5 Things I’m Reading Now

by a contributor

from Mark Jackley, author of Last Dance at the Sunset Grille
and The Telephone Line Sags:

  1. City of Bohane, Kevin Barry. Yummiest novel I’ve read in a long time. Street fashion + dystopia + gang wars + the Irish tongue. Tarantino meets James Joyce? Dunno, but I really dug it. Barry writes his pasty white ass off. I didn’t really care how the story ended, I just wanted to hear him keep talking.
  2. Wild, Cheryl Strayed. This memoir tracks the author’s fall from well, just about everything, after her fortyish mother’s death from cancer. Picking herself up from smack and nihilistic sex, she decides to solo hike most of the Pacific Crest Trail. As you can guess, the internal journey was just as harrowing.
  3. How to Make a Bird with Two Hands, Mike White. A collection of lovely and surprising little poems, for instance:
    miles from
    anywhere, NV

    head down

    on his back

    but the moon

  4. Bottom of the Thirty-Third, Dan Barry. So, I recently saw the Red Sox at Fenway Park–first time in over 30 years. The next morning in Cambridge, I bought this book and the next one I’ll mention, finishing it on the train back to DC a day later. Bottom of Thirty-Third is the true story of the longest professional baseball game ever played. More interestingly, it explores the hopes and dreams of the players, managers and everyone involved, including Cal Ripken Jr. and Wade Boggs, though it’s the lesser knowns, the almost-made-it’s, who pitch camp in your heart.
  5. Baseball Haiku, Cor Van Den Heuvel and Nanae Tamura, editors. Because:
    rainy night
    a hole in the radio
    where a ballgame should be
             – Ed Markowski
    the bartender’s head
    Game 7

             – Dan McCullough