Archives: Travis Fortney

This is the archive page for the category [Travis Fortney]; below you should see headlines and summaries of all entries found here on the subject. Click the appropriate link at each to read the entire entry.

Book Review: "Worst. Person. Ever." by Douglas Coupland | April 10, 2014
(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

It's April, so it must be time for the March "CCLaP Journal!" | April 7, 2014
Missed deadlines? WHAT MISSED DEADLINES! As always, overwhelming demand here in 2014 for our original novels is unfortunately keeping our new monthly magazine, "The CCLaP Journal," significantly delayed; but I'm happy to say that the March issue is now finally out, 186 pages of ad-free goodness just waiting for your free downloading pleasure. | Read entire entry

Book Review: "The Martian" by Andy Weir | April 3, 2014
(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: "Every Boy Should Have a Man" by Preston L. Allen | March 13, 2014
(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

My Kind of Town: "The Autobiography of Joseph Jefferson" by Joseph Jefferson | March 6, 2014
Part of living in Chicago, or any major city, is escaping the hustle and bustle as often as you can. Which is the reason that CCLaP's founder Jason Pettus and I--as Jason has written about before--have made a hobby... | Read entire entry

Book Review: "The Free" by Willy Vlautin | February 27, 2014
(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: "Bedrock Faith" by Eric Charles May | February 5, 2014
(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

My Kind of Town: "The Man with the Golden Arm" by Nelson Algren | January 29, 2014
(Once a month throughout 2013 and '14, CCLaP critic Travis Fortney is reading a series of classic and contemporary books set in Chicago, not only to understand his new adopted hometown better, but to learn more about the origins... | Read entire entry

The Year in Books: Travis Fortney's "Next Nine" | January 9, 2014
Since we all already picked our top three books of the year for Monday's Best of the Best list, and since the three books I picked for that list (Jeff Jackson's Mira Corpora, Kevin Powers' Yellow Birds and Diana Wagman's... | Read entire entry

The Year In Books 2013: Best of the Best | January 6, 2014
It's the start of CCLaP's seventh annual "Year In Books" special week-long report! Today, all four of the center's critics weigh in with their favorite reads of the year, giving us a list of twelve that could be considered the "best of the best" for 2013. Stay tuned all week for individual best-of lists! | Read entire entry

Book Review: "The Woman Upstairs" by Claire Messud | December 19, 2013
(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

Finally! CCLaP Journal #3 is here! | December 18, 2013
As always, it's ridiculously late, but issue #3 of our new monthly magazine, "The CCLaP Journal," is now online for your reading and downloading pleasure! Containing interviews with Ben Tanzer and Mark R. Brand among things, plus the usual content by staffers Travis Fortney, Madeleine Maccar, Karl Wolff and Rex Brink. Click through for the links! | Read entire entry

Book Review: "Nothing" by Anne Marie Wirth Cauchon | December 11, 2013
(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: "The Circle" by Dave Eggers | December 4, 2013
(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: "Mira Corpora" by Jeff Jackson | November 20, 2013
(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... | Read entire entry

Book Review: "This is Between Us" by Kevin Sampsell | November 13, 2013
(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: "Schroder" by Amity Gaige | November 6, 2013
(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: "Meaty" by Samantha Irby | October 30, 2013
(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: "The Explanation for Everything" by Lauren Grodstein | October 21, 2013
(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... | Read entire entry

My Kind of Town: "Angels" by Denis Johnson | October 14, 2013
(Once a month throughout 2013 and '14, CCLaP critic Travis Fortney is reading a series of classic and contemporary books set in Chicago, not only to understand his new adopted hometown better, but to learn more about the origins... | Read entire entry

Book Review: "All That Is" by James Salter | October 7, 2013
(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: "The Son" by Philipp Meyer | October 1, 2013
(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

My Kind of Town: "The Lazarus Project" by Aleksandar Hemon | September 24, 2013
(Once a month throughout 2013 and '14, CCLaP critic Travis Fortney is reading a series of classic and contemporary books set in Chicago, not only to understand his new adopted hometown better, but to learn more about the origins... | Read entire entry

Book Review: "Canada" by Richard Ford | September 17, 2013
Today at the blog, CCLaP reviewer Travis Fortney reviews Richard Ford's latest, "Canada." "Ford's work acts as a powerful argument that there are more important things than being a 'good person' in the mold of this current generation of novelists who are inoffensive and blandly energetic, and at least as focused on propping each other up on social media as they are on sentence construction." | Read entire entry

Book Review: "Recalled to Life" by Dan Burns | September 9, 2013
(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: "Tampa" by Alissa Nutting | August 19, 2013
(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: "Onward Toward What We're Going Toward" by Ryan Bartelmay | August 12, 2013
Today's book review: The dysfunctional family dramedy "Onward Toward What We're Going Toward," by local author Ryan Bartelmay. Says reviewer Travis Fortney, "[It's] a novel with an identity crisis, one that can't quite decide what it is, and so doesn't quite succeed in making us feel anything." | Read entire entry

Book Review: "The Middlesteins" by Jami Attenberg | July 30, 2013
(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: "The Fainting Room" by Sarah Pemberton Strong | July 15, 2013
(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: "First Aide Medicine" by Nicholaus Patnaude | July 8, 2013
"You could choose any paragraph of this book at random, read it three or four hundred times in a row, add a few maggots coming out of eyeballs (if you've miraculously chosen one of the paragraphs with no maggots coming out of eyeballs), add a few decapitated birds, and you'd have pretty good feel for what the book is without actually reading it." | Read entire entry

Book Review: "A Marker to Measure Drift" by Alexander Maksik | July 3, 2013
Today's book review at CCLaP: Alexander Maksik's graceful new novel about a cave-dwelling Liberian refugee living on a Grecian island, "A Marker to Measure Drift", to be released by Knopf on July 30th. Says reviewer Travis Fortney: "It all makes for uncomfortable and sometimes gruesome reading, but this is a very effective and contained book." | Read entire entry

Book Review: "Bobcat" by Rebecca Lee | July 1, 2013
Today's book review at CCLaP: "Bobcat" by Rebecca Lee. Reviewer Travis Fortney hates books of short stories, but he loves this one. So much so that it's his second 10 star book of the year. | Read entire entry

Book Review: "Little Known Facts" by Christine Sneed | June 26, 2013
Today's mini-review: The Hollywood novel "Little Known Facts" by Chicago area author Christine Sneed. Says reviewer Travis Fortney: "This is the rare book that manages to be both a breezy summer read and a probing literary novel." | Read entire entry

Book Review: "Byzantium" by Ben Stroud | June 24, 2013
Today's book review is of the historical/contemporary story collection "Byzantium" by Ben Stroud, to be released by Graywolf Press on July 23, 2013. Says reviewer Travis Fortney, "These stories function as something like insightful expressions of life's strangeness. They also carry with them the unmistakeable flavor of the new." | Read entire entry

Book Review: "The Dinner" by Herman Koch | June 19, 2013
Today's book review: The internationally popular psychological novel "The Dinner" by Herman Koch. Says reviewer Travis Fortney: "It's been a long time since I laughed so hard during the first hundred pages of a book, and it's been longer than I can remember that a book made me genuinely sick to my stomach by the end. Read at your own risk." | Read entire entry

Book Review: "Lake People" by Abi Maxwell | June 17, 2013
Today's book review: The rural New Hampshire human-interest drama "Lake People" by Abi Maxwell. Says reviewer Travis Fortney, "Worth the read [if thought of] as a short story collection, but won't be rewarding for those who try to make sense of it as a novel." | Read entire entry

My Kind of Town: "Memoirs of an American Citizen" by Robert Herrick | June 12, 2013
(Once a month throughout 2013 and '14, CCLaP critic Travis Fortney is reading a series of classic and contemporary books set in Chicago, not only to understand his new adopted hometown better, but to learn more about the origins... | Read entire entry

Announcing "My Kind of Town," a New Essay Series by Travis Fortney | June 10, 2013
Over the next year, here at the website, I'll be posting a series of reviews entitled "My Kind of Town", which takes its title from the popular Frank Sinatra song--Chi-CA-go, Chi-CA-go, my kind of a town.... I'll be exploring... | Read entire entry

Book Review: "The Fun Parts" by Sam Lipsyte | June 5, 2013
(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: "A Nearly Perfect Copy" by Allison Amend | June 3, 2013
(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: "How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia" by Mohsin Hamid | May 27, 2013
(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: "The Flamethrowers" by Rachel Kushner | May 20, 2013
(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... | Read entire entry

Book Review: "The Care and Feeding of Exotic Pets" by Diana Wagman | May 13, 2013
Today's book review: Diana Wegman's delightfully dark bizarro novel "The Care and Feeding of Exotic Pets." Says reviewer Travis Fortney, "A funny, surprising and disturbing novel, the kind of book that grips you by the throat and doesn't release you until the last page is turned." | Read entire entry

Book Review: "Once Upon a Gypsy Moon" by Michael C. Hurley | May 8, 2013
Today's book review: The gentle memoir about sailing and romance in middle age, Michael C. Hurley's "Once Upon a Gypsy Moon." Says reviewer Travis Fortney, "An inspiring, heartfelt and honest read about accomplishing a long-held dream, which is especially recommended for readers who appreciate inspirational and confessional writing from a Christian viewpoint." | Read entire entry

Book Review: "My Only Wife" by Jac Jemc | May 6, 2013
Today's book review: Jac Jemc's relationship drama "My Only Wife." Says reviewer Travis Fortney, " | Read entire entry

Book Review: "Rontel" by Sam Pink (Travis' take) | May 1, 2013
Today, a special double-review of Chicago indie-lit author Sam Pink's latest, "Rontel." Says Travis Fortney: "Pick this one up. It's worth it to see what the kids are reading these days, and the book is good, just not great." | 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

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: "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: "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

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

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: "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

Book reviews: Master list | April 15, 2007
The master list of all books reviewed through the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography. | Read entire entry