Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Reading Envy 042: It Begins with Rain

Jenny is joined by Jason, a welcome repeat guest! We take shelter from the incoming rain accompanying Hurricane Joaquin, but we had no idea how bad the devastation would be in our home state of South Carolina. Jason's home and my home were okay, but that definitely isn't true for everyone! You can donate to aid victims of the flooding in South Carolina if you so desire.

Download or listen via this link: Reading Envy 042: It Begins with Rain.

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Book selections:

By the Iowa Sea: A Memoir by Joe Blair
The Coroner's Lunch by Colin Cotterrill
The Painter by Peter Heller
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
All the Living by C.E. Morgan
The Professor's House by Willa Cather

Other books mentioned:
The Monsters of Templeton by Lauren Groff
Delicate Edible Birds: And Other Stories by Lauren Groff
Arcadia by Lauren Groff
Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff
The Dog Stars by Peter Heller
Kook: What Surfing Taught Me About Love, Life, and Catching the Perfect Wave by Peter Heller
Hell or High Water: Surviving Tibet's Tsango River (Vintage Departures) by Peter Heller
The Whale Warriors: The Battle at the Bottom of the World to Save the Planet's Largest Mammals by Peter Heller
Welcome to Braggsville by T. Geronimo Johnson
Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed
Stoner by John Williams

Other mentions:
National Book Award longlists
NPR "Morning Edition" Book Club
Avid Bookshop (Athens, GA)
Wild (movie)
Dual Survival (tv show)
5 Under 35 Award from the National Book Foundation
"Twins" by C. E. Morgan (in the New Yorker)
The Readers (podcast)
Books on the Nightstand (podcast)

Related podcast episodes:
Reading Envy Episode 014: Flannery O'Connor with Zombies
Reading Envy Episode 025: Mule and Plow
Reading Envy Episode 037: Breakdancing to Bach

Stalk us online:
Jason on Twitter
Jenny at Goodreads
Jenny on Twitter

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Library Books Mid-October 2015

And lo it was October, when all the new books come out, and all the awards are named, and Jenny made frequent use of her library and interlibrary loan in an attempt to try as many as possible. Pictures first, list and chatter at the end.

Satin Island by Tom McCarthy
Elegy for a Broken Machine: Poems by Patrick Phillips
Ordinary Light: A memoir by Tracy K. Smith
Scattered at Sea by Amy Gerstler
A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James
Honeydew: Stories by Edith Pearlman
Heaven: Poems by Rowan Ricardo Phillips
Mistaking Each Other for Ghosts by Lawrence Raab
How to Be Drawn by Terrance Hayes
Welcome to Braggsville by T. Geronomino Johnson
A Stranger's Mirror: New and Selected Poems, 1994-2014 by Marilyn Hacker

The McCarthy and James are the last of the Man Booker Prize shortlist that I hadn't read (other than the one that won't be available until 2016!) and hooray, Marlon James won the prize this week! I will try to get back to that one. It follows so many characters that I took a break for easier reads when I came down with the plague. I finished Satin Island and returned it already; I really wish I had liked it more! I had previously read and enjoyed a novel by McCarthy.

I always try to read the poetry nominees for the National Book Award, and that's why I checked out the Phillips, Gerstler, Ricardo Phillips, Raab, Hayes, and Hacker.  Honestly none of these volumes (or those I read as eBooks) really blew me away this year, even the Hayes wasn't as striking to me as his last one, but I did probably still like it the best of the bunch.

The Smith is shortlisted for the non-fiction category of the National Book Award, while the Pearlman and Johnson are on the long list for fiction (but not the shortlist.) I had previously read the Lauren Groff and Hanya Yanagihara, both of which made the shortlist, but since the Johnson and Pearlman did not, I may return them to the library. They aren't bad but they're not really pulling me in. I will keep the Smith and finish it since it is one of the finalists.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Reading Envy 041: Grotesque Beauty

A few months ago, Jenny sat down with the writer Nathan Ballingrud. After a crash that occurred while saving the raw audio file, Jenny has been reassembling what she fondly refers to as the "Frankenpodcast" from the five-second backup segments that Audacity stores in no particular order. As such there may be wee mistakes where she inserted a sentence that didn't belong, for which she begs your understanding! The end of our discussion, about browsing in bookstores, was not salvageable, but the majority of our conversation made it through. It turned out to be a beautiful monster, which is pretty fitting for this author and his work.

Download or listen via this link: Reading Envy 041: Grotesque Beauty

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Ballingrud's Work:

North American Lake Monsters: Stories by Nathan Ballingrud
Read "North American Lake Monsters" (the short story) online
The Visible Filth by Nathan Ballingrud
"You Go Where It Takes You" in The Humanity of Monsters ed. Michael Matheson (January 2016)
"Sunbleached" in Teeth: Vampire Tales ed. Ellen Datlow
"Skullpocket" in Nightmare Carnival ed. Ellen Datlow
"The Way Station" in Naked City: Tales of Urban Fantasy (The Dresden Files series) ed. Ellen Datlow
"Wild Acre" in The Best Horror of the Year Volume Five ed. Ellen Datlow
"The Good Husband" in The Best Horror of the Year, Volume Six ed. Ellen Datlow
"The Atlas of Hell" in The Best Horror of the Year Volume Seven ed. Ellen Datlow
"Skullpocket" in The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2015 ed. Joe Hill

Other books mentioned:

B.P.R.D.: Plague of Frogs Volume 1 by Mike Mignola
The Scarlet Gospels by Clive Barker
No One Gets Out Alive by Adam Nevill
The Shipping News by Annie Proulx
"The Mud Below" in Close Range : Wyoming Stories by Annie Proulx
Rupetta by N.A. Sulway
Our Endless Numbered Days by Claire Fuller
The Wilds by Julia Elliott

Other mentions:
Shared Worlds
Malaprop's Bookstore and Cafe
Shirley Jackson Award
Viktor Cohen Exhibition - Bestiary: Bizarre Myths and Chimerical Fancies
Stephen King
Clive Barker
Robert McCammon's Matthew Corbett series
Livia Llewelyn

John Langan
Adam Nevill
Annie Proulx
Richard Ford
Alice Munro
The Shipping News (movie)
Brokeback Mountain (movie)
Alexandra Duncan
Dale Bailey
Swan River Press
Egaeus Press
Tartarus Press
Resurrection House
Arthur Machen
Walter de la Mare

Stalk us online:
Jenny at Goodreads
Jenny on Twitter


Related Reading Envy Episodes:
Episode 034 - The Liminal Space Between with Paul Weimer (discussion of The Wilds)
Episode 036 - The Reader-Sense of Ann VanderMeer
Episode 038 - Monica Byrne Makes People (Want to) Scream