Woe is (not) me



Just a sampling, loves.

Ah, bookish bookish love… These are a few review copies I have lying around the room, those which aren’t scattered further afield. Ideally, I like to keep the bulk of them in the same room – our family room, where the “main” computer is. Realistically, dream on.

Silence Once Begun by Jesse Ball, as well as This Dark Road to Mercy by Wiley Cash (copy forthcoming) are upcoming review selections for The New York Journal of Books.

Heart of Darkness (for review here) is a new edition illustrated by the amazing, unparalleled Matt Kish (Moby Dick in Pictures). He has done it again, this time with Conrad’s classic:












Jay Parini’s Jesus: The Human Face of God, Lavery’s The Conquest of the Ocean and The Best American Travel Writing, ed. by Elizabeth Gilbert, are Amazon reviews.

And the little birdie that sits atop them? It’s someone’s ceramics project I found for sale at Goodwill. I collect the cast-off pottery of others. I think it’s lovely and it saddens me to see it sitting on a shelf. Handmade things are to be loved and cherished, such is the duty I gladly perform.

In eBooks, I have a staggering number courtesy of NetGalley. Twenty or so, I believe. Of all of them, perhaps the one I most lust for is John Freeman’s How to Read a Novelist.


     For the last fifteen years, whenever a novel was published, John Freeman was there to greet it. As a critic for more than two hundred newspapers worldwide, the onetime president of the National Book Critics Circle, and the current editor of Granta, he has reviewed thousands of books and interviewed scores of writers. In How to Read a Novelist, which pulls together his very best profiles (many of them new or completely rewritten for this volume) of the very best novelists of our time, he shares with us what he’s learned.
From such international stars as Doris Lessing, Haruki Murakami, Salman Rushdie, and Mo Yan, to established American lions such as Don DeLillo, Norman Mailer, Toni Morrison, Marilynne Robinson, Philip Roth, John Updike, and David Foster Wallace, to the new guard of Edwidge Danticat, Dave Eggers, Jonathan Franzen, and more, Freeman has talked to everyone.
What emerges is an instructive and illuminating, definitive yet still idiosyncratic guide to a diverse and lively literary culture: a vision of the novel as a varied yet vital contemporary form, a portrait of the novelist as a unique and profound figure in our fragmenting global culture, and a book that will be essential reading for every aspiring writer and engaged reader—a perfect companion (or gift!) for anyone who’s ever curled up with a novel and wanted to know a bit more about the person who made it possible.


Archetype by M.D. Waters came from nowhere:


Emma wakes in a hospital, with no memory of what came before. Her husband, Declan, a powerful, seductive man, provides her with new memories, but her dreams contradict his stories, showing her a past life she can’t believe possible: memories of war, of a camp where girls are trained to be wives, of love for another man. Something inside her tells her not to speak of this, but she does not know why. She only knows she is at war with herself.

Suppressing those dreams during daylight hours, Emma lets Declan mold her into a happily married woman and begins to fall in love with him. But the day Noah stands before her, the line between her reality and dreams shatters.

In a future where women are a rare commodity, Emma fights for freedom but is held captive by the love of two men—one her husband, the other her worst enemy. If only she could remember which is which. . . .

The first novel in a two-part series, Archetype heralds the arrival of a truly memorable character—and the talented author who created her.


Well, somewhere but I know not of it. A new book, a new author. Why not?

Have a lovely evening. Read! Read! Read!



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