Thursday, August 29, 2013

A Hologram for the King

A Hologram for the King, a novel by Dave Eggers (McSweeney's Books, San Francisco, 2012).


Friday, August 23, 2013

A novel and two poems

The Elegance of the Hedgehog (L'élégance du hérisson), a novel by Muriel Barbery, translated from the French by Alison Anderson (Editions Gallimard, Paris, 2006; Europa Editions, New York, 2008). 

"Two Creatures," a poem by Billy Collins, from his collection Horoscopes for the Dead (Random House, 2011, pp. 53-54), and originally published in Cimarron Review

I also really liked much of Collins' poem "Table Talk" (pp. 60-62, originally in The New Yorker), which aptly, for this post, ended with the words "a hedgehog bristling with quills." 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Ship Fever by Andrea Barrett

Ship Fever (W.W. Norton, 1996), which won the National Book Award for fiction in 1996, is a collection of eight stories by Andrea Barrett. 

When I first picked up the book, I didn't realize that I'd already read the first story, "The Behavior of the Hawkweeds."  It was originally printed in The Missouri Review, and I'd read the reprint in Best American Short Stories, 1995 (guest edited by Jane Smiley).     

My favorite stories in the collection were "The Littoral Zone" (originally published in Story), "Birds with No Feet," and the rather stunning title story, "Ship Fever."  It, like several of the other stories in the collection, weaves together fiction and scientific or historical record.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Alice Munro, Ellen Bass, Stewart O'Nan

Something I've Been Meaning to Tell You, a collection of thirteen short stories by Alice Munro (McGraw-Hill Ryerson Limited, 1974).  My favorite stories here were "How I Met My Husband" (pp. 45-66 in the paperback Vintage International version from 2004) and "Winter Wind" (pp. 192-206).

Mules of Love, a collection of poems by Ellen Bass (BOA Editions, 2002).  My favorites were "The Thing Is" (p. 72), which I mentioned in a previous post, and "In Which a Deer Is Found in a Bubble Bath, Having Entered the House, Turned on the Faucet, Knocked Over the Bottle, and Stepped InNot Necessarily in That Order" (pp. 23-24).   
The Good Wife, a novel by Stewart O'Nan (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2005).