Category Archives: Bookshelf

Courses Now Available on Lynda.com and LinkedIn Learning

I’m very pleased to announce (albeit belatedly) that I now have a pair of new courses available for viewing—though on different subject matter and in a different location than my previous work. Specifically, I now have a pair of courses … Continue reading

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Bloodroot

I’m a bit late to the party in profiling Bloodroot (it came out about a year ago to great acclaim, was featured in Entertainment Weekly and many other venues, and has been routinely applauded on best-debut and best-of-the-year lists) but I wanted to add my voice to the chorus anyway—because I enjoyed Bloodroot very, very much. Continue reading

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The Deportees

I picked up Roddy Doyle’s The Deportees at San Francisco’s recent MLA convention because one of the stories had been published in the same edition of McSweeney’s as a story of mine, and I’d been curious about Doyle ever since … Continue reading

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This Side of Brightness

This Side of Brightness is one of the most lyrically gorgeous novels I’ve read in quite some time, with quietly lovely and delicate sentences and descriptions that reveal their subjects’ inherent dignity and grace, whether those subjects are 1920s “sandhogs” … Continue reading

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The Braindead Megaphone

In a frenzy of eleventh hour book-buying at December’s MLA convention (“All paperbacks three dollars!  Everything must go!”) I picked up The Braindead Megaphone by George Saunders, which became my book of choice for the long flight back to Chicago.  … Continue reading

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The Master Butcher’s Singing Club

I’m working on a novel right now dealing heavily with music, and was originally attracted to Louise Erdrich’s The Master Butcher’s Singing Club based on its content–I wanted to see how another writer handled music, in both its description and … Continue reading

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Fast Food Nation

I don’t usually focus on non-fiction, just like I don’t usually mention million-seller books.  But Fast Food Nation, by Eric Schlosser, warrants an exception.  Part of this posting is sentimental–my wife and I resolved to read more books together, and … Continue reading

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Puzzled Writers, Dramatic Situations

I recently spent the night at a friend’s house, and since I’m almost always the first to get up in the morning I killed a few hours raiding his library.  After browsing the shelves of anthologies, journals, and short story … Continue reading

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The Medici Effect

While riding a commuter train from Chicago to St. Louis earlier today (the train being a new addition to my annual Christmas migration back to my hometown) I read The Medici Effect by Frans Johansson, which claims that creativity, while … Continue reading

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Poachers

By Tom Franklin I learned a lot at the Sewanee Writers’ Conference.  One thing I learned, for example, is that apparently everyone–at some point in their writing career–will meet and like Tom Franklin.  Whether they interviewed him for an article, … Continue reading

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