The Sun Singer's Travels

Malcolm R. Campbell's World

Book Bits: ‘Redeployment,’ ‘All Our Names,’ ‘Decoded,’ ‘Saving the Hooker,’ ‘The Divorce Papers’

Reading Weather

Reading Weather

Bad weather makes reading a very tempting way to spend the day. It’s raining here, so I’m enjoying reading Bloodroot by Amy Greene. I missed it when it first came out, but after enjoying Long Man, I was looking to see what else she’d written.

Here are a few review links for recent releases.

redeployment“Redeployment,” by Phil Klay, reviewed by Jeff Turrentine – “At one point in “Redeployment,” the extraordinarily powerful debut collection of short stories by Phil Klay, a former military PsyOps specialist refers to an old joke: ‘How many Vietnam vets does it take to screw in a lightbulb? You wouldn’t know, you weren’t there.'”  The Denver Post

Learn more about the book and author on Klay’s website.

inallournames“All Our Names,” by Dinaw Mengestu, reviewed by Melissa H. Pierson – “Yet writing [the post-coloninal wars in Africa] simultaneously is like juggling one ball in two time zones: a job for a magician. Dinaw Mengestu is that wizard, a literary virtuoso who, in his new novel, All Our Names, makes the impossible look simple. In fact, he gives it a sense of inevitability: there is an imperative factuality to his tale of two bright young men who become friends in Kampala, the capital of Uganda. There, on the grounds of a university at which neither of them is matriculated, they   help foment yet another “people’s liberation” (fought by “poor illiterate boys who by dint of a uniform and a week of training were called soldiers”) that ends just like all the ones before and, it is implied, after: in a disintegrating chaos that serves only to liberate its participants from life itself.”  Barnes & Noble Review

decoded“Decoded,” by Mai Jia, reviewed by Emily Bartlett Hines – “‘Cryptography involves one genius trying to work out what another genius has done—it results in the most appalling carnage,’ observes one Decoded character. In this debut novel from Mai Jia, eccentric math prodigy Rong Jinzhen is plucked from his studies at N University and recruited to China’s top-secret Unit 701. There he’s tasked with deciphering PURPLE, a fiendishly difficult code used by China’s enemies.”  BookPage

savingthehooker“Saving the Hooker,” by Michael Adelberg – “A mostly funny first-person tale of a lazy and unprincipled postdoc whose brain resides firmly in his crotch…This one’s well-crafted and enjoyable if you’re up for a rather raunchy read.”  Kirkus Reviews

Learn more about the book and the author on Adelberg’s Pompous Menagerie site.

divorcepapers“The Divorce Papers,” by Susan Rieger, reviewed by Yvonne Zipp – “The case file of a bitter divorce doesn’t sound like the most obvious choice for those looking for a witty, charming read. But Susan Rieger’s new novel The Divorce Papers has more snap and freshness than a just-picked stalk of celery.”  The Christian Science Monitor

See also the NPR review All Sides Of A Divorce, Told In Fresh, Lively ‘Papers’

JSSBcover2“Book Bits” is compiled by Malcolm R. Campbell, author of the comedy/mystery “Jock Steward and the Missing Sea of Fire.” Now you can pre-order the new book of stories “Jock Stewart Strikes Back” prior to the book’s April 1 release.

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