our reading list for September 2015
The story of the lifelong friendship between Elena and Lila concludes with an honesty that is both heart-wrenching and perilous. The final chapter of the brilliant quartet is everything that Ferrante's readers have been waiting for (and also dreading): the last word in the Neapolitan saga.
PURITY by Jonathan Franzen
Purity is a novel of idealism, murder, and the Internet. As usual the scope is massive in this far-reaching and highly readable novel by one of the most important fiction writers today.
PEDIGREE by Patrick Modiano
An account of the Nobel laureate's early years in postwar Paris, this memoir is one of the best examples of Modiano's unflinching tone, as well as an examination of the shadowy and dreamlike quality of memory, both individual and collective.
SEEING POWER by Nato Thompson
Melville House has an knack for publishing books of unique cultural relevance. Seeing Poweris no exception. Thompson's writing examines the positive and important implications of what happens when structures of power are made visible and communities begin to re-imagine the dynamics of that power.
BRICE MARDEN NOTEBOOKS by Brice Marden
Filled with clippings, drawings, notes and esoteric connections, Marden's newly published notebook is an enigmatic but beautiful demonstration of how the painter documents the political and cultural events of his era.
MARTIN JOHN by Anakana Schofield
Schofield's follow-up to Malarky proves she is a writer to whom we should pay some serious attention. The novel is both disturbing and funny, and produces the sort of uncanny quality that leaves readers feeling that it's both completely strange yet eerily familiar.
YOU TOO CAN HAVE A BODY LIKE MINE by Alexandra Kleeman
Imagine that you inhabit a world where the supermarkets are filled with veal and popsicles, the airwaves are inundated with a cartoon named Kandy Kat, and all roads ultimately seem to lead to a reality TV show called That's My Partner! This is the bizarrely algebraic universe of Kleeman's debut novel. Compared to the likes of Thomas Pynchon and Don DeLillo, Kleeman's writing is as described as strange, sharp, and above all, smart.
MAPS: Exploring the World
Just when Google Earth has allowed everyone with internet access to become an amateur cartographer, Phaidon reminds us of some of the irreplaceable qualities of maps. An international panel of curators, academics, artists and collectors have selected over 300 maps, thus providing a fascinating survey of the history of map-making, while showcasing maps as prime examples of political strategy, technology, artistry and human innovation.
THE LAST LOVE SONG by Tracy Daugherty
An icon of American literature, Joan Didion's own life is famously intertwined with the many books she's written (most notably her memoir, The Year of Magical Thinking). Appropriately, Didion's writing is as much a source for Daugherty's book as the details of Didion's life and reputation.