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Expendable Mudge Muses Aloud

*I* got a signed and numbered copy, so there NYAH

— feeling angel
My new #review of FAIR DAY IN AN ANCIENT TOWN is live now! 
A 3.5-star poetry collection chock-a-block with yearning & desire. Author Greg Allendorf and publisher Brain Mill Press each did wonderful work making this a beautiful book.
Beautiful cover!

My review of Icelandic phenom Sjón's masterpiece is live

— feeling baby

My new #review is live today. MOONSTONE: The Boy Who Never Was is truly jaw-dropping. From the review, "Sjón operates equally lyrically when describing the antiquated views of the doctor and the simple survival techniques of Máni."


Farrar, Straus and Giroux gets 5 full stars because they chose Victoria Cribb to translate this book. Clearly she is fearless! This is a must-read for anyone interested in #LGBTQ lit.


My weekly column, My Reading Life, is live now. This week's rant is "Authors, Publishers, Reviews, and Amazon" at the link below.


I got steamed about this today because I'm very tired of being regarded as a creator's audience and asked, more or less peremptorily, to promote the creator's work in the exact and precise way that creator wants it to be done. I review books and movies and suchlike because I want to; because I love them, love the medium, love that sharing my enthusiasm or lack thereof can help a reader find or avoid something that they wouldn't have found or avoided on their own.


This rant is my response. Yes, it requires that you click on a link to read it; if that's too much trouble, by all means don't. Just don't say anything to me about it, since the idea that a mouseclick is an imposition on you doesn't say good things about you to me.


/rant *grrrrrr*

Anyone I know open to resumes? I vouch for the poster's literacy, logic, humor, and patience.

A heartfelt plea

Reblogged from Kaethe:

If anyone knows anyone who might accept a resume, I'd love to know. I've had enough time with the kids now. Really.

Saw this on Grimmy's timeline

— feeling baby

Reposting the whole thing.


Found this in my Wordpress feed and think it's both a good idea and a good way to get to know all your fellow bloggers.  Like Ice Buckets and Pokemon GO!- start with yourself, tag anyone else you'd like to join in and stand back.


How long have you been a blogger?

Since 2001.


At what point do you think you'll stop?

Why would I do that?


What's the best thing?


Publishers send books to people who will actually review them. This is ***AWESOME*** and very happy-making.




What's the worst thing?  What do you do to make it ok?

Trolls. Hands down, the very worst thing about the internet. No matter how old they are IRL, I always end up screaming "Grow the fuck up!!!" at my screen when one of 'em surfaces from whatever sewer they lurk in.


Generally I ignore them.


How long does it take you to create/find pictures to use?

I usually only use the book jacket/cover illustration in my reviews. When I use more than that, I'm reasonably adept at finding what I need.


Who is your book crush?

Sebastian Junger, Sebastien de Castell, Adam Christopher, Wesley Chu, Mike de Abaitua, Peter Tieryas, other hotties.


What author would you like to have on your blog?

Walt Whitman.


What do you wear when you write your blog posts?



How long does it take you to prepare?

Novels: usually closing the book is enough. Politics: a day or so to stop steaming from the ears. Environmental issues: see "Politics." History: a few days to look in to the references, poke the internet journals, compose something I hope is coherent. Writing the reviews is usually the better part of a morning.


How do you feel about the book blogger community/culture?

The more thoughtful the review, the better I relate to the reviewer. Not to say some fankid SQUEEEE won't make me grin and read on; also some very well-aimed darts can be fun. 

What turns me off is the hysterical screecher syndrome, the reviewer who attacks others for some perceived slight.


What do you think one should do to get a successful blog?


Post regularly. Work hard to make each post your best. Never complain. Be a good netizen: point out others' successes, be generous with your praise--if warranted!--and always, always, always say "thank you."



That's it from me; now it's time for a few of you to take a turn:




Edward Lorn



Good Heavens! I forgot about Booklikes!

— feeling big smile

Hi everyone, I'm back after a few months in the goofy garage, and then a stressful move to an assisted living facility...right on the beach! Whee!


Hope all are well and happy in 2016.




HI Booklikers! I am slowly coming back to Interenet life after 4 months in the goofy garage...little tiny matter of my first-ever attempt at suicide! Regular dosesa of antidepressants later, I'm now ensconced in my new beachside home, with instant access to the Atlantic, plus all the eyecandy you cou.ld ever want. In the summer, of course. Nutball people doing those Polar Bear Jumps in the 20-degree air. Goosebumps could not be distinguished from cleavage, that's how cold the beach was.


Damn fools.


Internet access is spotty because the two (2) resdients' computer share means it can get competitive here. (NEVER STAND BETWEEN MAMAW AND HER GRANDBABY PICTURES. Old ladies got no fear for scare, and hesitate not a moment smackin' your hands to take the thing.)

It ARRIVED!! W00t!!

Heraclix & Pomp - Forrest Aguirre

My pre-ordered hardcover of Forrest's novel arrived! The jacket is *gorgeous* in person. 


Forrest quite kindly offered me a review copy of the book. I declined because I'm unlikely to enjoy the phauntaisee nawvelle conceit too terribly much. I ordered one for the same reason I ordered a tree-book copy of FUGUE XXIX: The man's a class act, a good literary netizen, and makes some very euphonious sentences.


In other words, I support the careers of artists whose behavior earns my approval. Wes Chu, Edward Lorn, Jim Thane, Scott Nicholson, Peter Tieryas Liu, others whose public actions are in line with the kind of class and quality I want to see, I never ask for freebies nor would I take them. It's hard enough to do the work of writing. I'll express my thanks with my book-buying budget. (And just maybe the occasional review, if y'all ask real pretty.)



The Golden Mean - Annabel Lyon

New Review! THE GOLDEN MEAN by Annabel Lyon




This is history with balls. And wombs. Literally! Alexander pre-Great and Aristotle emerge from these pages as vivid, dirty-mouthed and -minded guys. Not exactly the marble-statue view of them, and better for all that.

The Blasphemer - Nigel Farndale

New Review! THE BLASPHEMER by Nigel Farndale




A self-centered atheist sees what he thinks must be the ghost of his great-grandpa while swimming awa from a wreck in which he was about to die. Have to read it to see what's next.

[REBLOG] Silly Puppies

Reblogged from Derrolyn Anderson:

Just because there are so many great dog .gifs out there :)



Each one of these deserves its own caption, but hey, I'm lazy today ;)

It's Banned Books Week.


Reading changes you. It makes you more of what's best in humanity and it gives you better ideas and understandings than any other activity, bar none.


Don't let someone's outmoded or wrongheaded or simply stupid fear of knowledge and wisdom and empathy flowing from books shut off access to views they don't like. Remember that when you choose silence in the face of censorship, you set the stage for your own views to be silenced.

Snagged from His Lornship

The Hundred and One Dalmatians - Dodie Smith Slaughterhouse-Five - Kurt Vonnegut Miss MacIntosh, My Darling - Marguerite Young The Passionate Art of Kitagawa Utamaro - Shugo Asano, Kitagawa Utamaro, Timothy  Clark

I pinched this from Bookliker Edward Lorn. I like it.

1. What is your most expensive book?

<I>The passionate art of Kitagawa Utamaro</i> (2 volumes in slipcase). Or this is the title I'm told it has...it's in Japanese, which I don't speak or read, but it's awesomely awesome and gorgeous.

2. What author do you have a love/hate relationship with?

Louise Penny, for ripping my guts to shreds and for making the characters I care so much about that my guts CAN be ripped to shreds.

3. What book have you devoured over and over again with no shame?

<I>The Hundred and One Dalmatians</i> as a desperate-to-be-rescued child. I stopped reading it when the librarian refused to check it out to me again. Pursey-mouthed lacquered-haired cross-wearing wretch. I still hold a bitter grudge against her polyester-wrapped carcass. Hope she's still alive and suffering from locked-in syndrome.

4. Which book have you neglected reading due to laziness?

<I>Miss MacIntosh, My Darling</i>. I am daunted by its heft and its constellation of literary lights warbling its praises. I'm sure I'll hate it and it would cause me more spiritual pain to hate a book beloved of Vonnegut than it does to admit to not having read it at all.

5. What book do you most talk about in order to sound like an intellectual reader?

Kurt Vonnegut’s <I>Slaughterhouse-Five</i>. And so it goes. (Lorn speaks for us both.)

6. What attributes do you find attractive in a male or female character?

Female characters? Don't care. Male characters? Over the local age of consent. NO TEENAGERS.

7. What book would you most like to receive as a gift?

The leather-bound illustrated extravaganza about Cord automobiles that languishes on my Amazon wishlist, mournfully lowing its unreadness at me. *wistful sigh*

Which is why there are so many challenges to books in libraries and schools. Banning a book, removing it from the shelves, means a voice silenced that makes someone uncomfortable.


Libraries and schools, like newspapers, should comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.


Extra credit: Who spoke the original of that quote?

Counterpunch lists the 100 best novels in translation since 1900



Some very interesting choices...less famous works by the Usual Suspects. Give it a glance!