(Posted retroactively because I fell behind. I picked up so many book & mags during my trip at the end of the month that I spent most of the last two weeks with my nose in everything EXCEPT the ones I was supposedly reading. So no very thorough notes on my impressions, though I scribbled away while reading the Rankine.)
The Gibson book knocked me out--I liked it almost as much as The Wind Up Bird Chronicle (the Murakami novel I read recently) and Gibson is a new minor obsession. A v. perceptive, fascinating look at online conspiracies and fads, chat rooms, and cultish behavior--uh, obsession. As a part-time mostly reluctant fashion copywriter I loved Cayce Pollard's aversion to logos and am seriously thinking of adopting some "units" of my own--a few key pieces of clothing in multiples that combine for any occasion. Gibson's futurist stories are awesome, but this not-quite alternative present proves he's just a great writer whatever genre you feel inclined to assign. Anyway, reading the Gibson and the Rankine together was really pretty amazing. They are both set right around the time--or really some months after--of the World Trade Center attacks and set at least partially in New York. I was feeling those books, you might say, in a personal way. All kinds of little resonance explosions. I'm sure the conjunction of the two colored my experience of each. As for Ilya Kaminsky's book, that was a reread and it is still as good as it was the first time. Hardly a mistep--and he seems to feel no anxiety, doesn't try too hard or overreach (which, granted, can for some produce extragoodness), doesn't fall into the easy zany groove. He is sure but not pat, if that makes sense. Also read most of D. Bouchard and E. Myles in March, but I'll save them for the April wrap up because I am not quite finished with either (and they also are making a nice pair).