The Sleep Library
Do you toss and turn until you finally sit up and flip on
the light? Here are 11 books to get you through the endless, restless hours of
the night, if not soothe you back to sleep.
By Leigh Newman
Original Content |
December 12, 2011
At once direct and mysterious, Ryan's brief poems are gnomic delights: "Intention doesn't sweeten. / It should be picked young / and eaten."
In these 13 endearing short stories, Alethea Black focuses on how well-meaning people try their fumbling best to connect with each other.
In Charles Simic's poem "Hotel Insomnia," the wakeful poet overhears the
sobs of a child and imagines that the sobs are his own. These unhappy
nocturnal cries echo through Insomniac (University of California
Press), Gayle Greene's passionate exploration of the reasons sleep
eludes us and of how much "and little" we know about this exasperating
and potentially life-ruining condition ("The first thing to go is your
sense of humor").
The masterful tales in Yiyun Li's second collection, Gold Boy, Emerald Girl, illuminate the conflict between traditional and modern-day China.
If you do nothing else this summer, read the title story of Berg's funny, thoughtful and so terrifically true (!) short story collection, which is tailor-made for any person on the planet who's had to survive maple-frosted coffee rolls as well as the occasional moment of loneliness.
Fans of Lisa Kogan's column in this very magazine will revel in the characteristic deadpan wit on display in her first book, Someone Will Be with You Shortly.
Maile Meloy's Both Ways Is the Only Way I Want It reads like a Bruce Springsteen album sounds: raw with a tender wildness and loaded with adolescent ache.
Throughout her career, Oliver has taken the natural world as her muse: Her poems are inhabited by egrets, hares, hawks, rabbits, fields, ponds, peonies, turtles, and more. (See "One Wild and Precious Life," page 168.)
Among the accomplished memory artists of The Company They Kept: Writers on Unforgettable Friendships
(New York Review Books), edited by Robert B. Silvers and Barbara
Epstein, are Saul Bellow on John Cheever, Anna Akhmatova on Amedeo
Modigliani, Derek Walcott on Robert Lowell, Elizabeth Hardwick on Mary
A literary thriller narrated by a surgeon suspected of killing her best friend. The twist: She has dementia and doesn't know if she did it.
Chilean novelist and poet Roberto Bolaño died in 2003, at only 50,
cutting short a career that swept over the literary world like a tidal
wave. His final novel, 2666 (Farrar, Straus and Giroux),
published posthumously, takes on the real-life subject of hundreds of
women who have been found killed over the last 15 years in the desert
outside Ciudad Juárez on the Mexican-American border, one of the most
disturbing series of crimes in Latin American history.