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In which I am "A Nonfiction Roundup Both Wondrous and Beautiful" at LitReactor.

· Jackson Bliss,Andrew Farkas,Ashley Marie Farmer,Sara Rauch,LitReactor
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Which is to say, you can read "A Nonfiction Roundup Both Wondrous and Beautiful" and my celebratory (and self-serving) riffs on The Great Indoorsman by Andrew Farkas, Dear Damage by Ashley Marie Farmer, XO by Sara Rauch and Dream Pop Origami by Jackson Blissat at LitReactor here. You may also read some excerpt below. And please do most definitely read all these wondrous and beautiful books, because they will most definitely change your life.


"Look, I have things to say about my experience consuming four nonfiction books this last month: The Great Indoorsman by Andrew Farkas, Dear Damage by Ashley Marie Farmer, XO by Sara Rauch and Dream Pop Origami by Jackson Bliss. And I will start by saying this:

"The Great Indoorsman is the work of a true craftsperson and the phrasing and structure feels akin to architecture, all lines, angles and inspired thinking, leavened with a pop culture and extended cultural knowingness that left me smiling and nodding my head throughout.

"Dear Damage caused me to repeatedly lose my breath, caught as I was between my desire to see what would happen next, and how it was going to happen, as well as wanting to know more about the ideas, decisions and characters—especially their lives before this—that graced the pages before me.

"XO is a distillation, a deconstruction and a series of lyrical gut punches which explicate how we connect, and full-stop, how one cheats, the gnawing feelings of stability and decency that linger even as one is overwhelmed by a sense of attraction and a desire to wreck things too strong to resist.

"Dream Pop Origami, sigh, and how irresponsible yet perfectly factual it would be to leave this brief reaction at sigh, because that’s how I felt sentence to sentence, my reaction as cellular as anything, a response to something so intimate and present I wondered if the author and I are friends (we’re not, yet).

"I start with all that because I’m certain that I want to say something more here about the choices we make, and don’t, big and small, though also about the choices the people around us make and how we deal with those. I’m sure there’s something to say about identity too, and again, choices, though not always ours. Also, how things get fragmented. That we have to figure out how we choose to tell our stories. Though also something about our paths, or mine, as related to others, especially the paths followed in these books."