Author: Kristen

  • Summer Reading Adventure Week 5
  • Review: The Long Run: A Creative Inquiry

    Review: The Long Run: A Creative Inquiry

    D’Erasmo has instead created the clearest example of the old writing saw “show, don’t tell” for a book about sustaining one’s creativity when the demands of family, the necessity of paid work, and the maintenance of friendships drain the energy you would otherwise put into art. She interviews a variety of artists—composers, dancers, actors, writers—who…

  • Review: Concerning the Future of Souls

    Review: Concerning the Future of Souls

    Concerning the Future of Souls is a follow-up of sorts to Joy Williams’s 99 Stories of God. Both contain ninety-nine very short stories—in one case that I can think of, a single word—that might be called prose poems or (very) short stories or microfictions or, as Maggie Nelson called them in her Bluets, propositions. The…

  • Summer Reading Adventure Week 4

    Summer Reading Adventure Week 4

    Welcome to week three of our reading adventures, courtesy of the National Book Foundation’s reading challenge. Don’t forget to subscribe to the Wingback to read along and comment, and be entered to win volumes 1 and 2 of Memoirs of a French Courtesan at the end of the summer.

  • Best Dressed: How Cinderella Got into the Ball

    Best Dressed: How Cinderella Got into the Ball

    I’ve been thinking about balls a lot lately, thanks to my translation of Memoirs of a French Courtesan Volume 2: Spectacle. The author, Céleste Mogador, attends her first ball as young woman and eventually earns fame and her sobriquet, Mogador, while dancing with and for all the high-born young men in Paris.

  • Summer Reading Adventure Week 3

    Summer Reading Adventure Week 3

    Welcome to week three of our reading adventures, courtesy of the National Book Foundation’s reading challenge. Don’t forget to subscribe to the Wingback to read along and comment, and be entered to win volumes 1 and 2 of Memoirs of a French Courtesan at the end of the summer.

  • Summer Reading Adventure Week 2

    Summer Reading Adventure Week 2

    Welcome to week two of our reading adventures, courtesy of the National Book Foundation’s reading challenge. Don’t forget to subscribe to the Wingback to read along and comment, and be entered to win volumes 1 and 2 of Memoirs of a French Courtesan at the end of the summer.

  • Review: Godwin

    Review: Godwin

    Godwin Joseph O’Neill Pantheon, June 2024, $28 How did I get this book: NetGalley ARC There are two things to know about me before I begin this book review: I have been thinking about race, business, and sports since former NBA star and Portland Trailblazer Rasheed Wallace gave a blistering interview to The Oregonian in…

  • Summer Reading Adventure Week 1
  • This Was Supposed to Be a Book Review

    This Was Supposed to Be a Book Review

    I have notes, quotes, and a half-assed draft of a book review waiting in the Wingback wings. This was the weekend I was going to pull it all together and publish it on Monday. However. Memoirs of a French Courtesan Volume 2: Spectacle has been to the proofreader and the layout has been completed. I…

  • A Summer Reading Adventure! Let’s Do It!

    A Summer Reading Adventure! Let’s Do It!

    I’m going to post updates here all summer, including resources, additional details, and links to the subscribers-only posts. Let’s get reading! I am probably going to regret this, because who has the time? I have freelance work to do, and a thesis to research, and reviews to write, and this newsletter to keep up. Do…

  • Today Was a Good Day

    Today Was a Good Day

    As I opened my book to read for a while before going to bed, I realized I had had a very good day. I made a list in my bullet journal to remind myself what made it good; I thought it might be worth sharing and spelling out—briefly!—why these were good things. The Morning Run…

  • Review: The Understory

    Review: The Understory

    The UnderstorySaneh Sangsuk, translated by Mui PoopoksakulDeep Vellum, March 2024, $17.95How did I get this book? Library There are a few basic questions to ask of any book, and The Understory answers them in intriguing ways. Questions like: Does this book use paragraphs? No! Is there a plot line to follow? Not so much! Is…

  • Review: Glorious Exploits

    Review: Glorious Exploits

    Glorious Exploits Ferdia Lennon Henry Holt, March 2024, $26,99 How did I get this book?: Library This is not a properly critical review. The review is five stars, 12/10, would read again, no notes, you will not be sad to spend your time and money with Lampo, even if he is sometimes a frustratingly selfish…

  • Review: Seven Steeples

    Review: Seven Steeples

    I wrote this more than a year ago and apparently never published it. So enjoy! Seven Steeples Sara Baume HarperCollins, April 2022, $18.99 How did I get this book? Library There are many good reasons to read a book where nothing much happens. If your own life has a lot happening, a quiet book can…

  • Review: I Cheerfully Refuse

    Review: I Cheerfully Refuse

    I Cheerfully RefuseLeif EngerApril 2024, Grove Press, $28 The most effective post-apocalyptic fiction and climate fiction (cli-fi) doesn’t feature One Big Disaster that annihilates half the population and resources of the Earth with a Galactus-like snap. These stories are more like mid-apocalypse, and so more realistic, and maybe more existentially frightening. It’s difficult to imagine…

  • A Newsy Newsletter

    A Newsy Newsletter

    I have reached a trifecta of tiredness this week. I have a huge deadline looming for my thesis proposal at school, I have my first in-person book event since the pandemic coming up (see below!), and I have a family concern that’s weighing on me. So I don’t really have the brainpower to write something…

  • Anyway, It Was Spring Break

    Anyway, It Was Spring Break

    Last week was my spring break from school. I did not spend it at a beach — I’ve never done that, not even when I was doing my undergrad in Florida, a state that is 97% beach, in the 1990s, a notorious time for spring break parties. I am very glad I skipped that whole…

  • Who You Are, When You Are

    Who You Are, When You Are

    One day last week, it was brought to my attention twice that as an artist, a craftsperson, a creative person, that you can only be who you are, when you are. When a concept snags in my mind like stringy algae on a stick in a stream, I tend to swirl it around in the…

  • For International Women’s Day: Books About Publishing

    For International Women’s Day: Books About Publishing

    I just got out of an online seminar on running a small business that I was really looking forward to, but it turned out to be largely irrelevant to my weird little business. So let’s make lemonade out of these lemons by looking at my favorite books about writing and publishing by women. The Business…

  • Happy National Grammar Day!

    Happy National Grammar Day!

    I had a handful of other potential topics to cover today, including my current translation diary for Memoirs of a French Courtesan Volume 3, a list of books to read before you die, and an overview of future projects, but the internet tells me it is National Grammar Day, so here is an impromptu message…