I have this weird obsession about buying books and looking at them with a smile, even if I won’t read them soon. At least they are mine now. – Anais Nin Yelp can only do so much. If you are committed bookworm with an insatiable appetite for new books like me, then you know that Yelp and all those shopping guide websites are rarely accurate. … Continue reading An Obsessive Reader's Guide to Boston's Bookstores
A Lucky Man by Jamel Brinkley 240 pp. Graywolf Press. $26.00 In books such as Less Than Zero or Winesburg, Ohio when the characters are all affected by problems (nihilism and narcissism, and mob mentality and provincialism, respectively) their reactions are used as critiques of their milieu/generation. In A Lucky Man, Jamel Brinkley’s debut short story collection that follows black men and black boys from … Continue reading A Lack of Nuance: Review of "A Lucky Man: Stories" by Jamel Brinkley
Waiting for Tomorrow By Nathacha Appanah (1973-) Translated from the French by Geoffrey Strachan 156 pp. Graywolf Press. $16.00 If someone were to ask the question, “What would a novel that sacrifices basic narrative tools such as dialogue and the gradual release of a plot, but is full of beautiful descriptions look like?” the answer would be Waiting for Tomorrow. The story of Waiting for … Continue reading Waiting for Another Novel: Review of "Waiting for Tomorrow" by Nathacha Appanah
The Kremlin Ball by Curzio Malaparte (1898-1957) Translated from the Italian by Jenny McPhee 223 pp. New York Review of Books. $15.95 I believe that because of our innate idealism (and our data regurgitation education system) we like to think of history as a long list of dates that act as little islands. We arrive at one island and then are catapulted to the next … Continue reading A Very Short Review of "The Kremlin Ball: (Material for a Novel)" by Curzio Malaparte
The Farm By Hector Abad (1958-) Translated from the Spanish by Anne McLean 468 pp. Archipelago Books. $20 I was a curious little kid. Almost too curious. Whenever the adults would sit around and chat the past I would silently sit next to them and absorb their stories. The stories of people who had been long dead felt alive. From this thirst for stories I … Continue reading An Exhausting Family History: Review of "The Farm" by Hector Abad
“Love can transpose to form and dignity: Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind.” – William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream Love by Hanne Ørstavik (1969-) Translated from the Norwegian by Martin Aitken 125 pp. Archipelago Books. $17 Love is not a manifesto about family values or a case study about the psychological harm single, working mothers can cause. Instead Love is … Continue reading We Found Love in a Frozen Place: A Review of "Love"
The Inkblots: Hermann Rorschach, His Iconic Test, and the Power of Seeing By Damion Searls 406 pp. Broadway Books. $17.00 There are very few books that we objectively need. An objective need doesn’t stem from a cliffhanger but rather a void or a gap in human knowledge. We don’t objectively need another James Patterson novel, but we did need a biography of Hermann Rorschach. The … Continue reading I See A Much-Needed but Exhausting Biography: A Review of "The Inkblots"