11-11: Poetry (modern French)

I opted to pick up some French poetry mostly to brush up on my French. Turns out, I’m not quite as rusty as I thought I was, at least in terms of my reading skills, because I still retain enough of my French to not only get some of the subtle in-jokes and layered allusionsContinue reading “11-11: Poetry (modern French)”

11-11: Russian fiction review (Vladimir Nabokov)

I suppose that if one is going to read Nabokov for the first time — as I have with this book — one ought to start with Lolita. Because, well, why wouldn’t you? But Lolita — the character, at least — has become such a part of our cultural consciousness that I fear any readingContinue reading “11-11: Russian fiction review (Vladimir Nabokov)”

11-11: World fiction review (Orhan Pamuk)

Part murder mystery, part historical novel, part spiritual meditation, part political intrigue, part love story,¬†part philosophical treatise, part artistic rumination, part narrative experiment. . . . Orhan Pakmuk‘s My Name is Red, the English translation of which helped him secure a nomination for the Nobel Prize in Literature (he won in 2006), is many, manyContinue reading “11-11: World fiction review (Orhan Pamuk)”

11-11: Southern fiction (Christopher Cook)

I began my love affair with Southern fiction, as most of us do, with Faulkner, but I didn’t get serious about studying the genre until I started reading Tom Franklin. His then-distinctive blend of gritty blue-collar stories set in a modern but familiar American South, a style of writing Franklin likes to call “Industrial Gothic,”Continue reading “11-11: Southern fiction (Christopher Cook)”

11-11: Contemporary poetry (Jerry Bradley)

Back in April, I had the good fortune to attend this year’s annual joint conference of the Popular Culture Association and the American Culture Association. This conference is a perennial favorite of mine, thanks in part to my association with Jerry Bradley, who chairs the creative writing area of the conference, but I hadn’t beenContinue reading “11-11: Contemporary poetry (Jerry Bradley)”

11-11: Western review (Elmer Kelton)

Wow! I haven’t posted an 11-11 reading update since March! But I have been reading from the list, gang, and I’ll be playing catch-up in my reviews every few weeks from now on. And since I just finished a Western novel, Elmer Kelton‘s The Time it Never Rained, I might as well start with it:Continue reading “11-11: Western review (Elmer Kelton)”

11-11: Literary magazine review (Annalemma)

Part of my 11-11 reading list includes literary journals and magazines, and because I want to support them as much as I can (I rely on them for publications, after all!), I’ve decided to try to read at least one full issue of a different magazine each month. But it’s fairly difficult to do thatContinue reading “11-11: Literary magazine review (Annalemma)”

11-11: Aussie fiction review (Tim Winton)

I recently finished the first Aussie novel I’ve ever read, Tim Winton‘s Breath. Though it works within a frame of a middle-aged paramedic recalling his life, it’s mostly a Bildungsroman centered on extreme surfing in the `70s. Lots of hip, daring people chasing down hip, daring dreams as a means of self-discovery. But it’s farContinue reading “11-11: Aussie fiction review (Tim Winton)”

11-11: Memoir review (Elmer Kelton)

A short while ago I mentioned that I plan to read new types of books this year —¬†eleven new categories of books, in fact — and so far, I’ve read a lot of graphic novels. Which isn’t really new for me, and which certainly isn’t on my list of eleven categories. But I just sneakedContinue reading “11-11: Memoir review (Elmer Kelton)”

11-11 reading challenge

A friend of mine mentioned recently that he’d heard too late about the “10-10-10” challenge, in which readers committed to reading ten books a month for the first ten months of 2010. I heard about it too late, too — I heard about it through my friend, in fact — but I wouldn’t have participated.Continue reading “11-11 reading challenge”