Monday, September 22, 2008

Roof Whirl Away by Tom Saunders

Tom Saunders, one of my favorite authors, has just released his second collection of short stories, Roof Whirl Away. It follows his 2004 debut collection Brother, What Strange Place is This?

Spike magazine said this about Saunders's writing:
"One is tempted to view Saunders as a musician first and a writer second because his stories ring like fine crystal."

From the back cover description of Roof Whirl Away:
...The stories in this book are both varied and stylish, with a whole range of vivid characters caught in moments of reverie, indecision and drama.

Yeah! I just received my autographed copy in the mail, and I can't wait to dive in! I'll post a review when I'm done.

To purchase, click on this link:
Roof Whirl Away

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Five Star Literary Stories hits milestone

I while back I blogged about Five Star Literary Stories. They seek out the best of the best—short stories that is. This is how it works: an editor of a publication nominates what he/she believes is one of their best stories, and gives the reasons why they think this. Then another author reviews the story. And of course a link is provided so you, the reader, can enjoy the story for yourself.

Five Star just hit a landmark, their 25th review! So check out the site, and discover some great stories and excellent writers.

Five Star Literary Stories' statement:

Five Star Literary Stories combines three integral facets of the writing life: publisher, story, and reviewer. Each story is editor-nominated and considered one of the best the mag has published.

I was lucky to be one of their first reviewers. Check out my review of "I've Got Dreams to Remember" by Andrew Bomback.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

9/11 Anniversary; 9/11 books

Unbelievably, it's already the seventh anniversary of 9/11. It some ways it doesn't seem that long, yet on the other hand so much shit has gone down politically, militarily, etc. that it does seem that long.

I recently read a great book called Tower Stories: An Oral History of 9/11 by Damon DiMarco. DiMarco recorded these oral histories within a year after the attacks (in this edition he even followed up with some of the interviewees five years later to see how they were coping). He interviewed survivors, relatives, rescue workers, and those involved in getting everything up and running again, like Verizon workers who were vital in getting Wall Street reopened.

Another non-fiction book is the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 by Lawrence Wright. This is a must read for anyone interested in the rise of modern terrorism, and the chances we missed in preventing 9/11 from happening. 102 Minutes by Jim Dwyer is another must read, a gripping account of what happened between the time the first tower was struck, and the secong one fell. Then of course, there is the 9/11 Commission Report, even available as a graphic adaptation.

There are hundreds of non-fictions books on the subject, but how much good fiction has been written? Maybe the true stories are compelling enough, and we still need to hear them before we want to read fiction.

The most notable fiction are Don DeLillo's Falling Man, Ken Kalfus' A Disorder Peculiar to the Country, and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer. Have I missed any? Let me know.

I'd like to share with you my own little contribution to 9/11 fiction. It's called nineleven.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Sexy Beast

Here she is, my 2005 Toyota Matrix sporting new rims and tires. Look at that sexy beast! Now all I have to do is actually wash the car—inside and out—and I'll be good to go. Doesn't it look so much better than before?