Archives: December 2008

This is the archive page for [December 2008]; below you should see headlines and summaries of all entries posted here that month. Click the appropriate link at each to read the entire entry.

The Year In Books 2008: Best experimental | December 31, 2008
It's part three of the four-part CCLaP look at 2008's reviewed books, being posted here all week; today, eight of the best experimental or cutting-edge books to be originally reviewed here over the last twelve months. | Read entire entry

The Year In Books 2008: Worth a second look | December 30, 2008
It's part two of the four-part report I've been filing here this week, looking back at the forty most interesting books reviewed here at CCLaP in 2008. Today, ten books that are worth checking out again, sometimes phenomenal titles that nonetheless will only appeal to a limited audience. | Read entire entry

Yet more interestingness: 30 December 2008 | December 30, 2008
Links to yet more interesting stuff I've recently come across online, for December 30th, 2008. | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "espejo 005," by Yapci Gómez Lima | December 30, 2008
Today's photo: "espejo 005," by Spanish photographer Yapci Gómez Lima. | Read entire entry

The Year In Books 2008: Best of the best | December 29, 2008
It's part one of CCLaP's four-part look at the year in books for 2008, being published throughout this week. Today, the ten highest-rated books of the year, of the 83 contemporary titles that were reviewed. | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "New York Skyline," by Tanya Codispodi | December 29, 2008
Today's photo: "New York Skyline," by New York photographer Tanya Codispodi. | Read entire entry

The CCLaP Year In Books 2008 | December 28, 2008
It's here! It's here! It's CCLaP's look back at the 83 contemporary books reviewed here this year, highlighting slowly over the week almost 40 of them again, grouped into themes each day and with brand-new micro-reviews of them all. Here, the roundup and main index. | Read entire entry

Yet more interestingness: 28 December 2008 | December 28, 2008
Links to yet more interesting stuff I've recently come across online, for December 28th, 2008. | Read entire entry

Yet more interestingness: 27 December 2008 | December 27, 2008
Links to yet more interesting stuff I've recently come across online, for December 27th, 2008. | Read entire entry

Yet more interestingness: 25 December 2008 | December 25, 2008
Links to yet more interesting stuff I've recently come across online, for December 25th, 2008. | Read entire entry

Yet more interestingness: 24 December 2008 | December 24, 2008
Links to yet more interesting stuff I've recently come across online, for December 24th, 2008. | Read entire entry

Book review: "A Map of Home," by Randa Jarrar | December 22, 2008
Today's book: The sweet yet awfully stereotypical Middle East coming-of-age tale "A Map of Home," by Palestinian-American Randa Jarrar. | Read entire entry

Yet more interestingness: 22 December 2008 | December 22, 2008
Links to yet more interesting stuff I've recently come across online, for December 22nd, 2008. | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "337/366," by Nadja | December 22, 2008
Today's photo: "337/366," by Sarajevo Flickr member Nadja. | Read entire entry

The CCLaP 100: "Northanger Abbey," by Jane Austen | December 19, 2008
Today's book under review: Jane Austen's chick-lit forerunner "Northanger Abbey," written in 1798 but not published until 1818. Is it a classic? Click through for my verdict and the reasons why. | Read entire entry

Book review: "Ibiza Virgin," by Jennifer Eric | December 18, 2008
Today's book: The oddly organized "Ibiza Virgin" by Jennifer Eric, partly a practical travel guide to this club-heavy Mediterranean tourist destination, partly a memoir of a disastrous summer internship she had there in the mid-2000s. | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: Various, by Marty Coleman | December 18, 2008
Today's photo is actually a series of images, all by Tulsa-based professional photographer Marty Coleman. | Read entire entry

Tales from the Completist: "Ghostwritten," by David Mitchell | December 17, 2008
Today's book: 1999's "Ghostwritten," the first novel by British expat David Mitchell, now considered by many a decade later to be one of the finest contemporary surrealist authors around. What did I think of this early book? Click through to find out. | Read entire entry

Mini-review: "Zerostrata," by Andersen Prunty | December 17, 2008
Today's book: The short and delightful absurdist tale "Zerostrata," by mid-career Ohio author Andersen Prunty. | Read entire entry

Announcing CCLaP's newest book: "The Great iPod Indie Rock Challenge of 2008." | December 16, 2008
Today, I'm happy to announce CCLaP's third book, the second in its "White Paper" series, minor reprints of longer material that original ran at the site; in this case, a new collection of the four essays that originally chronicled the "Great iPod Indie Rock Challenge of 2008," in which I dared my lazy middle-aged self to get all my sad old '80s and '90s rocks off my little 1-gig iPod Shuffle and replaced with brand-new music by brand-new bands as quickly as possible. | Read entire entry

The Great iPod Indie Rock Challenge of 2008: A wrap-up. | December 16, 2008
(UPDATE, DECEMBER 2008: All four essays in this series are now available as a free downloadable eBook, for those who are interested.) Well, so here we finally are, at the end of the Great iPod Indie-Rock Challenge of 2008;... | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "Day 36," by "yablocko" | December 16, 2008
Today's photo: "Day 36," by Slavic-speaking Flickr member "yablocko." | Read entire entry

CCLaP Podcast 30: Monthly Music Special | December 15, 2008
Today on the podcast: It's the last monthly music special of 2008 (doubling as the last podcast episode ever of 2008), wherein I look back at all the songs I've been downloading legally online in the last month, and share around a dozen of them with you "college radio style." | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "freezing," by Ari Winkle | December 15, 2008
Today's photo: "freezing," by Minneapolis photographer Ari Winkle. | Read entire entry

Personal essay: Grinding the gears -- the mechanics of language. | December 12, 2008
Today, it's another reprint of a guest essay I recently wrote for "authonomy," the cutting-edge online literature experiment from HarperCollins UK; this time I write on the mechanics of language, things like grammar and paragraph structure, and various issues related to publishing that these subjects bring up. | Read entire entry

Obsession of the moment: Orange Alert Holiday Guide 2008 | December 12, 2008
Today's obsession: The fantastic little downloadable holiday guide from cultural website "What To Wear During an Orange Alert," even cooler because of it being made in a way that almost anyone could, but that only OA thought of and actually executed. | Read entire entry

Yet more interestingness: 12 December 2008 | December 12, 2008
Links to yet more interesting stuff I've recently come across online, for December 12th, 2008. | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "Untitled," by Fabrizio Mingarelli | December 12, 2008
Today's photo: "Untitled," by Italian photographer Fabrizio Mingarelli. | Read entire entry

Book review: "The Gargoyle," by Andrew Davidson | December 10, 2008
Today: The much-hyped, badly disappointing, centuries-spanning supernatural romantic thriller "The Gargoyle," by first-time novelist Andrew Davidson. Wow, what a stinker. | Read entire entry

Yet more interestingness: 10 December 2008 | December 10, 2008
Links to yet more interesting stuff I've recently come across online, for December 10th, 2008. | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "176/365 - and I once thought I was sure," by Leah Louise Gorospe | December 10, 2008
Today's photo: "176/365 - and I once thought I was sure," by Philippine photographer Leah Louise Gorospe. | Read entire entry

Mini-review: "The Canon," by Natalie Angier | December 9, 2008
Today's review: Natalie Angier's surprisingly disappointing "The Canon," in which she asks a series of scientists what the most important basic lessons about their profession are, hampered throughout by an overly cute, badly written style of "magazine journalism." | Read entire entry

Mini-review: "Tearing Down the Wall of Sound," by Mick Brown | December 9, 2008
Today's review: The 2007 Phil Spector biography "Tearing Down the Wall of Sound" by journalist Mick Brown, surprisingly ho-hum for a tale of a gun-toting rock-icon recluse. | Read entire entry

Audrey Niffenegger will be chatting next week online with the Toronto Public Library | December 9, 2008
Cool news today from our friends at the Toronto Public Library; next week they'll be sponsoring a live online chat and interview with Chicago author Audrey Niffenegger ("The Time Traveler's Wife"), and the public is invited to follow along in real time. Click through for all the details. | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "50/365," by Ashley | December 9, 2008
Today's photo: "30/365," by Chicago Flickr member Ashley. | Read entire entry

Book review: "Sunshine Estates: Rx for Rosedale," by Lynn Shirey | December 8, 2008
Today's book: The gentle yet smart retirement-community crime-thriller comedy "Sunshine Estates: Rx for Rosedale," by self-publishing author Lynn Shirey. | Read entire entry

Yet more interestingness: 8 December 2008 | December 8, 2008
Links to yet more interesting stuff I've recently come across online, for December 8th, 2008. | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "Diamond Ranch High School," by "DisneyKrayzie" | December 8, 2008
Today's photo: "Diamond Ranch High School," by mysterious Flickr member "DisneyKrayzie." | Read entire entry

Yet more interestingness: 7 December 2008 | December 7, 2008
Links to yet more interesting stuff I've recently come across online, for December 7th, 2008. | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "Naty," by Tamara Jiménez | December 7, 2008
Today's photo: "Naty," by Chilean photographer Tamara Jiménez. | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "Untitled," by K Lam | December 5, 2008
Today's photo: "Untitled," by Hong Kong Flickr member "K Lam." | Read entire entry

Book review: "Psychological Methods To Sell Should Be Destroyed," by Robert Freeman Wexler | December 4, 2008
Today's book: The mostly fantastic absurdist/surrealist story collection "Psychological Methods To Sell Should Be Destroyed," from veteran "New Weird" author Robert Freeman Wexler. | Read entire entry

Book review: "Will You Love Me Tomorrow," by Danny Gillan | December 3, 2008
Today's book: The unfortunately behemoth indie-rock saga "Will You Love Me Tomorrow," by British author Danny Gillan. | Read entire entry

Yet more interestingness: 1 December 2008 | December 1, 2008
Links to yet more interesting stuff I've recently come across online, for December 1st, 2008. | Read entire entry