Friday, July 1, 2011


As so often has been the case in past years, my reading in 2011 has consisted largely of manuscripts and galleys that I've received from writers and publishers who requested that I provide an endorsement (blurb) for those books. I can offer a sampling of this reading material, but readers should be forewarned---some of these works are not in bookstores yet but will be published over the next few months.

Among the titles I much enjoyed reading was Tell Me Something About Buddhism by black Buddhist nun Zenju Earthlyn Manuel. (I also have on hand her 205-page novel The Water Monarchs, which I've yet to get to.) Other books include David Guterson's forthcoming novel Ed King, and The World Is Made of Stories by Buddhist scholar David R. Loy, a signed copy he gave me as a gift when he, Jin Y. Pak and I were featured speakers at a Buddhist Ethics Symposium sponsored by West Chester University in February. I also enjoyed reading William Blake: On His Poetry and Paintings by my colleague Hazard Adams; and The Center Must Not Hold: White Women Philosophers on the Whiteness of Philosophy, edited by George Yancy.

The books in my study awaiting my attention are two novels by Indian writer Tarun J. Tejpal, The Story of My Assassins and The Alchemy of Desire, because I will have a conversation with him toward the middle of this month, courtesy of Elliot Bay Book Co. Added to these works is Carambola, the first poetry collection by Detroit writer Shayla Hawkins, which I soon plan to endorse.

And for both professional and personal reasons, I've been leisurely reading Dogen's two-volume work Treasury of the True Dharma Eye; The Hard SF Renaissance, edited by David G. Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer; and The Year's Best Science Fiction: 27th Annual Collection, edited by Gardner Dozois. Predictably, as an old cartoonist, I also read a big pile of graphic novels set aside for me by the owner, Gabriel, of Dreamstrands Comics in Seattle---I usually visit his well-stocked establishment twice a year to hang out and chat about comics, and load up on things he recommends as well as reprints of work by my favorite artists from the Golden Age and era of the pulps (late 1930s, early 40s).

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