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Soon-to-be-Fall!

August 12, 2010

I know it’s only August 11, but let’s rejoice at the fact that Fall will be here soon! I love fall for many reasons (not least of all because it’s my birthday season, which is always inexplicably thrilling). I love the crisp air. I love the leaves. I love the ephemeral feel of autumn. Things are drab to me in the summer — every day basically looks the same and is hot and humid in much the same way. As far as I can tell, the only down-side about fall is that Fall Migration isn’t nearly as exciting as Spring. I’m told that most of the birds basically look…brown. Great. So much for honing my ID skills. Ah well, at least the air will be crisp.

And with fall comes the new book season! Among the many things I’m looking forward to, let me mention two books in particular:

Birds and Words’ favorite crime writer, Robin Spano, is launching the first of her Awesomest Clare Vengel Undercover Crime Novels in a matter of weeks! I’m terribly scared of suspense and Robin’s mystery-writing is the only kind that doesn’t completely petrify me and throw me over the edge in fits of anxiety. I’m extremely excited about Dead Politician Society, which comes out in early September.

Birds and Words is in the process of booking Ms. Spano for a special guest post or a Q & A; more news to come, but we’re trying our best to be a part of her Virtual Book Tour.

In other news, Jonathan Franzen, birder-extraordinaire and totally brilliant writer, has a new novel, Freedom, coming out Sept. 1. If it weren’t for Mr. Franzen, Birds and Words would not exist. His prose is what got me birding in the first place.

But, before the end of summer, try to squeeze in these two books:

Sarah Selecky‘s This Cake is for the Party is thrilling. A lovely collection of short stories, all set in Canada. What I love about This Cake is the way it focuses on the details surrounding every day life and how it exposes people’s fragility, in relationships, especially. Awesome stories! Great looking book!

I think everybody should read Elif Batuman‘s The Possessed. It’s hilarious, summery (who wouldn’t want to read about spending a summer in Samarkand), remarkably intelligent, illuminating, tells you just about everything you need to know about Russian literature, offers amazing and sometimes totally unexpected yet convincing readings, and it’s so beautifully written that you come away wishing you had written such a gem yourself. In short, Elif’s a genius. And, for all you bird-nerds out there, you’ll be happy to know that ornithology has its place in Batuman’s book. It turns out the Russian avant-garde poet Velimir Khlebnikov, who wrote somewhat impenetrable trans-sense (it’s the translation of zaum; if you think that means borderline incomprehensible, it does, but in the best way possible) verse is the son of a renown Russian ornithologist! Who knew?


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3 Comments leave one →
  1. August 12, 2010 12:53 pm

    Julia, I love you. I especially love how you’ve expanded the series’ subtitle to include the word “Awesomest.”

    TOTALLY want to read that Sarah Selecky book. It’s been on my t0-read list for a few weeks, and you’ve just motivated me to bump it up and buy it NEXT.

  2. August 13, 2010 11:55 am

    And now I have to read Robin Spano’s book. Thank you!

  3. September 8, 2010 8:43 pm

    I love Jonathan Franzen. Corrections was awesomest!

    Thanks for the heads up.

    I love fall too. It is just easy to live and breathe.

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