Hot Reads: Outline, The Almost Nearly Perfect People, Almost Famous Women

Over at The Daily Beast I reviewed Rachel Cusk’s enigmatic new novel Outline, plus an imaginative collection of stories from Megan Mayhew Bergman and an entertaining investigation into the Scandinavian psyche from Michael Booth, a Brit.

Screen Shot 2015-02-09 at 9.29.37 PM

Hot Reads: God’ll Cut You Down, Something Rich and Strange, Limbo

hotreads12-22

New reviews for The Daily Beast! Check out my takes on new books about a white supremacist’s murder in Mississippi, hardscrabble homesteaders in Appalachian North Carolina, and a female Iraq War commander’s return to her home in Italy.

Hot Reads: Lobster Kings, Gottland, The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair

This week’s Daily Beast Hot Reads feature lobstermen and meth dealers off the coast of Maine, a Swiss best-seller’s American debut, and the world’s largest statue of Stalin.  Check out my full reviews and stay tuned for more on The Lobster Kings, which is also a pick for The Takeaway Book Club later this summer.

Screen Shot 2014-06-04 at 10.52.51 PM

Hot Reads: Blood Will Out, The Fishing Fleet, Rebel Music

Screen Shot 2014-03-11 at 12.30.56 AMA little bit of everything in this week’s all-star line-up– grifters, gold-diggers, and Kool and the Gang. As usual, full reviews at The Daily Beast.  Bonus: Hear Hisham Aidi talking about Rebel Music (and take a listen to some of the music he describes) over at The Takeaway.

Hot Reads: Tomorrow-Land, Leaving the Sea, A Highly Unlikely Scenario

Screen Shot 2014-01-09 at 9.46.20 PM

A new year, new books! This week’s picks feature the cities of Cleveland and Dusseldorf, Pythagorean Pizza, and a whole lot of Robert Moses:

A little more than a week before the 1964-65 World’s Fair was set to open its gates in Queens, The New York Journal-American ran a front page story charging that the mural Andy Warhol had created for the fair—a mural commissioned by architect Phillip Johnson—depicted, quite literally, the city’s worst face—or rather, faces. Warhol’s painting featured 22 images of the city’s 13 Most Wanted Criminals, “resplendent in all their scars, cauliflower ears, and other appurtenances of their trade.” Within days, at Johnson’s suggestion, Warhol’s work was completely painted over. It wasn’t exactly censorship at “master builder” Robert Moses’s hands, but to Warhol, it felt that way. In frustration, he made a new painting, this one featuring 25 silk-screened images of the president of the World’s Fair Corporation.  He called it “Robert Moses Twenty-Five Times.”

Find the full reviews here.  And take a listen to author Joseph Tirella talking about Tomorrow-Land on The Takeaway here.

Happiness, Like Water

I reviewed Chinelo Okparanta’s Happiness, Like Water for The Daily Beast:

Scheming mothers and selfish husbands, fathers, and brothers domineer over the sensitive women of Happiness, Like Water, Nigerian-born Chinelo Okparanta’s debut short-story collection. A graduate of the Iowa Writer’s Workshop, Okparanta was named one of Granta’s six New Voices in 2012. It’s a fitting honor: the unsparing stories of Happiness, Like Water show Okparanta to be a champion of young, frequently misunderstood female protagonists whose voices are too often stifled. In many of these tales, Okparanta’s women struggle to control their fate in the face of oppressive circumstances.‬

The full review is here.

happiness