Author Archive

Review: IN FULL VELVET by Jenny Johnson

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For her debut collection In Full Velvet, poet Jenny Johnson's address begins with “Thank you,” and it is radical, as if a muse might peer over the edge of her throne and say, “My, those are words I have not heard for some time.”

Review: A FIELD GUIDE TO MURDER AND FLY FISHING by Tim Weed

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Much of the collection explores the way men navigate their early adult life, the infatuations, the friendships, the sense of belonging and not belonging. Protagonists try to discover who they really are. In the travel stories especially they seem to seek something elusive, irretrievably lost.

Review: WRITING HARD STORIES by Melanie Brooks

Sharply written, these intimate and insightful exchanges dispel the myth that perhaps we all, writers or not, have come to believe about our own narratives, our own lives: “The worst story that we can tell ourselves is that we are alone.”

Review: THANK YOU FOR BEING LATE: AN OPTIMIST’S GUIDE TO THRIVING IN THE AGE OF ACCELERATIONS by Thomas Friedman

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In Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist's Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations, Thomas L. Friedman’s title hints at a need for what we're losing in today's world. Namely, all the imperfections that make us human. After all, being late and being wrong is what being

Review: THE SUMMER SHE WAS UNDER WATER by Jen Michalski

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Sam Pinski is drowning. Sometimes, quite literally, but at least metaphorically, “she feels submerged in herself.” Sam seems to struggle to remain herself in a situation where everyone wants her to be their version of Sam Pinski, which is a lot of work on a family vacation.

Review: SWING TIME by Zadie Smith

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In a novel about history, about generations, reading Swing Time is like suddenly remembering a song you used to love.

Review: THE IRRESISTIBLE INTROVERT: HARNESS THE POWER OF QUIET CHARISMA IN A LOUD WORLD by Michael Chung

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Throughout her book, Chung reiterates the differences between extroverts and introverts, but eschews any claims of advantageousness. One person exults in a bar with his riotous friends while another broods in a library without anyone interrupting her. They’ll use different taps to distill pleasure from our world, but at

Review: ATLAS OBSCURA: AN EXPLORER’S GUIDE TO THE WORLD’S HIDDEN WONDERS Ed. by Joshua Foer, Dylan Thuras, and Ella Morton

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Atlas Obscura: An Explorer’s Guide to the World’s Hidden Wonders Ed. by Joshua Foer, Dylan Thuras, and Ella Morton Workman, Sept.2016 480 pp; $35 Buy: hardcover | eBook Reviewed by Aaron Sommers If you’re like me, then you associate atlases with maps. Maybe it’s part of the larger, more

Review: BAD FAITH by Theodore Wheeler

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By anchoring his collection around Aaron Kleinhardt, Wheeler creates subtle connections. The stories feel linked in an understated but solid way, creating a canvas with more depth than any one short story alone could give. Wheeler’s characters are people we know.

Review: PATRICIDE by D. Foy

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The protagonist in D. Foy’s second novel is that angry young kid whose pain and shame he cannot express except in strange orthogonal ways, ways that will only deepen his pain and shame, not alleviate them. But Foy allows us inside that boy’s beleaguered brain box and we feel