Bläeckfisk is the Swedish translation for the word octopus. I am not Swedish, but I do own a lot of furniture from Sweden and I like octopuses while admiring their multi-tasking ability. I would like to travel to Sweden at some point, plus I think it is a pretty cool looking word. Anyhow, speaking of words, I guess you could say that is why we are here. Words are the foundation for way we try to wrap our thoughts around everything in the galaxy. The tendrils that lead to emotions and curiosity. I am not here to solve the mysteries of the universe, just to discuss words in general. Specifically words written by other people and have been printed off and slapped between two slices of thin card stock. Many of these sandwiches go on to bigger and better things, some bigger and better than others. So, I guess we will be talking about those as well. If you share an interest in words or enjoi seeing what they can look like in action....välkommen! (Swedish for welcome.)

Monday, December 21, 2015

B24: Wolf in White Van by John Darnielle

"I treaded the carpet backwards from my parent's door, alone and awake, and I caught sight of the painting of the cowboys at sunsets, smoke rising from their campfire in the foothills, black and even as it sought the coming darkness."

This is a powerful little story from first time author John Darnielle. I find it really difficult to find a story that keeps my attention when told in the first person, but I had no trouble charging ahead and sometimes backwards and to the side with this book. It is expertly written and anyone who is a fan of unique prose and sharp technique will enjoy this book.

The story is centered around the life of Sean Phillips and takes us across several dimensions of his life. Most of what is discussed is post "accident" where something horrific has happened to Sean's face. We find out what happened in the middle of the book, which really helps shift into focus the surrounding events of Sean's life. The why is what really drives this book, so much so that we are left wondering up until the last page. More so than the "accident", the central theme in this book is the power of the human mind. After his life shattering event, Sean creates a mail-in-of-sorts role playing board game, helping him scrape out some sort of income. He often retreats to the corners of his mind when out in public, or being gawked at in therapy, planning out the next series of moves. The disposition he carries as a result becomes impressive as he copes with the reality of his life's trajectory. Sean literary creates a different world inside his head and is able to function in real life because of it.

I really loved this book and suggest picking it up. Obviously a work of fiction, Sean's story is one that will stick with me for awhile. Not too mention one amazing book cover. Read this one people.

Friday, December 4, 2015

B23: California by Edan Lepucki

"All at once, sudden as a hiccup, they reached the end of labyrinth."

It feels good to be back. Not that there hasn't been a ridiculous amount of writing taking place, more on that later, but I just wrapped up an interesting book for anyone searching for something this side of dystopian. I have mixed feelings on this one but think it is definitely worth a read.

The story takes place in the not-so-distant-but-sort-of faraway-future and natural disasters have wrecked havoc on the United States. So much to the point that entire cities and social structures and civilized behavior has been forced into the wilderness. We soon meet Frida and Cal, a couple who is doing their best to maintain any shred of decent living in a forest outside of Los Angeles. They have not been too adventurous to this point, but between ennui and curiosity they start asking some interesting questions to the one man, a trader, they know to interact with others living beyond their camp. The pull to find out who else is out only grows and soon our happily married couple sets out to discover what and who is living beyond the beyond. The ringleader of what is out there will shake both Frida and Cal to the core.

I really enjoyed the setting and plot but where I think this author really shines is through her dialogue. It is both entertaining and witty and helps keep the story moving along its trajectory while keeping us wondering about the fate that is awaits our couple. This book makes you think of our future and touches on many current issues that we can only hope unfolded differently. I recommend stuffing someone's stocking with this story, they will be intrigued.