. . . and stacks of books. Mostly I've been pretty good these last few months about not buying books, that is to say, about actually reading the books I do buy. But somehow the unread stacks have grown anyway, like little stalagmites around the periphery of my studio: there are irresistible new releases, books by friends, review copies from publishers, remainders, the usual flow of the dozen or so lit journals I subscribe to, and even the occasional used book (I found a beautiful signed first edition of T.C. Boyle's East is East in an antique store recently).
What to read next? In arm's reach right now: the new Gulf Coast; Oracle Bones by Peter Hessler; The Dead Fish Museum by Charles D'Ambrosio; The Caddie Who Knew Ben Hogan, by John Coyne; Testimony and Demeanor by John Casey; Century's Son by Robert Boswell; The March, by E.L. Doctorow; Black Swan Green by David Mitchell; Family and Other Accidents by Shari Goldhagen; and dozens more. I'm seriously considering taking the next couple of months to just read. Let the novel write itself . . .