Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

Announcing the Re-Launch of Dibs!

Published on April 17, 2013

Welcome (back) to the newly remodeled Dibs, which starting today is devoted to scoping out local-isms — whether they’re sources of pride or shameful secrets or somewhere in between. We once went to Belgium thinking we knew about Belgium. Waffles. The Ardennes. Tintin. Then our new one-eyed Belgian friend invited us home and treated us [...]

The Right Kind of Survival Story

Published on July 13, 2009

I’ve been reading Norman Ollestad’s memoir Crazy for the Storm, which Starbucks has chosen for its latest featured book. As a preteen in 1979, Ollestad survived a small-plane crash that killed his beloved father, an adventurous child star-turned-lawyer who had taught the author to surf and ski when the younger Ollestad was barely old enough [...]

Hubcap Gallery

Published on May 21, 2009

A Pennsylvania art-and-frame-store owner plans to write a book about his latest undertaking, in which 1,041 rusty old hubcaps are being transformed into “canvases” by 1,041 different artists. Thanks to Ken Marquis and his Landfill Art project, some use oil paint or acrylic paint, but others weld or glue or screw stuff onto the caps, [...]

Review: Woman with Birthmark

Published on May 16, 2009

What is it with Sweden and mysteries, eh? And it’s not just Henning Mankell. (Btw, I found the English-language televised version of Mankell’s mysteries, Wallander — which debuted last weekend — a bit disappointing.) Other Swedish authors just keep pumping out dark, dramatic, literary page-turners populated with unforgettable characters. One of these authors is Hakan [...]

Matt Haig Brings Death to Life

Published on March 4, 2009

British novelist Matt Haig has a knack for capturing death: not as, say, a writer of mysteries or thrillers or horror fiction would, but in a bitingly, achingly realistic way, in non-genre novels whose darkness takes on a million subtle colors and textures. Haig’s debut novel, The Dead Fathers Club – published in 2007 – enters [...]

Nonami’s New Thriller Thrills … At First

Published on February 17, 2009

Now You’re One of Us, a thriller new in paperback from bestselling Japanese novelist Asa Nonami (and translated into English by Michael Volek and Mitsuko Volek), starts off so strong. Against her mother’s wishes, attractive if somewhat naive young Noriko has just married the eldest son in a strange family that lives in a large [...]

It’s Back!

Published on February 4, 2009

I Never Promised You a Rose Garden, Joanne Greenberg’s groundbreaking semiautographical 1964 novel about life as a young schizophrenic, has just been reissued by Henry Holt.

Yiyun Li Doesn’t Lie

Published on January 29, 2009

Well, The Vagrants, the long-awaited new novel by mega-mondo-multi-award-winning author Yiyun Li, has finally arrived. Li, who now lives in California, was born in Beijing in 1972, so she grew up during the last gasp of the Cultural Revolution and saw much of its aftermath. Thus this novel, uh, doesn’t make communism look good. At [...]

Kaye Gibbons Faces Drug Charges

Published on January 26, 2009

  Kaye Gibbons, author of the bestselling 1987 novel Ellen Foster – an Oprah’s Book Club selection written in the voice of a preteen and set amid scenes of domestic violence — is set to appear today before a North Carolina judge on prescription drug fraud charges, according to the Fayetteville Observer: ”The 48-year-old was charged in November [...]

I Wish True-Crime Books Were Written Better

Published on January 23, 2009

Those plump little mass-market books about actual murders comprise the bulk of the true-crime genre. For every gorgeously written nonfiction account of homicide — every In Cold Blood, as it were — you’ll find a thousand of the more pedestrian kind whose covers usually shout “Illustrated with shocking photographs,” churned out monthly by St. Martin’s [...]