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Monthly Archives: March 2009

Catherynne M. Valente: Palimpsest

I discovered Catherynne Valente through her Orphan’s Tales books, which were an amazing blend of beautiful poetic prose and cerebral puzzle-box structure. If I make a Top Ten list at some point they’re going to be contenders. Palimpsest is her newest novel, and it is once again full of beautiful poetic prose, though my left […]

Lars Bo Hansen: How Chess Games Are Won and Lost

I already have far too many books like How Chess Games Are Won and Lost, holistic tomes that attempt to somehow improve your chess game across the board by dispensing a couple hundred pages of advice. But this one has gotten a bunch of great reviews, so I gave in. It’s actually a very good […]

Songbook: Hit On You

“Entangled” is the second song on the new record, but Greg wrote it, so I’m skipping to number 3, “Hit On You”. This album is light on the “funny ha ha” songs, as people have noted, and this is probably the only outright example. I’ve always been a fan of songs in which the backing […]

Brian Moore: The Magician’s Wife

#3 in the list of books that have been sitting on my bookshelf for too long. I bought this a while ago and I can see why: it has lots of positive blurbs. Yet the reviews on Amazon are pretty mixed (average of 3.5 stars). Who’s right? In this case I agree with the Amazon […]

Iain M. Banks: Consider Phlebas

I am a sucker for series of books rereleased in handsome matching trade paperback editions, and Orbit Books seems to know it, because that’s what they’re doing with Iain M. Banks’ science fiction novels. Another one of my foibles is that if I am presented with such a collection of books, I have to start […]

William H. Gass: Omensetter’s Luck

Another entry in my list of books that have been languishing on my shelves for ages that I’m reading this year. This was kind of tough. It’s written throughout in a style that I would say is reminiscent of Joyce, although apparently (from reading other people write about it) if I had ever read Faulkner […]

Things we have called our dog

Bad Dog Baked Potato Breadbasket Captain Underfoot Chicken Tender Clotheshorse Crumpet Curly Fry Cutie Patootie Cutus Patutus Dogbreath Dogfish Head Doglet Face Facebook Face Face Fang Forest Ranger French Fry Good Dog Good Girl Greeting Card Henrietta von Düsseldorf Kibble Breath Killer Magnificent Muffin Noodle Noodle Nose Nose Party Pooper Peabrain Peanut Butter Face Peppercorn […]