Archives: July 2012

This is the archive page for [July 2012]; 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.

Your micro-review roundup: 31 July 2012 | July 31, 2012
Today, short reviews of three recently read books: The academic thesis-cum-manifesto "Paragogy" by Charles Jeffrey Danoff and Joe Arided, interesting but way over my head; the practical and fascinating "Understanding Arabs" by Margaret K. Nydell; and the disappointing glorified coffeetable book "City: A Guidebook for the Urban Age," by P.D. Smith. | Read entire entry

It's day ten of Mark R. Brand's virtual book tour! | July 31, 2012
It's day ten of Mark R. Brand's virtual tour for the science-fiction novella "Life After Sleep!" Today Mark finishes his busy tour with a visit to our old pal Ben Tanzer, featuring a rare video that you should really stop by and check out when you have a chance. Click through for the link! | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Chronicle | July 30, 2012
Today's movie review at CCLaP: The incredible, nearly perfect low-budget sci-fi thriller "Chronicle," a deconstructionist take on superhero origin stories which combines an almost flawless script with ultra-clever digital effects. What an age we live in, when smart twentysomething artists with a little bit of money can churn out slick stunners like these! | Read entire entry

It's day nine of Mark R. Brand's virtual book tour! | July 30, 2012
It's day nine of Mark R. Brand's virtual tour for the science-fiction novella "Life After Sleep!" Today Mark is hanging out with popular blogger Okla Elliott, where he has posted a special excerpt from the book at the website As It Ought To Be. Click through for the link! | Read entire entry

On Being Human: Swastika Night by Katharine Burdekin | July 27, 2012
This week's installment of Karl Wolff's essay series, On Being Human, examines the feminist science fiction novel "Swastika Night", an alternate history predating Orwell's "1984" that explores the darker regions of human behavior in a far future Europe ruled by medieval Nazi knights. | Read entire entry

It's day seven of Mark R. Brand's virtual book tour! | July 26, 2012
It's day seven of Mark R. Brand's virtual tour for the science-fiction novella "Life After Sleep!" Today Mark is hanging out with fellow CCLaP author Lauryn Allison Lewis, where he types up some guest thoughts on how he came up with the dialogue and plot details. Click through for the link! | Read entire entry

CCLaP Rare: "Death Kit" (first edition), by Susan Sontag | July 25, 2012
Today at CCLaP, a new listing in our rare-book selling service: A first-edition copy of Postmodernist icon Susan Sontag's 1967 experimental novel "Death Kit," a sort of "Kafka for hippies" that was a big hit among countercultural intellectuals. Click through for details, lots of photos, and to purchase it right this moment. | Read entire entry

It's day six (and five) of Mark R. Brand's virtual book tour! | July 25, 2012
It's day six of Mark R. Brand's virtual tour for the science-fiction novella "Life After Sleep!" And as usual, I actually have two links to share with you today, since I missed posting about this yesterday; on that day Mark was hanging out with fellow CCLaP artist Laura Szumowski, while today he has a new MP3 reading from the book posted at Curbside Splendor. Click through for them both! | Read entire entry

CCLaP Podcast 91: Live from the 'solo/down' release party | July 23, 2012
Today on the CCLaP Podcast: It's a live recording from the recent crowded, drunken release party for Lauryn Allison Lewis's novella "solo/down." Featuring performances from Robyn Pennacchia, James Tadd Adcox, Jac Jemc, Lindsay Hunter, Mason Johnson, Samantha Irby, Matt Rowan, Ben Tanzer and Lauryn herself, and hosted by Curbside Splendor's Victor David Giron. | Read entire entry

It's day four of Mark R. Brand's virtual book tour! | July 23, 2012
It's day four of Mark R. Brand's virtual tour for the science-fiction novella "Life After Sleep!" And I actually have two links to share with you today, since I missed posting about this on Friday; on that day Mark was hanging out with our friends at Another Chicago Magazine, while today he's at the great science-fiction blog Grasping for the Wind. Click through for the links! | Read entire entry

Your micro-review roundup: 19 July 2011 | July 19, 2012
Today, small reviews of three recently read books: The highly engaging and incredibly smart human-interest story collection "Gay Dwarves of America" by Anne Fleming; the brilliantly bizarre new fairytale "The Sugar Frosted Nutsack" by Mark "King of the Bizarro Authors" Leyner; and Michael Panush's profoundly disappointing "The Stein & Candle Detective Agency," a juvenile actioner disturbingly promoted as an adult title and a bad sign of the arrested-development times we're living in. | Read entire entry

It's day two of Mark R. Brand's virtual author tour! | July 19, 2012
It's day two of Mark R. Brand's virtual tour for the science-fiction novella "Life After Sleep!" Today Mark is hanging out with fellow CCLaP author Jason Fisk, where the two gab about science-fiction versus speculative fiction, where the ideas for this book came from, and more. Click through for the link! | Read entire entry

The CCLaP 100: "Meditations," by Marcus Aurelius | July 18, 2012
Today in the "CCLaP 100" essay series on literary classics: It's "Meditations," the private journals of Roman emperor, working soldier and hardcore Stoic Marcus Aurelius, written from 160 to 180 AD and essentially like one of those punchy, bullet-point-riddled advice books from famous corporate executives. Classic or not? Click through for my opinion! | Read entire entry

CCLaP Podcast 90: CCLaP in NYC - KGB Bar | July 17, 2012
Today on the CCLaP Podcast: It's the fourth of four recent shows we did in New York City, this time at famed lower Manhattan lit hangout KGB Bar. Featuring Kevin Haworth, David David Katzman, Traci Kim, Lauryn Allison Lewis, Sally Weigel, and an infamously riotous performance from Ben Tanzer. Many thanks to Lori Hettler for providing the missing audio you'll hear at the end! | Read entire entry

Welcome to the Mark R. Brand virtual author tour! | July 17, 2012
It's day one of CCLaP's newest "virtual book tour," this time for the day-after-tomorrow sci-fi tale "Life After Sleep" by local author Mark R. Brand. Click through for more about the book and the full schedule of performers, including a link to today's stop at the blog of noted New Weird writer Bella Street. | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "Spigot," by Qathi Gallaher Hart | July 17, 2012
Today's photo: "Spigot," by Portland photographer Qathi Gallaher Hart. | Read entire entry

It's day twenty-one (and the very last day) of the Ben Tanzer/Laura Szumowski virtual book tour! | July 13, 2012
It's the very last day of CCLaP's Ben Tanzer/Laura Szumowski virtual book tour for "The New York Stories!" Today the tour wraps up with a visit by Laura to our old friend and local bizarro author David David Katzman, where the two talk at length about Laura's work, career, and distinctive visual style. Thanks, everyone, for an extra-long and extra-great tour! And don't forget that Mark R. Brand hits the information superhighway starting Monday! | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "Untitled," by Meral Guler | July 13, 2012
Today's photo: "Untitled," by Brit-in-Los-Angeles Meral Guler. | Read entire entry

Book Review: Werewolves of Wisconsin and other American myths, monsters, and ghosts, by Andy Fish | July 13, 2012
This week, Karl Wolff reviews "Werewolves of Wisconsin and other American myths, monsters, and ghosts," a graphic novel by Andy Fish. It explores the scary regions of these United States with gory visuals and local legends. | Read entire entry

Hey, Chicagoans! Come out to our show tonight at Women & Children First! | July 12, 2012
We haven't had a chance to promote this much, and we forgot to make a Facebook event page, but I wanted to let all you Chicagoans know that we're doing an all-CCLaP, all-female (or, er, all-non-penis-owning) reading tonight at the great Women & Children First Bookstore at 5233 N. Clark, starting at 7 pm, and featuring Lauryn Allison Lewis, Katherine Scott Nelson and Traci Kim. Hope to see you there! | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "Yotel Sunset 7," by Taran Rampersad | July 12, 2012
Today's photo: "Yotel Sunset 7," by world traveler Taran Rampersad. | Read entire entry

Your micro-review roundup: 11 July 2012 | July 11, 2012
Today, short reviews of three recently read books: Lizzie Stark's insightful "NPR-worthy" look at live action role-playing games, "Leaving Mundania;" George R.R. Martin's "A Feast for Crows," volume five of the "Game of Thrones" novels; and Patrick Wensink's brilliantly silly bizarro novels about grizzled rock stars and world-dominating burger franchises, "Broken Piano for President." | Read entire entry

It's day nineteen of the Ben Tanzer/Laura Szumowski virtual book tour! | July 11, 2012
It's day nineteen of the Ben Tanzer/Laura Szumowski virtual book tour for "The New York Stories!" Today Laura is hanging out with our friend Davis Schneiderman at the blog Big Other, where she has turned in a guest essay (and lots and lots of illustrations) about what it was like as a visual artist to work on this book. Click through for the link! | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "Whodat?," by Mike Innocenzi | July 11, 2012
Today's photo: "Whodat?," by Chicago photographer Mike Innocenzi. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Shame | July 10, 2012
Today's movie: 2011's award-winning "Shame," supposedly a gritty and realistic look at sexual addiction but in reality just another silly Hollywood excuse to film supermodels having spirited intercourse in front of the glass walls of a million-dollar skyscraper condo. "Free coke, danceclub blowjobs from good-looking strangers, and no repercussions -- oh, how terrible it is to be a sexual addict!" | Read entire entry

Metapost: Our Facebook group is dead! Long live our Facebook group! | July 10, 2012
Happy day, frustrated members of CCLaP's Facebook group! Starting today we're migrating to a new Facebook 'page,' being maintained by assistant director Kelly Pearce, which will now simply send updates to your Wall feed instead of emailing each and every one of them directly to you. Plus new plans for our Twitter account are afoot! Click through for it all! | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "Brasov, Romania. December 2011.," by Antropologo Fidelio | July 10, 2012
Today's photo: "Brasov, Romania. December 2011.," by Flickr member Antropologo Fidelio. | Read entire entry

CCLaP Podcast 89: CCLaP in NYC - Vaudeville Park | July 9, 2012
Today on the CCLaP Podcast: It's the third of four hour-long shows that CCLaP's authors recently attended in New York City, this time at the Brooklyn performance space Vaudeville Park, and in this particular case in conjunction with local band Battle Of The Camel. Featuring performances from David David Katzman, Oriana Leckert, Lauryn Allison Lewis, Katherine Scott Nelson, John Reed and Sally Weigel. | Read entire entry

Hey, Chicagoans! Drop us a note and get 25 percent off our coming summer writing camp! | July 9, 2012
Yippee! Only one month until the start of CCLaP's first-ever summer writing camp! And as a little incentive to get more locals to sign up, we're running a sale of sorts -- simply drop us a note and explain why you want to take a class, and get 25 percent off the tuition! Click through for the details! | Read entire entry

It's day seventeen (and sixteen) of the Ben Tanzer/Laura Szumowski virtual book tour! | July 9, 2012
It's day seventeen of the Ben Tanzer/Laura Szumowski virtual book tour for "The New York Stories!" And once again I actually have two links to share today -- both Laura's stop today at Untoward Magazine, and her talk last Friday with fellow CCLaP artist Mark R. Brand. Click through for them both! | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "Eyes Wide Shut," by Tom Kondrat | July 9, 2012
Today's photo: "Eyes Wide Shut," by Polish-in-London photographer Tom Kondrat. | Read entire entry

CCLaP Rare: "A Bell for Adano" (first edition), by John Hersey | July 5, 2012
Today, a new addition to CCLaP's rare-book selling service: a first-edition copy of war correspondent John Hersey's 1944 "A Bell for Adano," a charming Pulitzer winner from the man whose eventual hauntingly poetic coverage of Hiroshima for "The New Yorker" would single-handedly kick off the entire era of "New Journalism." Click through for details, photos, and to purchase it this moment. | Read entire entry

It's day fifteen of the Ben Tanzer/Laura Szumowski virtual book tour! | July 5, 2012
It's day fifteen of CCLaP's Ben Tanzer/Laura Szumowski virtual book tour for "The New York Stories!" Today both Ben and Laura are doing a group talk with our friends at Artifice magazine, where they go into all kinds of detail about the process of putting this special illustrated edition together (including lots and lots of image examples). Click through for the link! | Read entire entry

Your micro-review roundup: 4 July 2012 | July 4, 2012
Today, short reviews of three recently read books: The competently done but silly and forgettable bizarro novel "Year Zero" by Rob Reid; the disappointing day-after-tomorrow thriller "The Night Sessions" by Ken MacLeod; and Meg Howrey's professional-dancer coming-of-age tale "The Cranes Dance," good for what it is but tedious if you're not into the minutiae of a ballerina's day-to-day life. | Read entire entry

It's day fourteen (and thirteen) of the Ben Tanzer/Laura Szumowski virtual book tour! | July 4, 2012
It's day fourteen of CCLaP's Ben Tanzer/Laura Szumowski virtual book tour for "The New York Stories!" And like usual these days, home internet problems kept me from updating yesterday, so today I have four links to share with you - yesterday at Baby Got Books for Laura and Dead End Follies for Ben, and today at WordPlaySound for Ben and Caleb J. Ross for Laura. Click through for all four links! | Read entire entry

CCLaP Podcast 88: Author Joe Meno | July 2, 2012
Today on the CCLaP Podcast: It's my talk with contemporary Chicago lit-legend Joe Meno, where we speak for an hour all about his new book coming out this week, the bittersweet relationship tale "Office Girl" from Akashic Books. Click through to download or stream it right now. | Read entire entry

It's day twelve of the Ben Tanzer/Laura Szumowski virtual book tour! | July 2, 2012
It's day twelve of the Ben Tanzer/Laura Szumowski virtual book tour for "The New York Stories!" And just like on Friday, today Ben and Laura are both being featured at the same place -- Lori Hettler's "The Next Best Book Blog," where both turn in separate videos featuring the places where they work. Click through for them both! | Read entire entry