John Dermot Woods is the author of the novel The Complete Collection of people, places & things and the forthcoming comic chapbook The Remains (Doublecross). He writes stories and draws comics in Brooklyn, NY. His work has appeared in The Indiana Review, Hobart, 3rd Bed, Salt Hill, American Letters & Commentary, No Colony, Lamination Colony, and many other places. He edits the arts quarterly Action,Yes and organizes the online reading series Apostrophe Cast. He is a professor in the English Department at Nassau Community College on Long Island.
what are you reading now
Acme Novelty Library #19 by Chris Ware, Moby Dick by Melville, re-reading Seiichi Hayashi's Red Colored Elegy, Lucky Hans and Other Merz Fairy Tales by Kurt Schwitters (with my daughter)
classic you’ve been meaning to read
last book to make you laugh out loud
The Schwitters book is pretty hilarious.
book you borrowed and never returned
Nails by Lenny Dykstra (it's about his time on the Mets not as a stock trader)
if you could write yourself into any novel
Not really a novel, but I'd love to get into a Calvin and Hobbes strip.
favorite book cover design
I have a lot: Jimmy Corrigan, the Smartest Kid on Earth by Chris Ware, Nadja by Breton (the Grove English translation), those new Penguin editions done by comics artists are pretty amazing; Adrian Tomine's best work is on covers.
most challenging book you’ve ever read
Excluding volumes of theory, Finnegan's Wake – doing it with a team and guide
if you could subscribe to only one literary journal
American Letters & Commentary (but that could change each day – because there's a bunch I love – Hobart, Sleepingfish, No Colony, etc.)
best thing you’ve read online recently
"Summer of the Raccoon" by Rachel Yoder in the last Action,Yes – just reread it and it's even better than I remember when I published it a couple of months ago.
most anticipated upcoming release
Tsim Tsum by Sabrina Orah Mark (it might be available already)
recommended reading list:
Literary Highlights of the New York Mets
– The New York Trilogy by Paul Auster (Auster's dedication to the Mets is apparent in a lot of his work)
– The Curious Case of Sidd Finch by George Plimpton (April Fool's joke turned novel)
– Believeniks! by Jonathan Lethem and Christopher Sorrentino (this book is so esoteric, it took a name like Lethem's to get it published)
– If at First by Keith Hernandez (the most distinguished writer on the list)
– Samuel Beckett's attendance at a Mets doubleheader in 1964 during his one trip to America (they won both games)
– "How's that, Umpire?" by P.G. Wodehouse (actually a cricket story, but when he wrote this, Wodehouse had moved to Long Island and had become an avid Mets fan)