1. Wolf, Chicken, Farmer, Opinionated Son

    Wolf Story by William McCleery. First published in 1947 and resurrected by the New York Review children’s collection, this ridiculously charming book is about a wolf, and a chicken, and a farmer, but really it’s about an exasperated, loving father in midcentury New York telling his very opinionated son a story.

    —Dan Kois in Slate chose Wolf Story as one of his “15 Favorite Books of 2012." We think the page above shows how narrative should work.

  2. Amsterdam Stories in New Amsterdam

    When so-called grownups retrace their younger days, they sometimes realize they might not have been so naive after all. Everything they once believed and lived, everything they once felt, was authentic and perhaps even correct. The abandonment of youthful notions was inevitable and necessary. In that, there is sadness, but also memories that are not nostalgic but hard-won and very real. The Dutch fiction writer Nescio presents readers with this human experience, in lyric prose and simple tales…

         — from a review of Amsterdam Stories in The Rumpus, which we think sums up (some of) Nescio’s themes very well, read the rest here. Slate also ran an excerpted edition of Joseph O’Neill’s introduction, read it here. And the photo above was from Monday’s event at Greenlight Bookstore where translator Damion Searls talked to O’Neill about Nescio and the book. We also got to drink jenever, inspired by the book.