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Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail
Oh, man. This book has it all. Tragedy, drugs, lust, infidelity, nature, humor, adventure, the human freakin' condition! I loved so many things about ...more
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Oct 29, 2011
A Common Pornography
This is it. My first book with a major press. After 20 years of writing for various small presses, it feels good to have this out to (hopefully) a muc ...more
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Jan 22, 2010
The Best American Essays 2013
So many great essays in this collection. Cheryl Strayed has assembled a treasure chest of essays that lean heavily to the personal, transformative, li ...more
Dec 22, 2013
Oct 20, 2013
Excavation: A Memoir
When I first encountered the writing of Wendy C. Ortiz, it was her essay, Mix Tape, on The Nervous Breakdown. It was a piece of writing that stylistic ...more
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Jul 23, 2014
The Chronology of Water
As been noted in other reviews, this one is an emotional wrecking ball. You'll cry at the beginning, a few times in the middle, and for sure at the en ...more
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Jun 07, 2011
The Self Unstable
It took me a few pages to get into this for some reason, but when I did it was like ZOOOOM--and my head was buzzing with each page! I like how these p ...more
Mar 12, 2014
Mar 06, 2014
The Mistress's Daughter
Sometimes I read books by authors I like with a generous mindset. When I first started Homes's memoir I was enjoying it pretty well. Then I talked wit ...more
Dec 02, 2008
Sep 25, 2008
Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous and Obscure
This book comes out in January 08 but I just read the galley. And yes, it really is a collection of 6-word memoirs. About 1,000 of them. They're compu ...more
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Dec 05, 2007
Altitude Sickness
Dremousis's candid and searing essay explores the grief she experienced after her longtime friend and lover dies in a mountain climbing accident. This ...more
Oct 22, 2014
Oct 16, 2014
Calling Dr. Laura: A Graphic Memoir
It's so easy to fall into this endearing and bittersweet graphic memoir. It's as good as Bechdel's Fun Home but it also has a wonderful overcast Portl ...more
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May 17, 2013
Kurt Schwitters: Color and Collage
Large and lovely book brought to us by the awesome folks at Houston's Menil Foundation. There are over a hundred color pics that make you want to cut ...more
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Mar 31, 2014
Inferno (a poet's novel)
The subtitle "A Poet's Novel" makes me wonder what makes it different from say, "a novelist's novel" or "an artist's novel." Is it the gonzo approach ...more
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Nov 26, 2011
The Alcoholic
Though this graphic novel is billed as a fictionalized account of Jonathan Ames struggles with alcohol, I'm gonna go ahead and label it a memoir. Ames ...more
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Oct 13, 2008
Please Don't Kill the Freshman: A Memoir
Working with Zoe Trope, publishing her chapbook version of PDKTF, and helping her get her deal with HarperCollins before she was even out of high scho ...more
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Jul 11, 2007
Pity the Animal
It was probably less than a year ago that I discovered Chelsea Hodson's writing. Then I was lucky enough to read with her in NY late last year. Then I ...more
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May 20, 2014
Bread and Wine
A (literally) gritty but heartfelt true story of an unusual romance. More proof about the power of love and humanity.
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Nov 29, 2013
I blurbed this book and that's great but let me just reiterate that this book is both beast and beauty. A small press classic.
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Jan 30, 2014
I like this memoir for its meandering qualities, the lack of plot, and the simplest stories told in a highly detailed style. Even the chapter about ho ...more
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Dec 02, 2008
Once I Was Cool: Personal Essays
Megan Stielstra’s wonderful writing and her storytelling bravery is truly a gift for everyone who reads her. Once I Was Cool is refreshing, hilarious, ...more
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May 13, 2014
Yokohama Threeway: And Other Small Shames
Lisick recalls many mortifying tales in this very funny collection. I like how the stories sometimes link to each other. A chronological journey of bl ...more
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Jun 15, 2013
Gang of Four's Entertainment!
A 3-star book for a 5-star album. I respect the author's hyper analytical and intelligent approach to the legendary 1979 album, but it just comes off ...more
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Jul 22, 2014
Crapalachia: A Biography of a Place
More personal and sedate than his short stories, Crapalachia still slays your heart with McClanahan's personal tales of family and death and sadness.
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Jun 15, 2013
Tiger, Tiger: A Memoir
It would be strange to give a pedophilia memoir five stars but I almost did. Fragoso is a gifted writer whose bravery is evident in how romantically s ...more
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Jun 28, 2011
The Residue Years
This is a different kind of Portland novel and Mitchell Jackson is a different kind of Gordon Lish student. Told in alternating chapters that ramp up ...more
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Aug 09, 2013
Collage: The Making of Modern Art
A pretty thorough (though sometimes stiff and overly academic) look at the history of collage art (up until the 90s at least). Pretty great sampling o ...more
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Mar 09, 2014
Black Cloud
An unassuming but quick and gritty collection of stories. I think these must be true stories because they manage to carry a pain and wisdom in them th ...more
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Apr 17, 2014
Breakup: The End of a Love Story
Really raw stuff. Brutally honest and affecting.

A couple of representative quotes:
1. "It's not true that stories climax and resolve. It's only true i
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Jun 30, 2012
Another Bullshit Night In Suck City: A Memoir
It's as good as everyone says it is. I like his ability to write pretty straight-forward passages and then do some weird poetic tangents.
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Nov 29, 2008
Her: A Memoir
This is a super intense memoir, darkened by rape, drugs, depression, and death. It sometimes felt a little daunting but was illuminating and rewarding ...more
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Jun 17, 2014
Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar
This book is so much more than a collection of advice columns. This is a wallop of timeless beauty, grace, and no-BS life stories. The people who writ ...more
Sep 18, 2012
Sep 02, 2012
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