Not Knowing vs Knowing

I picked up the novel The Martian by Andy Weir at our first Independent Bookstore Day stop, and the sum total of what I knew about it before buying it was:

  • The cover is orange.
  • I’ve seen people really engrossed in it on the bus.
  • I’ve seen it on several bookstores’ Staff Recommends shelves.
  • It has something to do with an astronaut left behind on Mars.
  • The first chapter begins:


I’m pretty much fucked.

That’s my considered opinion.


And then I spent a whole Saturday (that I hadn’t intended to spend reading) not being able to put it down. Could NOT put it down. Had other things to do. Should have been doing them. Didn’t. Couldn’t put it down.

Continue reading “Not Knowing vs Knowing”

2012: A Short Look Back At What I Read

Before the look back, a quick look forward. Coming soon (or eventually) in 2013:

  • Reviews of collections by James Arthur, Bruce Beasley, David Biespiel, Stuart Friebert, Laura Jensen, A. E. Stallings, and Wendy Willis
  • Posts about William Matthews’ and Christian Wiman’s poetry
  • The afore-mentioned monthly look at an animal poem (replacing 2012’s Months posts)
  • Some more extensive film reviews on occasion, in addition to the short ones you can always find, frequently updated, on the Film page

Now for the requisite (and for all it’s cliché to do so, enjoyable) quick look back at the reading I did this year. (I stuck the Worst in the middle, because I didn’t want to end on a low note).Continue reading “2012: A Short Look Back At What I Read”

My Most Vivid Reads – intro & #1

This is the first in what I intend to be a serial post detailing my list of what I spent forever trying to decide whether to call My Favorite Reads, or My Best Reads, or just what. I have settled on My Most Vivid Reads.

These are the books I think of when I think of books. The books I think of most often when just going about my daily life. The books the mention of which prompt me to speak in all-caps & exclamation points (“YOU HAVEN’T READ _________?! OH IT’S SO GOOD!”) Those books that live with me long after the last page is turned. (Discussed in no particular order.)

A note about what this list won’t be: it won’t be a list of books you should read. This list won’t include Carson McCullers’ The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, or Raymond Carver’s short stories, to name just two others I think are great and that you definitely should read. The Heart is a Lonely Hunter I just didn’t love-love-love reading the way I do, say, My Ántonia. (Personal preference, since the difference isn’t in the quality of writing.) And Raymond Carver I just don’t go back to re-read with nearly the same enjoyment as I do, say, Flannery O’Connor.

I hope this list will make you blame me, Continue reading “My Most Vivid Reads – intro & #1”