Archives: December 2012

This is the archive page for [December 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.

30 Books in 30 Days: "A Crash Course on the Anatomy of Robots," by Kent Evans | December 21, 2012
Today's book review at CCLaP: The twee postmodernist rambler "A Crash Course on the Anatomy of Robots" by Kent Evans, not bad from an objective sense but the kind of hipster circle jerk that sets my nerves on edge, and with so much navel-gazing that even orange groves in Florida are getting nervous. | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "Klara kyrka," by Thomas Stensson | December 21, 2012
Today's photo: "Klara kyrka," by Swedish photographer Thomas Stensson. | Read entire entry

30 Books in 30 Days: "Because You Have To: A Writer's Life," by Joan Frank | December 20, 2012
Today's book review at CCLaP: The disappointing, mostly useless writing guide "Because You Have To" by Joan Frank, not an actual guide to the technicalities of writing but rather such froo-froo subjects as whether to tell your middle-class friends you're working on a book, or how to decorate your middle-class "artist studio" in the back of your house. | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "Her day," by Daniel Wirgard | December 20, 2012
Today's photo: "Her day," by Swedish photographer Daniel Wirgard. | Read entire entry

30 Books in 30 Days: "The Soft Exile," by Eric Kiefer | December 19, 2012
Today's book review at CCLaP: The disappointing Peace Corps memoir "The Soft Exile" by Eric Keifer, loaded with problems endemic to this genre: too many inconsequential details, too much "rah rah frat boy!" attitude, and too many shifts in tone between realism and absurdist comedy. | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "Lavender Dream," by Tony De Long | December 19, 2012
Today's photo: "Lavender Dream," by French-in-Vietnam photographer Tony De Long. | Read entire entry

30 Books in 30 Days: "A Short Stay in Hell," by Steven L. Peck | December 18, 2012
Today's book review at CCLaP: The extremely disappointing "A Short Stay in Hell" by Steven L. Peck, which I thought was going to be a charming memoir about lapsed Mormonism but is instead the kind of silly fairytale you find in the back of church bulletins. | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "cranes," by Hannah Simpson | December 18, 2012
Today's photo: "cranes," by British photographer Hannah Simpson. | Read entire entry

30 Books in 30 Days: "The Never Fable" by Steven Brandsdorfer | December 17, 2012
Today's book review at CCLaP: Steven Brandsdorfer's disappointing alt-reality tale "The Never Fable," the start of an entire week of write-ups about so-so to terrible books recently read. | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "Life in Technicolor," by TM Photographe | December 17, 2012
Today's photo: "Life in Technicolor," by French Flickr member TM Photographe. | Read entire entry

On Being Human: "Nekropolis," by Maureen McHugh | December 14, 2012
In this week's edition of CCLaP's On Being Human, Karl Wolff discusses "Nekropolis" by Maureen McHugh, a novel about Hariba, who underwent a surgery to make her subservient, and Akhmim, a genetically engineered being designed from birth to be that way. | Read entire entry

Why I Signed 'Famous Drownings in Literary History' -- An Apologia. | December 13, 2012
Today at CCLaP, an "apologia" -- a "critical" essay deliberately kept all-positive -- on all the reasons I decided to sign and publish Kevin Haworth's beautiful, thought-provoking and poetic essay collection "Famous Drownings in Literary History," after receiving it last year as a cold submission. | Read entire entry

30 Books in 30 Days: "Hellblazer" vol. 1 and 2, by Jamie Delano et al | December 12, 2012
Today's book review at CCLaP: The first two collected volumes of the groundbreaking Vertigo comic "John Constantine, Hellblazer" (these two from 1988-89 and written by Jamie Delano), the start of my plan to read all 300 issues now that DC has announced its imminent cancellation. | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "Mr. Danny, The Daily News," by Yip Choon Wai | December 12, 2012
Today's photo: "Mr. Danny, The Daily News," by Malaysian photographer Yip Choon Wai. | Read entire entry

30 Books in 30 Days: "Black Crow White Lie," by Candi Sary | December 11, 2012
Today's book review at CCLaP: The wonderful coming-of-age story "Black Crow White Lie" by Candi Sary, generic in its subject matter but delightful and moving in its details, and yet another quiet winner from the unassumingly great Casperian Books. | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "Untitled," by William Keckler | December 11, 2012
Today's photo: "Untitled," by Flickr member William Keckler. | Read entire entry

30 Books in 30 Days: "Miss Buncle's Book," by D.E. Stevenson | December 10, 2012
Today's book review at CCLaP: The so-so "Miss Buncle's Book" by D.E. Stevenson, which I thought was going to be a contemporary novel about the foibles of British small-town life, but was actually a reprint of an inferior 1934 novel on the same subject. | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "Istikal caddesia, Istanbul," by aAlok Khemka | December 10, 2012
Today's photo: "Istikal caddesia, Istanbul," by Turkish Flickr member aAlok Khemka. | Read entire entry

Come join us at the Pop-Up Book Fair this Sunday! | December 7, 2012
Hey Chicagoans! If you're not doing anything on Sunday, come join us at the Pop-Up Book Fair at the Empty Bottle! Featuring 25 local presses and a handful of indie-rock bands, this free-with-RSVP event will be a great place to pick up holiday gifts for all your hipster friends. Click through for all the details! | Read entire entry

30 Books in 30 Days: "What Pooh Might Have Said to Dante," by Manny Rayner | December 7, 2012
Today's book review at CCLaP: "What Pooh Might Have Said to Dante" by Manny Rayner, a collection of book reviews by this popular Goodreads.com member and a great example of what everyone could be doing with their online criticism if they wanted. | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "Quinta da Regaleira," by Helena Exquis | December 7, 2012
Today's photo: "Quinta da Regaleira," by Spanish-in-Portugal photographer Helena Exquis. | Read entire entry

30 Books in 30 Days: "May We Shed These Human Bodies," by Amber Sparks | December 5, 2012
Today's book review at CCLaP: The story collection "May We Shed These Human Bodies" by Amber Sparks, put out by our friends at Curbside Splendor, the rare story collection to capture my attention and imagination just as much as a full-length novel usually does. | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "1... 2... 3...," by Eleonora Carbone | December 5, 2012
Today's photo: "1... 2... 3...," by Italian-in-Spain photographer Eleonora Carbone. | Read entire entry

30 Books in 30 Days: "Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm," edited by Philip Pullman | December 4, 2012
Today's book review at CCLaP: "Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm: A New English Version," edited by celebrated atheist children's author Philip Pullman. Yep, it's exactly what you're expecting! | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "Untitled," by Anthony Wood | December 4, 2012
Today's photo: "Untitled," by Pennsylvania photographer Anthony Wood. | Read entire entry

30 Books in 30 Days: "This Bright River," by Patrick Somerville | December 3, 2012
Today's book review at CCLaP: "This Bright River," the newest by Chicago author Patrick Somerville, an action thriller disguised as a Jonathan Franzen novel and one of my favorite reads of the entire year. | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "Untitled," by Josh Hicke | December 3, 2012
Today's photo: "Untitled," by Flickr member Josh Hicke. | Read entire entry