Phil Duncan is the author of Wax, a young-adult novel published by RainTown Press, as well as of various short fiction published both in print and online. He is a graduate of Goddard College’s Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program and the University of Washington’s English program. He is a former Jacob K. Javits Fellow and recently served as a Creator-in-Residence at the Tokyo Wonder Site—-Aoyama in Tokyo, Japan. He lives in Portland, OR.
If I attempt to read something too dense or reader-intensive in bed, I find myself waking up a few hours later, encrusted in drool, half-dressed, with a book’s spine tented on my chest. Instead I prefer works that naturally break themselves up into digestible bits — like brief bedtime stories read by mom (if mom had a penchant for the dark and bizarre) — that litter my dreams with talking animals and death-obsessed college students, and inspire me to revisit passages during the next morning’s commute. Currently, these are the books jockeying for position on my nightstand:
The Chronicles of Narnia (Books #1-#7): As an author of YA, I’m a little ashamed to admit that I’m reading the Narnia series for the very first time. Though familiar with the more popular books in the series, such as The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe and Prince Caspian, I find myself drawn more to the lesser known works such as A Boy and His Horse. I enjoy the rich settings, adventures, and folklore that hint to the broader themes of religion, culture, and war.
The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service series by Eiji Otsuka: I always have graphic fiction close at hand, most of which tends to be of the Japanese persuasion. This is a startlingly macabre and utterly gorgeous series.
Concrete by Paul Chadwick: these Dark Horse Comics anthologies are Chadwick’s masterwork.
What YA must-reads would you add?