Keith Buckley’s Scale was the first novel I finished in 2016; The Lesser Bohemians by Eimear McBride was the last. I loved them both. In between, I read—and loved—an entire novel (finally!) by Nabokov—namely, Bend Sinister—having previously failed to appreciate the man’s genius—as well as The Basketball Diaries by Jim Carroll; The Sick-Bag Song by Nick Cave; Albina and the Dog-Men by Alejandro Jodorowsky; Reel, by Tobias Carroll; and Monica Drake’s short story collection, The Folly of Loving Life. I also dipped into a couple of collections of poetry, by Carol Ann Duffy and Leonard Cohen, and non-fiction by Jon Ronson (The Psychopath Test) and Dan Fox (Pretentiousness: Why It Matters).
In Latin America, magic is in our blood. Our history, our days are filled with magic, either for reasons of religious syncretism or for fear of the unknown, or, rather, a great love for surprises. When something inexplicable happens—and in Latin America life itself is inexplicable—that’s magic.
…or is it trying to teach me poetry?
I only ask because every so often it does this thing where it won’t allow me to eject the CD. This leaves me with three options as I drive back and forth between tutoring gigs and shopping mall coffee shops: one, sit in silence; two, listen to a bit of You & Yours on Radio 4 with Winifred Robinson; or three, listen to the same CD, over and over, until, eventually—inexplicably—it decides to eject itself and I can put in a different album and repeat the whole process.