Archives: March 2016

This is the archive page for [March 2016]; 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.

First Time Around: "Angels," by Denis Johnson | March 30, 2016
Today at CCLaP, Chris Schahfer reviews Denis Johnson's "Angels" as part of his "First Time Around" series. Says Chris, "it's an invitation for those on the center to have empathy for those on the outside." | Read entire entry

Book Review: "Find Your Purpose Using Science" by Dr. Gleb Tsipursky | March 30, 2016
Today at CCLaP, Jason Pettus reviews Dr. Gleb Tsipursky's "Find Your Purpose Using Science," a nonfiction book that doesn't contain any bad advice but that unfortunately only contains about a blog post's worth of good advice, making it not worth the purchase price. | Read entire entry

Book Review: "Pretend I'm Dead" by Jen Beagin | March 28, 2016
Today at CCLaP Jason Pettus reviews Jen Beagin's "Pretend I'm Dead," a nearly perfect novel if you can past the darkly black subversive self-deprecation. | Read entire entry

American Odd: "Them: Adventures with Extremists," by Jon Ronson | March 25, 2016
This week Karl Wolff continues his American Odd essay series with "Them: Adventures with Extremists," by gonzo journalist Jon Ronson, as he meets with David Icke, Alex Jones, and Randy Weaver's daughter to find the secret room whose men control the world. | Read entire entry

Book Review: "Live To Air," by Jeffrey L. Diamond | March 25, 2016
Looking for a good beach read, Live To Air by Jeffrey L. Diamond may be what you're looking for; a fun mystery about a TV producer investigating a high-profile murder. | Read entire entry

Book Review: "anemogram." by Rebecca Gransden | March 25, 2016
Today at CCLaP, Jason Pettus reviews Rebecca Gransden's "anemogram.," presented as a novel about an adorable girl wandering the apocalypse, but that might be better described as a 200-page prose-poem. | Read entire entry

Book Review: "The Black Presidency" by Michael Eric Dyson | March 24, 2016
(CCLaP is dedicated to reviewing as many contemporary books as possible, including self-published volumes; click here to learn how to submit your own book for possible review, although be warned that it needs to have been published within the last... | Read entire entry

Book Review: "Fiery Cocoon: Beyond Loss and Fear," by Clarissa Fitzgerald | March 23, 2016
Today at CCLAP, Chris Schahfer reviews the memoir "Fiery Cocoon," by Clarissa Fitzgerlad. Says Chris, "The story could've been compelling, but the clumsy writing makes the whole project a slog." | Read entire entry

Tales From the Completist: "Sharp Objects" (2006), by Gillian Flynn | March 22, 2016
Today at CCLaP, Jason Pettus looks back at Gillian ("Gone Girl") Flynn's first novel, 2006's atmospheric noir disguised as a crime story, "Sharp Objects." | Read entire entry

Book Review: "The Rising" by Ian Tregillis | March 21, 2016
Today at CCLaP, Jason Pettus reviews Ian Tregillis' "The Rising," volume 2 in an entertaining alt-history trilogy which imagines that the Dutch Empire invented robots in the 1600s. | Read entire entry

Book Review: "To Swallow the Earth" by Ransom Wilcox | March 17, 2016
Today at CCLaP, Jason Pettus reviews Ransom Wilcox's "To Swallow the Earth," a Western novel that feels so cartoonishly derivative as to be a parody of the genre instead of a legitimate real example of one. | Read entire entry

Book Review: "Cries for Help, Various," by Padgett Powell | March 16, 2016
Today at CCLaP, Chris Schahfer reviews cult favorite Padgett Powell's latest collection, "Cries for Help, Various." Says Chris, " I know I call a lot of books funny, but this is one of the funniest I've read all year." | Read entire entry

Book Review: "what if i got down on my knees?" by Tony Rauch | March 16, 2016
Today at CCLaP, Jason Pettus reviews Tony Rauch's "what if i got down on my knees?," a story collection that Pettus had his usual story-collection reaction to -- not too bad, not that good, and so short that it's over before you've had a chance to absorb any of it. | Read entire entry

Book Review: "Flawed Connections" by Gary Beck | March 15, 2016
Today at CCLaP, Jason Pettus reviews Gary Beck's "Flawed Connections," a Tolstoy-sized saga about the '90s tech scene that certainly gets an 'A' for ambition, but unfortunately is guilty of nearly every problem from small-press authors that drive me the craziest. | Read entire entry

Book Review: "Pagan Kennedy's Living: A Handbook for Maturing Hipsters," by Pagan Kennedy | March 11, 2016
This week Karl Wolff reviews "Pagan Kenndy's Living: A Handbook for Maturing Hipsters," by the Queen of 'Zines Pagan Kennedy, a reprint of the 1997 classic. | Read entire entry

Book Review: "Train Shots" by Vanessa Blakeslee | March 10, 2016
Today at CCLaP, Jason Pettus reviews Vanessa Blakeslee's "Train Shots," a story collection that, much like most story collections we review, has some good pieces and some bad pieces and generally came and went without making much of an impression. | Read entire entry

Book Review: "Viral," by Emily Mitchell | March 9, 2016
Today at CCLaP, Chris Schahfer reviews Emily Mitchell's highly topical collection Viral. Says Chris, "It's a fun read with a good amount of serious poking through. | Read entire entry

Book Review: "Wilkie Collins: A Brief Life" by Peter Ackroyd | March 9, 2016
Today at CCLaP, Jason Pettus reviews "Wilkie Collins: A Brief Life," the latest in a series of small biographies by noted historian Peter Ackroyd, this time of the once famous Victorian novelist and good friend of Charles Dickens. | Read entire entry

Book Review: "The Perfect Comeback of Caroline Jacobs" by Matthew Dicks | March 8, 2016
Today at CCLaP, Jason Pettus reviews Matthew Dicks' "The Perfect Comeback of Caroline Jacobs," a great example of a "cozy novel" aka suburban domestic drama, with all the good and bad aspects that that implies. | Read entire entry

"Hurt People" by Cote Smith | March 3, 2016
(CCLaP is dedicated to reviewing as many contemporary books as possible, including self-published volumes; click here to learn how to submit your own book for possible review, although be warned that it needs to have been published within the last... | Read entire entry

Book Review: "Empire of Imagination" by Michael Witwer | March 3, 2016
Today at CCLaP, Jason Pettus reviews Michael Witwer's "Empire of Imagination," the first-ever full biography of "Dungeons & Dragons" creator Gary Gygax ever written, fascinating because of the true story despite Witwer's terrible decision to write it like a fictional narrative story. | Read entire entry

Book Review: "Hidden History of Lincoln Park" by Patrick Butler | March 2, 2016
Today at CCLaP, Jason Pettus reviews "Hidden History of Lincoln Park" by Patrick Butler, one of those slim local history guides published in the hundreds by speciality small presses, not exactly bad but not nearly as good as I wanted it to be. | Read entire entry

First Time Around: "Omensetter's Luck," by William H. Gass | March 1, 2016
Today at CCLaP, Chris Schahfer reviews William H. Gass' "Omensetter's Luck" as part of his "First Time Around" series. Says Chris, "it's a unique work of art, one that eschews traditional approaches to plot and character development." | Read entire entry

Book Review: "Lies, First Person" by Gail Hareven | March 1, 2016
Today at CCLaP, Jason Pettus reviews "Lies, First Person" by Gail Hareven, a remarkable contemporary novel from Israel that combines an airport thriller about self-hating Jews with the thoughtful analysis and poetic prose of the academic set. | Read entire entry