The Current Issue
Issue 14: Featuring lilies, lesbians, and extraterrestrials.
Judy Kaufman is leading a double life. In one she is a struggling artist and, in the other, an aspiring dentist. If she isn’t studying or painting, she’s probably thinking about studying or painting. If you have any questions about the art, feel free to e-mail her at email@example.com.
Excerpt from “Objects Inside Are Not Real”
Inside, there is no reason—and no way—for Tonya to hide. We are everywhere and nowhere all at once.
“Restrooms are desegregated here,” she says with a smile. She adds, to be clear, “But I could use the woman’s restroom if I wanted.”
She says they call her Ms. in here and that pleases her to no end. “Everyone here is like me.”
But how can I be sure it’s Trent? Is Tonya actually Trent?
“What’s your favorite movie?” She says Godzilla. I say okay. “And what would you say if I told you I didn’t like it?”
“Girl, do you,” she says, and I laugh.
“Would you like to play a game?”
If you’re having trouble picking your next read, or just looking to expand your taste-range, consider subscribing to an online book club. Many will send the book right to your door. Here are a few you might want to check out:
Focuses on new, unsung books from some of the best indie publishers. November’s pick: Preparation for the Next Life, by Atticus Lish.
The Book Riot team strives to pick unique works of fiction every month for open-minded readers. They’ll also send along a few hand-picked items that fit the book thematically, as well as a personal letter describing the month’s theme and the significance of each item. Never boring. Last month’s pick: Lucky Us, by Amy Bloom.
Emily Books is a unique ePublishing venture founded by Emily Gould and Ruth Curry. A refreshing break from the world of big publishing, Emily books publishes just one book a month, e-only. You can buy individual books through the Emily Books app, or subscribe and automatically receive an eBook every month.
Powell’s focuses on new titles beloved by the Powell’s staff. Every book is a signed first edition (nice perk). Sign up to receive a new book every six weeks. Most recent pick: The Bone Clocks, by David Mitchell
More like your classic idea of a book club: a bunch of people getting together to talk about a book, new or old. But @NormsBooksClub takes place in the Twitterverse. That being said, the discussions are surprisingly deep and tamer than you’d imagine. Most recent pick was a few short stories: “A Perfect Day for Bananafish,” by JD Salinger; “Lost in the Funhouse,” by John Barth; and “In Dreams Begin Responsibilities,” by Delmore Schwartz.
Brad Listi, founder of The Nervous Breakdown, interviews a writer every Sunday and Wednesday. Charming, self-effacing, and deadpan, Listi’s interviews (and monologues) are addictive. Writers (and sometimes editors and publishers) discuss their work, but also their history, family, fears, and predilections. Each conversation is a revelation and a gabfest, making you feel an oddly close connection to both Listi and the interviewee. We recommend: #316 with Sarah McCarry, #300 with Aimee Bender, and #227 with Kevin Sampsell.
If you’re looking for a good mix of humor, insight, and book recommendations, Bookrageous is the perfect podcast. Hosts Jenn Northington, Josh Christie, Rebecca Schinsky, Preeti Chhibber, and Paul Montgomery come from a variety of bookish backgrounds—they are booksellers, book marketers, and book bloggers, among other things—but their chief talent is discussing and recommending excellent reads. They spend an hour or so each month discussing what they’re reading and a variety of other topics—from this year’s BEA to which literary characters they’d sit with at lunch. Funny, irreverent, and inspiring, listening to Bookrageous is akin to hanging out with your best, and nerdiest, friends.
Night Vale’s town motto is: if you see something, say nothing, and drink to forget. These bimonthly radio broadcasts tell the story of an odd and often frightening town where the unusual is everyday and the everyday is unusual. Though librarians are widely considered to be malevolent, fearsome creatures, the many literary allusions and superb, serial storytelling cement Welcome to Night Vale’s place on our three favorite literary podcasts.