Name: Steven Salardino
Favorite paragraph: "The lean days of determination. That was the word for it, determination: Arturo Bandini in front of his typewriter two full days in succession, determined to succeed; but it didn't work, the longest siege of hard and fast determination in his life, and not one line done, only two words written over and over across the page, up and down, the same words: palm tree, palm tree, palm tree, a battle to the death between the palm tree and me, and the palm tree won: see it out there swaying in the blue air, creaking sweetly in the blue air. The palm tree won after two fighting days, and I crawled out of the window and sat at the foot of the tree. Time passed, a moment or two, and I slept, little brown ants carousing in the hair on my legs." - John Fante, Ask The Dust
Los Angeles Review of Books Naked Bookseller (not my typos): http://tumblr.lareviewofbooks.org/post/44401183405/the-naked-bookseller-...
A new book from Amy Gerstler is something to celebrate. A poet that can make the strange and beautiful profound in new and unpredictable ways. The personal is political and vice versa. It is truly wonderful for us that Los Angeles has someone as talented as Amy sharing our sun and smog.
You have to love a book where a random rock falling from the sky is the major plot point. Jon Klassen does it again in this brand new and beautiful book - five short stories about three friends (and a special guest) who come to terms with the unknown chaos that is life. Klassen fills the page with emotion and suspense and perfectly timed humor... not since Joan Crawford has anybody been able to say so much with a pair of eyes.
Masterful storytelling. Ishiguro's book is told from the point of view of an Artificial Friend and explores what it means to be human. But it is so much more. It works on you from the inside, propelling you into a world so close to our own that it is eye-opening. This is one of those books that makes my mind swim in possibilities and questions, yet doesn't let me slowdown to contemplate them because I am enjoying the story so much. It's moving, suspenseful, beautiful, and hard to pin down...picking up weight as we move through it. I look at the sun a little differently now.
The first book in the new Library of Esoterica series is a fascinating exploration into the history, artwork, and meaning of the Tarot. This is an art book that surveys many ancient, modern, and contemporary decks and the artists that created them, and can also be used to help divine meaning from a tarot reading. I love the way it is designed and organized in conjunction with the order of the deck, and the essays are interesting and enlightening.
A deep and enlightening graphic essay about loneliness and so much more. Reading this book, I learned a lot about myself and the people around me.
D.J. Waldie is a treasure for all of us that love Southern California. A lifelong Lakewood resident, he writes about all parts of Los Angeles, from the big to the banal, with the insight and focus of a precise and meditative scientist. All through the eyes of someone still discovering meanings in our personal and cultural histories during this strange time.
Known for Wittgenstein's Mistress - "pretty much the high point of experimental fiction in this country" (says David Foster Wallace) - David Markson is a major literary figure that often flies under the radar. All three of the “not novels” collected in this book are wonderful but the one that most harpoons my heart is The Last Novel. Published a few years before Markson’s death it is particularly profound in its discussion of a writer’s mortality. These books are my versions of “unputdownable”. I find myself suspended somewhere inside all of history, art, creativity, the page, etc, as my own personal triumphs, fears, frustrations, and loves get muddled with Markson’s. I feel guided, but free...I imagine as “Writer” meant it.
William Saroyan is Mark Twain to me. In his words and stories I hear a version of the person I would have liked to be. His adventures are small and romantic—about life, writing, and the common bonds between all us humans. His writing from the 1930s still feels contemporary and fresh—comfort food in these times.