A Virtual Bookshelf by Justin Beal, author of SANDFUTURE!
Keller Easterling is the most interesting voice writing about the built environment from inside the bulwarks of American academic architecture. Concepts like the “multiplier” and the “active form” are crucial contributions to a field ill-equipped to think about space a global scale.
Netherland might be the best book about life in New York in the wake of what O’Neill refers to as “the events synonymous with September 11, 2001,” even though those events are barely mentioned. What O’Neill manages to capture so beautifully here is the way in which such a trauma can contain both a galvanizing communal energy and a destabilizing personal gravity at the same time.
Ingenious both in its analysis of the biochemical forces acting on human bodies in the global economy and structurally innovative in its incorporation of a deeply personal story of pharmaceutical self-experimentation.
I would suggest reading Remainder along with McCarthy’s next book Satin Island. And then I would suggest reading Zadie Smith’s essay “Two Paths for the Novel” (New York Review of Books, Novemebr 20, 2008) and David Haglund’s “The long Shadow of Two Paths for the Novel” (New Yorker February 27, 2015).
My favorite book on this list and the best book about New York since Rem Koolhaas’ Delirious New York.