Mark Athitakis

Mark Athitakis
A newsletter about reading, books, and reading about books.
Created 27 Aug 2018
  • Mark Athitakis Newsletter #39
    03 Feb 2020 • 3 min read • 1 0
    One of the first books I remember reading was one I discovered in my school library as a first or second grader: Gene Zion’s Dear Garbage Man, a 1957 tale of a sanitation worker who’s having second th...
  • Mark Athitakis Newsletter #38
    09 Dec 2019 • 3 min read • 1 0
    Things, you may have heard, are awful. Impeachment hearings, climate change, upheaval in a host of countries, disappointing presidential candidates. Or, maybe they're not awful. Good books arrive, and...
  • Mark Athitakis Newsletter #37
    25 Nov 2019 • 2 min read • 1 0
    It's something of a cliche among critics that whenever a stranger on a plane or at a coffee shop asks them to name their favorite book, they freeze up. Memories of hundreds upon hundreds of books, man...
  • Mark Athitakis Newsletter #36
    11 Nov 2019 • 4 min read
    So I'm reading Lonesome Dove. I’ve kept meaning to get to it, and I was finally moved to start it because I'd been reading Stephen Harrigan's engrossing history of Texas, Big Wonderful Thing. And I wa...
  • Mark Athitakis Newsletter #35
    20 Oct 2019 • 5 min read • 2 0
    1. In his memoir The Fifth Inning, Washington, D.C., poet and baseball fan E. Ethelbert Miller tells a story about how baseball is an unfinished story. "In the fifth inning, you know, anything can hap...
  • Mark Athitakis Newsletter #34
    30 Sep 2019 • 4 min read • 1 0
    Book-award season is kicking into gear. Which means "safe" season has started as well. If you pay attention to this sort of thing, you probably know what I mean by "safe." But if not: It means that bo...
  • Mark Athitakis Newsletter #33
    10 Sep 2019 • 3 min read • 1 0
    If you review books---if you review anything, really---you tend to collect critiques of criticism. Sometimes the critique is fired straight at you: Sometime in the late 90s, an East Bay Express reader...
  • Mark Athitakis Newsletter #32
    30 Aug 2019 • 4 min read
    When I was in high school, a girl I was friends with suggested we go to a park where I could read poetry to her. It was a sweet idea, though we had different ideas about what this suggestion meant---s...
  • Mark Athitakis Newsletter #31
    23 Aug 2019 • 3 min read • 4 0
    Someone on Twitter asked last week: "If you write about books/otherwise work in publishing, what percentage of your reading is for pleasure?" I didn't respond, because the question made me upset when ...
  • Mark Athitakis Newsletter #30
    16 Aug 2019 • 4 min read
    So I took a vacation. A vacation from the newsletter, you may have noticed. My hiatus was partly a function of an uptick in work, and partly a function of my ongoing thinking about how healthy it is o...
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