The best newer books I’ve read

Greg Gerke
2 min readDec 26, 2020


Emerson says, Never read a book that is not a year old, so there are books here from previous years, but all of them were published by small presses.

Points of Attack — Mark de Silva: Review — “[T]he desire to feel a certain way about oneself or the world perverts the desire to know,” writes Mark de Silva on the last page of his electric book of short essays, Points of Attack…”

Unions and Thought Flights — Robert Musil (translator: Genese Grill): I interviewed Genese for LA Review of Books.

Panthers and the Museum of Fire — Jen Craig: Review

Novel Explosives — Jim Gauer: Probably the most aesthetically interesting and most underread US novel of the decade. Try to buy the new edition with Chris Via’s wonderful afterword.

Alexander Theroux: A Fan’s Notes — Steven Moore: Review

Babel — Gabriel Blackwell: “Is it better to feel unhappy with what one is doing but to be accepted as part of a group doing that thing, or is better to feel unhappy because one is pursuing what one wants to pursue but is alone in doing so?” A delightful Davenportian, Lynchian, Borgesian experience. The most impressive book of short fiction I’ve read in some time.

The Complete Gary Lutz — Garielle Lutz: A grand symphony of heartmelt. Check out the newer stories, especially “My Bloodbaths.” A favorite interview.

A Million Windows — Gerald Murnane: Review

The Age of Skin — Dubravka Ugresic: A welcomed retardant against the hype machines.

The Earth Dies Streaming — A.S. Hamrah: One of the best collections of film essays in years. Hamrah dispenses with tedious plot summaries and injects a nice gruff and funny political edge; of Sicario he writes: “Benicio del Toro, maybe the last actor from the Robert Mitchum mold, plays an Agency-backed hit man with blasé menace. Del Toro, like Mitchum, is a strange, often indifferent actor who apparently spins a wheel of fortune to choose his roles. Once he settles on one, he’s either good or bad in it depending on something no one can figure out, maybe if work starts on a Tuesday. It doesn’t matter who directs him. In films by auteurs like Paul Thomas Anderson and Arnaud Desplechin he can range from okay to not good, and then in an overblown thriller like this he shows up with something to prove. In some scenes he stares at Emily Blunt like he’s reminding her she is not an American and doesn’t work for the FBI, she’s just a movie star playing a cop.”



Greg Gerke

Author of See What I See (Zerogram Press) and Especially the Bad Things (Splice)