A Little Cynicism Goes a Long Way or The Fran Lebowitz Reader

Fran Lebowitz said one of the best things anybody has ever said, “Having had a miserable adolescence does not justify writing a novel.” Unfortunately, I’ve often though of that line over the years–there are a lot of miserable adolescents in modern literature. So I was looking forward to reading this collection of writing mostly from…

Slouching Towards Bethlehem: Seven Places of the Mind by Joan Didion

Joan Didion was one of the best chroniclers of life in California.  The essays collected in Slouching Towards Bethlehem make up the best portrait of California in the 1960’s that you’re likely to ever find. I hope people are still reading them fifty years from now.  The non-fiction essay is typically so tied up with its own time…

What It Is by Lynda Barry

How to categorize this book?  Part memoir, part essay on art, part essay on philosophy, artwork, journal, graphic narrative. Hard to say. Then, if you don’t really know what it is, how do you determine if it is good? What It Is can be viewed as a sort of textbook for a class on imagery….

Jessica Mitford vs. Ursula K Le Guin: A Deal Me In Short Story Challenge

For this round of the Deal Me In Short Story Challenge I drew Ursula K. Le Guin’s novella The Finder and an essay by Jessica Mitford called You-all and Non You-all: A Southern Potpourri.   My extra challenge has been trying to find a link between the two stories selected at random, which has been fun, frustrating, and…