Steve Almond

Steve Almond is the author of seven books, most recently the story collection God Bless America.

what are you reading now

White Truffles in Winter by N.M. Kelby. It's a novel about the famous French chef Escoffier, and it includes about a zillion descriptions of drool-inducing meals. Just a total blast of literary food porn.

classic you’ve been meaning to read

My wife read Anna Karenina last year and it's been sitting on our bedstand ever since, staring at me in that guilt-provoking way that classics have. Of course, I'm so poorly read that this feeling -- of being guilt-tripped by a book I should have read -- is perpetual.

last book you finished in a single sitting

Busy Monsters by William Giraldi. I first read it in manuscript three years ago. Turned to my wife. Said, "Jesus. This guy is on fire." The prose is totally electric. I also read most of Mr. Bridge the other day. I was looking for a particular episode and I just got sucked right into the sadness and the beauty.

book you borrowed and never returned

I've "borrowed" a lot of Bibles from various hotels. But I'll go with Birds of America, the Lorrie Moore collection. I cadged it off a friend of mine in grad school and hung on to it just long enough to get out of town. Thanks, John. And sorry.

most treasured book in your collection

Without a doubt, the first edition of the John Williams' novel Stoner, sent to me by John Williams' widow. That's one of my favorite books on earth. I'm not one of those guys who gets all fetishistic over first editions -- it's the story that matters. But with this book, whose first edition was so overlooked, it feels special.

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

We don't have a coffee table -- our children would destroy it -- but okay. Lemme think. How about Tantric Sex for Dummies? That would totally impress me. I'm sure I've been guilty of planting fancy books. The problem is I'm always scared someone will ask me about them. Then I have to start lying.

if you could subscribe to only one literary journal

Dude. You're killing me. I've got to choose a favorite? I definitely love the journals that do lots of different genres and weird stuff, such as Tin House and The Normal School. But I also love the more traditional ones like Ploughshares or The Southern Review. Sorry to equivocate.

best thing you’ve read online recently

This: http://therumpus.net/2011/11/the-lonely-voice-13-walser-on-mission-street

Peter Orner is a fantastic writer of stories and novels, and the sort of thoughtful fan who makes me believe in criticism. The Rumpus always has awesome stuff. They manage to write about culture, and literary culture in particular, without dipping into that too-cool-for-school snarkiness.

most anticipated upcoming release

I'm looking forward to the new Vonnegut bio, And So It Goes, by Charles Shields. I'm a huge Vonnegut fan, and there's never been a definitive bio. He had a fascinating life. I can't wait to check this out.

recommended reading list:

Books You've Probably Never Heard Of That Will Blow Your Heart Up

- The Visit of the Royal Physician by Per Olov Enquist

- Like Love, But Not Exactly by François Camoin

- The Emperor by Ryszard Kapuściński

- Stoner by John Williams

- Torch by Cheryl Strayed

- My Girlfriend Comes to the City and Beats Me Up by Stephen Elliot

- Lighthouse: A Trifle by William Monahan

- Living Room War by Michael Arlen

1 comment:

  1. I may have to pick up the hobby of "Borrowing" Bibles as well.