Tag Archives: Books

12 Best Books of 2012

I’m only slightly sorry to note that I posted but a single blog in all of 2012. That’s because I’ve been so busy living life, reading books, writing articles, etc., all in IRL. I’m planning a several-post roundup of what you, my friends, fans and Internet stalkers, have missed. Let’s start with books.:

The 12 Best Books I’ve Read in 2012:

(in alphabetical order by author’s name)

Something Wicked This Way ComesMy AntoniaThe Last WerewolfMiddlesex
A Discovery of WitchesThe LacunaAmerican Gypsy: A MemoirVegas Knockout: a novel in stories
The Egyptologist: A NovelBattlebornThe House of MirthRevolutionary Road

Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury. A beautiful, poetic and creepy tale about nostalgia, growing up and aging … or, if you prefer, about a father and son’s fight against an evil carnival that comes to town. Make it at Halloween tradition!

My Antonia by Willa Cather. An invigorating tale of the pioneer spirit. Read it and feel connected to the American experience.

The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan. When a literary author writes a page-turner the result is intelligent entertainment. Can’t wait to read the sequel.

Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides. A sweet coming-of-age tale about a transgendered child of immigrant parents. Pair it with Revolutionary Road for an interesting comparison of perspectives.

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness. Twilight for women with advanced degrees. The ultimate guilty pleasure. Sadly, her sequel does not live up to book one’s promise.

The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver. I grew to love this protagonist: a Mexican-American boy-turned-author who works for Diego Rivera and befriends Frida Kahlo.

An American Gypsy by Oksana Marafioti. A touching and insightful memoir of a high-school student’s immigrant experience.

Vegas Knockout by P Moss. A darkly humorous collection of linked short stories revealing life in the underbelly of Las Vegas in the lead-up to a big fight. The characters are enchanting.

The Egyptologist by Arthur Phillips. A purposefully rambling faux-Victorian archeological mystery. Listen to the book for the myriad accents. Read if you enjoy dry humor or wonder about the dark side of Downton Abbey.

Battleborn by Claire Vaye Watkins. A fantastic debut short-story collection that gives life to the “nowhere places” in rural Nevada.

House of Mirth by Edith Wharton. This classic novel about a independent-minded New York heiress who must find a husband (or else) is, oddly enough, quite relevant to life in Las Vegas.

Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates. The ultimate smack-down on life in suburbia. The movie does not compare to the book!

books: The Literary Vampire

With Stephanie Meyers’ book Twilight now a full-scale pop culture phenomenon, I thought it would be a great excuse to finally use the Polldaddy’s “skull pattern.” Despite the fact that Morman Meyer claims to have never read a vampire book before she wrote her series, her writing still hails from a rich literary tradition of vamps. Lest we forget the people who came before her, I made this fun poll.

Chocolate Books!



My two favorite things in the entire world, together, at last! These chocolates are artifacts stolen from my interview with Neil Gaiman. It’s almost as cool as the “recreational pocket mirrors” given out when Racket Magazine (r.i.p.) was launched. Nay, cooler. Cuz, I don’t do drugs but I do eat chocolate. Can you find your favorite book?

books/blogosphere: Cover Lover

Idealists say you can’t tell a book by its cover. But if that were true (and it’s hard to even pretend it could be true in today’s occular-centric society), then publishing houses wouldn’t spend millions of dollars making book covers so enticing. In his (or her) weekly blog, an anonymous book afficianado — known simply as “Cover Lover” — explores this exact phenomena.

Pulling from scans of his (or her) extensive personal book collection, Cover Lover examines the changing face of books over time as well as how the same book can be reinvented through its cover to reach an ever-new audience. My favorite post charts how the covers of A Clockwork Orange morph from a leather-clad 1950s motorcycle gang to pure psychedelica.

Here’s the link, in case you missed it: Cover Lover

PS. The Cover Lover blog is part of the many exciting things that the literary journal Hayden’s Ferry Review does. So while you’re over there, check out their other stuff.

art: Arizona Backyard Header

In honor or today (the last day I am a resident of my rent house), I have posted a new header. Ironically, it’s a picture of the backyard in my previous rent house.

Gotta finish packing before the new tenants arrive. Oh and I made $77.17 selling my CDs and DVDs, while I only made $17.75 selling my books. Does this say something about the base values of our society at large or instead reveal the ragtag nature of my ex-book collection?

About the photo: Nothing spectacular. Think it was a point and shoot digital camera. But the flowers are pretty.