Friday Fives

1. Do you enjoy receiving books as holiday or birthday gifts?
Yes, I do. And I am that guy who gives books for presents. I think my favorite books that I have gotten were pop-up books left under the tree at Christmas.

2. What book are you reading (or, what is the last book you read)?
I am currently rereading “Pastoralia” by George Saunders from 1998. It is a novella and short story collection.

3. Are you enjoying (or, did you enjoy) that book? Why or why not?
I loved this book the first time around and even digging it more on this go round. It has a tone and a sparseness of language that is beguiling. And its message told in a sag, sarcastic voice – channeling a feeling of anger and losslessness told by worlds populated by the underserved and underappreciated. It is as topical today as it was 20 years ago. And despite all that, it is really funny. Saunders has become one of my favorite authors. I put in the class of Vonnegut – he creates this alternate reality and uses the space and characters to talk about today’s issues in totally imagined settings. His voice is focused and intentional and yet fresh and somewhat raw.

4. About how many books do you read in an average year?
Probably 25 or so. I am a voracious reader and also devour online news and magazines as well as whatever is stacked up on my Kindle.

5. What are some of the books on your to-read pile (or list)?
“Accidentally Like A Martyr” by James Campion (a biography of Warren Zevon) and Cibola Burn by James Corey (part of The Expanse series) – as well as a few crappy sci-fi books for mindless reading.

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