(205) 870-1117 Mon - Sat : 6am - 10pm / Sun : 7am - 10pm Get Directions

Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /home/churchs6/public_html/wp-content/themes/bandb/header.php on line 99

Warning: Illegal string offset 'ID' in /home/churchs6/public_html/wp-content/themes/bandb/functions.php on line 513

Kevin's Strange and Wonderful Summer Picks

May 31, 2013 | Kevin Wilder

Ever wonder what makes a writer an author? Are they born with author genes, or does it have more to with family life, personal discipline, or what kind of cereal they choose every morning? An aspiring author himself, Kevin explores the ins and outs of what makes writers tick — whether they write books, movies, lyrics, or poetry.

 

As summer kicks into high gear, it’s time to align our bookshelves with reading material for the upcoming months. Sometimes the best way to let off a little literary steam is to choose offbeat books that add a little excitement to the hot season. The titles have served me well in the beginning of the always sweltering South Florida summer.


We Live in Water – by Jess Walter

Jess Walter has built a reputation of writing bigheartedly, in a wide range of styles. I’m a newcomer to his work after seeing him in Best American Short Stories 2012, but thought these stories were great. In “Anything Helps,” a homeless man saves up cash to buy his son the newest Harry Potter book. In the title story, a lawyer searches a small town in Idaho for his missing father. There’s also zombie story here, titled “Don’t Eat Cat,” which surprised me by being more enjoyable than annoying. (A hole opened up and he had to know what was inside it. So he picked and picked until the hole was huge, and then everything sort of … fell in, him, his wife, his kid, and this fragile life they’d built at the edge of this hole.)

 

Trout Fishing in America – by Richard Brautigan

What is Trout Fishing in America exactly? Is it a leisurely pursuit? A book title? The name of a character? A hotel? It’s this and more in Brautigan’s counterculture odyssey. In the first chapter, the narrator offers commentary for readers on the book jacket cover in their hands. Later he assures that the book will end with the word “mayonnaise.” It’s often difficult to determine whether anecdotes are nonsensical or stuffed with profound metaphor in this experimental book from 1967 — and, somehow, it doesn’t seem to matter. Like when waterfalls are sold for $19.00 a foot, for instance. (“Excuse me,” I said. “I thought you were a trout stream.” “I’m not,” she said.)

 

The Time Machine Did It – by John Swartzwelder

To a comedy writer, John Swartzwelder is the stuff of legend. After serving as head writer on 59 episodes of The Simpsons, Swartzwelder turned his attention to writing books. He’s written one every year, in fact, since 2004. The first installment of his nine self-published novels about an unlikely detective is packed with laughs on every page. (Frank Burly is my name. Okay, it’s not my name. I lied about that. My name is Edward R. Torgeson Jr. I changed it for the business. You’ve got to have a tough sounding name if you want people to hire you …)

 

The Fun Parts – by Sam Lipsyte

Sam Lipsyte is my favorite fiction stylist from recent years, and could very well be yours too. Some put him alongside greats like George Saunders. He’s one of the finest in fiction, I think, and I’m currently reading everything he’s written. He writes perfect dialogue and sentences that beg to be read repeatedly. This collection of stories about strange misfits includes “The Wisdom of the Doulas,” about a male companion to pregnant mothers, and “The Worm in Philly,” about a junkie writing a children’s book on a famous boxer. (“Nobody wanted my woe. Nobody craved my disease. The smack, the crack, the punch-outs and lockdowns, all those gun-to-my-temple whimpers about my dead mother and scabby cat – nobody cared anymore. The world had worthier victims.”)

 

Kevin Wilder is a technical writer for pay and a creative writer for fun. He lives in Tampa, Florida, where he generally pays his bills on time and chips away at a debut novel.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

May 2018 Books of the Month

May 06, 2018 | Charlotte Donlon

A Stone for Sascha by Aaron Becker ON SALE: May 8, 2018 A girl grieves the loss of her dog in an achingly beautiful wordless epic from the Caldecott Honor–winning creator of Journey. This year’s... read full article

March 2018 Books of the Month

March 01, 2018 | Charlotte Donlon

Cal picked three books for Church Street Coffee and Books’ March 2018 “Books of the Month.” Copies will be available in the shop for purchase on and after their publication dates. If you read any... read full article

EVERYTHING HAPPENS FOR A REASON AND OTHER LIES I'VE LOVED

February 27, 2018 | Charlotte Donlon

At the end of the preface to Kate Bowler’s Everything Happens for a Reason and Other Lies I’ve Loved, she writes:   I wish this were a different kind of story. But this is a... read full article

Ordinary People Change the World

February 10, 2018 | Charlotte Donlon

Cal has been selling books from the Ordinary People Change the World series written by Brad Meltzer and illustrated by Christopher Eliopoulos for a while now. I picked up two of the books from the... read full article

WHAT DO YOU DO WITH A CHANCE?

February 08, 2018 | Charlotte Donlon

The newest book written by Kobi Yamada and illustrated by Mae Besom will encourage kids--and adults--to be brave and grab ahold of chances to do new things. What Do You Do With A Chance (one of... read full article

February 2018 Books of the Month

February 01, 2018 | Charlotte Donlon

Cal picked four books for Church Street Coffee and Books’ February 2018 “Books of the Month.” Copies will be available in the shop for purchase on and after their publication dates. If you read any... read full article

WILD THINGS: THE JOY OF READING CHILDREN'S LITERATURE AS AN ADULT

January 15, 2018 | Charlotte Donlon

In Wild Things: The Joy of Reading Children’s Literature as an Adult, Bruce Handy explores classic children’s books, engages their critics, and provides background information and details about the stories and their authors. Publishers Weekly... read full article

January 2018 Books of the Month

January 01, 2018 | Charlotte Donlon

Cal picked three books for Church Street Coffee and Books’ January 2018 “Books of the Month.” Copies will be available in the shop for purchase on and after their publication dates. If you read any... read full article

WE'RE ALL WONDERS and HERE WE ARE

December 23, 2017 | Charlotte Donlon

I recently read something on Facebook (that I think is actually true) about a tradition in Iceland where everyone exchanges gifts of books on Christmas Eve. Then they read their new books in bed that... read full article

Frederick Buechner's THE REMARKABLE ORDINARY: HOW TO STOP, LOOK, AND LISTEN TO LIFE

December 08, 2017 | Charlotte Donlon

Over the past couple of years, I’ve read several of Frederick Buechner’s memoirs and sermon collections. One reason his writing appeals to me is that he’s a master of writing about faith in a way... read full article

HUNGER: A MEMOIR OF (MY) BODY by Roxane Gay

September 28, 2017 | Charlotte Donlon

I read Roxane Gay’s Hunger in a few sittings on the day it was released. I am a fan of Gay's work and had been awaiting this book for a couple of years—since I first... read full article

GOODBYE, VITAMIN by Rachel Khong

September 25, 2017 | Charlotte Donlon

I’m a fan of Twitter although it wears me out sometimes. I need to take breaks from it, but it's probably my favorite of all of the social media options. When I finished Goodbye, Vitamin... read full article

Everyone's Story Matters: The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore

September 16, 2017 | Charlotte Donlon | 1 Comment

Yesterday a friend's Facebook post caught my eye. She's a therapist and lives in Orlando with her husband and three kids. After enduring the wrath of Hurricane Irma, she posted that The Fantastic Flying Books... read full article

Brené Brown's Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone

September 12, 2017 | Charlotte Donlon

  During an appointment with the first therapist I ever met with, I asked him if there's something wrong with me because I've never had a best friend who lasted more than a couple of... read full article

John Ronald's Dragons: The Story of J.R.R. Tolkien

September 05, 2017 | Charlotte Donlon

I must confess I've never read any of Tolkien's books. But after reading the children's book John Ronald's Dragons: The Story of J.R.R. Tolkien written by Caroline McAlister and illustrated by Eliza Wheeler, I'm now convinced... read full article

Grief, Resilience, and Option B

September 01, 2017 | Charlotte Donlon

Since I married my husband almost twenty years ago, one of my greatest fears has been losing him to some kind of tragic early death. After I became a mama, this fear expanded to include losing... read full article

Author Interview: Gin Phillips on Fierce Kingdom, Writing, and Motherhood

August 14, 2017 | Charlotte Donlon

Gin Phillips and I hung out on her back porch recently and talked about her new book, writing, and motherhood. Here’s some of what we discussed:   When did you start writing? I’ve always written... read full article

Making a Mark: She Persisted and Radiant Child

August 10, 2017 | Charlotte Donlon

I grabbed two children's books from Church Street a couple of weeks ago for my kids (ages 12 and 14) and me to read. We believe you're never too old for children's books and have been enjoying... read full article

A Review: Becoming Ms. Burton

August 03, 2017 | Charlotte Donlon

Many conversations I hear about social justice issues are taking place among people who aren’t necessarily suffering from oppression. There are a lot of well-meaning people who talk about the effects of racism. They advocate... read full article

Author Interview: Kristen Iskandrian

July 28, 2017 | Charlotte Donlon

I got to spend some time with local author Kristen Iskandrian yesterday. We talked about books, writing, and her first novel Motherest which I definitely recommend. This coming-of-age story explores the dynamics of complex relationships... read full article
View More Posts

Login

Lost your password?