“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.

TimeOut Chicago’s Jonathan Messinger praises Shepard’s adroit use of research throughout the narrative.

The Sycamore Review examines Noelle Kocot‘s A Bigger World.

After SLOG’s Paul Constant took Lydia Yuknavitch‘s The Chronology of Water with him to lunch, he was interviewed about his reaction to the book. “Her body threatened to rise up from every single page I read,” Constant said of the author. “She’s a furious badass, and I am attracted/revulsed.”

Megan, who works at Powell’s Bookstore in Portland, says of The Chronology of Water: “If I had to recommend one book that I’ve read in the last three years, it would be this one.”

Last week, poet Dean Young got a new heart (he suffers from a degenerative heart disease). A Hunter College blog relays the details, and posts a wonderful poem by Young about the body: Across the bay, fireworks punched/ luminous bruises in the fog./ If only my body wasn’t borrowed from dust!


Maddie Oatman has interviewed musicians and writers for The Rumpus. She's the research editor at Mother Jones, where she also writes. A Boulder transplant, she can often be found on her bike, skis, or cooking with vegetables, and she wrote her English thesis on a gay red-winged monster and Billy the Kid. Follow her on Twitter or read occasional musings on her blog Oats. More from this author →