fall reading list / by Warrior Ant Press Worldwide Anthill Headquarters in Kansas City, Missouri, USA.

Books fall from trees and Warrior Ant Press rakes them up and bags them for your fall enjoyment.

Let the Great World Spin. Colum McCann.2009, Random House. A book that stretches a long thin wire between Philippe Petit's wire walk between the twin towers of the World Trade Center and 9/11 and dares to take the reader along the route. With a cast of New Yorkers that makes you long for a big city escape. No doubt, the best book you'll likely read this year.

Bowl of Cherries. Millard Kauffman. 2007, McSweeney's Rectangulars. The Iraq conflict filtered through the eyes of the co-creator of Mr. Magoo and the screenwriter of Bad Day at Black Rock. One part comix, one part satire, one part Hollywood blockbuster. Settle down with a bowl of popcorn and enjoy the ride.

Lowboy. John Wray. 2009, Farrar, Straus, & Giroux. A lowboy, as presented here, is someone who hangs out and lives in the subway tunnels. This lowboy, manic with the implications of global warming, is on the verge of a weirdly comic and inventive nervous breakdown. Jump the turnstile and join him.

Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry into the Value of Work. Matthew B. Crawford. 2009, The Penguin Press. I found the first 100 pages of this book annoying as an admonishing parent. Work is useful for the soul. You knew that and if you didn't, well, you're lazy or ill. There's value in fixing things rather than outsourcing them. It wasn't until Crawford got over his embarrassment of having a Ph.D. in Philosophy from the Univ. of Chicago that the book finally released itself from pedestrian interests and moved into something more substantive-like the quality of nuts and bolts.

The Impossible Dream: The Story of Scott Walker and the Walker Brothers.
Anthony Reynolds. 2009, Genuine Jawbone Books. So you want to be a rock 'n roll star? Borrow 10 grand from your father, move to England, and act like one...for a few months. Make a hit record then drink heavily for 40 years. Then sober up a little and try to convince the world that you were once bigger than the Beatles and the Stones. OK. So? Could be true? One of the funniest books I've read in some time. At some point I actually had to google the band to find out if they ever existed. They did.

The American Painter Emma Dial.Samantha Peale. 2009, W.W. Nortong. A perfect little book about big paintings dripping with sexy characters amidst the back-stabbing art world.

The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon.
David Grann. 2009, Doubleday. One of my colleagues has a collection of books about the world's most challenging adventures: sailing solo around the world, hiking in Anartica, getting lost. Most of these end in tragedy or dismal failure. The Lost City of Z is more than that, sorta of the equivalent of repeatably sending in someone to save a drowning man only to watch the rescuer drown. And then sending one person after another. Eventually someone makes it safely back and writes a story about it. This book will make you stop complaining about the occassional mosquito bite.

Underground America: Narratives of Undocumented Lives. Peter Orner (Ed.)2008, McSweeney's Books. Stop complaining about your job and reconnect with the American Dream. It's not all pudding and raisins.

Stiches: a memoir. David Small, 2009, W.W.Norton. Small pulls us through a childhood filled with mentally ill family members and into a life of redemption and art. Soft strokes and hard words rendered into reality.

Prayer Requested, Christian Northeast. 2009, Drawn and Quarterly. It's easy, upon first reading, to dismiss these prayers as the quirky, ramblings of desparate internet trolls. Give this book a second read and you'll discover these prayers aren't that much different from your own. Don't you want to be God's FB friend?

A Gate at the Stairs. Lorrie Moore. 2009, Alfred A. Knopf. This book got a lot of attention when it appeared the summer. Seemingly, Lorrie Moore was every where talking about the time and energy spent writing this book; the premise sounded intriguing. I really wanted to like this book. I really did.