Bushwick Picks: What We’re Reading Now

As readers, we cheat on books; the monogamous reader is a rare thing. Most of us have a stack on our nightstand or a queue in our e-reader, and we bounce back and forth. Some books are longer reads, taking months or even years. Other books are one night stands, captivating in the dim hours of night and leading to bitter regret as we wake to a cold, unforgiving alarm clock (and work day) in the morning. So the question is, what are you reading now?

Molly Wizenberg‘s A Homemade Life has been on the top of our stacks as we get read for next week’s show at the Royal Room, but what else have we been reading and listening to lately? We asked some Bushwick Book Club Seattle writers and performers to tell us what else they had on their list.

Vince MartinezVince Martinez

I actually just finished Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher, the Edward Curtis biography by Timothy Egan. I absolutely loved it as it dealt with settings in both the Northwest and my home area of the Southwest. Besides that I’ve been picking up chapters here and there of Malcolm Gladwell’s What the Dog Saw which are select stories he wrote for the New Yorker. The book came out years ago and I got it as a gift from my brother-in-law, but I only get to read a chapter or so between book club books. I liked Gladwell’s Blink and Tipping Point a lot. This one is good too, but I think lacks the academic quality of those, probably due to the limit of length and need to bridge between stories.

Oh yeah, I’ve been listening to Tai Shan’s new album Living Fiction on bandcamp and it is amazing! I’ll also be joining Read and Destroy at Tai’s CD release show at the Tractor Tavern on Sunday, May 18 and may do a Tai Shan cover!

Kerry Garvin

One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories by B.J. Novak  (audiobook)
This debut novel from The Office writer and actor (he played intern Ryan) is an outstanding audio performance. Normally, I dread the words “performed for you by the author” at the start of an audio book, given Novak’s acting background though, he performs them with skill. Mindy Kaling, Jenna Fischer, Katy Perry and others also contribute. My favorite is a piece about a man going to heaven and trying to make plans to hang out with his grandma and then finding she’s too popular and busy to make time for him in the afterlife. I think the book would ben a fine read as the stories are often funny and sometimes sarcastic, sad and even sweet; the audio performance just makes the content so much richer though. I listen to about two audio books a week and this is the best one I’ve heard in 2014.

Levi Fuller

Gifts of the Crow: How Perception, Emotion, and Thought Allow Smart Birds to Behave Like Humans, by John Marzluff and Tony Angell

I’m fascinated by animals in general and crows in particular, and Marzluff and Angell – whom we’re very lucky to have living and working among us here in Seattle – are really wonderful at bringing to light some of the incredibly intelligent and “human-like” behaviors of corvids and giving some of the science and biology involved without just bogging you down in dry scientist-speak. I would love to have a beer with these guys some time and talk crows, but this is the next best thing.

Tekla Waterfield

Tekla Waterfield

I recently ordered the entire Game of Thrones series and this is my second time reading through them, purely for the pleasure of doing so!  🙂  I’m also reading A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg for the upcoming Bushwick show.  This may sound a bit odd, but I have a third book I’m working through, generally reading some early in the morning to help set my mind for the day, titled Joyous Expansion, Unleashing Your Passions to Lead and Inspired Life by local author, Brett Dupree.  AND… in my car I’m listening to a book on CD titled Committed: A Love Story, by Elizabeth Gilbert (author of Eat, Pray, Love).

What I’m currently listening to: Some homemade recordings by my buddy Matty Ploszaj, who I met from the open mic I host at the Bourbon Bar in the Columbia City. We’re getting together along with some other folks tonight to work on them and will be doing some recording this weekend. When I’m not listening to a friend’s music, I’m often listening to Neko Case, Madeleine Peyroux, The Cowboy Junkies, Elbow, Bob Marley or some hot and heavy workout tunes by Wax Motiff and Neoteric if I’m getting my cardio on!

Aaron Shay

The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins
Dawkins is a controversial luminary in the field of evolutionary biology, and this is one of his most famous works. It’s a dense read, chock full of genetic terminology communicated with relatable metaphors, clearly aimed at the educated non-scientist reader. This book presents a fascinating perspective on evolution: Dawkins proposes the idea that all lifeforms are survival machines, designed by genes over countless generations with the intention of spreading those genes more effectively. A great book for those outside of the field of biology like myself, seeking to find out more about how lifeforms work.