Litstack Rec: Earn It! and Viva Frida

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Earn It! by Cinders McLeod This is the perfect gift for young readers on your list, because it’s never too soon to learn 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 [….]

LitStack Rec: Barbarian Days & Alif the Unseen

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Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life, by William Finnegan William Finnegan’s 2016 memoir begins with an epigraph from Edward St. Aubyn’s novel Mother’s Milk: “He had become so caught up in building sentences  that he had almost forgotten  the barbaric days when thinking was like a splash of colour landing on a page.” It’s a fitting [….]

Litstack Rec: Dreams From My Father & Time Salvager

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Dreams From My Father, by Barack Obama Stories that center on fathers have a distinct place in the memoir genre. For better or worse, fathers hold a place that intersects with the world and experience in a way far different from that of a mother’s. As in Jung’s archetypes, fathers are symbols of worldliness and [….]

Litstack Recs: The Romanoffs & The Burning Light

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The Romanoffs, by Matthew Weiner The thing I love most about linked story collections is the strategy of slow accrual. We are shown an idea, or character, or setting from different points of view and  varied points in time and space, and as with the novel, the narrative facets develop to a full and satisfying [….]

Litstack Recs: An Unnecessary Woman & Lethal White

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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 [….]

Litstack Recs: Two New Titles from WTAW Press & Us

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Two New Titles from WTAW Press Northern California’s newest independent press has just released its 2018 titles: Unnatural Habitats and Other Stories, a debut collection by Angela Mitchell, and Hungry Ghost Theater:  A Novel, by Sarah Stone. From the publisher: Unnatural Habitats and Other Stories, by Angela Mitchell This collection of seven connected stories set [….]

Litstack Rec: Bridge & The Stargazer’s Sister

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Bridge, by Robert Thomas “Welcome to the prayer-strewn pews of my brain,” Alice, the narrator of Bridge tells us, and quickly, we understand that this intellectually gifted young woman sees the world, and herself, in unconventional, and often dangerous ways. Robert Thomas’s powerful debut novel (BOA Editions 2014) takes place in fifty-six brief chapters that [….]

LitStack Rec: Life Drawing & A City Dreaming

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Life Drawing, by Robin Black “Nobody outside a marriage can understand it,” the narrator of Life Drawing tells us. In Robin Black’s first novel, Augusta Edelman is a painter, married to Owen, a writer, and they have moved to the Pennsylvania countryside to live in the quiet and pursue their work. The Edelmans have been [….]

Litstack Recs: Fear: Trump in the White House & The Bone Clocks

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Fear: Trump in the White House, by Bob Woodward It’s been called a bookend to the Nixon story, a tale of hubris, an account akin to a ticking clock. Of Bob Woodward’s Fear, George Packer wrote in the New Yorker, the book “belongs on a shelf with the literature of mad kings, next to Robert [….]

LitStack Recs: By Nightfall & The Wanderers

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By Nightfall, by Michael Cunningham Peter and Rebecca Harris are forty-something New Yorkers, well-off, hip, empty-nesters. Peter is an art dealer, Rebecca an editor, and their twenty year-old daughter Beatrice has fled her parents’ downtown loft for an unstylish life in Boston, working in a hotel bar and living with a puzzling roommate, a middle-aged [….]