Posts by: Maddie Oatman

One Quick Flash: Book Club Roundup

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Lucky Fish by Aimee Nezhukumatathil has won the Eric Hoffer Grand Prize for books. The US Review of Books writes: “By enfolding folk beliefs, tales, or superstitions into contemporary experience, place, or situations, these poems delineate a fascinating, unexpected adventure.”

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reviews Tayari JonesSilver Sparrow, praising the way “the exchanges between mothers and daughters are often moving and always ring true.”

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“Luminous Bruises in the Fog”: Book Club Roundup

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Earthquakes breeding nuclear meltdowns, tornadoes razing towns in the South, immense tropical storms: the news never fails to feed us weather calamities. That’s why Jim Shepard‘s You Think That’s Bad will surely spark a sky-gazing reader’s attention: “He’s our leading miniaturist of massive catastrophe, the Jon Krakauer—or is it the Michael Bay?—of the MFA set, turning out short historical fictions that increasingly read like trailers for our disaster-movie future,” writes Slate’s Jennifer Schuessler, in a review this week.

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We All Feel Suspended: Book Club Round-Up

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Dean Young is one of the freshest, boldest, most confident poets out there; his poems’ structures are completely unique, often winding out of control before settling into moments of recognition and revelation. We all feel/suspended over a drop into nothingness./Once you get close enough, you see what/one is stitching is the human heart.

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Are You a Romantic? Friday Book Club Round-Up

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Roxane Gay examines Lidia Yuknavitch‘s Chronology of Water, the current Rumpus Book Club selection. Her review is organized into handy sections, and she ends with an affirmative: “I will just say I fucking loved this book and I strongly encourage anyone reading this to buy the book immediately and then keep it beneath your pillow or shove it down your pants or crack open your rib cage and hold the book next to your heart.” If you join The Rumpus Book Club you can still receive a copy.

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Le Book Club Round-Up

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Deus Ex Machina made the pages of The Wall Street Journal; reviewer Sam Sacks calls Andrew Altschul‘s novel about a reality TV show “heady and fast-paced.”

SanJose.com also reviews Deus Ex Machina, saying “it is enough to make you doubt yourself and the world.”

Louisville’s Leo Weekly sings Timothy Donnelly‘s praises, saying that his latest poems in The Cloud Corporation “teem with anxiety-soaked images of existence lived at the behest of a credit-card economy that defines a massive corporatization of life, reducing even the individual to a commodity.” Sure sounds dark, but The New Yorker named this collection the best of the year, and as reviewer Sean Patrick Hill notes, “Donnelly’s response to the madness has obviously hit a nerve.”

Still haven’t read Roy Kesey‘s Pacazo?

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Cheap Cab Rides: Friday Book Club Round-Up

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Tao Lin gets mentioned in a Guardian article about the challenges of naming characters. “I chose names that would not cause the reader to feel like there was hidden meaning in them, or that the characters were symbolic or the story was an allegory,” he says, though with a novel out whose protagonist is called Richard Yates, it’s hard to understand what he means exactly.

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A Tricky Balance: Book Club Round-Up

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“How do you satirize something that’s already a parody of itself?” asks Michael Schaub of NPR in his write-up of Andrew Altschul‘s Deus Ex Machina. Schaub finds Altschul’s attempts to do so pretty successful, calling the novel brilliantly observed and praising the book for showing how “there’s not much reality in reality television, and even good intentions can be corrupted to a horrifying degree when money and ratings are involved.”

The WSJ‘s Speakeasy blog features Altschul’s essay about researching Deus Ex Machina and his realization that reality TV is basically just pornography.

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Close By and Personal: A Book Club Round Up

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Poet and essayist S.X. Rosenstock recaps a night in West Hollywood with readers from Rumpus Women, Volume 1 on The Huffington Post. “Prior to this I’ve never been at a reading where four writers in a row were able to offer a high level of artistic craft in their prose AND employ an unerring sense of judgment about how to render challenging subject matter AND read the work aloud in a open-hearted, appealing way,” she gushes.

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El Club de Libros

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We shipped The Instructions, by Adam Levin, to our Book Club members yesterday, a full month ahead of publication. There are whispers that this is one of McSweeney’s best yet; those signed up will get to delve into this thick tome and decide for themselves.

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