Litstack Recs |The Good Soldier & The Unchangeable Spots of Leopards

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The Good Soldier by Ford Madox Ford If this novel had been published under the title the author chose, The Saddest Story, contemporary readers might have had a difficult time locating a copy. Fortunately, Ford Madox Ford agreed to his publisher’s suggestion of The Good Soldier, and with that, the now-classic post-World War I novel [….]

Litstack Recs |Spielberg, Truffaut and Me & Glow

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Spielberg, Truffaut and Me: An Actor’s Diary, by Bob Balaban With the Pentagon’s recent release of three unclassified videos of UFO’s taken by navy pilots, it’s understandable you might be watching the skies. And if you’ve yet to see Steven Spielberg’s classic of extraterrestrial contact, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, the title of which [….]

LitStack Recs|The Priory of the Orange Tree & The Death of the Heart

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The Priory of the Orange Tree, by Samantha Shannon Samantha Shannon’s The Priory of the Orange Tree has been getting quite a bit of buzz from the sci-fi/fantasy crowd of late, but for the longest time I wasn’t able to free up enough time to sink my teeth into it – until recently! I understand [….]

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: How to Write an Autobiographical Novel: Essays & Wintering

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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 at their heart about writing—but they are also about striving to succeed as a writer, reconciling the pain and [….]

Litstack Rec: Epilogue: A Memoir & Zombie Baseball Beatdown

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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 Rec: The 400 Blows & The Last Wish (The Witcher)

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The 400 Blows, by Francois Truffaut This year marks the 60th anniversary of the release of Francois Truffaut’s The 400 Blows, a film that changed cinema—and on its debut, brought immediate recognition to the then-unknown director. In May, 1959, The 400 Blows won the Grand Prize for Direction at the Cannes Film Festival, when only [….]

Litstack Recs: Passage to Ararat & The Orphan Master’s Son

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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 Recs: Cutting Teeth & Green

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Cutting Teeth, by Julia Fierro When my daughter was little, there was a universally acknowledged sentiment among the parents I knew. We referred to  summer as the busy season, when the steady routine of the school year fell away and the schedule went overtime. Still, when your kids are small, there’s a lovely innocence to [….]