I have been reading Borges’s Evaristo Carriego: A Book about old-time Buenos Aires, a short biography of a popular poet from Palermo, the neighborhood where Borges grew up and which he memorialized in many of his early poems. As biography it’s pretty outré—“I believe that a chronological account is inappropriate to Carriego,” Borges announces early in the book—but as a portrait of Palermo and an introduction to Borges’s obsession with knife fighters and the underworld of Buenos Aires, it’s pretty unbeatable. It also includes a short chapter, “A History of the Tango,” which is one of the best pieces of music criticism I know. —Robyn Creswell
Pretty much anything about Borges will get our attention.