So, this fall, something happened between me and Boswell Books, this insanely great indie bookstore here in Milwaukee. Like, I knew it existed before, and I'd bought things there, been to readings, wandered around with a coffee in hand touching things mournfully in the overdramatic way I do when I don't have any money. Except that last part kind of faded away. I think it started when I realized they stocked the beautiful new editions of Dorothy L. Sayers's Lord Peter Wimsey & Harriet Vane mysteries, and so I bought one, then all the ones they had in stock, and then ordered in the rest. Like you do. It was like eating dessert all the time, except in bed, under a ton of blankets, and it was Golden Age mystery dessert, which comes with monocles.
And then I was just in there every day, with a coffee (there's a Starbucks next door), and at least once a week I'd cave and bring something new home. A sparkling-new 'used' copy of Rachel Kushner's The Flamethrowers, and Heidi Julavits’s The Vanishers, as recommended to me by either Chloe or Angela, I can’t remember–because, that’s right, when my friends come visit I bring them to Boswell and spread my hands and feel very self-satisfied, like I’ve somehow curated this fabulous experience for them–and Rebecca Dunham‘s new book, and Lucie Brock-Broido’s, and Lyndsay Faye’s Dust and Shadow–it’s a mile high. I want to read them but there is absolutely no time and so I’ve piled them in my study and sometimes I look at them with wet eyes like maybe, if I’m petulant enough, my schedule will clear itself and I’ll get to curl up with one. (Not to mention poetry manuscripts by Jeremy Bass and Richie Hofmann, which are not available in stores but in my Gmail inbox, because I’m a lucky girl, and Jay Parini’s fabulous-looking biography of Jesus, which is, and which you should get.)
Okay, but it gets complicated. I want to read these things and then I very badly want to write my own year in reading post. So this post is about wanting (to do) that, too. I’ve ploughed through quite a bit of fantasy and detective fiction this year, in tandem with the poetry collections I’m always reading, and I have thoughts. But I need to finish these all first. I am so excited about this that I’m staying up late to imagine it. Chenille throw, fireplace, hot chocolate. Winter is coming.