“Night Thoughts” by Sarah Arvio

Night ThoughtsHow could I not be enchanted by the premise of this book?  Have you not heard me talk about my own “night thoughts” here?  Is there a more fascinating topic?  Sarah Arvio’s “night thoughts” are not the same as mine, however.  Rather than those panicky thoughts in the moments between waking and sleeping, or that come to you in the dark sleeplessness that confronts you upon being awakened suddenly, she is talking exclusively about dreams.

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The Braindead Megaphone

braindead megaphoneGeorge Saunders is predominantly known for his short stories.  And make no mistake, he is the master.  But he is also exceptional at shorter non-fiction stuff, and his collection The Braindead Megaphone is a shining example.  For me, this is because the qualities that make him a good fiction writer carry over into his nonfiction.  Because, for me, all good writing is about the human perspective, and the ability to see and convey perceptions in a unique but still relatable way.  Saunders is one of those talented writers who could make any topic fascinating. Continue reading

Klonopin Lunch- Jessica Dorfman Jones

KlonopinThis memoir (ostensibly the true-life tale of a successful late-twenties attorney who bravely decides to throw away stability and acclaim in pursuit of a more true-to-herself life of sex, drugs, and rock ‘n roll) basically had me at hello.  I mean, who can resist this line:

I occasionally considered going back to work as a lawyer, but I had hated law school, it took several tries to pass the bar, I had worked for sadists, and the day I left that world was one of the happiest of my life.  I detested the legal profession and it seemed the feeling was mutual.  So there I sat, sliding into thirty, with an unused law degree, soon to be unemployed, and in a mildly geriatric marriage that had become as predictable as my morning oatmeal.

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Freedom, by Jonathan Franzen: Book Review

This book got a lot of hype (I think even Oprah endorsed it, so you know it’s legit).  For a while, it was everywhere, and everyone was talking about it.  I didn’t read it when any of that was going on.  But then two things happened: (1) a friend of mine read and reviewed it on Goodreads, and I became intrigued; and (2) while waiting to get my haircut, I read an article in, I think it was “Time,” containing an interview with the author, talking about his relationship with David Foster Wallace, and how Wallace’s death impacted his writing of the novel.  He also talked about why and how he writes women.  Intriguing, intriguing, intriguing. Continue reading

Born to Drink?

Until recently, I never would have considered there to be any connection between liquor and literary prowess.  But then I came across a study that suggests “the alcoholism gene is linked to above-average verbal ability.”  I find this both noteworthy and strange.  Why would this be true?  How could this be true?  And how and why is it being measured? Continue reading