I managed to read two books for pleasure over holiday vacation, the first being Elena Ferrante's much celebrated My Brilliant Friend. Which was good. It was very readable. It's a good pick for a long plane ride. Or for sitting on a back deck in the Hill Country of Texas on an unseasonably warm afternoon and not thinking too deeply on anything.
I will at some point read the rest of Ferrante's Neapolitan novels. It's been a thrill to see Europa Editions meet with such fantastic success. The copyright page said this novel—the first in the series—was in its seventeenth printing, which is incredible. Europa has published many books I've loved, especially You Deserve Nothing by Alexander Maksik and Minotaur by Benjamin Tammuz. In the end, though, Ferrante's novel had me thinking again about Mark de Silva's brilliant essay at 3:AM Magazine about leisure writing and art novels.
The second book I finished, and would enthusiastically suggest you check out, is Michael Bible's novella, Sophia. With mad prose and flippant humor, this book is chock-full of incredible nuggets:
Here's another meaty bit:
I do think it'd be fun if you could do literary remixes as easily as they can be done musically. It'd be wild to see what would happen if you crossed Bible's cross-eyed humor and invigorating prose with Ferrante's storytelling and drama.