Sarah Creech’s first novel, Season of the Dragonflies (William Morrow 2014), is a beautiful book and mesmerizing story. The story is about the Lenore women and their perfumery in the Blue Ridge Mountains, and it is, as the synopsis promises, “a beguiling tale of practical magic, old secrets, and new love.” Continue reading
Here, in Charlotte, North Carolina, early winter is grey with rain and clouds and cold. And something about the color of the sky makes me miss Louisiana. I picked up Louisiana Purchase by Elizabeth Burk (Yellow Flag Press 2014), and while I hoped that it would quell my craving for roux-based poetry, I did not know how fully it would suit.
When I was reading J. Bruce Fuller’s Notes to a Husband this summer, I was also moving in with my boyfriend. And while Fuller’s chapbook is about a relationship ending, there is so much wisdom in these short notes from a wife to her husband that rather than finding a guide to ending a relationship, I found reminders of how to be fully in one. And yes, this is a composition of loss, but it’s also a guide to mindfulness.
Last year, I started hearing murmurs on Facebook that an old friend had written a book. This happens from time to time, but what struck me about this particular friend was that I knew her to be someone of pretty good taste in literature, and those kinds of people seldom finish the books they start to write.
So I investigated. Indeed, she had finished the book; so much so, in fact, that she was beginning to search for publishers. Two or three emails later, I was on board as a test reader and I had a three-hundred page PDF sitting in my inbox. This was my introduction to Ede, by Ruthie Snoke ($10 from Amazon).
To clarify, I’m not the typical target audience for a book like Ede. Ruthie and I discussed this briefly; she isn’t sure what the target audience is, exactly, but late-twenty-something male bureaucrats is probably not it. That said: I enjoyed the read quite a bit. And I’m not just saying that because I know the author: it takes some fine writing to get me reading over three hundred pages of–well, anything.
We are still celebrating our first year anniversary, and we know that you are just as excited as we are! No one wants to be left out of the party, so here is a recap for the late-comers of our previous week to get caught up.
Monday “The Books That Are Getting Us There”
This time last year we began a voyage…
to catalog written works. We came together to share our real-life experiences and nostalgic connections brought forth through literature.
We are the Friends of Atticus; patrons of reading and reading experiences. Continue
Tuesday “The Half-Life of Facts, Samuel Arbesman”
Girded in Duck Tales pajamas at midday, I danced a little jig as the VCR received the VHS. After a not-so-quick rewind, a peppy melody of trombones, bassoons, and clarinets announced the triumphant entry of a man of odd proportions proudly strutting in front of a stick of a girlfriend. It did not take long before a man the size of a buffalo swooned away the odd man’s girl through acts of physical greatness, usually pushing around our hero.
There was but one course of action for Popeye. He must find his source of strength, not by the sun as does Superman or by… gamma radiation as does the Hulk (bad example). Continue
Wednesday “Friend Favorites”
One of the unique aspects that we feel Friends of Atticus provides is the opportunity to hear from different authors. As we mentioned in “The Books That Are Getting Us There”, we have collectively read 79 different books with reviews from 16 different authors. While we feel that you should probably read everyone of our reviews (they are entertaining), here are a few posts our authors have held in high esteem. Continue
“This Time Last Year: One Writer’s Beginnings”
Early morning in mid March, I found myself driving through a neighborhood of Jackson Mississippi that openly displays its development throughout the years with a patchwork of architectural styles. Driving down Peachtree Street, one can see Tudor style houses from the early twentieth century adjacent to stucco laden art deco houses from the 1960’s. Large live oaks hang over the streets like parasols giving the illusion that the day light emits directly from the green lawns. Suddenly, the housing grid opens up to the downtown campus of Belhaven University, a quaint liberal arts college founded in the late 1800’s. Continue
Thursday “Rivers by Michael Farris Smith”
Imagine for a moment the devastation brought about by a particularly bad hurricane. Imagine if, in the wake of that first hurricane, another one headed in just a few days later. And another. And another. Imagine that this happened for so long, that things got so bad, the government wrote off an entire section of the country. Imagine the kinds of people who would stay behind in a no-man’s land battered routinely by storms of ever-increasing size. This is the world of Rivers, the remarkable debut novel from Michael Farris Smith, out next month from Simon and Schuster. Continue
This time last year we began a voyage… Continue reading
I stumbled across The Unincorporated Man by brothers Dani and Eytan Kollin in my GoodReads recommendations a few weeks ago and the description immediately piqued my interest. The Unincorporated Man explores issues around social justice, individualism, and freedom. As an enthusiastic reader of Saint Augustine, Kant, Locke, and Rawls you might see the immediate appeal the Kollin brothers’ utopian / dystopian future of social, political, and economic equality of opportunity holds for me.
The Kollin brothers craft an intriguing socio-economic future which literally left me riveted to the edge of my seat for the first third of the novel. If you just burst out laughing over the visual of someone eagerly yearning for macro-economics, my only defense is at least I fly my nerd flag openly. Nevertheless, I think you will agree the economic system and world building of The Unincorporated Man almost singularly makes it a compelling novel. Continue reading