Virginia Zaharieva, Author of Nine Rabbits:
I'm reading the book Diamond Heart by A. H. Almaas. It is a book of talks that elucidates a certain essence of being. It is a manual of how to participate in our real world and taste the incredible beauty and integrity of being a human being, a full manifestation of love and truth.
Kevin Clouther, Author of We Were Flying to Chicago:
I'm almost finished with The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis, a book that's lasted on my bedside table longer than most — not because the book is enormous (733 pages) — but because the stories are so dense and layered, it feels shameful to read too many too quickly. Davis's stories are extraordinarily short, some no longer than a single sentence, so the cumulative effect of reading a bunch of them is rather decadent, like gorging on expensive sushi. When a man is asked about his happiest moment in the one-paragraph story "Happiest Moment," the man "smiled with embarrassment and said that his wife had once gone to Beijing and eaten duck there, and she often told him about it, and he would have to say the happiest moment of his life was her trip and the eating of the duck."
Mike Meginnis, Author of Fat Man and Little Boy:
I am presently reading Okey Ndibe's Foreign Gods, Inc. The book is about a Nigerian taxi driver named Ike, who plans to sell his village's chief god, a war god, to a New York art dealer who trades in such items. I've been sick and so am not too far in, but Ike's mixture of pride (he believes he has pretty much the best god) and need for approval (he needs the art dealer to agree with him on this point) is heartbreaking.
Paul Kwiatkowski, Author of And Every Day was Overcast:
I'm reading My Face for the World to See by Alfred Hayes. It's a masterfully written story about a corrosive love affair imploding against the backdrop of 1950s Hollywood glamour. Not only does it take place in the 1950s, but that's when it was written, which is insane. The prose read as contemporary as Less Than Zero and as airtight as Nathanael West's Miss Lonelyhearts.
Bill Peters, Author of Maverick Jetpants in the City of Quality:
I am reading Pulitzer: A Life in Politics, Print and Power by James McGrath Morris. I am only about a tenth of the way through Pulitzer, and it’s already way more messed up than any stories I've heard from pre-Internet-era holdouts. Example: Joseph Pulitzer in 1869 ran for and was elected to the Missouri legislature while also reporting for The Westliche Post, sometimes covering his own political advancement in the third person. A short while later, after a contractor who Pulitzer accused of impropriety called him a “pup” and a “liar” one evening at a hotel, Pulitzer went home, got his pistol, told his roommate “I am going to call him a ‘son-of-a-bitch,’” returned, got into a fight with the contractor and, in an apparent attempt at self-defense, shot him in the leg.
Louise Krug, Author of Louise: Amended:
I'm reading the memoir Just Kids by Patti Smith. It's SO good. It takes place in the late 1960s and early ‘70s when she and Robert Mapplethorpe were wide-eyed New Yorkers, devoted to each other and discovering themselves as artists. There's lots of not eating and moving from tiny hotel room to dirty loft space, but Smith is eloquent about their self-imposed suffering. Her writing is beautiful and demonstrates so much love and understanding for her dear friend Mapplethorpe that I cannot help falling for him, too.
Michael Hearst, Editor of The Recipe Project:
I have a three-month old, so I'm off the novels for a while. I did, however, just get the latest issue of Edible Brooklyn and read an article called "Six-Legged Start-Up" by Rachel Nuwer. It discusses a startup by Greg Sewitz and Gabi Lewis, in which they manufacture protein bars made with insects. Each bar contains about 40 crickets and is dairy and gluten free. I want to try one!
Happy Friday Reads! Be sure to let us know via Twitter or the comments section below what you’re reading this weekend and what you think of our reads.
Black Balloon Publishing is an independent press headquartered in New York, NY, with both print and digital distribution channels. We've published literary fiction, nonfiction and memoir, and we're willing to grow our reach in any direction that suits. Our books evolve, rotate, get mapped onto cities and light up your screen. We champion the weird, the unwieldy and the unclassifiable. The Airship is our blog and chief propaganda vehicle.
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