Yes, I’ve been lax about the blog, gang. What can I say — things have been busy all over. And not just for me: I have been kept dizzy trying to keep tabs on all the books that have descended on us all or are soon to bloom in the world. What follows is a long list with too little about each book, but I’m hoping you’ll get more to come, as I might actually get around to reviewing some of these (and some of these I’ve definitely promised to review):
Justin Lawrence Daugherty, Whatever Don’t Drown Will Always Rise
This is the debut chapbook from Passenger Side Books, and it’s pretty damned amazing. I’m two stories from finishing this, but it takes me a bit of time because, like all the best flash fiction, Daughtery’s stories have a tendency to uppercut me to the gut and I need a few minutes to catch my breath between stories. So I’ll have to let you know how it is as a whole in a future post. Or you could just buy a copy for yourself. You know you want one.
Monica Drake, The Stud Book
I’m nearing the finish line on this one, too. It’s a fascinating concept, this second novel from one of Portland’s favorite writers: a whole handful of distinct perspectives on reproduction, parenthood, and environmentalism (hipster and scientific alike) all against the backdrops of the Oregon Zoo, academia, and good old weird Portland. Fun stuff.
Nicole J. Georges, Calling Dr. Laura
I just finished this. I wrote a review of it on Goodreads. I’m a Nicole Georges fan from her Invincible Summer zine, but this memoir is another beast altogether, full of familial lies and awkward romance and mysterious father figures and homophobic mothers and punk rock vegans and a backyard full of chickens. You heard me. Chickens. It’s pretty stunning.
Eirik Gumeny, Boy Meets Girl
The Founding Father — complete with powdered wig — of Jersey Devil Press and the author of the Exponential Apocalypse books has a book of flash fiction out. Just the quick sample on the webpage for the book has me gasping. We all need this book, gang.
Dena Rash Guzman, Life Cycle
One of the twin queens of Unshod Quills has her debut book of poetry coming soon, and if you’re like the rest of us, you’ve been waiting for a while to see it. Her publisher posted a photo of the first copy off the presses just the other day, so soon, folks. Soon!
Marie Marshall, I Am Not a Fish
My pal from Scotland. Her new book of poems is out now, and it’s intriguing indeed! I’d assumed from the title this might be some kind of refutation of Vardaman’s famous declaration about his mother in As I Lay Dying, but that’s not remotely the case. Instead, it’s a kind of verse narrative full of oddball characters, like something out of a contemporary Chaucer or Castle Waiting. I was lucky enough to receive an early version of the manuscript, and though I’ve only browsed it so far, I’m utterly captivated by the concept. I can’t wait to read the whole thing.
Hosho’s back! I can’t say enough nice things about this killer author and poet, and if you don’t pick up a copy of everything he’s done, including this rerelease of Something Random & Tragic To Set The Guts Aflame… as well as the new And Turns Still The Sun at Dusk Blood-Red… and the forthcoming A Deep & Gorgeous Thirst, then you’re a fool.
Okay, you’re not a fool. But I promise, you’ll regret not checking Hosho out. He’s amazing.
Todd McNamee, Drifting
My buddy Todd’s first novel. I don’t have a release date on it yet, but I do have a review copy I’m reading soon, and I already like the first few pages, so keep an eye out for it!
Ethel Rohan is one of my favorite writers publishing today. She doesn’t just stick the knife in — she twists it. Her prose is obsidian-sharp, but her characters and situations are deeply, painfully moving. I just finished Hard to Say and loved it as much as her first book, Cut Through the Bone. Then I found out she’s got another coming out soon, and I can’t wait to get my hands on Goodnight Nobody.
Stephen Schwegler, Scattered Together
The other godfather of Jersey Devil Press has a new book, too, and any book that includes “an all-out absurdist dystopian future about robot lubrication” deserves a place on my shelf. How about yours?
You all know Ryan, right? I bring him up a lot here on the blog, because he basically is my writing group — we’ve been bouncing ideas off each other for years. And if you loved the bleak Midwestern ennui of his debut book, Shake Away These Constant Days, you’re going to need to tight little chapbook, too. Because, damn. Seriously.
Oh, and then there’s me.
Samuel Snoek-Brown, Box Cutters
That’s right: I hinted a while back that I had a chapbook coming out soon. We’re still working on final edits and a release date, but Sunnyoutside is publishing a chapbook of my flash fiction. So keep an eye on the website, gang — I’ll be hitting you with details and release dates as soon as I know them!