M Train, a re-read

I gave M Train another read only a few months after I first read it, because I just got a copy of it on Tuesday when I saw Patti Smith at the Nourse, and because she was so damned inspiring in that conversation that I was dissatisfied with reading most other books last night. I read until the witching hour of midnight, then tumbled into bed freshly inspired by her routine, the daily walk across the street to cafe with pen, notebook, and book, to alternate between reading and writing.

This second reading seemed deeper to me, and I got a lot more book recommendations from it. She mentions having dropped breadcrumbs for at least fifty books in this when a stranger taps her on the shoulder asking her to recommend some books. My list now includes:

  • Mohammed Mrabet’s The Beach Café
  • Isabelle Eberhardt
  • Nicanor Parra’s After-Dinner Declarations
  • W.H. Auden’s Letters from Iceland
  • Jim Carroll’s The Petting Zoo
  • W.G. Sebald’s After Nature
  • Murakami’s A Wild Sheep Chase
  • Suspended Sentences
  • Wittgenstein’s Poker
  • Shantytown
  • Heart of a Dog
  • Rashōmon and Seventeen Other Stories by Akutagawa

“How could I have nothing to read? Perhaps it wasn’t a lack of a book but a lack of obsession.”