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Author: Carolyn DeCarlo

Fore-Side Chats: August Edition

Reader, I slacked off this month. I saturated myself in the divine pleasures of Pokémon Go, Stranger Things, and the Olympics, that holy trinity bent on destroying bookish appetites everywhere. What I’m trying to say is, I read three books in August. They were three damn good books, but compared to last month? Things have certainly changed. 1. Automanias – Sara Tuss Efrik, trans. Paul Cunningham (Goodmorning Menagerie 2016) Ah, the heady days before the devastation hit. I devoured this chapbook, winner of the 2015 chapbook-in-translation contest at Goodmorning Menagerie, on the first day of August – so quickly,...

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Fore-Side Chats: July Edition

This month, I’m writing to you from a watership! Jackson and I scored our own state room (read: 6×6 wooden box of heaven) on my family’s sailboat, and we’ve been cruising on the Chesapeake Bay since July 1. Ah, the (poverty-stricken, sometimes freeloading) life of a baby freelance writer/editor. Besides providing my dad with top-notch, not-at-all belligerent crewmanship, I’ve managed to polish off 12 sizeable books this month. They were mostly amazing. Let’s get to them. 1. Hotel Life – Katie Lewington (self-published 2016) A self-published ebook for sale on Gumroad, Katie’s poetry chapbook was a quick read to...

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Fore-Side Chats: May Edition

Welcome to the first real fore-side chat, a monthly series where I’ll be rounding up the books I’ve read and getting a bit chatty about their highs and lows. If you missed it, throughout May I’ve been wrapping up the first four months of my reading calendar, which you can check out here. But now we’re all here together in the present! Hooray for us. May was a big month for me, as I started work editing a series of non-fiction books for a publishing company in New York. On the book front, this means I read a lot...

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Fore-Side Chats: March & April Reading Catch-Up

In this final preview installment, in anticipation of my normal monthly wrap-ups starting June 2, I’ll be chatting to you about what I read in March & April. These were some great times to be a book in my life. There wasn’t a single one I didn’t love. Though it’s a double header, I was only able to read 14 books across the two months, and some of them are quite small. I drove around the Pacific Northwest for three weeks in April, and while I had an actual suitcase full of books in the back (I’d just been...

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Fore-Side Chats: February’s Reading Catch-Up

Here we go with this next installment, catching you up with what I read in February in anticipation of my normal monthly wrap-ups starting June 2. If you didn’t tune in last week, one way I’ll be using this space on Real Pants it to chat to you (or with you, if you comment below!) about what I’ve read in the past month. I read fairly diversely and it would be kind of sad to just cross January-April off as lost months. Hope you find something good in here. 1. It Had Been Planned and There Were Guides –...

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Fore-Side Chats: January’s Reading Catch-Up

One way I’ll be using this space is to have a chat to you about the books I’ve read across the span of the previous month. Check in for updates on the first Thursday of every month; the first of this series will up on June 2, with a backwards look at what I read during the month of May. Until then, I thought it might be useful to catch you up on what I’ve already read this year. Here’s a look at what I read in January: 1. Crow – Ted Hughes (Faber & Faber 1970) I mostly...

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The Essence of Things: A Review of Nadia de Vries’ First Communion

I don’t remember much about my own First Holy Communion, aside from the dress. It was the standard white, bought in a store that specialized in communion dresses for little girls, and covered in lace lilies. There was an actual collar made of lace lilies and an extra trim of lilies around my calves. There was a floral headdress involved. I have no memory of my motivations, only a distinct feeling that the dress had to be mine. Accessorized with white tights and Mary Janes, a plush white coin purse, and white Precious Moments Bible, the sartorial aspect of...

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Drawing Down the Moon: A Review of Molly Sutton Kiefer’s Nestuary

For as long as there have been books, people have been comparing them to babies. There are blocked writers who refer to an incubation period, writing workshops that compare manuscripts to the delivery process, and authors who treat their books as though they were their own children. When asked by nosy friends and family if I plan to have children myself, I often reply that I’d rather have a book. But what about those lucky writers who publish books about their own children? In Nestuary (Ricochet Editions 2014), Molly Sutton Kiefer marries the two. She has masterfully written a lyric essay...

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