Litstack Recs |The Clothing of Books & The Sisters Grimm

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The Clothing of Books, by Jhumpa Lahiri “How do you clothe a book?” is the how this small, but powerful volume begins. For a writer whose stories are as personal and complex as Jhumpa Lahiri’s, a cover’s design presents a different set of questions. The Clothing of Books began as an essay, translated from Italian [….]

Litstack rec | The Way We Live Now & The Red

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As you read this you may, like me, be working from home, while your partner is doing the same, and your child, or children, are at home too. Suddenly, this is the way things are, or at least should be, to #flattenthecurve of a very frightening virus. What happens when societies suddenly change is not [….]

Litstack Recs| How to Write an Autobiographical Novel & A Song for a New Day

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How to Write an Autobiographical Novel: Essays, by Alexander Chee “Writing is a way of going to the depth of Being,” wrote Marguerite Yourcenar, and the sixteen essays that make up Alexander Chee’s 2018 memoir are about the heart of being—and writing, about striving to succeed as a writer, reconciling the pain and trauma of [….]

LitStack Recs: Car Trouble & Ninth House

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Car Trouble: A novel, by Robert Rorke As Car Trouble opens, the novel’s young protagonist, teenaged Nicky Flynn, is driving backwards in a Chevy Impala nicknamed the Blue Max. The car, which belongs to his impulsive father, Patrick, goes in one direction only, backwards, due to a jammed gearshift. And Patrick, who Nicky wryly refers [….]

LitStack Recs: Great Expectations & The Dead Fish Museum

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Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens Narrated by Eddie Izzard I will admit that in a life full of fondness for Charles Dickens (I have on one bookshelf a full set of the Worthington Dickens, published in 1884), Great Expectations is not my favorite. Not my least favorite, but definitely not my favorite. I am also [….]

LitStack Recs: This Is How You Lose the Time War & The UnAmericans

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This is How You Lose the Time War, by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone In this extraordinary novella, two warring factions -the Garden and the Agency – are pitted against each other over control of existence. Their time traveling operatives slip upthread and downthread, influencing history in the making and remaking, braiding their own strands [….]

Litstack recs | The Marriage Plot, by Jeffery Eugenides

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The Marriage Plot, by Jeffery Eugenides “Heartbreak is funny to everyone but the heartbroken.” That ironic reflection comes early in Jeffrey Eugenides’ lively 2011 novel. The observation is made by Madeleine Hanna, one of three central characters, all of whom are students at Brown University. We meet them on the morning of graduation in 1982: [….]

Litstack Recs: The Vexations & Pet

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The Vexations: a novel, by Caitlin Horrocks The lives of artists must portray artmaking for what it is: work—anything else is a romanticized view—and Caitlin Horrock’s debut novel, The Vexations, occupies just that; it’s an intricate portrayal of the life of modernist composer Erik Satie—and his artmaking—that mines his most nuanced sensibilities: the way a [….]

Litstack Recs: The Sense and Sensibility Screenplay and Diaries & LaRose

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The Sense and Sensibility Screenplay and Diaries, by Emma Thompson Emma Thompson’s diary tracks the making of the award-winning Sense and Sensibility with Thompson’s trademark dry wit and in fascinating detail. The 1995 film, directed by Ang Lee, garnered seven Oscar nominations, with Thompson winning the Award for Best Adapted Screenplay. Her companion (published in [….]