This is a potent, heartbreaking, life-affirming collection. That being said, this is not a "quick" or "light" read. Alcott's sentences are dense, intricate and complex knots of language, and yet there is never a moment when you feel she has lost control. By the end of the second story, I had declared Kathleen Alcott my short-fiction God and vowed to follow her and her characters to the ends of the earth.
Ruth began as a bookseller at Market Street Bookshop on Cape Cod in 2017 and hasn't left the stacks since. She moved to Vermont after graduating from Clark University with a degree in Sociology. She has worked at Phoenix Books in Burlington since 2020.
Ruth's greatest accomplishment is that she has listened to the full audiobook of David Sedaris's diaries, Theft by Finding nine times. Her second greatest accomplishment is that she drove across the country solo in 2021 and only got one speeding ticket.
Ruth is happiest reading in her tent under the light of her headlamp or performing stand-up comedy at the Vermont Comedy Club. Her favorite genres are poetry, essay, memoir, short story, and literary fiction. Ask her about Joan Didion or Susan Sontag and watch her eyes light up!
This book contains perhaps my favorite writing on mental illness and hospitalization that I've ever read. The poem "Admissions" is a personal favorite, capturing the strange, arbitrary, and sometimes funny rules and regulations that come with psychiatric hospitalization (an experience that I share). Amanda Gunn is a gift and I am so excited by this fresh new debut.
This book contains perhaps my favorite writing on mental illness and hospitalization that I've ever read. The poem Admissions is a personal favorite, capturing the strange, arbitrary, and sometimes funny rules and regulations that come with psychiatric hospitalization (an experience that I share). Amanda Gunn is a gift and I am so excited by this fresh new debut.
Meet Maria, the protagonist of Nevada and my new fictional best friend. Her favorite word is “whatever.” She is trans and Trying to Figure That Out. She is also freshly single and just got fired and kind of homeless and Trying to Figure That Out Too... without retreating into herself like she always does. Eventually, Maria "borrows" her ex's car and drives west. Trust me when I say you want to drive west with her.
Imogen Bonnie wrote this propulsive, luminous firecracker of a book in 2013. My hope is that this new edition released in 2022 will find new readers, because this is a book that really could change the world.
Behind this gloriously cheeky cover (ha!) lies a brilliant tour de force that I couldn't put down. The history of the butt, it turns out, says a lot about us humans! From colonialism to Nicki Minaj and everything in between, this is a fantastic and fascinating read.
I've always loved the word "rollicking," and for The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, it is the perfect descriptor. This book is a ROLLICKING coming-of-age joyride of a book. Michael Chabon has perfectly depicted the feelings that fill the air when you're a late teen and it's the summertime. Humor and sadness and heartbreak and hope! First love! Sneaking beers and doing other dumb things with your dumb friends! This book almost makes me miss being a teenager. Almost.
Rachel Kushner is a badass whose essays are gritty and luminous. The thread that runs through this eclectic collection is ADVENTURE -- the kind that happens on motorcycles as well as the intellectual kind. I listened to this on Libro.fm while driving across the United States, and it kept me feeling alive whenever the road got monotonous. Rachel Kushner is one hell of a tour guide.
I picked up this book for its stunning cover and was delighted to find that the poems inside it are even more stunning. The first line of the poem "Past One O'clock" tells you all you need to know:
"I'll quit smoking as soon as I get lung cancer. The young don't smoke anymore, they join gyms. I can't help thinking they've misunderstood something."
Robbins is a poet for those of us who lie awake and wonder about what ever happened to our Walkmans, to our childhood crushes... those of us who spend every night trying to recreate the nights when we were seventeen and anything could happen. Oh, and these poems are funny as hell.
For fans of Ottessa Moshfegh, this collection is alive with absurdity and awkwardness. In one of my favorite stories, a woman teaches seniors how to swim on the floor of her kitchen; in another, a woman fears that removing a birthmark will make her husband love her less. Humans do strange things to connect with one another, and July's intuitive understanding of this fact makes her a delight to read.
Reading this book was like holding a mirror up to myself. The main characters are insecure, but also pretentious; obsessed with morality but morally inept; critical of conventional social hierarchies but inescapably enmeshed in them. And still, years after reading this book, I can't stop thinking about them.