Mike Young

Mike Young is the author of Look! Look! Feathers (Word Riot Press), a story collection, and We Are All Good If They Try Hard Enough (Publishing Genius Press), a poetry collection. He co-edits NOÖ Journal and runs Magic Helicopter Press. Find him online at http://mikeayoung.blogspot.com and outside in Northampton, MA.

what are you reading now

Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell, though I'm almost done. It's a romp of a book, with well written forays into several genres, and a sort of gleeful relish of each of those genres' cliches that I can really get behind. I think for some reason it's the book I "needed" to read right now: its antic world-building and its forthrightness about "having ideas" reminds me of what's earnest and entertaining about fiction.

classic you’ve been meaning to read

Well, for the last two years or so, everybody and their uncle in Western Mass (where I live) has been having a go at Moby Dick, so I guess I should probably get on that mofo.

last book you finished in a single sitting

Motorman by David Ohle, on a bus from Western Mass to NYC. It's as good as everybody says. It reminded me of graffiti on still box cars, and maybe you look into one of the box cars and think you see some kind of weird spaceship, but you're already down the road, and everything in the past is retreating into your imagination.

book you borrowed and never returned

Recently it's Mark Anthony Jarman's Nineteen Knives, which my buddy Gene Kwak lent me in Boston and which he's not getting back anytime soon. This story collection is so good I want to start using the Anthony in the middle of my name too. Stories of woods and hockey and self-destruction and rhapsodic wheeze. All the nouns and verbs have an urge about them. There's a concern for the word that names rather than refers. And the word that nicknames rather than names, which is even better. Even better—to step away from the clinic of language—I feel in the presence of a great bamboozler, one who dazzles while reaching for pretzels.

if you could take a cross-country road trip with any literary character

Charles Portis's character Norwood from the novel of the same name. I think Norwood has the perfect combo of how-to and don't-care.

last reading you attended

Well, it's probably kind of gauche for my answer to be "my own reading har har," but I just read in Boston with Carolyn Zaikowski. She read about the Boston Molasses Disaster on the anniversary of the Molasses Disaster, which we didn't even realize. To celebrate, the world snowed huge heaps of brown sugar. Other than that, I'm going to see Betsy Wheeler and Lisa Olstein read "tonight" (I have no idea when this post will be up, but think of me, dear blog viewer, shivering in my kitchen and staring outside and convincing myself that yes, I am going to walk through all this sleet to a poetry reading, of course I am, no doubt about it, absolutely, yeah, sure, you betcha, come on Mike, it's important, I know it's cold, but you should go, it will be fun, you will see your friends, come on, if you don't go you're a bad person, you're a terrible person, you're a selfish sluice-dipper, what?, no I don't know what that means, I just mean you suck if you don't go to this, go to it, go to it, go to it, okay, good, I'm glad you're going, wasn't that easy).

book you’ve planted on a coffee table to impress someone

Can't think of one, but one time I borrowed Sadie Plant's Zeros and Ones to impress a girl and ended up liking the book more than the girl!

if you could subscribe to only one literary journal

This is a hard question, but maybe American Short Fiction. They always seem to really nail it. The other problem with this question is there are so many good online journals, which I don't need to subscribe to, but if I were someone forced to pay money for online journals, I would probably pay for elimae or Juked.

best thing you’ve read online recently

Lydia Davis's story "The Professor" about wanting to marry a cowboy. Here it is: http://www.salon.com/june97/mothers/short970620.html. It's from 1997, but I only read it yesterday.

most anticipated upcoming release

Ryan Call's The Weather Stations!

recommended reading list:

Five Books Whose Titles Only Have Three Letters That Would Probably Not Belong Together Anywhere Else Besides Inside This Cheesy List Concept, Which Is a Concept I Came Up With Only After Rejecting the Concept "Books That Have the Word Cheese in the Title" Because I Could Only Think of Linh Dinh's Some Kind of Cheese Orgy

- Bop by Maxine Chernoff

- Ray by Barry Hannah

- U.S.A. by John Dos Passos

- Nog by Rudolph Wurlitzer

- Ark by Ronald Johnson

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