Posts Tagged ‘free stuff’

7th May
written by Steph
Stranger Things Happen by Kelly Link

I doubt it...

When I reviewed Jhumpa Lahiri’s Unaccustomed Earth earlier this year, I stated up front that I’m not really a reader of short stories.  I always find the first part of anything I read to be the hardest slog as I work to attune myself to the writing and ensconce myself in the world of the story.  With short stories I feel like I’m doing this the whole time because just when I feel I’m in synch with a story, it ends and I’m left wanting more, but instead have to dive into a new story.  While I had serious problems with Unaccustomed Earth, the one thing that did impress me about it was how easily I slipped into each story, and moreover, each one felt like a complete entity that did what it said it would: it told a story.  But I’m supposed to be talking about Stranger Things Happen, right?  I’ve already reviewed Unaccustomed Earth!  Well, I give all this preamble simply because I’m a bit at a loss with respect to this collection, and in large part that’s because half the time I had no idea what was going on in any of the stories, and just when I thought I had a handle on them, they ended rather abruptly… the curse of the short “story” strikes again! (more…)
11th March
written by Steph

Un pequeño Bolño

Un pequeño Bolaño

A while back I entered a competition over at The Quarterly Conversation in which the grand prize was the complete published oeuvre of Roberto Bolaño.  Don’t ask me why I did this, given that I’ve never read any Bolaño previously, but at the time I was intrigued by 2666 (which recently won its first round in the 2009 Tournament of Books over at The Morning News), and what can I say: I’m a sucker for trivia questions (even when they are pretty hard, as was the case with the 10 questions at TQC). [As an aside, all you book lovers are missing out if you don't check out the stuff over at TQC.  It's a great way of keeping in touch with the international literature scene - something with which I am sorely out of touch most of the time.] I forgot about the contest promptly after emailing in my answers, as you do with these sorts of things, and only remembered it when I received an email from the editor over at TQC telling me I won the grand prize.  I was shocked, because while I’m not exactly unlucky, I rarely tend to win things. Today, I received my prize in the mail!  Two big envelopes, replete with books – it was a joyous occasion.  Along with the 8 tomes they sent me (2 of them in hardcover!), I also received a slew of bookmarks (hey, I’m always losing mine, so that’s actually welcomed by me!), and perhaps the thing to really get you Bolaño-philes salivating (I know you exist): the first third of a heretofore unpublished manuscript by the late Bolaño entitled The Skating Rink. The complete rundown of books that I received:
  • Amulet
  • Distant Star
  • Last Evenings on Earth
  • The Romantic Dogs
  • By Night in Chile
  • The Savage Detectives
  • Nazi Literature in the Americas
  • 2666
Now begins the dilemma of where to begin… I suppose this means I have no excuse not to tackle 2666 anymore…