25 Books by Friends (just in time for Jólabókaflóð)

icelandI’m not Icelandic, but if there is one reason why I wish I was it would be to celebrate Jólabókaflóð, the Icelandic Christmas Book Flood where books–yes, books!–are exchanged on Christmas Eve. Then everyone goes home and reads. Doesn’t that sound amazing? And did you know that Iceland publishes more books per capita than any other country in the world?

Regardless of whether you are Icelandic or not, giving books–especially signed books–during the holidays is a super thoughtful gift. It says “I care about your intellectual and creative health” so much more than that bottle of wine–and lasts longer too! Plus you’re supporting artists and that’s always a good thing.

So what books will you give and receive this Winter’s Eve (and beyond)? I have some suggestions! For several years I have done an end of the year “Top 10 Books By Friends List”, and since I was a slacker last year you get double the pleasure, double the fun!

25 Books by Friends 2018

(in no particular order: most published in 2017/2018)

books

The Realty Traveler by Jonathan Montgomery
Read my interview with Jonathan here:
“Jonathan “Bluebird” Montgomery has just released his new book, The Reality Traveler, a pop culture allegorical/philosophical tale with Jonny “Bluebird” as its picaresque narrator and Reality Traveling tour guide! Think Don Quixote meets the Alchemist meets the Guardians of the Galaxy.” Read more

Water and Power by Steven Dunn
Read my interview with Steven here
“Steven Dunn has just released his new book, Water and Power! This book is a literary mosaic, collaging the two contradictory faces of the military: the official face of the recruiting posters and the real faces of the people, including Steven’s.” Read more

Meet My Haze by Meg Tuite
Interview coming!

Kiss, Kiss by Paul Beckman
Read Kathy Fish’s review on the Flash Fiction Retreats website here

New Micro: Exceptionally Short Stories edited by James Thomas and Robert Scotellaro
My stories “Death Row Hugger” and “I Found Your Voodoo Doll on the Dance Floor After Last Call” appear in this amazing anthology
Read a review from the Los Angeles Review of Books here

Alligators at Night by Meg Pokrass
Interview coming!

Gather the Night: Poems by Katherine DiBella Seluja
Read my interview with Katherine here
“Katherine DiBella Seluja has just released her new book, Gather the Night, which is largely an investigation into the complex emotions around mental illness and addiction, particularly as it affects the narrator’s brother, Lou. While much literature has been devoted to the stories of people suffering with these and other illnesses, there are fewer stories that speak to the experience of the bystander, those caught in the orbit of the illnesses and getting the midnight ER phone calls. Read more

Funhouse by Robert Vaughan
Interview coming!

Other Household Toxins by Christopher Allen
Interview coming!

Flash Fiction Festival Two edited by Bath Flash Fiction Award
My story “Loch Ness” appears in this great compilation of writers who gathered in the UK in 2018.

On the Bitch by Matt Potter
Interview coming!

One of These Days by Trent Hudley
From my book blurb:
“Trent Hudley is unafraid to look at the underbelly of despair, taking us on an existential unraveling through the landscapes of loneliness, deftly weaving the crisis of humanity between the real and the surreal like a strange premonition. “This is a story without hope” says one of his characters, but One of These Days is a book striving for redemption.”

Roses are Red, Violets are Stealing Loose Change from My Pockets While I Sleep by David S. Atkinson
From my book blurb:
“David S. Atkinson’s imagination is a beast unleashed! The stories in Roses are Red, Violets are Stealing Loose Change from My Pockets While I Sleep are bizarre and hilarious, taking us into a highly peculiar landscape with scenarios that leave me wondering: Where does he come up with this stuff? Narrated with his signature intellectual deadpan (think “straight man”) and featuring labyrinthian titles that unroll all the way to near slapstick, Atkinson leads us from one outlandish situation to the next without flinching, apologizing, or justifying.”

Ripening: 2018 National Flash Fiction Day Anthology edited by Santino Prinzi and Allison Powell
My story “The Pilgrimage” appears in this tasty anthology!

Ideal Suggestions: Essays in Divinatory Poetics by Selah Saterstrom
Selah is awesome!

Nothing Short Of: Selected Tales from One Hundred Word Story edited by Grant Faulkner, Lynn Mundell and Beret Olsen
My story “Naked” appears in this great collection of tiny stories!

I’m Not Supposed to Be Here and Neither are You by Len Kuntz
Interview coming!

Glimmerglass Girl by Holly Lyn Walrath
“Bold yet delicate, sharp, intricate, and woven with fragile strength, there are many things to like in Glimmerglass Girl. The first a reader might notice is the interplay of words and images, something many writers attempt but not always with such success. Glimmerglass Girl uses classic and vintage fairy tale images to give the book an aura of innocence and nostalgia…”
Read more here

Rattle of Want by Gay Degani
Read Kathy Fish’s interview with Gay Degani here

The Plankton Collector: A Novella by Cath Barton
Read Kathy Fish’s blurb about Cath’s book here

Bad Motel: 100 Word Stories by Robert Scotellaro
From my book blurb:
“Like perfectly crafted dioramas, Robert Scotellaro’s micro stores are tiny keyholes, tableau glimpses into fully formed worlds, entire lives implied with the barest swipe of words said, and more importantly, not said.”

How to Make a Window Snake: Three Novellas in Flash by Charmaine Wilkerson, Joanna Campbell and Ingrid Jendrzejewski 
Three great writers for the price of one!

Musalaheen: A War Memoir by Jason Arment
Veteran Jason Arment’s debut book!

The Crazed Wind by Nod Ghosh
This collection began in my Flash Books class in February–Nod is awesome!

The Boneyard, The Birth Manual, A Burial: Investigations into the Heartland by Julia Madsen
Julia is also a great multi-media artist!

Funny Bone: Flashing for Comic Relief edited by Peter Blair and Ash Chantler
My story “Clown Car” from Madam Velvet’s Cabaret of Oddities was first published in this collection of humorous flashes
Profits go to Comic Relief, a major charity based in the UK, with a vision of a just world, free from poverty.

Nothing to Worry About by Vanessa Gebbie
This is a weird little book that speaks to my weird heart!

PS: Okay, I know that was more than 25. I can’t stop!
PSS: My goal is to interview all the authors listed here in my So You Wrote a Book Series in 2019, so stay tuned!

Regardless of what you celebrate, and whether you celebrate anything at all, I celebrate the many ways that we support one another on this crazy creative life journey.
Wishing you love, rest, and inspiration this winter season.
See you in 2019!
xoxo

mad V performance.jpg

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Oct 16: Fbomb Flash Fiction Reading Series! Will the real Fbomb Host please stand up?

Theme: No One Can Agree on Who Kona Picked to Sub for Her

(All shows start at 7:30 at the Mercury Cafe, 2199 California Street, Denver)

That’s right! So far we have hosts Girls Just Wanna Have Us, Hillary Leftwich, Roseanna Frechette, Nick Morris, and a host of others all claiming they are hosting! See what happens on Tuesday, October 16! Nancy Stohlman and special guest Nick Busheff will give a little preview of the Oct 26 performance of Madam Velvet’s Cabaret of Oddities! There will (hopefully!) be books for sale, hot off the presses, so get your signed one!

girlsHosts Girls Just Wanna Have Us! Girls Just Wanna Have Us is a flash rock band, comprised of Daryl Gent in the Car, Hall-an and John(athan) Oates Montgomery. If flash fiction tells a story in 1000 words or less, they attempt to cover songs from the 1980s in 1000 heartbreaks or less, 3 chords or less, 2 instruments or less, 1 rehearsal or less. When an Fbomb host suddenly has to cancel at the last minute, they are the only ones flexible, courageous, and beloved enough to replace them.

nancyFeaturing Nancy Stohlman and her book Madam Velvet’s Cabaret of Oddities! Nancy Stohlman is the founder and curator of the Fbomb Flash Fiction Series circa 2013 and counting! Tonight she will be releasing her new book, Madam Velvet’s Cabaret of Oddities! Her other books include The Vixen Scream and Other Bible StoriesThe Monster Opera, Searching for Suzi: a flash novel, and Fast Forward: The Mix Tape, a finalist for a 2011 Colorado Book Award. Her work was recently anthologized in the WW Norton anthology New Micro: Very Short Stories, and she teaches at the University of Colorado Boulder. www.nancystohlman.com

Visit the Fbomb Website here

The Monster Opera this Friday!

 

In The Monster Opera, a writer travels to Mexico City in search of a new story, but the monsters are already waiting for her. The more she writes, the more their whereabouts, as well as their desperation, are revealed. The result is a gothic literary noir, a genre-bending novel-meets-libretto that combines recitative with dialogue, aria with prose, and ultimately asks the question: Who owns a story?

The Monster Opera started as a “flash novel,” a phrase coined by its writer, Nancy Stohlman, then mutated into a postmodern, compressed extravaganza that has grown into a hearty full-length production under the command of Stohlman and composer Nick Busheff. Originally staged as part of the book’s release in 2013, The Monster Opera is back for one night only, with the original cast, at the Mercury Cafe.

“It’s about a writer who steals stories,” explains Stohlman. “She steals the wrong story in search of a new story from these opera singers, and she’s telling their story and they’re trying to get it back. And they’ve been in hiding, and as she’s writing their story, she’s revealing them…. It’s about who owns the story.”

The presentation takes place at 7:30 p.m. October 30 at the Mercury, 2199 California Street. For tickets, $12 to $15, and information, visit nancystohlman.com/monsteropera.

Top 10 Books By Friends 2014

It’s time!

TOP 10 BOOKS BY FRIENDS 2014bookfriend

(These books may or may not have been published prior to 2014–only read by me in 2014.)

In no particular order:

1. Cry Father by Benjamin Whitmer

I love that this book is set in Denver. It’s a gritty, glorious, romanticized bloodfest, a modern day crime and outlaw story alternating between the dive bars and meth houses of the city to the highways that escape out of town but never from the past.

2. Bound by Blue by Meg Tuite

From my Amazon review: These thirteen stories are funny but not funny… Tuite takes us into living rooms that are as disturbing as they are familiar, and repaints them with an artist’s sensitivity and an oddly appropriate sense of wonder. Her characters are raw, flawed, broken, charming, tragic, adorable, hateful, hopeful, and authentically human.

3. Pizzas and Mermaid by Jonathan Montgomery

From my Amazon review: From the epic battle with National Pizza Chain and the “Estimated Delivery Time” saga to stand-alones such as “Placenta” , “Things Left in the Back of My Cab”, late night lottery ticket encounters and strippers with unicorn horns, Jonathan Montgomery combines sharp insight and deadpan humor with magical adventures for grown ups!

4. Maybe This is How Tides Work by Brian Dickson

Brian Dickson has a soft, vulnerable lens that he uses to filter his world, and his newest book of poetry is a bittersweet and beautiful view of people, the heart, and all things New Mexico.

5. She Bears a King by Lynn Brewer

From my Amazon review: “I just finished reading Lynn Brewer’s first novel, “She Bears A King”–a hilarious pop culture romp into the life of a modern woman who is impregnated by Jesus. Loved it!”

6. Patriarch Run by Benjamin Dancer

From my Amazon review: I’ve always been a fan of Benjamin Dancer’s prose—but his new book, called a “literary thriller” combines both the prose and depth of character that I’ve come to expect from Dancer with honest to god high-energy page-turning tension of a classic thriller!

7. Italy: Beer Country by Bryan Jansing and Paul Vismata

Bryan Jansing and Paul Vismata researched this book for years, from their decade + experience working with craft beers to their multiple trips to Italy. If you thought Italy was just about vineyards–you are wrong. Perfect for beer connoisseurs and Italy fans alike.

8. Wild Life by Kathy Fish

Sophisticated, smart, and powerfully understated, they don’t call her the Queen of flash fiction for nothing!  I’m looking forward to reading her newest collection, Together We Can Bury It in 2015!

9. They Only Eat Their Husbands by Cara Lopez Lee

Re-released by Conundrum Press this year, the author of the blog Girls Trek Too takes us on her adventures of the world and the heart in equal measures. Both armchair traveling and introspection with Cara’s signature clever observations and humor.

10. Diddle by Daniel Staniforth

With a poet’s sensibility, Daniel Staniforth weaves lush sentences as intricate as lace doilies, telling the immigrant story with an oddly unexpected and delightful fairy tale flair.

And just one more for the road…

11. Either Way I’m Celebrating by Sommer Browning

This is my kind of poetry! Irreverent, hilarious and highly intelligent, Sommer breaks poetry taboos, draws naughty comics and leaves you alternating between humorous shock and poignant recognition.

Oct 3: Kinky Mink to appear at Jonathan Montgomery’s “Pizzas and Mermaid”

BOULDER

October 3

7 pm

Kinky Mink will make a special guest appearance at Jonathan Montgomery’s:

mermaid

Boulder Poetry Tribe and StarWater present “PIZZAS AND MERMAID: A Grand Experience” to celebrate the release of Jonathan Montgomery’s book! With Local Talent Sensations – KINKY MINK, DJ CHE CHE, TREAPHORT, and more! Show starts @ 7pm – advanced tickets available.

Rowdy Mermaid Kombucha

2516 49th St Suite 2, Boulder, Colorado 80301

Join FB event here!

My Top 10 Books by Friends 2013

I have awesome, brilliant, prolific friends. Here is my list of books by friends for 2013: Note–these books weren’t necessarily published this year, only read by me this year. And if your book isn’t on it, it’s because I’m a terribly slow reader (as many of you know)…or I secretly hate you. In no particular order:

1. Wild Life by Kathy Fish

2. Taxis and Shit by Jonathan Montgomery

3. Paper Thin by Rob Geisen

4. Marvelous Things by David Wagner

5. From the Umberplatzen and The Merrill Diaries by Susan Tepper

6. The President and Other Jokes by Sommer Browning

7. The Boy in the Well (forthcoming) by Nick Morris

8. Godless Comics by Kona Morris, Jon Olsen, Chris Henry and Nate Jordon

9. Blood a Cold Blue by James Claffey

10. Her Skin is a Costume by Meg Tuite

11. AND…The Tenth of December by George Saunders, who is nice enough to return my emails.

books by friends