Bibliohio: Recommended Reading from the Heart-Shaped State

By
From the July 3, 2014 edition

“A Moody Fellow Finds Love and Then Dies,” Douglas Watson

outpost19.com

Why you’ll love it:

This novel delivers on the promises of its endearingly blunt title. Douglas Watson dooms poor Moody Fellow (his protagonist’s actual name), but compensates by giving him an array of adventures: He loses his virginity within earshot of sleeping monks, plays piano for a ridiculous performance-art piece, falls in love and has it returned at least once. Watson’s prose is fresh, self-aware and poignant (in the key of Spike Jonze).

See for yourself:

“Moody kept after Clara, and before long they were hanging out pretty regularly, talking about social upheaval and Clara’s religion and Moody’s feelings about war and history and mental clutter. From there it was a short figurative distance to the literal pool behind the very real monastery in the town in which Clara had grown up. Let’s rejoin them there. Remember, they’re naked.”

—from page 42

“Nevers,” Megan Martin

caketrain.org

Why you’ll love it:

This book is gloriously not normal, nor is it short fiction, exactly. Rather, “Nevers” is a collection of very short pieces, each a SuperSoaker blast of exciting, alien prose. Megan Martin’s two-ish page vignettes showcase a fragmented, object-riddled world. The book is like an apocalyptic Sky Mall offering robot foxes, intimidating cheeses, poets wearing capes and hot tubs full of academics. The only consistent element is Martin’s voice, which is hypnotic in its unwavering unhingedness.

See for yourself:

“I understand something! I am clear about what life means! ...It is like that time with Fifi, my stuffed animal cat. I held her at my parents’ garage sale and said, ‘purrrr.’ Adults felt Fifi’s whiteness like she was a real kitten. Adults said, ‘Adorable! Fifi! Gorgeous! Brilliant!’ They paid five dollars for lemonade blurped from tap water and a powdered packet.”

—from “The Fifi Time”