Simple: a kick-ass short story collection. So kick-ass, I'm saying it's kick-ass before I've even finished it.
Why is it so kick-ass? It is honest, funny, sad, painful, straight-up storytelling with awkward, messed-up, self-conscious characters at its core. No fancy deconstructions, no look-at-what-i'm-doing-there-right-there-in-that-chapter tomfoolery, no meta-themes and overarching themes and subgenre themes melding together to create the stuff of a thousand and one grad student papers gone bad. Instead, Rivecca offers characters who are honestly struggling, honestly telling it like they see it, honestly trying to sort their shit out. How refreshing after months of plowing through theory and meta, meta, meta lit.
Why does it matter? I've been on a non-blogging, non-reading, non-writing, non-loving-books-at-all jag. Again. For the umpteenth time. Call me a jaded reader. An unproductive writer. Whathaveyou. I'd lost the spark. Rex, while fascinating in many ways, felt like an exercise in what literature could be if we all tried very hard to make it so. A puzzle to deconstruct and re-make and discuss at dinner parties. Same with Shields (but that's a separate matter) after awhile. I wondered if it was me or what I was reading or both. Hell, Tinkers didn't move me. I kept skipping pages and pages thinking, I'm bored. Bored to tears with the Pulitzer prize-winning novel that all those I respect & admire have praised loudly, effusively. The only reading of any kind that has wowed me in any way since Maggie Nelson's excellent Bluets is the street-style photo compendium The Sartorialist by the fantastic Scott Schuman. Seriously.
So: For long-time readers, you know the drill. You get my gig. You are totally hip to this dip in readerly-writerly interest. I lose interest with the seasons (sometimes more often, on good years...less) and a book and a trip (thank you NYC) often conspire together to yank me right out of my complacency and place me firmly back on solid reading/writing ground. The most recent book to yank me out of my nonsense is Rivecca's debut short story collection Death Is Not an Option. Go check it out & let me know what you think. Would love to chat you up about it before I fall into another fashion blog coma.