Sam Shepard: A Life is now available in paperback (including a new epilogue).

JohN J. Winters

October 2018


Prediction: I feel a major J.M. Coetzee binge coming on. Seeing him at Harvard tomorrow night (10/17).


J.M. Coetzee: Barbarians at the Gate

Just started. Previously read Disgrace. Ending left me messed up for days. More to come.







September 2018


William Kennedy - Bootlegger of the Soul

Reviewing this for the Times Literary Supplement. If they post it online, I'll share it. In a nutshell, this is a collection of reviews and research papers discussing Kennedy's novels. There's also a short story and a one-act play by Kennedy. The editors have also included photos of historical Albany and link them to specific parts of Kennedy's novels.


William Kennedy - Legs

His second novel, my second time through it. Held up well.


William Kennedy - Billy Phelan's Greatest Game

His third novel, and Kennedy really hits his stride, turning Albany into his greatest character.


Bob Woodward - Fear

Confirms the worst of our fears. The biggest takeaway for me was that Trump still believes it's 1945, or at least wishes it was still 1945. All his misguided beliefs exist snugly within his shitty nostalgia for those good ol' days.


Jonathan Abrams - All the Pieces Matter/The Wire

Halfway through season four now (about time!). I already watched the final season when it first ran. What a great show. Very interested in David Simon's taken on the world and how it is made manifest in his greatest creation.


John le Carré - Call for the Dead

My first JL novel; figured I'd start at the beginning. Simple story, well told. I know he builds majestically from here. George Smiley is already a great character in this, his first appearance.


Seneca - Letters From a Stoic

Read a little each day, like a multi-vitamin. 


Thomas Merton - A Year with Thomas Merton: Daily Meditations from His Journals

One-a-day thoughts from this great thinker and man of peace.


Herman Melville - Bartleby the Scrivener

A quick read for a reading group at the Providence Athenaeum. Really looking forward to this go-round. Melville and Conrad, can't beat that pair.