Tag Archives: book stuff

Thursday 07/6 2017
The Polarized: Ashley Shelby’s “South Pole Station”

“Antarctica is a place of extremes: coldest place on earth; home of the world’s largest desert; land of constant sun and constant night. So it stands to reason that Antarctica draws only the most intrepid and unique individuals.

While the continent has no permanent population, numerous scientists and support staff are scattered across its surface. It is here, by design, that Antarctica is meant to avoid at least one polarizing factor: politics. Operated under the Antarctic Treaty System, the South Pole is meant to be a brumal Eden of science, where research centers are freed from the political binds that exist in the world above.”

Read the rest of my review of Shelby’s novel South Pole Station in Paste

Thursday 07/6 2017
Five Books to Relieve Your Financial Guilt

“Finances fray our nerves and shadow our souls. As flies caught in an international web of commerce, few things can make us feel as powerful or as pathetic as our bank balance. So if your parents just paid your rent again or you just can’t reconcile those little numbers on your ATM receipt, these books’ torturous relationships with cash will leave you feeling better about your own (legal) tender issues.”

Read the list in Paste Magazine

Tuesday 06/27 2017
Effortless Indomitability: Christopher Bollen’s “The Destroyers”

“Availing himself to as romantic a backdrop as one could ever hope—not only the island itself, rich with ruin and religion and, well, riches, but also the twin eddies of the Greek economic crash and the Mediterranean refugee crisis—Bollen’s writing echoes both Patmos and the famous words brought up from its core. Sun-blasted prose is pocked with marvelous turns of phrase, and his pawns twist, flay and leak acid like lemons. Every painful and sexy and mysterious moment proves alluringly repulsive, like the heat—from behind designer sunglasses—of the vacation sun…or the end of the world.”

Read the rest of my review of The Destroyers in Paste

Friday 03/3 2017
The Haunting Relevancy of Yoojin Grace-Wuertz’ debut novel

“Even if some of the story beats sound familiar, their placement in Wuertz’s Seoul, where hair gleams “like the belly of a giant tuna” and drinks arrive “one after the other like the next turn on the disco ball” even as American GIs tear families apart and agitators are whisked away in black cars, renders them new.

The novel reveals an exciting place and time, in the catalytic sense, and all the more-so for us as visitors who are surrounded by its echoes—class, sex, race—even now.”

Read the rest of my review of Everything Belongs To Us in Paste Magazine

 

Wednesday 10/5 2016
A Sociological History of Haunted America

“Ghost stories are how we attempt to codify the uncanny and the uncomfortable, the painful and the personal, the romantic and the irredeemably horrible. After all, are not people haunted by lovers and places haunted by tragedies?

By hewing to the facts and using a historian’s loupe, author Colin Dickey seeks to illuminate ghosts’ cultural presence. Ghostland, Dickey’s new book chronicling the sociological history of America’s most haunted places, finds its power not in the numerous phantoms lurking in the country’s shadows, but in the buildings, battlefields, slave prisons and Native American lands that birthed them.”

Read my interview with Colin Dickey in Paste Magazine

Thursday 08/7 2014
Judging a book by its … well, you know …

“An exceptional cover … can bridge the gap between author, idea and reader in a graceful way. As such, a cover is intrinsically linked to its book, but examples with which to inspire bootstrapping author’s abound. Shaykin points to David Pearson’s cover of George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four for Penguin: Along with Penguin’s classic orange and white, the title and author are rendered in black on black, as if redacted, perfectly encapsulating Orwell’s dystopian novel. Peter Mendelsund’s Ulysses, in sea foam and black surgical scars, similarly evokes the jovial and verbicidal legacy of Joyce’s crucible.”

Read the rest at The Airship