Hindsight 20/Something is a chronicle of quarter-life crises-stories of moving to the midwest and losing a lover, losing your mind and changing your pronouns, renting a house with a urinal in the living room, coming out , moving back in with your parents. It's a book-shaped living room of honest friends -two nurses, an architect, a med student, two poets, a teacher, a software engineer, the depresses, the wandering, the anxious-all in their 20s. All here telling you that it's probably not okay right now. And that's okay.
543Austin Beaton is a poet essayist 20something who studied regret at the University of Oregon, where he was a finalist for the Walter and Nancy Kidd Memorial Writing Competition in Poetry. His work has appeared in Boston Accent, Porridge Magazine, Angel City Review and elsewhere. He lives near the Pacific Ocean and gives nicknames.
Hindsight 20/Something is a response to that conversation young 20somethings keep having at happy hour, over FaceTime, alone in their brain: 'I don't know what I'm doing. It's all so crazy. My job's fine, I guess. I want to move. I want a different life, but I'm not sure how to change it and even if I could, so what?'
Being in your 20's is seen as a golden time for many -youth, good looks, energy, nights out - there's a lot to enjoy and a lot to be thankful for. However, it's also a time of great uncertainty for many people - living away from home, outside of the structure that school and university provides, and faced with bills, jobs, relationships, along with the many expectations that family and society can place on an individual at that age.
Here poet and writer Austin Beaton collects the stories of a wide range of 20-somethings - covering a huge range of emotions and providing a collection that's moving, relatable and immediate - and brilliantly conveys the maelstrom of feelings and urges that can be part of being in your 20's. Family, Love, Anxiety, Depression, Drink, Drugs, Religion, Work, Music - all are covered in recollections that range from a few paragraphs long to short stories of a few pages. What's fantastic about this collection is that, whilst the stories are clearly carefully collated, they're not over-edited - leaving a certain amount of rawness and individuality to shine through in each story, making all very readable, and offering a sense of immediacy and connection to the individuals sharing their stories and journeys with the reader.
As someone only just out of my 20's, I found this a collection that's both relatable and assuring - with all the concerns and emotions explored here, I find it impossible to think that any reader wouldn't find connections and similarities with the content.
Original, immediate and necessary -this is a well curated content that's appealing, rewarding, and ultimately comforting as it enables the reader to find connections and companionship in the recollections of others.
Following the shocking events of The Silver Wolf, James Ryker is back. James Ryker receives a coded message through a secret drop point, a means of communication known only to him and one other person. The problem is, that person is his ex-boss, Mackie... and he’s already dead.But the cry for help is real, and it’s a request Ryker can’t refuse.Travelling to New York alone and without official sanction, Ryker has a single goal in mind, yet even he couldn’t have bargained for the violent world he’s soon embroiled in. Caught in the middle of a spiraling chaos, with the FBI on one side and warring underworld bosses on the other, Ryker must put all of his skills to the test in order to come out on top and keep his word. In a world full of lies and deceit, loyalty is everything, and it’s time for James Ryker to pay his dues.
Having sold over half a million copies, best-selling author Rob Sinclair is back with another installment in the James Ryker series. Having graduated from Nottingham University in 2002, Sinclair spent 13 years working for a global accounting firm, before a promise to his wife to write a 'can't put down' thriller, led to a full time career as a writer.
Sinclair has built a fascinating character in James Ryker/Carl Logan -assured, level-headed and calm in the face of danger, but also flawed, human, and hugely likeable. Building over the character of a number of books has allowed Sinclair to create a character that feels extremely real - and having read the character for some time now, he's always one I look forward to revisiting.
In The Green Viper, the reader is plunged straight into the action - and Sinclair doesn't let up on the pace. It makes for a fast, easy read full of twists - but Sinclair's skill as a writer ensures that he backs all of the style with a serious amount of substance.
Taking the reader on a transatlantic journey, Sinclair described both London and New York with an easy sense of familiarity -the descriptions never labored, but ensuring that one is swiftly transported. From there, a fascinating plot unfolds that involves the FBI, a complex cast of characters, a healthy dose of betrayal, and a breathtaking climax that is spread out over several action packed-chapters. Many action thrillers tend to be quite shallow, but that certainly isn't the case with The Green Viper. Sinclair is clear to show that the decisions of his characters have consequences, and as such moments in The Green Viper pack some serious emotional heft -with the reader rooting for Ryker throughout. The climax is satisfying, but the door is very clearly left open for another book in the series, and I'll be very keen to see exactly what kind of trouble James Ryker will be getting into next time...
"When the ship was carried across
the plains, on a sea of things that
defied inventory -pines, seaweed,
Toto washlets, asphalt, creatures
- it was one of those days when the world
would not behave, would not
turn up for inspection"
Author, editor, photographer and publisher Matthew Smith publishes an astonishingly accomplished collection of poetry in "Sea of the Edge" -a slim volume influenced by Japan and covering a wide range of subjects.
I make no secret of my love for Wundor - a publishing company only set up in the last few years, but one that has swiftly become beloved by me for consistently publishing intelligent and attractive pieces of literature, ranging from fiction through to travel guides. Not only are the works all of a high standard, but Wundor also place higher importance on presentation than most publishing companies, ensuring that every work published is as beautiful to look at as it is to read.
The first work I read by Wundor was Matthew Smith's first novel. "The Waking". A powerful meditation on family and literature, it was a book I rated extremely highly, with Smith's experience as a poet allowing him a mastery of words - ensuring that the prose in "The Waking" was immediate and effective.
As a result, I was hugely excited to read Smith's poetry - and I'm relieved to say that "Sea of the Edge" more than lived up to my expectations.
A contrasting, curated collection, these poems take the reader through intimate recollections, across the seas to Japan, and from the modern day to times past. Varying in terms of style and length, each poem is distinct enough to ensure that the readers interest is kept up throughout -every poem both different and surprising.
Available now to order from Wundor Editions, "Sea of the Edge" is a collection of poetry that's accessible, immediate and hugely accomplished.
Discover the mystery of the two-headed rose and many more Strange Secrets in this new collection of extraordinary stories by Mike Russell. ‘It can’t be real.’ ‘But it is.’ Strange Secrets invites you to discover the magical and the marvellous. Startlingly inventive and constantly entertaining, these unique, vital and vividly realised stories will take you to places you have never been before. Strange Secrets is Mike Russell’s third short-story collection.
Author Mike Russell was born in 1973. He grew up in the small village of Pulborough in the South of England. As a child, he enjoyed daydreaming, art, and writing strange stories. As an adult, he enjoys daydreaming, art, and writing strange stories.
I'm not always the biggest fan of short stories - I always tend to find that they bring to life interesting characters and ideas, yet finish with them too quickly - leaving me for a longform explanation and lamenting the fact that I have to move onto another tale and meet another group of characters. Books like "Strange Secrets" though, have begun to change my mind over recent years - and Mike Russell's skill lies in crafting strange, surreal and transportive tales that work brilliantly as short stories - glimpses into worlds that provide the reader with fresh emotions and ideas every time. The ability to provoke a reader into examining their thoughts and feelings whilst also thrilling and entertaining them is a rare one - but one Mike Russell clearly has and utilises with great skill. I'm very excited to see what he does next....
The Kenneth Williams companion is the first, and only, definitive book on the career of Kenneth Williams. Written by Adam Endacott - a London based communications Director and editor of the Architectural Technology Journal, who has spent his life documenting and collecting everything to do with Kenneth Williams. Here he brings that lifetime of research and dedication into this detailed and encyclopedic guide to the career of a brilliant man.
Kenneth Williams was born in Central London in 1926 - beginning his acting career in 1948. A stint in repertory theatre led to his comedy career beginning in earnest with "Hancock's Half Hour", "Round the Horne" regular appearances on Radio 4's "Just a Minute", and, perhaps most famously, the "Carry On" films, appearing in 26 of the 31 films. His personal life was filled with close friendships - with people including playwright Joe Orton, and actresses Maggie Smith, Sheila Hancock, and Carry on co-star Barbara Windsor. However, whilst private about his home life, Williams admitted to a deep sense of loneliness - and as his health declined in his later years, depression took a stronger hold on him. He died in 1988 from an overdose of barbiturates - whether it was suicide or accidental is still unknown. However, with his many appearances in what was regarded as a Golden Age for British comedy, Williams legacy is a beloved figure whose legacy will, no doubt, be hugely long lasting.
30 years after the death of Williams, author Adam Endacott has written this definitive and remarkably well researched guide into the many appearances of Kenneth, and it's a hugely impressive achievement. Filled with detailed information on the TV shows, Radio broadcasts and films that Williams appeared in, its a reference guide that has clearly had huge amount of work put into it - but unlike many reference books of its type, it isn't a dry read. Endacott takes care to scatter fascinating facts and personal detail throughout the book which ensures that, whilst this certainly isn't a biography, the reader gets a strong sense of Williams' character nonetheless. In addition, the sheer passion that Endacott has for Williams shines through and engages the reader - it's a great book to pick up from time to time in order to immerse yourself into the life and work of a comedy genius.
What happens when a closeted jock, a scrawny nerd, and a pair of bratty cheerleaders develop superpowers in a small-town high school? can they stop a pair of super-powered classmates hellbent on reshaping the student body in a darker image? Or will teen angst, jealousy, and ill-timed romance doom them all?
Steven Bereznai is a former magazine editor, recreational water polo player, fan of science fiction, avid TV viewer, and author of a wide range of books - several of which have been reviewed here at ThePageisPrinted.
I'd wanted to read "Queeroes" for some time - having loved both "I Want Superpowers" and "How a Loser like me survived the Zombie Apocalypse", I was really keen to read the author's earlier work - especially as I'm such a big fan of the superhero genre in general. Luckily, Steven was kind enough to send me copies of both "Queeroes" and the sequel "Queeroes 2", and I spent a happy weekend transported to yet another clever, funny and moving world that Steven Bereznai has created.
This is a man who knows his pop culture - and Queeroes is set in a high school, meaning that Bereznai is free to explore the various tropes, cliques and groups that come with such a setting. He does so with great care - peppering his pages with knowing references and nods to existing works, but always keeping things fresh - he's not an author who relies on tropes but instead utilises them when needed to great effect. His character voices are spot on too - reminding me of my teenage years, but also bringing to mind witty, quippy high school environments such as those in which beloved pieces of pop culture like Buffy and Clueless were set. All in all, "Queeroes" blend the everyday with the fantastical in a way that's both original and hugely readable. Bereznai is a skilled author who constantly produces work that combines heart, wit and plot to make for brilliant reads. His love for pop culture blended with sheer skill for writing mean he's an author who I always enjoy - and the Queeroes series will take you head first into a brilliantly realised world full of high school drama, earthshaking battles, and high school drama.
Pages of a weathered original sonata manuscript - the gift of a Czech immigrant living in Queens - come into the hands of Meta Taverner, a young musicologist whose concert piano career was cut short by an injury. The gift comes with the request that Meta find the manuscript's true owner -a Prague friend the old woman has not heard from since the Second World War forced them apart - and make the three-part Sonata whole again. Leaving New York behind for the land of Dvorak and Kafka, Meta sets out on an unforgettable search to locate the remaining movements of the sonata and uncover a story that has influenced the course of many lives, even as it becomes clear that she isn't the only one seeking the music's secrets.
Bradford Morrow is a novelist, short story writer, essayist, and editor of literary journal Conjunctions. He teaches at Bard College - a private college based in the state of New York. In "The Prague Sonata" he's written an epic, continent spanning book that's as evocative as it is moving - a book that's been years in the making but is absolutely worth your time.
My lack of knowledge regarding the history of the Czech Republic is shamefully limited, and it's not a country I'd ever visited - so had little idea of the events that would form the backdrop of "The Prague Sonata". Morrow not only informs the reader, but brings Prague to life in such vivid fashion that it becomes an important character in the book - as living and breathing as the two women who take most of the plot. As someone with a background that featured music heavily, I loved quite how integral music is to the plot too - and it helps to make this book a sensory experience in terms of time, place and sound. The characters are excellent, and the plot gripping - although slightly meandering at times. My only slight grumble is that it can be hard to initially grasp what time period a chapter is set in, leading to some initial confusion - but once the reader gets to know the characters better it becomes far easier to sense in whose company your spending a chapter. Apparently it took the author over ten years to research and write this - and it really shows, with words carefully chosen and technical terms with what is clearly a high level of expertise. At its heart though, "The Prague Sonata" is a tale about humanity - both the good and the bad, and takes the readers on a journey that's as well written as it is memorable. Here's hoping we don't have to wait a decade for Morrow's next book!
Mysteries. Ideas uncovered. Strange creatures. Forbidden words, used anyway. Ideas that scare us, make us angry, wistful, ashamed. The importance of a tiny, electric moment. All this pulled into the light, revealed by the imagination and bravery of these writers. They bring to life the sound of an act of charity; the delicious strut of a woman the day after taking a new lover; the one person in university halls who notices the stealth details of a cheating couple.
The stories and poetry here - some long and unfolding, others short like heart glugs of vodka - honour these unsung moments. They also showcase the voices of the habitually unseen - writing of fear translated into bigotry; tribalism and the violnce it causes; the patient suffering of a drag queen, watching his mother deny him to her death bed; the racist imprint of a father on a daughter's love life. The importance of finding the right voice and language. The colloquial, the vernacular, the dialect, the accents. The 'bad' language.
Welcome to "The Unseen". We hope it illuminates you
I have an odd relationship with short stories and articles - I've read huge amounts that I've massively enjoyed, but when in a bookshop it's unlikely that I'll pick any up - my mind always more drawn to engrossing myself in a long-form novel, or delving deep into the pages of a weighty history book. However, Fincham Press - the publishing house part of the University of Roehampton were kind enough to send me a copy of "The Unseen" - their latest collection of short stories, flash fiction, poetry and non-fiction, and settling down to read I found myself blown away by the staggering amount of content and talent on display in this collection.
I'd underestimated just how transportive a collection of short writings like this could be - but the volume of content means that the reader is rapidly transported from place to place - be it the American Desert or University Halls. The tone rapidly differs from piece to piece, with stories ranging from dark and macabre through to light and funny - ensuring that the reader is kept on their toes and engaged at every turn of the page. However the main thing I was impressed by was the sheer quality of these stories - the writing is at a level that's consistently high - and impressed me far more than many collections of writing I've read by established authors. It's clear that the University of Roehampton has a remarkable creative writing department, and Fincham Press is well placed to promote and share their work. It's always exciting to read genuinely new and original writing, and I have little doubt that some of the authors featured in this collection of "The Unseen" will go on to remarkable things in the years to come.
This is not a sex book but a book about sex. Isabel Losada brings her unique blend of humour, curiosity and honesty to the still-taboo subject of sexuality and pleasure. This is a brave, funny and often vulnerable quest to find out how we can make our sex lives better. On behalf of all women, a slightly terrified Isabel begins with a women's workshop where she has to get naked; she journeys through the first international conference on clitoral stroking; is informed of eleven different forms of orgasm (ten of which she hasn't had); and endures Kegel exercises and mystical sensations with tantric masters.
So, a book about sex. That, I can manage. But a book about female sexuality? Terrifying. Apart from a very brief encounter as a teenager, my experiences of sexual intimacy with a woman have been non-existent, and as a fully fledged homosexual it's really not something I know all that much about. Mercifully, I couldn't have asked for a better guide than Isabel Losada - and "Sensation" follows Losada on a journey of discovery through varied experiences - some bizarre, some eye opening, but all told with warm humour and a complete lack of judgement - the author is keen to learn and to impart her findings to the reader with an openness and honesty that shatters any potential awkwardness that the reader (well, me) may have initially felt when picking up such a book.
Isabel's journey takes in Tantric Sex, Clitoris Stroking, Yoni Healing, Tantric Massage, Light Beams, Kegels, and Pelvic Floors amongst others, exploring pleasure and the female sex in intimate and intricate detail. Losada's skill as a writer ensures that the reader feels like they're on a journey of discovery right there with her - and her combination of openness and warm wit makes one feel comfortable no matter the situation they're encountering. If you are at all tempted to discover the complicated beast that is female sexual pleasure then this is a great way to dive in - and Losada a marvellous guide. On the other hand, if you have no great interest in female sexual pleasure, but are nonetheless keen to read an involving, warm and hugely funny tale of different people, different cultures and deals with intimacy not only in terms of sex but also in relationships and humans in general. Why are we so afraid to talk about sex? I don't know - but I'm bloody glad that Isabel Losada has and I hope many, many people follow her lead.
Pippa is a writer who longs for success. Celeste tries to convince herself that her feelings for her married lover are reciprocated. Ash makes strategic use of his childhood in Sri Lanka but blots out the memory of a tragedy from that time. The Life to Come reveals how the shadows cast by both the past and the future can transform, distort and undo the present, and takes in a wide range of locales - travelling from Sydney to Paris and Sri Lanka, with the reader being introduced to an intriguing cast of characters along the way
Michelle de Kretser is an Australian novelist, born in Sri Lanka but having lived in Australia since the age of 14. Her first novel was published in 1999, and she's grown in success since then - her second novel winning the Tasmania Pacific Prize, and her third and fourth novels nominated and winning several hugely impressive literary awards. A former editor for travel guide company Lonely Planet, de Kretser clearly loves to learn about different countries and cultures - as "The Life to Come" sends the reader between Australia, France and Sri Lanka, and described them with a startling effectiveness - making it a read that's transportive and immediate.
Pippa is the lead character here, and the one who links the themes and characters of the story together. She's interesting enough, but it's in the smaller characters where de Kretser's writing really shines - glimpses of fascinating people met in wonderfully described places. The book almost reads like a collection of novellas with an overarching theme - and that worked well for me, making it an easy read and enabling Kretser to introduce as many themes and concepts as she likes without them becoming too overbearing, as they perhaps could in one straightforward narrative. In fact, several historical moments touched upon were completely new to me, which added a new layer of interest - but at times I did feel that I perhaps missed moments of humour or satire due to my not being Australian - this is a book that deals with Australian culture and society head on, and as someone whose experience of Australia essentially extends to watching Neighbours as a child, I feel that there were aspects I didn't appreciate as much as I should have done.
However, this is a highly enjoyable read written by a skilled author - compelling, clever, and constantly encouraging the reader to question the decisions of the characters and the society they find themselves in - many thanks to the publishers for the copy.