- Delphi Complete Works of Anton Chekhov – one of these massive collections of out-of-copyright works available on e-reader for pennies. Chekhov’s short stories are often just sketches of a moment or a state of mind, illuminated in conversation or internal dialogue. But some have sweeping timelines, and their rapid denouements remind me of Maupassant. Compared to Maupassant: somewhat less sex, much less war, more peasants, more deprivation, more authority conflicts.
- Home and Beloved by Toni Morrison. Home is a quick read, almost a novella. Beloved is a masterpiece. Elements of magical realism & of postmodern fiction, but completely absorbing and psychologically subtle (and occasionally frightening). Themes of freedom, power, and ownership are central, so a particularly recommended work for libertarians. And I’m not saying this to “signal.”
- The Stench of Honolulu by Jack Handey. A silly series of jokes tacked end-to-end into a ridiculous plot. The humor is reminiscent of the Airplane movie and, of course, “Deep Thoughts.”
Nonfiction (considered thoughts to come later on these):