Saturday, December 31, 2016

Favorite Reads of 2016

 After reading only women authors for a year, I thought I would embark on reading only authors of color, and authors in translation, for a year.  I thought these back-to-back experiments would make me a better reader and writer, and I think it was true.  I definitely sought out new voices that I might not have tried otherwise.  And below are my favorites of all that I found.

1.  The Three-Body Problem by Liu Cixin

2.  The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen

3.  The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps by Kai Ashante Wilson

4.   The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaVelle

5.  Ninefox Gambit by Yoon Ha Lee

6.  The Good Lord Bird by James McBride

7.  Reputations by Juan Gabriel Vasquez

8.  The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga

9.  Moonstone by Sjón

10.  The Assimilated Cuban's Guide to Quantum Santeria by Carlos Hernandez

Happy reading!

Saturday, December 03, 2016

With My Head Made of Rock

This blog entry first appeared, in a slightly different form, in my e-newsletter I WAS BIGFOOT'S SHEMP which you can learn more about by subscribing in my sidebar.

As I hoped, SEX MACHINE was confirmed as the top of the double bill during Horror Society's Trash Movie Night I will be hosting in Chicago on December 14. Myself and the organizer, Matt Storc, both hit on the Italian horror movie LADY FRANKENSTEIN as the bottom half of the bill.  This has more in common with a Hammer horror film than a traditional Italian horror film but I think people will find it cool--and maybe I will not only get to talk about the movie I co-wrote with Christopher Sharpe some years ago now, but my love for Italian cinema as well.

Even more agreeably, Matt liked my idea of supporting Chicago's Open Books Project as part of the night. I am trying to do what I can to tend my part of the garden.

I will be giving away an autographed copy of SEX MACHINE that night.  If you are there, and think the movie sux, at least you have a white elephant for the gift exchange at work.  Just don't give it to the HR person.

I'll see what I can do to provide another surprise or two.

For the first time, on the night before Thanksgiving, I went with my daughter and her husband to Feed My Sheep, which prepared meals for those in need in my hometown of Muncie, Indiana.  An entire Canadian family was alongside me washing dishes, having stopped on their way to Arkansas for a family Thanksgiving the next day.  They just wanted to help, and when I asked for more information, they said, "It's complicated."  Yeah, it is.

My Thanksgiving passed peacefully, and I hope yours did too.

November only has one day left, so my book club pick is WHITE TIGER by Aravind Adiga.  It is about a lowly driver in India who composes a series of letters to the premier of China about entrepreneuriship, which actually reveals a long line of treacheries, deceit, and murder.  Can be read as an intellectual thriller or as a treatise on the class system in India, and works pretty well as both.

Hang in there, all.