The Driftless Area Review End of Year Report

Off the Grid for the Holidays

I am taking some time off for the holidays, heading back to Wisconsin to visit friends and family. As such, I will be off-line. The Driftless Area Review won’t be updated until next year. Happy Holidays to all my readers and followers.

A Busy Year

It has been a busy year. My reviewing schedule increased dramatically. Not only did the frequency of my reviews for CCLaP increase to one every week, but I also wrote regular reviews for the New York Journal of Books. On occasion, I’d write a review for thethepoetryblog. On the plus side, it was great to write reviews for all these various venues. On the negative side, this has led to some neglect of the Driftless Area Review. Add to this my other creative side projects and things can get back-burnered quite easily. But the increased workload has been a blessing in disguise. Not only has the quality and the frequency of my reviews and essays increased, but I will re-focus that energy into writing more material exclusive to this blog. (I’d say “write more content” but content just strikes me as a vague and bloodless word. This is prose, not filler.)

On Being Human and On Being Human Redux

The big news this year is the release of my first book, On Being Human: Critical looks at books and movies that examine the question of humanity. You can buy the limited-edition CCLaP Hypermodern Edition here or the Kindle version here. There are also options for those wanting to download it for free or the “pay what you want” option. Whether you buy it or read it for free, it doesn’t matter to me. I just would like people to read it. (If you think it’s good, you can throw up a review on Amazon, Goodreads, Librarything, or your own blog.)

The question, “What does it mean to be human?” still remains a valid one. Because the subject matter continues to interest me, I’m continuing the CCLaP essay series on my own blog. On Being Human Redux will showcase essays, this time on different material. I will look at a wide range of material, including: Watership Down, by Richard Adams; Orphan Black (BBC); A.I.: Artificial Intelligence, by Steven Spielberg; Endgame, by Samuel Beckett; the Cassandra Kresnov Novels; The Inheritors, by William Golding; Use of Weapons, by Iain Banks; and others.

CCLaP-related Stuff

The Best Books List of 2013 is under construction. I have a large selection of books picked, including books that I have not written full-length reviews for. My second themed essay series, The NSFW Files, continues into the new year. The book is slated to come out November 2014. Many changes are a-brewing over at CCLaP, including a cheaper retail price for The CCLaP Journal ($8.99, down from the ridonkulous $34) and CCLaP’s transition into paperback editions.

Word-drunk Love: Ada, Darconville, and Hadrian the Seventh

The Ada Roundtable has expanded into a three-part discussion. The foci will be Darconville’s Cat by Alexander Theroux, Ada, or Ardor: a Family Chronicle, by Vladimir Nabokov, and Hadrian the Seventh, by Baron Corvo (Fr. Rolfe). Each of these novels is a monument to linguistic excess. The prerequisites remain the same: if you’ve read the book(s), you’re good. Even if you’ve only read one of these books and you want to participate, that’s also great. To contact me, send me an email at the address listed below.

Upcoming Reviews and Other Business

There will be new reviews forthcoming on the Driftless Area Review. These include:

Louis XXX, by George Bataille (for Translation Tuesdays)

An Epistemology of Flesh, by Daniel Klawitter

Like One: Poems for Boston, edited by Deborah Finkelstein

Closed Chambers: The Rise, Fall, and Future of the Supreme Court, by Edward Lazarus (for Mondays with the Supremes)

Crossover: a Cassandra Kresnov Novel, by Joel Shepherd (for On Being Human Redux)

I will also update the Book Review Master List for all titles reviewed in 2013.

Coffee is for Closers is closing

Anyone want to run a blog about the collisions between politics and pop culture? After much deliberation, I’m making the executive decision to stop updating the Coffee is for Closers blog. It’s been over a year since I posted on the blog, I see no reason to continue it. On the other hand, if you are interested in politics and pop culture, contact me at the email listed below and we can talk. It would be nice to see it continue and I would like to pass the torch to a worthwhile recipient.

Random Creative Projects Rundown

Finishing the last revisions of my sci fi novel; writing a screenplay for a TV pilot (based on one of the books I reviewed); polishing a short story; and some other stuff.

Contact Info

As always, send your review queries to: driftlessareareview @ hotmail . com

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