Litstack Recs: The Tall Book of Make-Believe & The Last Days of New Paris

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The Tall Book of Make-Believe ed. Jane Werner Illustrated by Garth Williams Well beyond the age it’s intended for, this collection of stories has stayed with me. This American classic of children’s stories and poems was compiled by Jane Werner in 1950, and from the start this book captured my imagination. By the age of [….]

Litstack Rec: The Refugees & The Hummingbird

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The Refugees: Stories, by Viet Thanh Nguyen Fans of The Sympathizer, Nguyen’s debut novel that won the Pulitzer Prize in 2016, will find much of what they loved in the author’s second book of short stories. Where The Sympathizer explores the effects of the Vietnamese War, and the experience of refugees’ displacement through the taut [….]

LitStack Recs: How to Read to Read a Sentence and How to Write One & American Elsewhere

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How to Read to Read a Sentence and How to Write One, by Stanley Fish For writers, the sentence is the coin of the realm, the catch that holds a reader fast to a story. And I love that Stanley Fish wrote a book just about sentences.  A professor of law and dean emeritus at [….]

LitStack Recs: A Time of Gifts & Wolf in White Van

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A Time of Gifts: On Foot to Constantinople, by Patrick Leigh Fermor A classic of the travel memoir genre, A Time of Gifts is Patrick Leigh Fermor’s account of his trek by foot from the Netherlands to Turkey in 1933-34. Though, famously, Fermor didn’t actually write the book until decades later. Published in 1977, the [….]

LitStack Recs: Women in Their Beds & Luna: New Moon

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Women in Their Beds — Gina Berriault To cap off #ShortStoryMonth, my rec this week revisits a collection by one of my favorite story writers, Gina Berriault. Her admirers span Richard Ford, Grace Paley, and Robert Stone, but American fiction writer Berriault may be one of most revered writers you’ve never heard of. Cynthia Ozick [….]

LitStack Rec – The Coast of Chicago & Red Rising

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The Coast of Chicago by Stuart Dybek May is Short Story Month, so this month I’ll be looking at story collections that have thrilled, taught, and changed me. This week, I’m starting with a classic of the contemporary short fiction. I can still recall first reading Stuart Dybek’s classic short story “We Didn’t” in Antaeus [….]

LitStack Recs: Passage to Ararat & Borderline

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Passage to Ararat, by Michael J. Arlen Tuesday, April 24, marked a sober anniversary, 103 years since the Armenian genocide, when 1.2 million Armenians systematically died at the hands of the Ottoman Turkish Government. In Little Armenia, in Los Angeles, marches and observances gave voice to the painful legacy of the genocide for the ancestors [….]

LitStack Review: Earn It! by Cinders McLeod

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Earn It! by Cinders McLeod (Nancy Paulsen Books, 2017) Teaching children financial literacy—knowing how money works and having the skills to make informed decisions about personal money matters—is said to be a concept best started early. The financial wisdom runs that parents should introduce the subject when children are young, and talk often, keeping an [….]

Litstack Rec: Patrimony & Biggie

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Patrimony: A True Story, by Philip Roth Roth’s 1991 memoir charts the illness and death of his father, Herman Roth, from an inoperable brain tumor, as it retraces the man’s life and the relationship between father and son. Roth’s account unfolds in his trademark penetrating and melancholy style, and in a decidedly un-Rothian way, offers [….]

LitStack Recs: Green Thoughts & Nightwise

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Green Thoughts: A Writer in the Garden, by Eleanor Perényi If you’re a writer who gardens, Eleanor Perényi writes in her foreword, “sooner or later you’re going to write a book about the subject—I take that as inevitable.” And indeed, there are some heavy-hitting precedents to Pereyni’s classic of the writer-in-the-garden genre. Charles Dudley Warner’s [….]