“Upstream” by Mary Oliver- Book Review

upstreamI can’t read Mary Oliver’s poetry (which I have been doing a lot lately), without considering her process.  Not knowing anything else, I imagined long walks and lots of quiet pondering.  Early mornings.  But also late nights afterwards.  At a desk.  With a warm lamp. Writing, drifting, thinking.  I imagined a dog with her, maybe, on these walks or by the fire. Sometimes. Lots of quiet.  Upstream, a collection of her essays, filled in some, but not all, of the blanks. Continue reading

The Sense of Style: by Steve Pinker – Book Review

sense of styleI have a confession to make.  I’m one of those dorky people who reads grammar/writing style guides for fun (as if that comes as a surprise to any of our readers here).  And so, it should further come as no surprise that I found Steven Pinker’s The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person’s Guide to Writing in the 21st Century! to be a sheer delight. Continue reading

Duplex, by Kathryn Davis

duplexWhat a strange, dark, beautiful world Kathryn Davis has created in her novel Duplex.  And the best part is how it sneaks up on you.  Everything is all perfectly normal, but then there is, almost in passing, a sorcerer.  And robots.  And fairies.  Horsewomen.  Aquanats.  But subtly, almost like you’re the strange one for seeing anything out of the ordinary.  And you find yourself questioning whether you’ve seen anything at all. Continue reading

Dorothy Parker- The Complete Stories

dorothy parkerIf I had a time machine, the first thing I would do is go back to New York City circa 1930 and kidnap Dorothy Parker.  I would force her to tell me stories.  Ask her for fashion advice.  Writing advice.  Definitely ask for advice about women.  And we would absolutely, absolutely paint the town.  I can’t imagine anything more fun. Continue reading

Cosmopolis- Book Review

CosmopolisFor reasons I am still trying to wrap my head around, Don DeLillo’s White Noise moved me more than any book I had read in quite some time.  Not in an altogether good way, or bad way.  I found it both pleasant and intensely disturbing.  It was familiar and horrifying, and thus both comforting and startling.  I liked it.  It was something to experience. Continue reading

Too Happy to Write?

I know what you’re thinking; give me these problems!  But I wonder if this truly exists.  I think about this now because, as I mentioned in a previous post, in Joshua Ferris’s To Rise Again at a Decent Hour, he describes the main character’s ex-girlfriend, who he hired to be his office manager, but then (unwisely) did not fire after they broke up, going through a period where she experienced this phenomenon.  She used to write poetry, but then found that, in this blissful “honeymoon” period of their relationship, she was simply too happy to write. Continue reading

“Can’t and Won’t” Stop Going to Book Stores

My favorite thing to do (within reason) is browse in bookstores.  I like looking, seeing the books, watching people, watching what other people are reading/buying/looking at.  I found myself in a bookstore recently (would find myself there daily, if I had my druthers).  Was grabbed by the cover of Lydia Davis’s collection of short stories Can’t and Won’t. Continue reading

Alice

The last strains of sunlight lingered in the corners, grasping every available point of refraction.  She slid her fingertips along the glass wondering if this was all there ever was. Or could be.
But no.  Un-alone, her mirrored shadow had company in her pantomimic otherworld.  With the beckoning, tenebrous gloom, an apparition, dark and menacing, approached.  She shivered with delighted terror and settled in to watch.
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