A Year in Reading: Ander Monson

Ander Monson is the author of a host of paraphernalia including a decoder wheel, several chapbooks and limited edition letterpress collaborations, a website, and three books: Neck Deep and Other Predicaments, Other Electricities, and Vacationland. He edits the magazine DIAGRAM and the New Michigan Press.F. T. Marinetti, The Futurist Cookbook - a bizarre hybrid of a manifesto. I'm really partial to manifestos and sermons and really fervent writing/speaking/performance. Beautiful book. Out of print, very very sadly.Jim Krusoe, Iceland - Not usually my sort of thing but all the bodies and all the sex and the weird, sad happenstance of this short novel kept me riveted.Michael Lesy, Wisconsin Death Trip - Still brilliant. I read the David Means short story "Michigan Death Trip" a couple years back and he explained at a reading that it was after this bizarro and gruesome and spectral nonfiction (of a sort) collage text. Really it is its own thing. An experience to savor. Since I moved away from winter this summer I have been missing it and this is its own tiny emotional winter.Laurence Stern, The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy - a lot of my reading is trying to fill in shameful gaps in my reading history. This is an example of that, since I've been trying to work through the major novels in the summers. It's amazing to see how big and odd and funny and profane this book is, and effortlessly doing the formal things that get me all hot and bothered now.Joy Williams, The Florida Keys - this one's a re-read, and it is ever-yielding and entertaining, her guide to The Florida Keys is an often terrifying and hilarious anti-guidebook, subversive and elliptical, full-on essay, and yet an oddly effective actual guidebook to Williams' mind and the diminishing Keys.Marion Bataille, ABC3D - a fold-out book that you operate as you go, so it's essentially collaborative, and gorgeous; an amazing technological achievement in bookiness in the days of the Amazon Kindle and questions about what the future of the book holds for writers and readers. Well, let's write and read books that can only be books and not eBooks or anything (or if we're writing eBooks, let's write eBooks that can only be eBooks). That's my thinking. Let's get our collective manifesto on.More from A Year in Reading 2008