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review 2017-01-29 00:00
Slipping: Stories, Essays, & Other Writing
Slipping: Stories, Essays, & Other Writing - Lauren Beukes Could zombies be a viable replacement for slave labour? Asking for a certain electronics company. And most clothing manufacturers.

Slipping is an interesting collection of writing from the brain of Lauren Beukes. From enhanced athletes to bored ghosts, these stories display Lauren's spec-fic interests. There are also a few essays at the end of the collection, one of which explains the personal inspiration behind The Shining Girls; an essay well worth reading.

I met Lauren at a writers' festival where she was running a workshop on, surprise surprise, writing. I really enjoyed reading the aforementioned The Shining Girls as it was a highly enjoyable mix of crime and spec-fic. So I was looking forward to reading this collection. As with any collection of previously published works, there are highs and lows. For me the highs outweighed the lows, with Slipping, The Green, and Ghost Girl being amongst my favourites. I think the strengths of this collection come from the South African cultural influence to Lauren's writing, which gives far more grittiness to the bleak sci-fi stories than you usually see.

If you're a spec-fic fan, or a fan of Lauren's writing - and how could you not be? - then you will find some compelling stories in this collection.

I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.
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review 2016-05-02 18:00
The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories by Marina Keegan
The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories - Marina Keegan

I get stuck on the titles of books and this one got me. The cover is great too. I know it's just a picture of the author, but her pose and expression and body language were endearing. It was like she wasn't sure if this was a good idea but needed to say what she needed to see. She had to send it out into the ether and hoped for an echo that she doubted would come. Then I opened the book to discover that she had passed before it's publishing and it was published by her family for her. She had wanted to make it in this business and they really honored that. It's not a spoiler, it's right in the forward, written by one of her teachers at Yale. 

Most of the book is comprised of her short stories, which were rather good. I enjoyed each one for different reasons. I appreciated the way she looked at people, the way the stories were about their interactions more than anything else. They were clearly about the way people moved together or ground against each other. I think I would have enjoyed a novel had she had the opportunity to write one. 

The essays were interesting for the same reason. They were snapshots of life when they were about people, but there were a few that were existential. Her opinion on the sun and the future of the planet were interesting. They certainly put a different spin on things for me. Her essay on having Celiac disease was perfect. It perfect encompassed the difference between dealing with something on your own and dealing with something as a parent. I hope her mother appreciated reading it, that before the end, Keegan was beginning to understand why it affected everything the way it did. I loved her thoughts on being special, on being heard, on sending something out to the ether. 


I wish there could be more. Perhaps my appreciation is tainted by knowing there never could be, but I don't think so. It's nice to get a perspective on possibility from someone in their youth and I think I would have wanted to know how she felt about it down the road, but it just isn't possible now. Perhaps someone else will take that torch. Until then, I'll recommend Keegan.

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review 2016-02-20 00:00
Stories and Essays of Mina Loy
Stories and Essays of Mina Loy - Mina Loy,Sara Crangle Introduction, Acknowledgments & Abbreviations


--The Agony of the Partition
--The Crocodile without any Tail
--Gloria Gammage
--Hush Money
--Lady Asterisk.
--In Maine: Green's Colony
--Monde Triple-Extra
--New York Camelio
--Piero & Eliza.
--The Stomach
--The Three Wishes


--Crystal Pantomime
--The Pamperers
--The Sacred Prostitute

Essays and Commentary

--All the laughs in one short story by McAlmon
--Brancusi and the Ocean
--My Catholick Confidante
--Censor Morals Sex.
--Gate Crashers of Olympus---
--Gertrude Stein
--Havelock Ellis
--History of Religion and Eros
--The Library of the Sphinx.
--The Logos in Art.
--The Metaphysical Pattern in Aesthetics.
--Mi & Lo
--The Oil in the Machine?
--Tuning in on the Atom Bomb
--Universal Food Machine
--William Carlos Williams

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review 2015-11-03 00:00
Let Me Tell You: New Stories, Essays, and Other Writings
Let Me Tell You: New Stories, Essays, and Other Writings - Shirley Jackson,Sarah Hyman DeWitt,Ruth Franklin,Laurence Jackson Hyman I'll be real, I gave up on this. I can only do so many 3 page stories that follow the same format in a row. I like the uncanny and will likely come back to this in the future when I need a quick dose of it. For now, returning to this book felt like a chore and reading in that mindset isn't fair to any author, so I'm putting it aside. Sorry Shirley, it pains me to do this because I think you're amazing, but there are too many books on my nightstand to stay stuck on this for much longer.
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review 2015-10-30 21:26
Just one more page
The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories - Marina Keegan,Anne Fadiman

There are some books that even after you have read the last page you hope in vain for 'just one more page'. Sometimes this is because it's an amazing series and all you have to do is go pick up the next installment. At other times, it's a standalone novel but there are many other books which make up that author's body of work to satisfy you indefinitely. However, this is not always the case. 


I just finished The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories by Marina Keegan and it blew me away. For those unfamiliar with the story behind this book, Marina Keegan was a promising young writer who tragically lost her life shortly after graduating from Yale. This book was compiled by her family and a few of her professors and classmates in her honor. The book includes poignant pieces about what it means to be a part of something bigger, what it means to let yourself feel, and above all what it means to be a part of humanity itself. There are essays, short stories, and nonfiction pieces which showcase what a gifted writer Keegan was. Her writing practically exudes her lust for life and it is impossible to read this and not feel like the world could be a better place if only we looked for the beauty that is already there. When you read this you are struck by the realization that no matter how much you wish for 'just one more page' you'll have to content yourself with these meager few. This is a book you don't want to miss out on, guys. 10/10

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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