Lit-Link Round-up


Both The Rumpus and The Nervous Breakdown make Flavorwire’s 25 Best Sites for Literature Lovers.  I’m kind of beside myself with glee.

Apply for a Word Riot travel grant!

Sci-Fi/Fantasy novels “everyone should read.”

I’ve gotten kind of obsessed with Breaking Bad.  I just finished Season Two, so I still don’t know much.  The thing is, I hate Walt so much I can hardly breathe.  Every single move he makes is the exact opposite of what anyone with a functional moral or emotional compass would do, it seems, but that’s not it exactly.  Tony Soprano and Dexter aren’t exactly traditionally likable, but the viewer somehow feels in their corner, at least at times, at least grudgingly.  I don’t feel that way about Walt, although it seems some people do.  I have a fondness for poor Jesse, whom the show’s writers have a tendency to torture emotionally even more than Mel Gibson gets physically tortured in Hollywood flicks (has anyone besides me noticed that Gibson has scarcely ever MADE a film that doesn’t include at least one graphic torture scene?)…I watch BB like people gape at car crashes, with a sick sense of dread.  Here Laura Bogart parses the show‘s relationship to a certain brand of the American Dream.

Sunday Rumpus alum Tara Ison does the TNB Self-Interview.

Congrats to Sean Beaudoin of The Weeklings on the release of Wise Young Fools.

Charles Blackstone, managing editor of Bookslut, and others decode “It’s just not right for us” and other editor-speak.

Sesame Street‘s tool kit for talking to children about a parent’s incarceration.  Wow.  It’s sad that we need this, but wow, do we.  When I was in grade school, among my four closest friends, two had fathers who were in prison (a third had a father who had been shot in the chest by his lover’s husband in South America, but that’s another story).  That was the early 80s–the stats are significantly more depressing now.  Way to go, Sesame Street.

Wait But Why’s “7 Ways to Be Insufferable on Facebook” seems…a little insufferable to me.  Basically anyone who, like, posts ANY picture, ever?  The word “Hawaii?” And isn’t some of what is referred to here as “image crafting” also just social decorum?  Yes, people give a glossed-up, prettified version of their lives on FB, but is that really because they’re trying to brag and make people jealous, or is it also because FB isn’t your therapist where you should go dump the un-prettified, shitty parts of your life to your…uh, 2,000 closest friends?  I mean, I have my dumb FB pet-peeves like anyone.  If you never post anything except self-promotional info/links about yourself, and never give anyone else the time of day, everybody has your number.  If you’re announcing that your boyfriend cheated on you with “some slut,” you probably need to give some thought to words like “boundaries” and how things that have appeared online are, like tattoos, hard to make disappear, but unlike tattoos, not easy to hide with longer sleeves when you’re applying for a job interview.  If you post pictures of what you have for dinner single every night, you have a lot of company out there in the FB ethersphere, but everyone who is not in that company wishes you’d get some new hobbies.  If all you ever do is pick fights on people’s walls, nobody likes you, but this does not come as a surprise to you because negative attention is clearly what you’re going for, so well done!  But really…what’s the big deal?  Geez.  Relax, Wait-But-Why.  I mean…social media is optional, remember?  If the guy who asks you to the prom totally grosses you out, don’t go.

Yay!  The awesome LitReactor has chosen Other Voices Books’ The Cost of Living, by Rob Roberge, as the September Book Club pick.  Thanks, guys!

Emily Rapp is in the house today.  Welcome back, Em.

Gina Frangello is the author of four books of fiction and a forthcoming memoir, Blow Your House Down. Her novel A Life in Men (Algonquin 2014) is currently under development by Netflix as a series produced by Charlize Theron’s production company, Denver & Delilah. Her most recent novel, Every Kind of Wanting (Counterpoint 2016) was included on several “best of” lists for 2016, including Chicago Magazine’s and The Chicago Review of Books’. She has nearly 20 years of experience as an editor, having founded both the independent press Other Voices Books, and the fiction section of the popular online literary community The Nervous Breakdown. She has also served as the Sunday editor for The Rumpus, and as the faculty editor for both TriQuarterly Online and The Coachella Review. Her short fiction, essays, book reviews, and journalism have been published in such venues as Salon, the LA Times, Ploughshares, the Boston Globe, BuzzFeed, the Chicago Tribune, the Huffington Post, Psychology Today, and in many other magazines and anthologies. After two decades of teaching at many universities, including UIC, Northwestern’s School of Continuing Studies, UCLA Extension, the University of California Riverside Palm Desert, Roosevelt University, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Columbia College Chicago, Gina is excited to be a student again at the University of Illinois-Chicago’s Program for Writers, where she has returned to complete the PhD she left unfinished twenty years ago. More from this author →