It's November, so MERRY CHRISTMAS.
Hey there. Welcome back. Or, I guess, you should welcome me back. I was away last week at a friend's wedding and didn't get a chance to write the newsletter. It was a traditional Hindu ceremony, and the guests were invited and encouraged by the couple to actively participate in that culture for the weekend, which translated to my kurta and Kelsey's saree for the ceremony itself (pictured below). It was absolutely beautiful, and I got to eat so much delicious food afterward--and visit the Salvador Dalí museum in St. Petersburg!
It strikes me just now that the bride is someone I've mentioned on the podcast many times: SJ Sindu, author of Marriage of a Thousand Lies, an absolutely gorgeous debut novel published earlier this year by SoHo Press. If you're interested, it's available now in the Bookshelf's online store.
This week on the podcast, Annie and I chatted with another literary friend, CJ Hauser, author of The From-Aways and assistant professor of English at Colgate University. It seems to us as booksellers that many of our customers are afraid of short story collections, or at least don't know where to begin. We hope to remedy that! You can listen to the episode here. Longtime listeners may remember that CJ was actually one of Annie's very first guests on the show way back in episode 4, which you can find here.
Chris's Media Log
The thing about me and traveling is that I nearly always end up totally fasting from media for the duration of my trip, barring a podcast here and there or a stray academic essay in the airport. Since I drove from Tallahassee to Tampa for this trip and had two other people in the car with me, I went four straight days with nothing read or listened to. But all is not lost! I started teaching 12th-century Old French and Anglo-Norman romance in my medieval lit class this week, so I got to revisit a few of my very favorite medieval texts. Marie de France's Bisclavret is a very early werewolf story, assigned in the spirit of Halloween, and it goes a long way toward complicating what we consider "wild" and "civilized." Sometimes appearances can be deceiving and it might be a person's deeds that define their character--a pretty modern moral brought to us from the "dark age" of the 1180s.
Bendis, Legacy: The Spiders
Spencer, Legacy: The Americas
a rough outline of my SAMLA paper
Stranger Things, season 2, episode 1
Chretien de Troyes, Yvain
Waid, Avengers #11
Waid, Champions #12
Ewing, USAvengers #10
Zub, Uncanny Avengers #27
Marie de France, Lanval
Marie de France, Bisclavret
PS: I didn't get to read anything on Halloween because I was running errands and writing some biographical material for a friend's poetry reading, but I did dress up as Bert from Mary Poppins for what I'm pretty sure is my first ever Halloween couples costume.
Annie's Quick Review
Hi, I'm Annie, and I'm in a reading slump. And look: It's not for lack of material. I'm in the middle of three or four great books right now, but I don't really want to read them. I always forget how much the last quarter of the year requires of me, and as a result, I'm often exhausted, I default to television, and my reading life suffers. But there is one rather surprising book I'm compelled to read and perhaps finish this week: The Stranger Beside Me by Ann Rule. This oft-praised book about serial killer Ted Bundy is supposed to be the epitome of true crime, and when a podcast listener recommended it to me, I decided to take the plunge. Unlike a lot of true crime books I've read, The Stranger Beside Me is compelling and frightening and well-written; it's not quite in the same journalistic nonfiction genre as In Cold Blood or American Fire or Lost Girls, but I'm terrified to open my front door, and it's the book I want to read when I finally get home from work. Some weeks, there's no accounting for taste.
One last thing!
It's a busy time for all of us, and I feel like that's all I say to anyone anymore. Honestly, I just want to get a full night's sleep. But here's the good news: a special bonus episode of From the Front Porch will go live today only for our patrons. It's about Annie's experience at SIBA a couple months ago--the reason for the delay is that I kinda sorta lost the audio files until this morning. Better late than never, right?
And regarding those exclusive Spotify playlists... Pay attention to your emails from Patreon this afternoon. Until then, you can follow The Bookshelf here and see what we're listening to at any given time.
Thank you SO MUCH for your support. I'm blushing.