Litstack Rec: An Unnecessary Woman & A Song for a New Day

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An Unnecessary Woman, by Rabih Alameddine “I like outsiders,” Aaliya Sohbi tells us, “phantoms wandering the cobwebbed halls of the doomed castle where life must be lived.” The narrator of Rabih Alameddine’s An Unnecessary Woman, is herself an outsider, a reclusive, seventy-two-year-old bibliophile who lives alone in the Beirut apartment she’s inhabited since the fifties. [….]

LitStack Rec: This Boy’s Life and Landscape With Invisible Hand

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This Boy’s Life: A Memoir, by Tobias Wolff  First published in 1989, Tobias Wolff’s This Boy’s Life has become a classic of the contemporary memoir, the kind of book you can finish, like I did, in nearly one sitting. Wolff, the author of numerous works of fiction, including short stories, novels, and a second memoir, has [….]

Litstack Recs: Vanity Fair & Slade House

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Vanity Fair, by William Makepeace Thackeray The early nineteenth century didn’t have reality television, but it did have William Makepeace Thackeray’s Vanity Fair—and if you’re in need of a novel to escape into, this is the one. Vanity Fair is a classic of social-climbing, backbiting, profligate behavior, and true love. Subtitled A Novel Without a [….]

Litstack Rec: Car Trouble & The Sol Majestic

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As Car Trouble opens, it’s one a.m., and the novel’s young protagonist, Nicky Flynn, is driving backwards through the streets of Brooklyn in a Chevy Impala. The car, nicknamed the Blue Max, operates only in reverse, due to a jammed gearshift, and belongs to his impulsive father, Patrick. Patrick, who Nicky wryly refers as “Himself,” [….]

Litstack Recs: Arranged Marriage: Stories & Shadow Run

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Arranged Marriage: Stories, by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni The eleven stories in Arranged Marriage reveal Chitra Banerjee Divrakaruni’s gift for chronicling female cultural dislocation and the compound identities that come with leaving one place, and its engrained customs and beliefs, for another. An acclaimed poet, novelist, Divakaruni portrays Indian-born women and girls, characters who encounter jarring, [….]

Litstack Recs – Fear: Trump in the White House & A City Dreaming

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Fear: Trump in the White House, by Bob Woodward With this week’s news that impeachment of the president looks to be on the table, some nostalgic reading may be in order. Fear: Trump in the White House, by Bob Woodward has been called a bookend to the Nixon story, a tale of hubris, an account [….]

Two New Books From WTAW Press

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WTAW Press has just released its 2019 titles, Chimerica, the debut novel from Anita Fellicelli, and Like Water and Other Stories, the English-language debut of Olga Zilberbourg. In Chimerica, by Anita Felicelli (Love Songs of a Lost Continent), down-on-her-luck Tamil American trial lawyer Maya Ramesh fights to save a painted lemur come to life and [….]

Litstack Recs: Barack Obama’s Summer Reading List & Admiral

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Barack Obama’s Summer Reading List The #SummerReads of President Barack Obama are always an eclectic and smart collection of books that span genre and subject, from the classic to the just-released, proving once more that the 44th commander-in-chief is one of our most literary and well-read. On the list for Summer 2019 are many books [….]

Litstack Rec: The 400 Blows & The Last Wish (The Witcher)

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The 400 Blows, by Francois Truffaut This year marks the 60th anniversary of the release of Francois Truffaut’s The 400 Blows, a film that changed cinema—and on its debut, brought immediate recognition to the then-unknown director. In May, 1959, The 400 Blows won the Grand Prize for Direction at the Cannes Film Festival, when only [….]

Litstack Recs: Fleabag & Speak Easy

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Last week, when the Emmy nominations were announced, the BBC Three series Fleabag received eleven nominations—for writing, acting, and direction, and no wonder. Written by and starring creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge in the eponymous role, the series is a marvel of wit and dark humor. Broadcast in the US on Amazon Video, Fleabag has caused a [….]