The Erstwhile, B. Catling, Random House - English artist and poet B. Catling’s imagination is way out there, much of it beyond my grasp, yet the intrigue keeps you reading his second, definitely surreal novel, “The Erstwhile.”
About Kate Padilla
Kate Padilla has long enjoyed reading, and for the last decade, combined her writing skills and book pleasure to review books for Authorlink.
Kate’s journalism career began in high school with a weekly column in her hometown newspaper, and later, after graduating from the University of Wyoming, she moved into newspapers as a reporter and editor and also as a radio news director. She subsequently worked as a U.S. Senate staffer helping write legislation and then as a public lands manager for the Department of Interior until her retirement. Now, she is an award-winning poet, artist and writer living in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Her passion is exploring, traveling to places not often frequented by tourists, ranging from Albania in the Balkans to isolated Honduran islands in the Caribbean.
Not surprisingly Kate favors foreign authors because they immerse her in other worlds and cultures, books such as those written by Nobel Prize winner Naguib Mahfouz, who writes about the Arab world, or Milan Kundera, from Czechoslovakia. Any book written by women with Latin or Mexican roots is a must, she says, listing authors Isabel Allende and Sandra Cisneros as idols. She never passes up a poetry book sent her way, though they are a challenge to review because the poetry is subjective. She also enjoys a good detective novel, and at times, magical fanaticism. Her review favorites include offerings from the Library of America, a nonprofit that collects and preserves writings from America’s key authors. If she had a genre she doesn’t prefer, it would likely be most Western novels. Her pet peeves are preachy religious or moralizing books, those that demean women or have disregard for the environment.
Author Archives for Kate Padilla
Later Essays, Susan Sontag, Library of America - The Library of America’s second volume of Susan Sontag’s brilliant observations and critiques, “Later Essays,” illustrates her extraordinary ability to dig deep into political and social conflict and provoke personal introspection.
The New Old Me/My Late-Life Reinvention, Meredith Maran, Blue Rider Press - Meredith Maran, self-described in her memoir as “The New Old Me,” focuses attention on the consequences of aging — exclusion and isolation.
The Unknown Kerouac, Todd Tietchen, Library of America - The Library of America’s release of Kerouac’s “rare, unpublished and newly translated writings,” edited by Todd Tietchen, conveys his mastery development as a writer and offers insight into the counterculture’s creative endeavors.
John O’Hara stories, Charles McGrath, Editor, Random House - Twentieth-century American author John O’Hara’s stories of everyday, familiar people are featured in a new Library of America collection, edited by Charles McGrath.
In the Light of the Garden, Heather Burch, Lake Union Publishing - Heather Burch stretches the limits of reality in her novel, “In the Light of the Garden,” but still manages to deliver a revitalizing read by adding a little magic and family dynamics.
Livia Lone, Barry Eisler, Thomas and Mercer - In his crime novel titled after the protagonist, “Livia Lone,” Barry Eisler spins a disconcerting plot around people involved in human trafficking and its victims.
Romeo and/or Juliet: A chooseable-path Adventure, Ryan North, Riverhead Books - At first I found Ryan North’s interactive game using Shakespeare’s love story, Romeo and Juliet, a hilarious idea.
Everything I Don’t Remember, Jonas Hassen Khemiri, Atria Books - Award-winning Swedish author Jonas Hassen Khemiri’s novel, “Everything I Don’t Remember,” might be re-titled “a book I don’t want to remember.”
Voices in the Night, Steven Millhauser, Vintage Books - Pulitzer-Prize-winning author Steven Millhauser’s collection of disquieting short stories, “Voices in the Night,” are outlandish tales laced with jarring twists, reminiscent of the old “Twilight Zone” television series.