ANDY’s winter reading syllabus
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Length: 109 pages
Enjoy a colourful collection of short stories – we know you’ll need it after the snow starts to settle in. One of Lutz’s more recent collections, A Partial List of People to Bleach, is an assortment of stories, ranging from time spent with ex-husbands to a nameless narrator’s analysis of their aunt’s relationship. This one will be best enjoyed with a cup of Earl Grey under a heavy blanket.
Length: 176 pages
If Toni Morrison says it’s required reading, then we’re inclined to say the same. Coates has made his name as a writer working for big publications like The Atlantic, but here he takes a more personal approach that will draw readers in. Writing to his son in a tone reminiscent of Jame Baldwin’s prophetic collection of essays, The Fire Next Time, Coates educates us all on the racial history of America.
Crush - Richard Siken
Not available on Kindle
Length: 80 pages
The themes of sex in these poems will help keep you toasty warm while you blush through Siken’s poems. This collection made it onto this list with ease, with his accessible style and relatable experiences. From love to ruin and back again, Siken’s poems are sure to fill the quiet moments at your parents’ place this holiday season. I’ve put my copy of this collection in my pockets often, since I find it nice to have a comfortable amount of poetry on me at all times.
Good Old Neon - David Foster Wallace
Length: 336 pages
Return to a hot, wet August with David Foster Wallace’s short story, “Good Old Neon”. It’s a rather short read, running about 41 pages online. It is available in DFW’s collection, Oblivion, but if you want to get around to reading the rest of the items on this list, I’d suggest with sticking with this one. It’s certainly better than struggling through Infinite Jest.
Solip - Ken Baumann
Length: 200 pages
Like the flickering of your fireplace (screensaver), Solip’s structure is a rapid fire ebbing and flowing from capital letters to punctuation marks. This highly textured anti-novel is sure to be rich enough to make you swap out your hot chocolate for water. Don’t be worried if the first time through leaves you nothing but cold and confused, some stories are best read twice.
The Castle - Franz Kafka
Length: 352 pages
You can empathize with the protagonist, K, as both must deal with an unfair amount of snow and cold. Nothing makes suffering easier than knowing that you’re not experiencing it alone. This sentiment is sort of ironic in relation to the protagonist’s hardships, given that he meditates on his loneliness throughout the 300-and-some-odd pages. Kafka died before he finished writing this novel — but hopefully you won’t die from the cold before you finish reading it.