Archive for January, 2011

Book Giveaway, “The Art of Life”

Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

On Goodreads right now, I’m giving away three copies of my book, The Art of Life. All you have to do is join Goodreads (if you’re not already a member), and then click on “Enter to win” on my book’s contest page. Good luck!

Review: “The Financial Lives of the Poets” by Jess Walter

Thursday, January 13th, 2011

The Financial Lives of the PoetsThe Financial Lives of the Poets by Jess Walter
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

In these days of the Great Repression, readers seek escapism: fantasy, romance and sparkling vampires. Jess Walter’s book, by contrast, is an unblinking look at the reality of many Americans. The protagonist, Matt Prior, is about to lose his house and possibly his emotionally estranged wife. Matt is a poor communicator when it comes to his family, so he bears these burdens alone. Obsessed with such thoughts, he goes to the convenience store to buy milk and walks right into a youth-filled world of drugs and bad decisions.

While the initial pages of the book are often entertaining, like a well-written blogger grousing about his day, as the book slogs on, the fun dissipates, as Matt struggles with the weight of his poor decisions. At this point, I found myself saying, “Why am I reading this?” If I had been less of a completist, I would have certainly put it down. In fact, I almost wish I had, given the way the resolution peters out, with an ending as dissatisfying as the so-called economic recovery has been for many families.

View all my reviews

Review: “Darkness Visible” by William Styron

Thursday, January 13th, 2011

Darkness Visible: A Memoir of MadnessDarkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness by William Styron
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In this memoir, William Styron shares a personal view of his experiences with depression and recovery. The book explodes popular notions about depression and shows just how the disease affected him. A slim volume, at just 84 pages, it is nevertheless compelling and enlightening.

View all my reviews

Kindle Version of Essays/Columns Book

Monday, January 10th, 2011

The Kindle version of my book is finally live! There’s even a nice free downloadable sample to view (which for some odd reason didn’t work well for the poetry book, sharing only a contents page).

This took me a lot of focus and work over the past two weeks, since I had to manually redo all the formatting in HTML. Thanks to a friend, who recommended downloading Kindlegen, I was able to generate a Kindle-compatible .MOBI file to check each of my changes. So ultimately, I am confident it should look and act exactly the way I want.

Please pass the word to any of your friends who own a Kindle that they should download the free sample!