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The Tangential
I'm Only Here for the WiFi Chelsea Fagan

Ten Opening Paragraphs for a Review of Chelsea Fagan’s “I’m Only Here for the WiFi”

Arts journalism in 2013: opening a book review by disclosing that you’re an Internet friend of its author. For Chelsea Fagan, the “here” in the title of her new book I’m Only Here for the WiFi seems to refer only to a coffee shop, but for many of her prospective readers, it might generally refer to life […]

Jordan Castro

Ten Opening Paragraphs for a Review of Jordan Castro’s New Books

“Readers who have been craving a comprehensive examination of the inner lives of pooping poets will not want to miss Jordan Castro’s new books Young Americans and if i really wanted to feel happy i’d feel happy already.” “Jordan Castro is one of the the Buckeye State’s most promising young poets, but unfortunately it seems unlikely that this […]

Casual Vacancy Lake Wobegon Days

J.K. Rowling, Garrison Keillor, and the Battle for the Soul of Small-Town Life

I’ve been listening to the audiobook recording of J.K. Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy, but I had to take a break from it. In Rowling’s first novel for adults, she gives us a small town full of Dursleys: jealous, insecure people who connive to land a vacant seat on a parish council. I switched The Casual Vacancy out for […]

Mira Gonzalez

Ten Opening Paragraphs for a Review of Mira Gonzalez’s “I Will Never Be Beautiful Enough to Make Us Beautiful Together”

“In the Victorian Era, sex was not thought to be enjoyable for women, who were famously advised to ‘lie back and think of the empire’ while their husbands plowed away. For women in the ‘alt lit’ community writing about sex today, the equivalent maxim seems to be ‘lie back and think of the Internet.’” “Mira […]

Marie Calloway What Purpose Did I Serve In Your Life

Ten Opening Paragraphs for a Review of Marie Calloway’s “What Purpose Did I Serve In Your Life”

“I’m a man. Does that make it impossible for me to review Marie Calloway’s What Purpose Did I Serve In Your Life, or does it make me the book’s target audience?” “In all the reviews I’ve written, I’ve never felt my opinion is so unnecessary as in the case of What Purpose Did I Serve In Your […]

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A Review of J.K. Rowling’s New Novel that Does Not Make Constant, Punny Comparisons to Harry Potter

The following are the 3 types of books I can’t resist: 1) Long, head-sized novels that take weeks to read and leave you missing the characters as if they were family members, or at least the cast of Lost. 2) Books that are pop culture talking points that don’t necessarily need to be good, a […]


Slutty Words of the English Language

Geode: You’re a mass-produced volcanic rock easily broken apart by children to reveal polished crystals, commonly sold in state park gift shops? Bullshit. You’re just trying to get everyone to say chode. Tardy: Tardy did us all the service of combining the terms randy, tarnished, dirty, ready, dyslexic, and TA into one. Something for the struggling […]

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