Since I've been unemployed, I've found a lot more time to read. Currently this is how I've spent my time both on the subway, and in bed.
The Monsters of Templeton, Lauren Groff
The Monsters of Templeton is the first novel from writer Lauren Groff. It chronicles the messy life of a girl returning home to her single mother, who informs her about the truth of her parentage, which sends the protagonist on a quest through her family history. It's a fascinating glimpse into the life of one family's history in a very old world america, and there's just the right touch of mysticism to keep it somewhat gothic.
Wonder Bread & Ecstasy: The Life of Joey Stefano, Christopher Isherwood
Found this on the dollar rack @ Housing Works bookstore...definitely bought it from looking at the cover. Joey Stefano was the first porn star 'bottom' who's career spanned a short period of time in the late eighties/early nineties. It's a strange psychological profile of a young man who was conflicted by the death of his father, his sexuality, drug abuse, and HIV status. There's a voyeuristic quality to the writing, and the strange guilt-stigma attached to watching porn is almost revived by examining the brutal realities of a multi million business--and some of the people it consumes.
After the Fall, Arthur Miller
Marilyn Monroe fans haven't paid their dues unless they've read After The Fall. It was the first successful play written by Arthur Miller after his marriage/divorce, and the eventual death, of Marilyn Monroe. He captures her effervesence and fragility in a few simple lines, and recalls the role he created in becoming her husband. Classic and brilliant.
Colette is my new favorite author--I found a translated compilation of her short novels at THE STRAND and decided to try it out. I've heard much of one of France's greatest female authors of all time--and I wasn't disappointed. Her prose is marked by a genuine style and honest breath, and some of her character descriptions are the most poignant I have ever read.
The subject matter generally deals with love and relationships--in the theater, music, and literary worlds. She scandalized belle-epoque society with her racy descriptions in regards to sex and gender roles, including many homosexual themes. Read her wikipedia profile here--it definitely seems more scandalous than anything in Us Weekly.