Archives: April 2013

This is the archive page for [April 2013]; 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.

CCLaP Update: 30 April 2013 | April 30, 2013
Today in CCLaP's weekly update, now also available as an email newsletter: We attend the Chicago Pop-Up Book Fair; Eleanor Stanford's "Historia, Historia" has a release party; Maureen Foley's "Women Float" gets an official cover; our rare book collection acquires 12 new titles; plus a roundup of recent reviews and links to every essay we posted last week. Click through for it all! | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "Untitled," by emilyupsidedown | April 30, 2013
Today's photo: "Untitled," by Flickr member emilyupsidedown. | Read entire entry

Book Review: "HHhH" by Laurent Binet | April 29, 2013
Today's book review: The experimental, metafictional Nazi tale "HHhH" by Lauent Binet. Says reviewer Travis Fortney: "Binet is trying to retell history [through fiction] without inventing anything himself. The problem is, I wasn't sure that I saw the inherent value of that idea, and I didn't think Binet necessarily accomplished what he set out to." | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "Small Town Inertia," by J.A. Mortram | April 26, 2013
Today's photo: "Small Town Inertia," by British photographer J.A. Mortram. | Read entire entry

Book Review: "The Heroin Chronicles," edited by Jerry Stahl | April 26, 2013
This week Karl Wolff reviews "The Heroin Chronicles," edited by Jerry Stahl, a short story collection focusing on that most dangerous of controlled substances: heroin. | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "L is 'hip hopping,'" by C. Wess Daniels | April 25, 2013
Today's photo: "L is 'hip hopping,'" by Los Angeles photographer C. Wess Daniels. | Read entire entry

Book Review: "The Retrospective" by A.B. Yehoshua | April 25, 2013
Today's book review: "The Retrospective," the latest by "bad-boy" Israeli novelist A.B. Yehoshua. Sums up reviewer Yair Ben-Zvi, "One part film study, one part My Dinner with Andre, another part concluding scene to the Grapes of Wrath coupled with Roman art, and a distinctly Israeli flavor to the proceedings that gives the text a soft and languid warmth that, unfortunately, also slows and at times suffocates the text to a maddening stall." | Read entire entry

Book Review: "This is How You Lose Her" by Junot Diaz | April 24, 2013
Book Review: After becoming an accidental Junot Diaz completist, reviewer Travis Fortney reports that "This is How You Lose Her" is the author's best work so far, and that he's also a nice guy and semi-willing hugger of strangers. "I have always found Diaz's slangy, fast, Spanglish-laden, street smart style to be electric, but this collection hit me in a way his writing hadn't before." | Read entire entry

Book Review: "The Lazarus Machine: a Tweed & Nightingale Adventure" by Paul Crilley | April 24, 2013
Today's book review: The steampunk actioner "The Lazarus Machine" by Paul Crilley, which reviewer Karl Wolff calls a fun read for those who like 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' and 'Warehouse 13.' | Read entire entry

Personal essay: Regarding the realities of book collecting and the delicious sadness of 'Market Warriors.' | April 23, 2013
Why do I find the new PBS show "Market Warriors" deliciously sad? What secret truth about book collecting have I learned in recent years that a dealer will never tell you? And how are these connected? Check out this personal essay for the answers, in which I address echo chambers, post-Recession realities, and why baseball cards will always be better than rare books for flipping a fast profit. | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "One Night in Beijing #3," by Xiao Yang | April 23, 2013
Today's photo: "One Night in Beijing #3," by Chinese photographer Xiao Yang. | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "week 12," by damontosa | April 22, 2013
Today's photo: "week 12," by Flickr member damontosa. | Read entire entry

Book Review: "Four New Messages" by Joshua Cohen | April 22, 2013
Today's book review: The indie-loved Joshua Cohen's latest, "Four New Messages," which every reviewer in America (including now us) has compared to David Foster Wallace. But it's "Girl with Curious Hair rather than Infinite Jest," says reviewer Travis Fortney. "I mean that as a compliment, but I will say that I found [it] to be an uneven book." | Read entire entry

Book Review: "The Blue Kind," by Kathryn Born | April 19, 2013
Today's book review: "The Blue Kind," a dystopian drug novel by Chicago-area author Kathryn Born, and put out by academic imprint Switchgrass. Says reviewer Karl Wolff, "More novelists writing in science fiction should take these kinds of chances." | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: ".oh miss madonna won't you please give me a kiss, one of those soft sweet lagrimas," by Herr Benini | April 19, 2013
Today's photo: ".oh miss madonna won't you please give me a kiss, one of those soft sweet lagrimas," by German/Italian Flickr member Herr Benini. | Read entire entry

Book Review: "Trickster", by Jeff Somers | April 18, 2013
Today's book review: "Trickster" by Jeff Somers, an urban fantasy story about people who cut themselves in order to perform magic, and the first volume in a coming trilogy. Says reviewer Yair Ben-Zvi, "Though [the book] doesn't deliver on most of its ideas and some of the descriptions and imagery are less than graceful, there's enough good here to warrant a read." | Read entire entry

Book review: "The Inexplicables," by Cherie Priest | April 17, 2013
Today's book review: "The Inexplicables," the fourth novel in Cherie Priest's remarkable "Clockwork Century" steampunk series, just as thrilling and well-done as all the others, and a particular treat for fans by being set again in the walled, zombie-filled Seattle where the series started. | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "Criogénesis," by Sol Vázquez | April 17, 2013
Today's photo: "Criogénesis," by Spanish photographer Sol Vázquez. | Read entire entry

Book Review: "Stupid Children" by Lenore Zion | April 17, 2013
Today's book review: Lenore Zion's "Stupid Children," which has been gaining buzz among the indie-lit world but that, whoo boy, reviewer Travis Fortney didn't like at ALL. "A book this short shouldn't feel so long and cumbersome....the writing really is the problem." | Read entire entry

The CCLaP Update: 16 April 2003 | April 16, 2013
Today, the start of a new general update about the center every Tuesday, which will soon be available as well as an email subscription. Today: Maureen Foley's cover art drops, Eleanor Stanford and David David Katzman's books continue to do well, and Lori Hettler starts building our first national network of bookstore retailers! | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "song to the siren06," by Riccardo Bandiera | April 16, 2013
Today's photo: "song to the siren06," by Italian photographer Riccardo Bandiera. | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "Untitled," by Clemens Fantur | April 15, 2013
Today's photo: "Untitled," by Austrian photographer Clemens Fantur. | Read entire entry

Book Review: "Woke Up Lonely" by Fiona Maazel | April 15, 2013
Today's book: Fiona Maazel's hot new novel "Woke Up Lonely," a metaphorical tale about cults, loneliness and 21st-century life. Says reviewer Travis Fortney, "This book reminded me of Ryan Boudinot's 'Blueprints of the Afterlife,' which was unique, funny and entertaining, and which I also had trouble connecting to on an emotional level." | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "Goatman.," by David Collier | April 12, 2013
Today's photo: "Goatman.," by Flickr member David Collier. | Read entire entry

Book Review: "Keeping Bedlam at Bay in the Prague Cafe," by M. Henderson Ellis | April 12, 2013
This week Karl Wolff reviews "Keeping Bedlam at Bay in the Prague Cafe," by M. Henderson Ellis, a comedic ride through post-communist Prague with John Shirting in his quest to set up a coffee franchise. | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "Horse.," by Scott Hunter | April 11, 2013
Today's photo: "Horse.," by Scottish photographer Scott Hunter. | Read entire entry

Book Review: "Beautiful Ruins," by Jess Walter | April 11, 2013
Today's book review: "Beautiful Ruins," the newest by revered novelist Jess Walter, a sprawling relationship story that lasts for decades and spans the globe. Reviewer Yair Ben-Zvi sums up, "In case I've been too coy, I'll just say read this book. Do it now. It's worth that, and so much more." | Read entire entry

Book review: "Pacific Offering," by Tom Mahony | April 10, 2013
Today in CCLaP's mini-review roundup, Jason Pettus looks at the melancholy surfer coming-of-age tale "Pacific Offering," by Tom Mahony. | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "hope iv," by Gokturk Ayan | April 10, 2013
Today's photo: "hope iv," by Flickr member Gokturk Ayan. | Read entire entry

Book Review: "Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk" by Ben Fountain | April 10, 2013
Today's book review: The Iraq War novel "Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk," which reviewer Travis Fortney found well-done but implausible in some of its details, patronizing in others. | Read entire entry

CCLaP Podcast 99: Author David David Katzman | April 9, 2013
Today on the CCLaP Podcast: It's a one-hour talk with Chicago author David David Katzman, whose CCLaP story collection "The Kickstarter Letters" just came out to the general public last week. | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "Hippopotamus Lightness Meditation," by Andre Fromont | April 9, 2013
Today's photo: "Hippopotamus Lightness Meditation," by Belgian photographer Andre Fromont. | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "Duel," by Guillaume Grasse | April 8, 2013
Today's photo: "Duel," by Flickr member Guillaume Grasse. | Read entire entry

Say hello to CCLaP's new book reviewers! | April 8, 2013
CCLaP is happy to announce two new book reviewers joining our blog staff starting today, Travis Fortney out of Chicago and Yair Ben-Zvi in California, combining with current staffers Karl Wolff and Jason Pettus so to start offering again thoughtful long-form critical essays every single day of the week. Click through for details, photos, a look at our new weekly posting schedule, and an update about our new monthly magazine that gathers up all these reviews! | Read entire entry

Book Review: "The Yellow Birds" by Kevin Powers | April 8, 2013
Today's book review: the Iraq war novel "The Yellow Birds" by Kevin Powers, which staff writer Travis Fortney gives his first perfect 10 of the year to. Says Travis, "Reading it felt like a seminal event, and I knew before I was halfway through that it would eventually find its way onto my life list of favorites." | Read entire entry

Book review: "Peer Gynt," by Henrik Ibsen | April 6, 2013
Today's book review: The 1876 classic "Peer Gynt" by Henrik Ibsen, often described as THE quintessential Norwegian drama. Says reviewer Yair Ben-Zvi, "It's brilliant, unwieldy, and something awesome, truly. Read it." | Read entire entry

Book Review: "The Nazi Seance," by Arthur J. Magida | April 5, 2013
This week Karl Wolff reviews "The Nazi Seance" by Arthur J. Magida, a fascinating history of a self-made and self-delusional mind reader who courted the Nazis while hiding his Jewish heritage. | Read entire entry

Book Review: "Familiar," by J. Robert Lennon | April 4, 2013
Today's book review: The surreal existentialist novel "Familiar" by J. Robert Lennon. Says reviewer Travis Fortney: "I loved this short novel, which echoes both the Twilight Zone and authors like Kafka and Borges, with all the fun of the former and the intellectual seriousness of the latter." | Read entire entry

Say hello to CCLaP's newest book, David David Katzman's "The Kickstarter Letters!" | April 4, 2013
Surprise! After a four month delay because of unexpected complications, CCLaP holiday book "The Kickstarter Letters" by Chicago author David David Katzman is finally available to the general public, in both ebook form and the deluxe, oversized, illustrated paper edition that caused all the complications to begin with. Click through for all the details! | Read entire entry