LitStack Review: High Stakes – A Wild Cards Novel edited by George R. R. Martin and Melinda M. Snodgrass

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High Stakes:  A Wild Cards Novel George R. R. Martin and Melinda M. Snodgrass, editors Tor Books Release Date:  August 30, 2016 ISBN 978-0-7653-3562-3 In 1983, author George R. R. Martin was given a birthday gift:  SuperWorld, a roleplaying game. For two years, he and his Albuquerque gaming circle obsessed over building characters that then [….]

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 [….]

National Book Critics Circle Finalists Announced

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The National Book Critics Circle has announced the finalists for their 2015 awards, as well as the recipients of three annual awards. Take a look! AUTOBIOGRAPHY The Light of the World by Elizabeth Alexander The Odd Woman and the City by Vivian Gornick Bettyville by George Hodgman Negroland by Margo Jefferson H is for Hawk [….]

LitStack Review: The Gates of Evangeline by Hester Young

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The Gates of Evangeline Hester Young G. P. Putnam’s Sons Release Date:  September 1, 2015 ISBN 978-0-399174-001 It’s a compelling story. A woman is haunted by the sudden death of her young son.  That it was from “natural causes” does not assuage mother’s grief, ease the sudden emptiness, blunt the pervasiveness of memories.  She tries [….]

Gimbling in the Wabe – Beautiful, Beautiful Words

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There are quite a few memorable first sentences in literature:  “Call me Ishmael.”  “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…”  “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.”  Or, my personal favorite, “In a hole [….]

LitStack Review: The Only Ones by Carola Dibbell

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The Only Ones  Carola Dibbell Two Dollar Radio Release Date:  March 10, 2015 ISBN 978-1-937512-27-9 Books where you “hear” the story through the “voice” of the main character are a dime a dozen.  Books where that voice seems to actually belong to someone real are rare, but author Carola Dibbell has managed to create one [….]

10:04 by Ben Lerner

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10:04 Ben Lerner Faber and Faber Release Date:  September 2, 2014 ISBN 978-0-86547-810-7 It’s not very often that I recommend a book where very little happens.  I’ve got to admit that I like a book with at least a little action; I can take a lot of philosophizing, musing, and just plain stream of consciousness [….]

LitStack Review: The Girls at the Kingfisher Club by Genevieve Valentine

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The Girls at the Kingfisher Club Genevieve Valentine Atria Books Release Date:  June 3, 2014 ISBN 978-1-4767-3908-3 “The Twelve Dancing Princesses” may not be the most well known of the Brothers Grimm’s German fairy tales.  The story of a king trying to solve the mystery of how twelve princesses of his kingdom continue to escape [….]

LitStack Review – Sous Chef: 24 Hours on the Line by Michael Gibney

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Sous Chef:  24 Hours on the Line Michael Gibney Ballantine Books Release Date:  April 3, 2014 ISBN 978-0-8041-7788-7 I recently read an article on FirstWeFeast.com, where some of the country’s finest chefs were asked to name what they thought were the most influential restaurants in the United States today.  Although I probably will never make [….]

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 [….]