Thursday, December 26, 2013

My year's best

As always, this is a list of my favorites among the books I've read this year, not books published this year. In fact, as always, it's a mix of new, old and very old books. In the face of some health struggles that arose as I entered my seventh decade, a good book has become even more important to getting me through my days. Here are my year's best:

Assata: An Autobiography, Assata Shakur 
Fiction (in no special order)
The People in the Trees, Hanya Yanagihara
Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte
Mo Said She Was Quirky, James Kelman
I Am an Executioner: Love Stories, Rajesh Parameswaran
The Wall, William Sutcliffe
NW, Zadie Smith
Flight Behavior, Barbara Kingsolver
Freedom Road, Howard Fast
A Naked Singularity, Sergio de la Pava

Friday, December 20, 2013

Good news, mostly

I don't know whether the new year will see an uptick in my postings here. It just may be. We shall see. The silence lately hasn't been because I haven't been reading, or suddenly have stopped having opinions, or think there's any less need for left literary rants. What I've started having, I'm sorry to report, is some health problems. Mechanic and organic. Nothing life-threatening but real enough that I've just been dealing with them, getting by day to day getting to work and back and not much else.

However. I have high hopes that there will soon be an improvement on the health front, and with that renewed energy for Read Red. Meanwhile there are a couple bright spots in my own literary life to report.

One is that I have a story, "The Ellen Burstyn Equation," in the new issue of Newtown Literary. I admire what the Newtown folks are doing to promote writers from my NYC borough, Queens, and am delighted that my work is included in this latest offering. It's issue #3, and you can order it here.

I haven't taken part in a literary event for a long time, but the second bit of good news is that I will be doing so very soon. It's the upcoming New York incarnation of Stories & Queer, a national reading series highlighting LGBTQ poets and writers.

I'm pleased and honored that Ruben Quesada and Brian Kornell, the brains behind S&Q, asked me to take part. I'll be reading an excerpt from the novel I'm currently working on. So if you're in NYC and don't maintain an inside-on-winter-nights policy -- or even if, like me, you do, you can, like me, suspend the policy for this one night and -- come on down to the Bureau of General Services-Queer Division to join us for some good queer fun.

I'll be back here at Read Red soon with my annual list of the best books I read this year.