Whether you’re travelin’, holed up in the soon-to-be-flooded northeast, or just want an excuse to sit still as a corpse this Friday, here’s what will captivate you on the first day of autumn.
Justin Torres’ We the Animals
Torres’ debut novel has been hailed by basically everyone—and with good reason. It’s as affecting, gripping, and intelligent as anything you’ll read in 2011.
Michael Lewis’ Moneyball
Perhaps you’ve heard about the movie? Lewis’ classic sets the modern standard as far as baseball books go, finding story-within-story-within-story. Whether it’s Oakland’s unlikely draft choice Jeremy Brown, the shockingly serviceable first baseman Scott Hatteberg, or submariner (and former member of my Chicago White Sox) Chad Bradford, Lewis tells each story with remarkable swiftness and command.
Macy Halford’s “The Art of Fielding: Soul-Building”
In case all of the other hype surrounding Chad Harbach’s bestseller hasn’t swallowed you yet, New Yorker bloggers are book-clubbing it! Halford has some interesting thoughts about the book’s true engine, and a wonderful excerpt from a tremendously emotional scene. (Warning: der spoiler ahead!)
Maria Bustillos’ “I Love You Christopher Hitchens, You Irritating Bastard”
An extremely long look at one of our generation’s great minds. Bustillos doesn’t spare Hitchens, acknowledging his more specious stances and moral failings.
John Cheever’s “The Swimmer” (No link—go to the library, you lazy so-and-so’s)
Arguably Cheever’s greatest short fiction work. A friend emailed it to me this week, and I’m convinced it’s the best way to celebrate the passing of another beautiful summer.