LitStaff Rec: Laura Lamont’s Life in Pictures & Alif the Unseen

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 Laura Lamont’s Life in Pictures by Emma Straub Readers captivated by Old Hollywood are sure to love Emma Straub’s debut novel, Laura Lamont’s Life in Pictures. The novel, Straub’s first, portrays an era when the veil of glamor was not so easily pulled away, and is an appealing behind-the-curtain view of the transformation from mere [….]

LitStack Rec: Crash Course & The Library at Mount Char

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Crash Course: essays from where writing and life collide, by Robin Black The third book from short story writer and novelist Robin Black collects her recent essays, many of which first appeared on the great, and sadly erstwhile literary blog, Beyond the Margins. Crash Course, subtitled essays from where writing and life collide, is aptly [….]

LitStack Recs: Changing My Mind & Tor.com

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Changing My Mind: Occasional Essays Zadie Smith This collection of essays came about by accident, Zadie Smith tells us in the foreword, but the voice and curiosity behind it makes this read seamless and satisfying. My hope, as a reader of essays, whether the topic is snow camping or religious fanatics or Monarch butterflies, is [….]

The Best/Worst Writing Advice We’ve Ever Received

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Everyone has an opinion. Especially writers. We’ve been around enough writers to know that we all have a different approach when it comes to getting a story out. Some like to start at the end, ‘having dessert’ before the main course, (writing your ending before you begin). Some outline. Some would rather cut off their [….]

Fallback Fiction – The books we never, ever tire of reading

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  Ah, books. They’re not like TV shows. Your favorite characters never age; there are no contract negotiations that pull them out of the frame. The goods ones, our favorites, never change yet seem to introduce you to images you may have not noticed on your first read-through. Today the LitStack staff is talking about [….]

The Fictional Places We’d Love to Call Home

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Fiction is an amazing tool of escapism. With it, we dive into worlds that exist only in the writer’s mind, breathing air that is clouded by zombie-forming gas or stars that fall from the sky and walk among us. Today we’re discussing those beloved settings that have inspired us, nurtured us, made us jealous for [….]

LitStack Rec: 2015 TBR List & ‘Gorgeous’

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Books on my 2015 TBR List The new year has arrived. So has a new reading list. Here’s some of what I’m looking forward to in 2015—a mix of releases and classics I didn’t quite get to in 2014, and some great new books scheduled to arrive in the new year. The Fame Lunches: On [….]

Our Favorite Fictional Friends

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Sometimes the truest friends aren’t those sitting next to you in class or skipping rocks with you down at the river. For many readers, their very best friends have lived in the imagination, on the banks of Prince Edward Island, in the mystical dimensions of time and space and yes, even in the Hundred-Acre Wood. [….]

LitStaff Pick: Our Favorite Historical Novels

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There’s something about settings of the past that just grabs us. We love the escapist notion of absolutely disappearing into a world unfamiliar and uncertain to us. Historical fiction does that and sometimes, when we are so lost in the mines of the mountains, in the exotic tragedies of 16th century Asia, our imaginations are [….]