This is happening sooner than I would have liked, but I’m sad to say that this will be the last post on Live Nude Books.  It shouldn’t really come as a surprise to anyone who has regularly—or even periodically—checked back: I haven’t posted a review in over seven months, and I haven’t been updating the blog with news or updates on any consistent basis.  Still, I planned on continuing.

At this point in my life, I’m not able to juggle this blog with teaching full time (it’s new to me), working on my own writing, and having a personal life.  Maybe in the future, I will learn to manage my time more effectively.  Until that happens, I will leave this site up, since some of the old reviews and interviews still get hits.

Speaking of which: I would like to thank all of the writers who were kind enough to answer my questions, as well as those who were unable to but responded graciously (this accounts for all of the writers whose books I reviews on this site).  To the publishers who sent me ARC copies for some of the reviews I wrote, and to the people from other book blogs and presses who showed me their support: a huge thank you for all you did for my self-esteem!  Finally, I would like to thank anyone who has checked out this site; I really appreciate you stopping by!

Before I go, I would like to mention three books that are definitely worth checking out.  I had planned on writing reviews for each title, but that was before I got an offer to teach for the Summer Term.  These were not ARC books; I purchased and read them, and I believe in their worth.  If you’re looking for a novel, memoir, and/or young adult story to read, then here are some titles you should look into.

The Bird Sisters, by Rebecca Rasmussen (Crown Publishers)

This impressive debut novel chronicles the summer that slowly tore a family apart, while also providing glimpses into the lives of the two sisters—Twiss and Milly—half a century later.  While they remain bonded to each other after all this time, these two have a polar history together—one that is not commonly known to their neighbors, the details of which have been kept from each other, too.


The Last Deployment: How a Gay, Hammer-Swinging Twenty-Something Survived a Year in Iraq, by Bronson Lemer (University of Wisconsin Press)

In his debut memoir, Bronson Lemer reflects on the final stretch of his military service, when his unit is sent to Iraq.  While serving his country abroad, he is asked to suppress his identity in order to adhere to a political policy.  Lemer doesn’t write with a bitter tone; instead, the prose in this memoir reveals longing—not only a longing to be himself, but also one that allows him to connect with others who shares a common understanding.


Stupid Fast, by Geoff Herbach (Source Books Fire)

Felton Reinstein’s body is changing.  So’s his attitude.  While this teenager begins to grasp the reality of his newly developed athleticism and the friends that come with it, he finds himself at odds with his mother, his brother, and his usual friends.  This YA novel covers familiar territory: the confusion and angst that teenage boys experience as their minds and bodies hit that final growth spurt.  This novel takes a turn from the ordinary coming-of-age story when Felton begins to learn the truth about his father.


Hope to write to you again, soon!

Photo by Danielle Kantrowitz

From the book jacket:

Rebecca Rasmussen teaches creative writing and literature at Fontbonne University.  Her stories have appeared in Triquarterly magazine and Mid-American Review.  She was a finalist in both Narrative magazine’s 30 Below contest for writers under the age of 30 and in Glimmer Train‘s Family Matters contest. She lives with her husband and daughter in St. Louis.  [The Bird Sisters] is her first novel.

To read Rebecca Rasmussen’s essay on writing a novel (posted on Cathy Day’s blog), click here.

Enough About Love by Hervé Le Tellier (2/1/2011)
The London Train by Tessa Hadley (2/7/2011)
I Think Again of Those Ancient Chinese Poets by Tom Sexton (2/15/2011)
The Book of Men by Dorianne Laux (2/28/2011)
Space, In Chains by Laura Kasischke (3/15/2011)
Unfamiliar Fishes by Sarah Vowell (3/22/2011)
Invisible Strings by Jim Moore (3/29/2011)
The FSG Book of Twentieth-Century Latin American Poetry (editor) Ilan Stavans (3/29/2011)
In Zanesville by Jo Ann Beard (4/25/2011)
Fall Higher by Dean Young (4/26/2011)
Caleb’s Crossing by Geraldine Brooks (5/3/2011)
Vaclav & Lena by Haley Tanner (5/17/2011)
Long Drive Home by Will Allison (5/17/2011)
They Could No Longer Contain Themselves: A Collection of Five Flash Chapbooks by Elizabeth J. Colen, John Jodzio, Tim Jones-Yelvington, Sean Lovelace, and Mary Miller (5/18/2011)
Dreams of Joy by Lisa See (5/31/2011)
To Be Sung Underwater by Tom McNeal (6/2/2011)
The Secret Knowledge: On the Dismantling of American Culture by David Mamet (6/2/2011)
State of Wonder by Ann Patchett (6/7/2011)
A Thousand Pearls (for a Thousand Pennies) by Hervé Le Tellier (7/19/2011)
The Sextine Chapel by Hervé Le Tellier (7/19/2011)

The Bird Sisters by Rebecca Rasmussen (4/12/2011)
Good Poems, American Places by Garrison Keillor (4/14/2011)
The Pale King by David Foster Wallace (4/15/2011)
The Tragedy of Arthur by Arthur Phillips (4/19/2011)
My New American Life by Francine Prose (4/26/2011)
The Great Night by Chris Adrian (4/26/2011)
Prayer and Parable by Paul Maliszewski (5/1/2011)
The Year We Left Home by Jean Thompson (5/3/2011)
Alice Munro: Writing Her Lives by Robert Thacker (5/3/2011)
Faith by Jennifer Haigh (5/10/2011)
Big Girl Small by Rachel DeWoskin (5/10/2011)
2030: The Real Story of What Happens to America by Albert Brooks (5/10/2011)
I’ll Never Get Out of This World Alive by Steve Earle (5/12/2011)
In This Light: New and Selected Stories by Melanie Rae Thon (5/24/2011)
Orientation: And Other Stories by Daniel Orozco (5/24/2011)
Stupid Fast by Geoff Herbach (6/1/2011)
My American Unhappiness by Dean Bakopoulis (6/7/2011)
The Last Deployment: How a Gay, Hammer-Swinging Twentysomething Survived a Year in Iraq by Bronson Lemer (6/8/2011)
Between the Parentheses: Essays, Articles and Speeches, 1998-2003 by Roberto Bolaño (6/28/2011)

Heart of the City: Nine Stories of Love and Serendipity on the Streets of New York by Ariel Sabar (1/11/2011)
Panorama by H.G. Adler (1/18/2011)
The Fates Will Find Their Way by Hannah Pittard (1/25/2011)
An Exclusive Love by Johanna Adorjan (1/31/2011)
The Storyteller of Marrakesh by Joydeep Roy-Bhattacharya (1/31/2011)
Swamplandia by Karen Russell (2/1/2011)
The Illumination by Kevin Brockmeier (2/1/2011)
Ship of Fool by William Trowbridge (2/1/2011)
Widow by Michelle Latiolais (2/1/2011)
Elizabeth Bishop and The New Yorker: The Complete Correspondence by Elizabeth Bishop and Joelle Biele (Ed.) (2/1/2011)
Poems by Elizabeth Bishop (2/1/2011)
Prose by Elizabeth Bishop (2/1/2011)
Enough About Love by Hervé Le Tellier (2/1/2011)
The Last Brother by Nathacha Appanah (2/1/2011)
The Evolution of Bruno Littlemore by Benjamin Hale (2/2/2011)
Open City by Teju Cole (2/8/2011)
We, the Drowned by Carsten Jensen (2/9/2011)
Wrecker by Summer Wood (2/15/2011)
The Old Romantic by Louise Dean (2/17/2011)
Portraits of a Marriage by Sándor Márai (2/22/2011)
When the Killing’s Done by T.C. Boyle (2/22/2011)
At the Fights: American Writers on Boxing by George Kimball (Ed.) and John Schulian (Ed.) (3/3/2011)
When the Thrill is Gone by Walter Mosley (3/8/2011)
The Tiger’s Wife by Tea Obreht (3/8/2011)

The Lover’s Dictionary by David Leviathan (1/4/2011)
Bird Cloud by Annie Proulx (1/4/2011)
Losing Graceland by Micah Nathan (1/4/2011)
Give Me Your Heart: Tales of Mystery and Suspense by Joyce Carol Oates (1/7/2011)
Gryphon: New and Selected Stories by Charles Baxter (1/11/2011)
Night Soul and Other Stories by Joseph McElroy (1/11/2011)
Binocular Vision: New and Selected Stories by Edith Pearlman (1/11/2011)
Caribou Island by David Vann (1/18/2011)
The History of History by Ida Hattemer-Higgins (1/18/2011)
You Know When the Men are Gone by Siobhan Fallon (1/20/2011)
The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown (1/20/2011)
J.D. Salinger: A Life by Kenneth Slawenski (1/25/2011)
The Red Garden by Alice Hoffman (1/25/2011)
The Gospel of Anarchy by Justin Taylor (2/11/2011)
A Widow’s Story: A Memoir by Joyce Carol Oates (2/15/2011)

A Long Overdue Update

Posted: January 15, 2011 in News and General Posts

I originally started this blog as a way to keep my mind sharp (and to remain sane) during the summer before my final year of grad school.  At that time, I noticed that a few books on my to-read list shared something in common: they were the authors’ firsts, mostly published by smaller presses.

Reviewing books that fell under this category and posting them on a blog seemed like a great way to get the word out about these writers to my friends.  And since I was reviewing books from primarily first-time authors, I also figured it would be easier to get interviews from them, too.  I didn’t expect anyone outside my circle of book-loving friends and acquaintances to visit and read the blog.

Turns out that writers and publishers and agents and PR reps check out these kinds of sites, then they send you free books, and almost two years later you’re still working on the same summer project.

That said, I haven’t kept up with the original mission statement: “Once a week, the blog will feature a review of a recent book release…”  At times I’ve gone several weeks, even months, without posting updates, let alone reviews.  This operation is a one-man show—one that doesn’t pay, keep in mind—and with all my other personal and professional obligations, maintaining this site rarely tops my list of priorities.  Even though I wish that weren’t the case.

So I wanted to post a somewhat formal announcement to state that I won’t be reviewing books for this site on any type of regular basis.  Though it shouldn’t really come as a surprise, since I haven’t been posting regularly for some time, now.  Even so, I felt the need to explain myself, in case the updating becomes less frequent than it already has.

Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you’ve enjoyed what’s been posted so far!

—Dan DeWolf