I read only two novels during the first two weeks of September. The rest of my reading was short pieces, many of them online. Why all the short pieces? Well, they fit nicely between US Open tennis matches and WNBA games.
Two Lines 21 ; by C.J. Evans(Editor), Scott Esposito (Editor), Emmy Komada (Editor)
Another good issue with an outstanding final story, Forest Woods, Chair by Hon Lai Chu translated from Chinese by Andrea Lingenfelter. (full table of contents)
Siracusa by Delia Ephron
Read this in a day. Two couples, one with a ten year old daughter, both with flawed marriages, vacation together in Italy. Awful things happen and each of the four adults tells their version in alternating chapters. Nicely told with interesting characters and a bit of mystery and suspense. Library book (Kindle edition)
The Goodreads reviews seem to be "loved it or hated it" with a lot of readers viewing it as an actual letter by a mother to her children, rather than as the reflections of a woman during a sleepless night. She reviews her life, her marriage, her children, her parents, her in-laws, a cat, all her relationships. Once again I am amazed at how much Graham Swift can pack into a short space (in this case 255 pages). At the end, we are left to ponder about what happens "tomorrow" when she and her husband reveal what she considers a major family secret to their son and daughter (sixteen year old twins).
Whether or not one loves or hates this book may depend a great deal on the reader's perspective. I liked (not loved) this book, but not as much as the other two I've read by this author (Mothering Sunday and England and Other Stories). I'll read more by Swift, Waterland is on my chair-side stack. Library book.
A Solemn Pleasure: To Imagine, Witness, and Write by Melissa Pritchard; Foreward by Bret Anthony Johnston
A rather uneven (and mostly boring) collection of essays. "Still God Helps You": Memories of a Sudanese Child Slave, the most powerful essay in the collection, is the only one I can recommend.
Advance review copy through LibraryThing.
Álvaro Enrigue Welcomes a ‘Globalization of Latin American Writers’ a discussion of trends in Spanish language translations by a Mexican author.
Historical Fiction: The Next Big Thing? Possible trends in the genre are discussed in Mark Patton's report on the September 2016 conference of the Historical Novel Society in Oxford.
The Invention of the Modern Soldier is a brief look at how the soldier is portrayed in 20th Century literature.
Grief, Mourning, and the Politics of Memorialization the closing thoughts from Jay D. Aronson’s book Who Owns the Dead? which "tells
the story of the recovery, identification, and memorialization of those
killed in the September 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center in
New York City"
Who knew? There is a National Ampersand Day & Greg Britton, Johns Hopkins University Press editorial director, seems like the right person to tell us about it. Nicely illustrated with photographs of examples from his "quirky collection of wood type ampersands."
Bonnier Books CEO Jacob Dalborg:‘Digitization Is Not Necessarily Evil’ Marie Bilde, an independent book industry consultant, interviews Sweden’s Jacob Dalborg. An upbeat discussion on the challenges and opportunities facing publishers in the digital age.