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Erin Kodicek on March 31, 2017

IsadoraIn this edition, the mother of modern dance, Chuck Klosterman talks Tim Tebow, and one of the Amazon editors kicks off National Poetry Month with whiskey and words (make that two editors).

Erin Kodicek: I'm going to look at Isadora by Amelia Gray, historical fiction that resurrects "the mother of modern dance," Isadora Duncan. If you're not a dancer (and I am decidedly not), the only thing you might know about Ms. Duncan is the freak accident--the mother of all wardrobe malfunctions--that caused her untimely demise. But there is certainly far more to this fascinating, and unapologetically provocative woman. In Isadora, Gray focuses on the death of Duncan's children, and how this crushing loss impacted all aspects of her life, but especially her art.

Jon Foro: My April was occupied by some dark stuff: a biography of Jim Jones and a tale of oil and over two-dozen murders set the mood for much of the month. I’m going to lighten things up with Chuck Klosterman X, the latest collection of essays from the noted pop culture commentator/philosopher. The X signifies his 10th book (rather than the adoption of a radicalized persona), and this has what you’d expect from the longtime contributor to Grantland, Esquire, GQ, and more: essays ranging from Eddie Van Halen to Breaking Bad, Jonathan Franzen, KISS, and Tim Tebow. And for the record, the “o” in Klosterman is long.

Adrian Liang: For a few months now I’ve been happily anticipating getting my hands on r.h. Sin’s new volume of poetry, Whiskey Words & a Shovel III (April 4). Finally this is the weekend I’m going to immerse myself in his words about the fragility of real love. This isn’t “petals dancing on a spring stream” sort of poetry. This is bold poetry that stares into the hurt corners—and also joyful corners—of the heart and gives straight-talk about taking care of yourself. Speaking of love, I’m hoping to start Sarah Shoemaker’s Mr. Rochester (May 9), a retelling of Jane Eyre from Rochester’s point of view. Rochester is not one of my favorite literary romantic heroes (I was delighted when he fell to Mr. Darcy in our Middlemarch Madness contest earlier this week), but at least he’s not as awful as selfish, violent Heathcliff. (Boo, Heathcliff.) I hope Shoemaker’s new novel will change my mind.

Penny Mann: Last night I started the final book in Joe Hart's Dominion Trilogy, The First City. I was instantly hooked on this storyline (mostly as a result of Hart's ability to transport you into the dystopian world) when I stumbled upon the first book, The Last Girl, last March, and was stoked (that's right, stoked) that book two, and now three, were released soon after. I am also still working my way through Clancy's backlist. Next up is The Sum of All Fears which comes with the mental challenge of picturing Ben Affleck's Jack Ryan instead of the Harrison Ford one. 

Sarah Harrison Smith: Lest you think we book editors lie around eating bon bons while dipping into the occasional bodice-ripper when the mood takes us, let me tell you that I am spending every waking hour reading Deborah Heiligman’s forthcoming biography, Vincent and Theo: The Van Gogh Brothers. I’m a huge admirer of Ms. Heiligman’s 2009 book about the Darwins, Charles and Emma: The Darwins’ Leap of Faith and her terrific picture book, The Boy Who Loved Math: The Improbable Life of Paul Erdos, illustrated by LeUyen Pham. Like her book on the Darwins, Vincent and Theo is being marketed for young adults, but Heiligman’s writing and her attention to the details of the brothers’ lives are more than good enough for readers of any age. I’m excited to be interviewing Heiligman for the blog next week, but first I’ve got to finish the book. Now, please pass me another bon bon.


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