December Speed Reads

Written by Jeff Cretan on . Posted in Books, Posts.

Last, Happy By Barry Hannah, out now

This posthumously released
collection includes both classics and four new stories from the Faulkner
Award-winning novelist and short story writer, who died this past

To Sound in the Know: Hannah was a famous personality in the lit
community—there’s even a rumor that Hunter S. Thompson once called him
crazy, which is like being called evil by Satan.

A Global History By Kevin R. Koar, out now

A look at the lineage of
whiskey, from the origins of distillation in Egypt (the Sphinx loved
those Sazeracs) to its evolution in Ireland, Scotland and the U.S.,
including a breakdown of whiskey types, cocktail recipes and stories
about the “water of life.”

To Sound In the Know: Kosar, who is a
researcher and writer for The Library of Congress, once wrote for New York Press. I’d say that was a lateral move.

Steichen, Strand By Malcolm Daniel, out now

This volume showcases
photographs on display at the Met by three of the 20th century’s most
famous photographers.

To Sound in the Know: This book accompanies an
exhibition of the same name showing through April.

Food, All Day Long By Maya Angelou, out Dec. 14

Finally, all those Maya
Angelou fans that wonder when one of America’s great poets will write a
cookbook have an answer: now.

To Sound in the Know: Angelou’s secret is
simple: eat whatever you want, when you want, just in small portions.

By Paula Bomer, out Dec. 15

In this biting debut collection, Bomer
tears apart the Brooklyn family crowd. Like shooting fish in a barrel.

To Sound in the Know: Bomer also co-publishes Artistically Declined
Press and edits Sententia, a lit magazine.

King of the Elves By Philip K. Dick, out Dec. 31

This is the first
installment of a series that will encapsulate all of Dick’s collected
stories. Included in this volume is Dick’s first published story “Beyond
Lies the Wub,” as well as classics like “The Preserving Machine.”

Sound in the Know:
Disney is releasing an animated version of the
collection’s titular story.

Palace(Ink Series) By Paul Auster, out Dec. 28

The re-release of this
1990 Auster novel starring Marco Fogg, child of the ’60s pursuing his
puzzling fate, is the latest from the Penguin Ink Series.

Sound in the Know:
The Penguin Ink Series has tattoo artists (Grez from
Massaqua, N.Y., in this case) imagine new covers to classic novels. Can
the back of your Kindle do that?

Celestial Café By Stuart Murdoch, out December

The Belle and Sebastian
frontman is releasing a collection of his online diaries from 2002-2006
that cover the band’s recording and release of Dear Catastrophe Waitress and The Life Pursuit.

Sound in the Know:
Though the book won’t be available in most outlets
until January, those who hit up a Belle and Sebastian show can snag an
early copy in December.