LitStack Rec: Epilogue: A Memoir & Hounded

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Epilogue: A Memoir, by Will Boast Both a remembrance and a elegiac account of the loss of a family, Boast’s 2014 memoir (a recipient of The Rome Prize) tracks the tragic early death of his mother Nancy, the untimely death of his younger brother Rory, and the family secret left behind after his father Andrew’s [….]

Litstack Review: And There Was Evening And There Was Morning, by Mike Smith

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And There was Evening And There Was Morning, Essays on Illness, Loss, and Love, by Mike Smith (WTAW Press) “Mourning,” Hilary Mantel wrote, “is work. It is not simply being sad. It is naming your pain. It is witnessing the sorrow of others, drawing out the shape of loss.” Who among us, when grieving, is [….]

Gimbling in the Wabe – What I Want for Mother’s Day

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I was watching television the other day when an ad came on informing me that for this Mother’s Day, “smart phones trump flowers”, suggesting that in order to show your mother how much you appreciate her, you need to give her not flowers, but a smart phone.  Another ad on another day shows women being [….]

LitStack Review: Nicotine by Nell Zink

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Nicotine Nell Zink Ecco Publishing Release Date:  October 6, 2016 ISBN 978-0-06-244170-6 I get it. Not all books are going to appeal to all people. But I have to admit, I don’t see what all the fuss is about when it comes to Nell Zink’s latest novel, Nicotine. Oh, it’s pleasant enough. Quirky enough, poignant [….]

LitStack Review – Shadowshaper by Daniel José Older

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Shadowshaper Daniel José Older Arthur A. Levine Books Release Date:  June 30, 2015 ISBN 978-0-545-59161-4 I am not a teenager (nowhere near).  I am not Puerto Rican (or even a person of color).  I am not a native New Yorker (been there quite a few times, but never longer than a week; I grew up [….]

LitStack Review: The Past by Tessa Hadley

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The Past Tessa Hadley Harper Release Date:  January 5, 2016 ISBN 978-0-06-227041-2 As I read Tessa Hadley’s newest novel, The Past, I had the same feeling as when I eat brussel sprouts.  To be honest, I don’t particularly care for brussel sprouts; they are somewhat of an acquired taste for my rather pedestrian palate.  But [….]

LitStack Review: ‘Shotgun Lovesongs’ by Nickolas Butler

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Shotgun Lovesongs Nickolas Butler Thomas Dunne Books Release Date:  March 11, 2014 ISBN 978-1-250-03981-1 It’s rare when  you read a book set in the rural heartland, and the characters feel grounded and real – not quirky or bizarre or bruised or brutal – just an ordinary sort of real.  It almost seems that there’s a [….]

LitStack Review: The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling)

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The Cuckoo’s Calling Robert Galbraith Mulholland Books Release Date:   April 30, 2013 ISBN 978-0-316-20684-6 I’ll admit it – I’m one of those superficial ne’r-do-wells who would not have read The Cuckoo’s Calling if word hadn’t gotten out that author Robert Galbraith was really J.K. Rowling (of the “Harry Potter” books franchise) using a pseudonym.  Due [….]

LitStack Review: Bodies of Water by T. Greenwood

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Bodies of Water T. Greenwood Kensington Books Publication Date: September 24, 2013 ISBN 978-0-7582-5093-3 In an interview with the San Diego Reader, author Tammy Greenwood talked about getting caught by Hurricane Irene while visiting her family in Massachusetts in August 2011.  “We were totally stranded. I couldn’t drive through the crazy weather. We ended up [….]