working for a big time punk record exec and it's told from a variety of different perspectives at different times in the characters' lives. i like it so far.
yesterday i went to the used bookstore by my house and wound up leaving with a copy of Beloved (Toni Morrison) which I've been trying to find for a while now and The Crying of Lot 49 (Thomas Pynchon), both of which editions are older than me. I think this summer I'm going to stick to shorter reads, particularly by women because i've spent most of 2017 on long sci-fi novels by white dudes. i'm thinking i might also re-read Too Much Happiness by Alice Munro, which is one of my favourites but I've only read it once. I would recommend Munro to anyone looking for an introduction to short stories, (edited the wording of this clause) simply because she is incredible at it and does write touching, beautiful stories about realistic humans. I've only read 2 of the 14 original collections she's done over the last 50 years but my understanding is that the quality is consistently great.
as for a conversation question: do you like reading memoirs and biographies? are there any notable ones you'd like to talk about or recommend?