Monday, June 20, 2016

Buried in Books - My New Precioussssess

Because I can't possibly read every single book that finds its way into my home IMMEDIATELY, though I fully intend to die trying, allow me to show off our most recently acquired precioussssess...


Robert Hill
Forest Avenue Press
March 2016

The town of New Eden, peopled with hereditary oddities, has arrived at its last days. As two near-centenarian citizens prepare for their annual birthday tea, a third vows to interrupt the proceedings with a bold declaration. The Remnants cartwheels rambunctiously through the lives of wood-splitters, garment-menders, and chervil farmers, while exposing an electrical undercurrent of secrets, taboos, and unfulfilled longings. With his signature wit and wordplay, Robert Hill delivers a bittersweet gut-buster of an elegy to the collective memory of a community.

*Unsolicited from publisher / That cover though

Christopher Herbert
Bloomsbury USA
July 2016

Once an example of American industrial might, Detroit has gone bankrupt. Miles of city blocks lie empty, saplings growing through the cracked foundations of abandoned buildings. In razor-sharp, beguiling prose, Angels of Detroit draws us into the lives of multiple characters struggling to define their futures in this desolate landscape, an urban wasteland whose history is plagued with riots and unrest is reimagined as an ambiguous new frontier--a site of tenacity and possible hope. Driven by struggle and suspense, and shot through with a startling empathy, Christopher Hebert's magnificent second novel unspools an American story for our time. 

*Unsolicited from publisher / sounds awesome. Wonder if they have it in audio?

Andre Alexis
Coach House Book
October 2016

Although the Green Dolphin is a bar of ill repute, it is there that Tancred Palmieri, a thief with elegant and erudite tastes, meets Willow Azarian, an aging heroin addict. She reveals to Tancred that her very wealthy father has recently passed away, leaving each of his five children a mysterious object that provides one clue to the whereabouts of a large inheritance. Willow enlists Tancred to steal these objects from her siblings and solve the puzzle. As he tracks down the treasure, however, he must enlist the help of Alexander von Wurfel, esteemed copyist, and fend off Willow's heroin dealers, a young albino named "Nigger" Colby and his sidekick, Sigismund "Freud" Luxemburg, a club-footed psychopath, both of whom are eager to get their paws on this supposed pot of gold. And he must mislead Detective Daniel Mandelshtam, his most adored friend. Based in a reading of Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island,The Hidden Keys questions what it means to be honorable and what it means to be faithful.

*unsolicited from publisher / Sounds fiesty

J Cornell Michel
Self Published

Jordan is a kindhearted zombie expert who voluntarily lives at a psychiatric hospital. Having prepared for the zombie apocalypse since childhood, Jordan is thrilled when hordes of the infected undead finally invade. With a bug-out bag and a confident grin, Jordan leaves the safety of the psychiatric hospital and wanders alone into zombie infested streets to rescue family and strangers alike. Everything seems perfect until Jordan's loved ones start dying, and Jordan has to face the harsh reality that the zombie apocalypse isn't going according to plan. 

*I requested a copy

Andrez Bergen
Open Books
June 2016

An unnamed city, in which crime families flourish and the police pinch pennies from those with most power... 'Black Sails, Disco Inferno' is a retelling of the classic medieval romance of Tristan and Isolde, turning things on their head by reversing the sex of the chief protagonists and placing them in a '70s pulp/noir world — amidst a sensual, disco-infused narrative overflowing with shady schemes, double dealings, cruel brutality and a spellbinding mystery.

*From author / We go way back

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Where Writers Write: Toni Davidson

Welcome to another installment of TNBBC's Where Writers Write!


Where Writers Write is a series that features authors as they showcase their writing spaces using short form essay, photos, and/or video. As a lover of books and all of the hard work that goes into creating them, I thought it would be fun to see where the authors roll up their sleeves and make the magic happen. 

This is Toni Davidson.

Toni was born in Ayrshire, Scotland. His novel Scar Culture (Canongate, 1999), has been translated into nine languages. His short story collection, The Gradual Gathering of Lust, was published in 2008. In 2012 his second novel My Gun Was As Tall As Me, was published by Freight Books. His most recent novel, The Alpine Casanovas, also published by Freight and launched at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, in August 2015. For more visit his website: And find him on Twitter @silemrenk

Where Toni Davidson Writes

Writing Locations for The Alpine Casanovas


Of course the ideal location.Yet, I am a laptop person who rests his machine on a desk top. It gives a sense of fixed abode, a familiar location to write that has been borne out by previous experience. Lovely, bamboo desk. Not my just my own experience of course. Writers through the ages have written on desks made of the finest rosewood, composed on hulks of eviscerated oak.Whether you write with pen or quill or Biro or Bic then the surface underneath can make all the difference. If you tap tap on a keyboard, the solidity is reassuring; your little lap machine has backup - in my case solid bamboo circa 2010 Saigon, made to measure for the price of a Western shoe. But the lap is the new desk? Or is it the palm or the delicate, arthritic-baiting hand grip that counts here? Wherever you lay your hat is your new home; wherever you use your finger is the new office environment.

Coffee Shop

The coffee shop for each novel but especially My Gun Was As Tall As Me and The Alpine Casanovas was a thing. For Gun it was the balmy heat of Saigon; café sua da, the sweet hit of condensed milk, iced to the rim, the lagoon of jet black coffee lingering around the cubes. The frantic Ho Chi Minh traffic could be a distraction and locations with views can be disadvantageous as you are lured away from your precious written word. But I have moved on from dogme: it used to be that I had to be in a windowless room, boxed, secured against thinking about anything else, seeing anything else apart from my own procrastination cracking the plaster on the wall. I know, I was young. It’s okay now. I have come to terms with distraction as a necessary part of concentration.

Waiting Room

This one is a little more left field. Sorry. On the face of it, to write while in a waiting room as one pauses creatively en route at a station or airport is entirely understandable for the must-write-somehow, somewhere writer. You gotta write when you gotta write. But to choose such a location over Desk or Coffee Shop. What? You’ve got people munching through sandwiches not caring that their sprigs of lettuce are falling on their shoes; or drunks or the drugged are passing cigarettes between each other like contraband. Or just noisy, NOISY, as people come and go like they have a train to catch. But I like the pull it presents, the challenge. You really want to write this? COME  ON.Then you will. If the voice in your head is trying to get you to write something that moves your soul, explains the whole fucking world then it doesn’t matter that someone is trying to talk to you like you are their new best friend. 

While My Daughter Gently Sleeps

Location is place where everyone else is asleep. It became that simple. The Alpine Casanovas was started when my daughter was barely a year old and finished when she turned three. She was integral to my writing process in a way that was essential, but was also beautiful. She prioritised writing for me, downgraded it from an obsession to a crucial undertaking.Writing has its own, unique energy, fuelled by story and character, buffed by imagination and experience. Later at night when everyone was finally asleep, I was restored into writing mode by the muffled quiet of our apartment. 

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Lindsey Reviews: The Delphi Series

The Delphi Series Volume II: Featuring Joy Ladin, Jennifer Litt, and Tasha Cotter
Pages: 82
Publisher: Blue Lyra Press
Released: 2016

Dog Eared Review by Lindsey Lewis Smithson 

This second entry in The Delphi Series is a great way for readers to get a wide ranging taste of poetry styles all in one book! Featuring chapbooks Answers to the Name of ‘Lucky’ by Joy Ladin, Maximum through Zero by Jennifer Litt, and Torch by Tasha Cotter, this collection has a little bit of everything. If you want sad, more contemplative verse, to a bit of whimsy, to careful use of sound and form, it is all right here in one place.

 Answers to the Name of ‘Lucky’ by Joy Ladin consists of sixteen poems, which struggle with both the idea and the physical manifestation of family. There is a lot of interesting back and forth with what family is as a child, as parent, and simply as an adult. Maximum through Zero by Jennifer Litt presents 22 poems, which have more of a prose style than the others. These poems are also more tongue in cheek, but no less powerful desire the witty titles and off kilter references. The final chapbook, Torch by Tasha Cotter, takes on bigger pictures thoughts on life and place and what gives something (a memory, a person, a life) meaning. Out of the nineteen poems within, my personal favorite from this chapbook has to be “I am the Wick and You are the Match.” Each chapbook has it’s own standouts of course, like “Julia Child Skis in Big Sky, Montana” and “Early Morning Flight,” along with the ones I’ve listed as Dog Eared Pages below.

It’s quite hard to sum up a book like this, since each voice presented is unique. That is also what makes this a great book as a whole. Blu Lyra Press has put out a book that is like your favorite poetry journal, only better. Instead of getting just one for two poems from a poet and being left with wanting more, you get to see a poet’s whole vision. Times three. That is some pretty great bang for your buck. If you’re just dipping your toe into contemporary poetry and want something that has weight, but is also approachable, you wouldn’t go wrong picking up this book.

Dog Eared Pages:
9,11, 13, 14, 17, 18, 21, 24, 36, 37, 40, 41, 44, 48, 50, 51, 54, 61, 63, 64, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 79

Lindsey Lewis Smithson is the Editor of Straight Forward Poetry. Some of her poetry has appeared on The Nervous BreakdownThis Zine Will Change Your LifeThe Cossack Review, and Every Writer’s Resource: Everyday Poems.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Buried in Books - My New Precioussssess

Because I can't possibly read every single book that finds its way into my home IMMEDIATELY, though I fully intend to die trying, allow me to show off our most recently acquired precioussssess...

For Review

Brandon Courtney
YesYes Books
June 2016

from Inadequate Grave

In the Arabian Gulf, the sea is green and grey. The skin-walls of the drowned are white and so thin you can see through them down to their lungs, bluing like young milk, and into the black mansion of the ocean. Do you remember it: the spring green and gunmetal grey, the thinly dead floating up from the dark?

* From Publisher  / Love their poetry books

Aricka Foreman
YesYes Books
March 2016

Poetry. "The elegy which weaves the poems in DREAM WITH A GLASS CHAMBER lives in threshold: In the rooms of dream, in the change of season. And what lingers is the conversation between the living and the beloved. A tender, moody and resilient collection." francine j. harris"

*From Publisher / Love their poetry books

William Luvaas
Spuyten Duyvil
September 2016

Beneath The Coyote Hills explores the influence of choice and chance in our lives. Do we control our own destiny or is it dictated in part by mysterious forces beyond our control? Tommy Aristophanos is a luckless man, homeless freegan, fiction writer, and epileptic, who is haunted by grotesque "spell visions" and by his abusive father who returns, quite literally, from the dead. When Tommy's fictional creation, wealthy and successful V.C. Hoffstatter, emerges from the pages of Tommy's novel to harass him, plucky Tommy has to fight back. Hoffstatter believes that we author our own destiny, while Tommy's many reverses and ailment teach him that we control far less than we imagine. In the book's final narrative twist, we are left wondering who is the true Pygmalion-Tommy or Hoffstatter? 

*From Author / Sounds interesting

Jonterri Gadson
YesYes Books
June 2016

from Rapture

On a Saturday morning in Palm Beach, middle-aged poets read stanzas of grief.
Now I know it will always be too soon for my mother to die. It will happen
too slow, if not sudden. She might forget me first, might not see her own face in mine anymore, might sniff chamomile teabags and not remember the evening we sat at the dining room table, her bible open to its index, finger pacing over thin pages to find the perfect verse to help me understand that vengeance against boys who didn’t call was the Lord’s. How we laughed, that day, at the wrath of God!

*From Publisher / Love their poetry books

Aziza Barnes
YesYes Books
June 2016


As fresh garbage is. As dirt sucked out of a fingernail. As a wall clean of prostitutes. When I am this I am at the mercy of my nakedness. A pillar of undress whose power I do not know how to wield. I watch porn. I study the geometry of limbs splayed. Not the moan but the angle of a moan. I swallow. In this way I am a thief. Sometimes I forget my body & go untouched until I am touched & scream. Sometimes I want to eat my breasts down to their bitter rind & spit them out. I want to be the bitter rind without suck and easily thrown. Easily thrown I want to be the pebble thumbed & wished upon before enveloping the lake I sink in. I sink in you the lake & by lake I mean gutter a water that does not hold me well. Here we are not the bodies our mothers made. If you are to hold me hold me as a gun. Grip me & profit the dark. The unattended purse. The pair of heels darting from us in dull claps sharpening against the concrete as teeth against a stone.

*From Publisher / Love their poetry books

Thursday, June 9, 2016

J. Cornell Michel's Would You Rather

Bored with the same old fashioned author interviews you see all around the blogosphere? Well, TNBBC's newest series is a fun, new, literary spin on the ole Would You Rather game. Get to know the authors we love to read in ways no other interviewer has. I've asked them to pick sides against the same 20 odd bookish scenarios. And just to spice it up a bit, each author gets to ask their own Would You Rather question to the author who appears after them....

J. Cornell Michel's
Would You Rather 

Would you rather start every sentence in your book with ‘And’ or end every sentence with ‘but’?

Probably the former. I am guilty of starting sentences with ‘And’ but have never ended a sentence with ‘but’. Unless I could end every sentence with ‘butt’, then I’d do that for sure butt.

Would you rather write in an isolated cabin that was infested with spiders or in a noisy coffee shop with bad musak?

Great question. I don’t really mind spiders, and since the novels I write are pretty dark I think it would help to work in such a creepy environment. Plus I can’t write while music is playing unless it’s classical. If there are lyrics in the music then I start to type the lyrics. It’s a mess.

Would you rather think in a language you could understand but write in one you couldn’t read, or think in a language you couldn’t understand but write in one you could read?

I’d definitely choose to write in a language I could read. Otherwise I wouldn’t be able to edit, and my first drafts are always a mess. And I’d get by okay thinking in a language I couldn’t understand. I think…

Would you rather write the best book of your career and never publish it or publish a bunch of books that leave you feeling unsatisfied?

I’d much rather write the best book of my career and never publish it. Writing is a selfish act for me. It’s what keeps me going – my happy place. I recently finished writing a novel that is by far the best book I’ve ever written, and it left me feeling full because it helped me deal with my mother’s unexpected death. If no one ever reads it, that’s fine by me because I wrote it so I could properly grieve. That’s worth more than all the royalties in the world. Writing is like therapy for me and probably is for many writers.

Would you rather have everything you think automatically appear on your Twitter feed or have a voice in your head narrate your every move?

Ironically, I just watched Stranger Than Fiction last night. I wouldn’t mind a narrator in my head, as long as it didn’t tell me about my imminent death. And I have some pretty dark thoughts that probably shouldn’t end up on Twitter.

Would you rather your books be bound and covered with human skin or made out of tissue paper?

Gross! I love this question. Probably tissue paper. As much as I adore horror, I couldn’t stomach touching a book covered with human skin. Yick!

Would you rather read naked in front of a packed room or have no one show up to your reading? 

I’d much rather have no one show up to my reading. I hate being naked, even when I’m home alone. It’s not that I’m shy, I’m just always freezing, so nudity and I are not friends.

Would you rather your book incite the world’s largest riot or be used as tinder in everyone’s fireplace?

Hmm, as much as I like my books to have an impact on readers, I wouldn’t want to start a riot. I hate the idea of burning books, but I’d have to choose tinder. 

Would you rather give up your computer or pens and paper?

That’s a tough one. I’d guess I’d have to give up pens and paper. I take tons of notes on paper, but I could never give up my computer.

Would you rather have every word of your favorite novel tattooed on your skin or always playing as an audio in the background for the rest of your life?

I suppose I’d opt for the tattoo. The audio would be too distracting and I’d never get any writing done. 

Would you rather meet your favorite author and have them turn out to be a total jerkwad or hate a book written by an author you are really close to?

I’d rather find out my favorite author is a jerkwad, as long as I’d never have to hang out with her. Plus, it would really suck to hate a book written by an author I’m close to.

Would you rather your book have an awesome title with a really ugly cover or an awesome cover with a really bad title?

I’d opt for the ugly cover. Titles are so important, and most authors spend a lot of time coming up with the perfect title. An ugly cover I could deal with, but a bad title would kill me.

Would you rather write beautiful prose with no point or write the perfect story badly?

I’ve read beautiful prose with no point, and it always leaves me feeling unsatisfied at the end. As much as this pains me, I’d rather write the perfect story badly.

Would you rather write only embarrassingly truthful essays or write nothing at all?

Embarrassingly truthful essays, all the way. I couldn’t write nothing at all. That would be my worst nightmare!

Would you rather your book become an instant best seller that burns out quickly and is forgotten forever or be met with mediocre criticism but continue to sell well after you’re gone?

Honestly, I’d be happy with either, but if I had to choose one I suppose I’d want my book to continue to sell well after I’m gone.


San Francisco resident J. Cornell Michel is a fourth generation writer, but she's the first one in her family to write about zombies. She works in a patent law firm as a docket supervisor during the day and spends her free time writing stories about the undead.

Jordan's Brains, J. Cornell Michel's first novel, was praised by IndieReader for being "funny and fast-paced" and for "offering a new look at a dead-tired subject." Zombie Zeitgeist is a chilling collection of Michel's short stories. In her book 'Twas the Bite Before Christmas, she added zombies to Clement C. Moore's classic Christmas story. Michel's second novel, Where's My Dinner?, is about a virus that turns women into zombies but doesn't infect men.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Lindsey Reviews: Daughter Eraser

Daughter Eraser by Amber West
Pages: 29
Publisher: Finishing Line Press
Released: 2015

Dog Eared Review by Lindsey Lewis Smithson 

I want to start first by saying that this is a beautiful book. The actual physical artifice of the thing is just lovely, all the way down to the paper used for the front material. I know that is strange way to start a review, but I was really taken with how attractive this book is. In the world if digital media and online publishing it is great to see a carefully made book.

Now the reason we are all here- the actually words inside the book! Amber West, a self described feminist writer, has brought all things female front and center in this collection of poems. From discussing the struggle of parenthood, conflicts with family, and the infinite ways that men can be letdowns, her poems are thoughtful and unflinching. Many of these themes can be seen in the poem “Zebediah Loyd Skiles West,” in particular when the speaker says “Mom trying to push you past the failed IUD/Our father bicycling from the bar/to an ex-friend’s house.” It is encouraging to see a real woman’s situation, and a frank mention of birth control, without it pandering or cloaked in word play. These types of issues are real and relatable and told in a way that readers just plain get.

The stand outs of the collection are “Tiffany” and the final poem, “Banana Slugs.” Both use a strong voice to mourn- mourn a lost friendship, being pushed aside, even survivor’s guilt. The situations in each are different, but they are also heartbreakingly universal with emotion that is raw and personal. You don’t have to a woman to love these poems- they are just plain good- but coming at them from a woman’s perspective adds just that much more depth. This, and a glass of pinot, makes for a worthy read.

Dog Eared Pages:
2, 8, 9, 11, 14, 17, 22

Lindsey Lewis Smithson is the Editor of Straight Forward Poetry. Some of her poetry has appeared on The Nervous BreakdownThis Zine Will Change Your LifeThe Cossack Review, and Every Writer’s Resource: Everyday Poems.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Where Writers Write: Anthony Michael Morena

Welcome to another installment of TNBBC's Where Writers Write!


Where Writers Write is a series that features authors as they showcase their writing spaces using short form essay, photos, and/or video. As a lover of books and all of the hard work that goes into creating them, I thought it would be fun to see where the authors roll up their sleeves and make the magic happen. 

This is Anthony Michael Morena.

Anthony is a writer from New York who lives in Tel Aviv. In 2015 he received his MA in creative writing from Bar-Ilan University. His poetry and prose have appeared in The Normal School, Ninth Letter, Flapperhouse, and Queen Mob’s Tea House. He has also been a guest editor for The Ilanot Review and a regular reader for Gigantic Sequins, a good-looking, biannual, black & white literary arts journal. The Voyager Record: A Transmission (Rose Metal Press 2016) is his first book. Find him on Twitter @anphimimor and at

Where Anthony Michael Morena Writes

My entire desk philosophy is about function over form. Technically, my desk is not a desk at all, but an IKEA dining room table. It’s relatively new, and I still need to varnish it. We got it when my wife and I decided to share a work space. So far we like it. We both function well in the clutter. I keep a few fetishes at the base of the monitor to keep me focused. These are both inspirational and aspirational. I usually have a bunch of books piled up next to me, but the current double stack is excessive. The two pouches by the keyboard are wristpads that I lifehacked: they are just canvas change purses or pencil cases that I filled with plastic baggies of sand I collected on the beach. They work really well.

Obviously function is the reason why I have the table blocking off a door—that’s the door that leads to the back of the kitchen, which is accessible at the other end. We never used it, and it was easier to keep our kids away from the glass by blocking it off. I still get amazing light throughout the day when I pull back the drape, and there is a beautiful bottlebrush tree just outside the window there. In the rainier part of the year the bottlebrushes start to blossom and they attract all sorts of bugs and birds and, at night, bats. You can take the red blossoms and make tea out of them. I tried it once, but it was way too sylvan for me. In the winter, when the violent rainstorms come, the branches smash the hell out of those windows. One day they are going to break.

To my left is the entryway to a regular feature of many apartments here in Tel Aviv, the mirpeset (מרפסת). It’s basically a balcony that extends the length of the apartment. Outside is a park. I made that supplemental desk there with the kids’ art supplies on it by nailing together some loose bookshelves and setting them on top of a pair of metal IKEA table legs. Why not write out there, you’re probably asking. It’s too damp in the winter and unbearably hot in the summer for the kind of permanent desk set-up I like to use, but it is nice to go out there with pen and paper sometimes.

Over to the right of the desk is a large painting that was given as a gift to my wife by the artist, Jenie Moore. The Vogue title is upside down and dripping over the face of a model.

Most of the writing I do is at night though. The desk takes on a different character with the change in lighting.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Buried in Books - My New Precioussssess

Because I can't possibly read every single book that finds its way into my home IMMEDIATELY, though I fully intend to die trying, allow me to show off our most recently acquired precioussssess...

For Review

MP Johnson
Bizarro Pulp Press
April 2016

In the first short story collection from Wonderland Book Award-winning author MP Johnson, disgusting little toys become the key to a father regaining his son’s love, a caterpillar crosses dimensions via peoples’ insides, punk rock blaring from a woman’s breast leads to her gruesome self destruction, a grizzled hardcore singer travels through time to save his future child, a drag queen goes to battle against her childhood teddy bear and more. These stories are so shockingly, oozingly awesome, you just have to read ‘em all!

*From Author / Looks awesome

# I'm Zombie: A Zombie Mosaic Novel
Tony Newton
Cosmic Egg Books
May 2016

Accounts from the zombie apocalypse - letters, notes, documents, chatroom and forum fragments from the day a mystery virus is unleashed at an uncontrollable rate. As the virus sweeps the globe, no one is safe from its clutches. With mass hysteria, panic, breakdown of infrastructure, no law in place and very little food and water, how long could you survive? Don't believe all you read online...but it might just save your life if you do! This virus has gone viral!

*From Author/ Looks interesting

The Big Sheep
Robert Kroese
Thomas Dunne Books
June 2016

Los Angeles of 2039 is a baffling and bifurcated place. After the Collapse of 2028, a vast section of LA was disowned by the civil authorities, and became essentially a third world country within the borders of the city. When a valuable genetically altered sheep mysteriously goes missing from Esper Corporation's labs, Keane is the one they call. While Keane and his partner are on the trail of the lost sheep, they land an even bigger case. And as they unravel the threads of the mystery, it soon becomes clear that the two cases are connected - and both point to a sinister conspiracy involving the most powerful people in the city. Kroese's The Big Sheep is perfect for fans of Philip Dick's Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, Terry Pratchett's Guards! Guards!,and Scalzi's Old Man's War.

*From author / Loved his previous work

Clown Tear Junkies
Douglas Hackles
Rooster Republic Press

Within the whacked-out worlds of these twisted tales, only one thing remains the same: Everything is better when laced with the tears of a clown. When a sexually adventurous couple decides to spice things up by bringing bees into the mix, they learn it’s never wise to dial 811 in case of an emergency. A deadbeat dad gains employment as a lady-in-waiting in a fairytale bromance where every character looks exactly like someone else from John Carpenter’s The Thing. The unknowing victim of a cruel prank, a simpleton spends his entire life waiting on a park bench for the hottest girl in school. Using only his twenty-sided die and good old-fashioned D&D magic, a man must continually resurrect the neighborhood kid regularly murdered on his own front lawn. An aging slaughterhouse worker and the iconic figure from Edvard Munch’s The Scream hit the clubs every weekend in a vain attempt to get laid. These and many more absurdities await in Clown Tear Junkies, the debut collection from Douglas Hackle. 

*Requested / Was recommended to me and sounds delicious

Pretend I'm Your Friend
MB Caschetta
Engine Books
November 2016

A sister’s darkest secret is revealed at her brother’s wedding. A woman with extrasensory visions accidentally gives her philandering husband her blessing. A dying mother wishes her cancer was her daughters’, not hers. Pretend I’m Your Friend lays bare the fear, loss, and pain of love, sex, and family life in eleven crisp, engaging, and startlingly funny, elegantly entwined stories.

*From author / Looks good, I'm a sucker for a strong story collection

World of Warcraft
Daniel Lisi
Boss Fight Books
June 2016

Ten years after its launch, Blizzard Entertainment's World of Warcraft is less a game and more a world unto itself, and it's a world Daniel Lisi knows well. More time in his high school years was spent in Azeroth than in his hometown of Irvine, CA—a home he happened to share with Blizzard itself.
Now that Lisi has founded his own game development studio, WoW remains his most powerful example of just how immersive and consuming a game can be. Based on research, interviews, and the author's own experience in a hardcore raiding guild, Lisi's book examines WoW's origins, the addictive power of its gameplay loop, the romances WoW has both facilitated and shaken, the enabling power of anonymity, and the thrill of conquering BlizzCon with guildmates you've known for years and just met for the first time.

*From Publisher / Non Fiction to stretch my reading comfort zones

Beautiful Ape Girl Baby
Heather Fowler
Pink Narcissus Press
June 2016

A rollicking ride of a magical realist, coming-of-age story that explores sex and gender in ways that will have you laughing out loud. Be prepared to travel light with a somewhat murderous female protagonist en route across the country - where it's so hard to be a strong, violent, little ape girl - looking in all the wrong places for forever kinds of love.

*From Author / Loved her previous collections