by Julia Bartz

Battleborn – Claire Vaye Watkins

The stories drift around in time and history, homing in on characters who are subtly — or not so subtly — processing violence, death, or detachment.

The Listeners – Leni Zumas

The mélange of information is surprisingly coherent and unflaggingly intense.

The Raven: Box Office Authors

When I heard that John Cusack would be playing Edgar Allen Poe tracking down a serial killer, my first thought was: man, the Party Down writers were prescient.

Wild Abandon – Joe Dunthorne

Many critics have called the book “quirky,” which is perhaps unavoidable when the author layers uncomfortable and even disturbing scenes with levity.

Jerk Authors

I rarely consider the dark side of reading and touring.

A Handy BookStalking Guide for 2012

Based on my experience book stalking this past year, I’d like to present a list of five types of readings that you should consider checking out.

Lamb – Bonnie Nadzam

While Lolita’s Humbert Humbert is a complex and twisted subject, Lamb is inscrutable and grimly determined. A sacrificial namesake might have been more empathetic and intriguing to follow, but a simple wolf in sheep’s clothing stalls at unsettling.

Women Who Write like Men and Men Who Write like Women

In his new book, The Secret Life of Pronouns: What our Words Say about Us, James W. Pennebaker uses his research in computational linguistics to break down the differences in the ways women and men speak. And in one fascinating chapter, he explores how this relates to writers.

“Writing a novel takes so long”: Authors in TV

Have the nerdy, quiet reader-types morphed into the cool kids, and are they now trying to take part in (or take over) a medium they once felt symbolically rejected by?