From the TBR Shelf #49: The Dark Tower III: The Waste Lands by Stephen King,204,203,200_.jpgThe Dark Tower III: The Waste Lands (1991) by Stephen King



Thanks to Stephen King, I will never be able to look again at lobsters or trains with equanimity. But this Dark Tower series sure is a wild ride, and I plan to see it through to the end.

Books to Look For (October): Biography & Autobiography


Review: Rock, Paper, Scissors by Naja Marie Aidt,204,203,200_.jpgRock, Paper, Scissors by Naja Marie Aidt, translated by K. E. Semmel (Open Letter, 341 pages)

This is Danish writer Naja Marie Aidt's first novel, and what a novel it is. At turns emotionally exhausting, heart-stopping, humorous, and depressing, Rock, Paper, Scissors confronts us with some uncomfortable questions about family, jealousy, and greed.

While Thomas O'Malley Lindström, part owner of a stationary store, may seem like the book's main character, it is in fact his dead father around whom all of the action and many of the decisions swirl. After Jacques O'Malley dies suddenly in prison for an unspecified crime, his children, Thomas and Jenny, briefly go through his apartment and then arrange for his cremation and burial. Thing is, the apartment was ransacked before Thomas and Jenny arrived, and it's all downhill from there. After all, Jacques was a hardened criminal and his friends aren't exactly sweet guys - so when Thomas discovers a large wad of cash hidden in Jacques's toaster, the last thing he should do is take it.


Review: Memory by Teresa P. Mira de Echeverría, translated by Lawrence Schimel 

Review on the Speculative Fiction in Translation site

In Translation: September Fiction and Poetry

Yup, it’s September already- time to binge on school supplies and set some academic goals and look forward to winter break. What better way to start the fall than by reading some great fiction and poetry in translation?! This month brings us some fantastic works by Kuwaiti, French, Israeli, and Spanish writers. Enjoy, and tell us what you’re reading in translation!

The Bamboo Stalk by Saud Alsanousi, translated by Jonathan Wright (Bloomsbury USA, 384 pages, September 22)

Winner of the International Prize for Arabic Fiction, The Bamboo Stalk offers us a glimpse into the lives of foreign workers in Arab countries. Here we have the story of Josephine, a Filipino woman working as a maid in Kuwait, who falls in love and has a child with Rashid. Josephine is ultimately forced by Rashid’s family to return with her son, Jose, to the Philippines. And while Jose hopes to return to Kuwait when he comes of age, his mixed background may work against him.

An Absolutely Serious Analysis of BUT NOT THE HIPPOPOTAMUS

boyntonFirst, let me just clarify for those out there who might not understand that I’m being horribly, horribly facetious in posts like this, that I absolutely love Sandra Boynton because her books calmed my twins when they were crazy almost-toddlers– without fail.

But now, because it’s just so much fun and I really can’t help myself, I shall proceed to critically dissect and analyze Boyton’s classic But Not the Hippopotamus as if I were a stereotypical Dry Old Professor with absolutely no sense of humor. If I were this person, what would I write if someone asked me to produce a close-reading of this text? Well, you’re about to find out.

10 Things That Happen When You Read a “Real” Book

book_vs_readerThank GOODNESS for this article on the benefits of reading actual books! I mean, I was reading the fake stuff (i.e. ebooks), thinking that I was actually consuming the real thing!

According to this ridiculous inane unbelievable informative piece, reading “real” books will make you smarter, help you concentrate better, and even make people think you’re sexy!

But here are even MORE things that reading “real” books will do for you:


From the TBR Shelf #48: The Dark Tower II: The Drawing of the Three by Stephen King Dark Tower II: The Drawing of the Three (1987) by Stephen King

Ok, everybody's fired for not having made me read the Dark Tower series before now.

Just kidding. I know you guys are just trying to manage your own tottering TBR piles!

So: The Drawing of the Three. King picks up the thread from The Gunslinger and launches us into an entirely different world, one in which Roland can move back and forth between his own and that of our reality. He can even move through time, and that's how he picks up the people who become his companions on the way to the Dark Tower.


Random Recommendation Guest Post: Monograph by Simeon Berry

This recommendation comes from Joseph Spuckler. You can follow him on his Evil Cyclist's Blog, and on twitter @evil_cyclist.,204,203,200_.jpgMonograph (2015) by Simeon Berry

"Written in narrow sections that blur the distinction between flash fiction and prose poetry, between memoir and meditation, Monograph veers from the elliptical to the explosive as it dissects the Gordian knot of a marriage’s intellectual, sexual, and domestic lives. Invoking Raymond Chandler, Pythagoras, Joan Didion, and Virginia Woolf as presiding spirits, Simeon Berry curates the negative space of each wry tableau, destabilizing the high seriousness of every lyric aside and slipping quantum uncertainty into the stark lineaments of loss."