Book Review: When We Became Three

When We Became Three: A Memory Book For the Modern Familyby Jill Caryl Weiner My mom kept a baby book. It was an album with photographs and notes, and in it she recorded my first steps and my first words. She pieced it together by hand, and included photographic prints, my birth announcement in the... Continue Reading →

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Book Review: Life After Life, by Kate Atkinson

Snow.11 February 1910. Ye gods, thought the infant Ursula, in a preternatural burst of consciousness, as she was born for the ninety-ninth time. Again She startled herself into a lusty scream. Bravo! A divine voice spoke from somewhere unseen. Do you realize that this is the first birth you’ve survived all on your own? In... Continue Reading →

Book Review: The Maid’s Version, by Daniel Woodrell

The Maid’s Version appeared last fall, Daniel Woodrell’s followup to Winter’s Bone (2006) and the acclaimed short-story collection The Outlaw Album (2011). Winter’s Bone had taken the breath out of a literary world grown content with the divide between “commercial fiction” and “serious literature.” The novel achieved the rarest of literary feats, offering an accessible... Continue Reading →

Book Review: The Goldfinch

A time-honored axiom among screenwriters and novelists is “Chase your character up a tree and throw rocks at him.” Get your character in a lot of trouble. Complicate and multiply his problems. Don’t grant him an easy way down. In The Goldfinch, Donna Tartt’s hefty, Dickensian bildungsroman, the Tartt Corollary to the Trees and Rocks... Continue Reading →

Book Reviews: “Eleanor & Park” and “Fangirl”, by Rainbow Rowell

I owe Magnificent Nose about 1000 words on these sparkling, sweet-ass novels by Rainbow Rowell, and I don’t know how I’m going to do it. Rowell’s novels are not only a dream-come-true for seekers of smart, surprising YA literature, but offer the kind of writing that makes a writer want to write forever. Eleanor &... Continue Reading →

Summer Reading: A Short History of Nearly Everything

If there’s one thing I took away from reading Bill Bryson’s hilariously informative A Short History of Nearly Everything, it’s that science knows very little about very little (the other one being that just about everything is credited to the wrong people). Most of what we know is all from circumstantial evidence. It’s a bit... Continue Reading →

Summer Reading: How I Came to Sparkle Again

It actually took me a while to come up with a book I could stick with long enough to finish. I started a few in different genres, but I just couldn't get anything to get it's hooks into me. Perhaps it was the low level chaos that always lurks in my house. (Young kids. Comes... Continue Reading →

Summer Reading: Farewell Fred Voodoo

Note: This article was written by Alexandra Hanson-Harding. Please disregard the WordPress byline. Most people in Haiti live on less than two dollars a day. Hundreds of thousands have been living in tent cities without sanitation since a 2010 hurricane rattled the tiny island nation. Then, a cholera epidemic killed thousands more. They have lived... Continue Reading →

Summer Reading: Undisputed

A long time ago, I used to watch pro-wrestling. You read right--I’m talking about muscled guys throwing each other around a ring, yelling all kinds of epithets at each other and playing out storylines ranging from cringe-worthy to pretty damn awesome-slash-hilarious. So why the sudden mention now? I’m currently working on a novel that has... Continue Reading →

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