During Fall 2009, Jason Rice spilled a lot of digital ink on a little collection of stories by Steven Amsterdam – Things We Didn’t See Coming. Ever the tastemaker, JR wrote a fine series of posts recognizing Amsterdam’s fine writing. Now you can see all the subsequent kudos earned by this collection at Indiebound, not to mention buying a newly released paperback copy from your favorite indie store.
At turns hilarious, unsettling, and improbably sweet, Veselka’s debut is, above all, a highly engaging, and totally unique experience, which will have you re-reading passages and dog-earing pages. But best of all, in the end, Zazen is that rare novel which dares to be hopeful in the face of despair, and succeeds.
I inhaled Hemingway that subsequent summer, finishing For Whom The Bell Tolls while on a family vacation to Yellowstone, knocking around with Nick Adams and Hemingway’s word-perfect short stories the following fall, and on and on through his oeuvre. During the next few years, I learned the difference between good Hemingway and bad
Friend of the blog (and fellow Seatlleite) Sean Beaudoin has written one hell of a super-smart, stylish, snappy YA thriller (see trailer below!), and Little Brown has given us three copies to give away! You want a copy? Take a blind stab at who killed Wesley Payne in the comments section. The first three that give me a guffaw, get the books!
In my life as a reader, the first significant thing I remember is sitting on my dad’s lap listening to him reading The Hobbit to me. I don’t know how old I was; I must have been preliterate or just learning to read. It was a gorgeous book, a hefty hardback bound in dimpled earth-green leather that slid out of an earth-green leather box; both the book and the box were decorated with primitive borders and gilt runic inscriptions in one of J.R.R. Tolkien’s invented languages.
I lived with my parents in Jackson Heights, Queens, and every morning, Monday through Friday, I put on a shirt and tie and rode the 7 train out to the Mid-Manhattan Library. Not the one from Ghostbusters, with the lions out front, but the other one, the smaller, grimier library across the street, where you could actually pull books off the shelves.