Bookmas: when all gifts may double as table stabilizers.
Today’s not-so-secret BookSanta: Cliff Burns!
Cliff Burns has been an independent author and publisher for nearly 30 years. He has written a number of novels and short story collections, including The Reality Machine, So Dark the Night, The Last Hunt, and the re-released Sex & Other Acts of the Imagination, a collection about which Canadian literary icon Timothy Findley9 raved, “This is a book of hot dreams and frozen nightmares. It floats on a plane few writers achieve, where the imagery is raw but the insights are tender. The people in these stories will stay with me for a long time to come.” Over the past three decades, Burns’ tales have appeared in anthologies and publications around the world.
- David Gilbert, & Sons
- Donald Antrim, The Emerald Light in the Air
- David Mitchell, The Bone Clocks
- Brad Watson, Aliens in the Prime of Their Lives
What 2014-published non-fiction would you recommend?
- Naomi Klein, This Changes Everything
- Kevin Birmingham, The Most Dangerous Book: The Battle for James Joyce’s Ulysses
What one 2014-published book do you believe needs more love?
David Mitchell, The Bone Clocks
What book that you’ve read in 2014 (not necessarily a 2014 book) would you recommend?
Anthony Beevor, The Second World War
Philip Kerr, “Bernie Gunther” detective series
What author would you recommend?
What’s the one book you’ve read in your lifetime that you think everyone should read?
Anthony Burgess, Earthly Powers
Let’s go specific: what books would you recommend for
- The science-fiction fan: anything by Iain Banks, Alastair Reynolds, Vernor Vinge, Peter Watts
- The horror fan: Richard Matheson, Charles Beaumont, Ray Bradbury
- The fantasy fan: Jonathan Carroll, Paul Auster, John Crowley
- The strict realism fan: Richard Yates, Jim Harrison, Jim Shepard, Robert Stone
- The thriller/mystery fan: Philip Kerr, James Crumley, Michael Connelly
- The non-fiction fan: Robert Caro’s multi-volume bio of Lyndon Johnson, Margaret McMillan’s Paris, 1919, Werner Herzog’s Conquest of the Useless, and Michael MacLiammoir’s Put Money in Thy Purse
- The (your nationality) fan: Canadian? Gotta be Mordecai Richler, he’s the man. Another favorite Canuck novel is Timothy Findley’s Not Wanted on the Voyage.
- The (genre I couldn’t think of) fan: a recent discovery, Andrez Bergen, who writes a strange, Phil Dickian type of sci-fi (Tobacco-Stained Mountain Goat). And I always have time for Borges, Beckett, Calvino, Thomas Bernhard…authors who bust boundaries and expand our minds.
If, god forbid, people couldn’t find any of your books, who else would you suggest they seek out for a similar literary fix?
I think holidays and I think laughter. I think laughter and I think: