Tag Archives: Maria Bustillos

Our August Review Previewganza

Who likes August? For real. It’s hot all the time—so hot that cheese will melt in your fridge and your skin will stick to your subway seat. There are no paid holidays at any workplace in America. Severe thunderstorms go on vacation. The White Sox go into their annual tailspin. It’s a horrible time to be alive.

And by way of the Internet’s powers of inquisition, I found a handy-dandy guide to those awful thirty days, courtesy of that venerable American institution Holidayinsights.com. According to the good people at HI—especially my man “Dirty Dozen” Dave Poluyanskis in content creation, what up boyyyy!?—August is the following official (read: not official) months (listed in descending order of huh): National Catfish Month (delicious), National Eye Exam Month (I’ve had 20/20 my whole life; stop extorting me), National Golf Month (all right, whatever), National Picnic Month (sweaty potato salad), Peach Month (Earth’s worst fruit, but I can see it), Water Quality Month (WHERE IS THE CONCERN IN OCTOBER?!), Family Fun Month (…), Romance Awareness Month (cue twenty-four-hour loop of MTV’s “Undressed”), and my personal favorite: Admit You’re Happy Month (you love that sweater, faker).

So to keep you from participating in America’s annual mass suicide—the 2012 iteration being Friday August 24 at Danville’s David S. Palmer Arena—DBC’s going to roll out a whole bunch of reviews. Continue reading

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Whether you’re travelin’, holed up in the soon-to-be-flooded northeast, or just want an excuse to sit still as a corpse this Friday, here’s what will captivate you on the first day of autumn.

Justin Torres’ We the Animals
Torres’ debut novel has been hailed by basically everyone—and with good reason. It’s as affecting, gripping, and intelligent as anything you’ll read in 2011.

Michael Lewis’ Moneyball
Perhaps you’ve heard about the movie? Lewis’ classic sets the modern standard as far as baseball books go, finding story-within-story-within-story. Whether it’s Oakland’s unlikely draft choice Jeremy Brown, the shockingly serviceable first baseman Scott Hatteberg, or submariner (and former member of my Chicago White Sox) Chad Bradford, Lewis tells each story with remarkable swiftness and command.

Macy Halford’s “The Art of Fielding: Soul-Building”
In case all of the other hype surrounding Chad Harbach’s bestseller hasn’t swallowed you yet, New Yorker bloggers are book-clubbing it! Halford has some interesting thoughts about the book’s true engine, and a wonderful excerpt from a tremendously emotional scene. (Warning: der spoiler ahead!)

Maria Bustillos’ “I Love You Christopher Hitchens, You Irritating Bastard”
An extremely long look at one of our generation’s great minds. Bustillos doesn’t spare Hitchens, acknowledging his more specious stances and moral failings.

John Cheever’s “The Swimmer” (No link—go to the library, you lazy so-and-so’s)
Arguably Cheever’s greatest short fiction work. A friend emailed it to me this week, and I’m convinced it’s the best way to celebrate the passing of another beautiful summer.

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