• The Tsar of Love & Techno

    As a reader the best part of an interlinked short story collection is the links. Whenever I stumble upon a connection in my reading I am delighted. There’s lots of clever linking in unexpected ways in Anthony Marra’s collection The Tsar of Love and Techno, and every single one of…

  • Bark is Kind of a Bore

    A new short story collection by Lorrie Moore had me giddy with anticipation when it arrived on my doorstep lo those many months ago when the arctic February winds howled and most of Minnesota was frozen solid. Last night I finished the short eight-story collection once again as winds howled,…

  • Of Course it Doesn’t Suck

    I recently confessed on Book Riot, that I might be the slightest bit irrational when it comes to the books of Elizabeth McCracken. I discovered Elizabeth McCracken in the mid-nineties about the same time I discovered my all-time favorite band, The Replacements. I have since woven the works of both…

  • One More Ugh: Ughs & Other Ughs

    I can’t remember the last time I read a book as sad and cynical as B.J. Novak’s collection of flash fiction One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories. I can’t tell if these stories are hipster detachment masquerading as intellectualism or what. The voice throughout the sixty-four stories is one…

  • Swagger

    Last weekend I got an email from Christa who was twenty-five pages from the end of Every Love Story is a Ghost Story and she didn’t want to finish it because she knew what was coming. I tried to empathize with her plight but I couldn’t. “Right now I’m immersed…

  • No such thing as just a girl

    Every six months or so for the past decade, I’d randomly type ‘Elissa Schappell’ into Amazon’s search bar and cross my fingers. I kept hoping and hoping that she had released a book that some how slipped by me. I fell in love so hard with her collection of linked…

  • Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self

    Sometimes when I read short story collections I try to figure out what the author’s thing is. By thing I mean the big issue they address in their writing. While it’s easy to extrapolate from there that it’s the big issue the author him or herself is dealing with in…

  • Literary husbandry

    In my head if Mary Gaitskill’s writing and Philip Roth’s writing were to meet, have sex, and create a baby, that baby would be Gina Frangello’s writing. I choose Gaitskill because, like Frangello, she writes about women dealing with their sexuality and the power/control issues that go with it, and…