I have a confession. If I could somehow make every issue of the City Paper the book issue, I probably would. There are so many great, challenging, and fun books coming out each week that we'd never run out of material. And this summer it seems we've hit the reading jackpot. There's Neil Gaiman's new book, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, which reviewers everywhere are calling his best book yet (read our review exclusively online). There's Whistling Past the Graveyard, a Southern road-trip tale with a heroine descended straight from To Kill a Mockingbird. And then there's Dan Baum's Gun Guys, a nonfiction tramp into gun-toting territories across the U.S. We've read and reviewed all these and many more, and hope that somewhere in the mix, you find your next great summer read. —Elizabeth Pandolfi

Susan Crandall's memorable heroines hoof it to Nashville
Susan Crandall's memorable heroines hoof it to Nashville A Tale of Two Runaways

Whistling Past the Graveyard starts off familiarly enough: a young, white heroine takes up with an older, wiser black heroine and they go on a journey (literal or figurative) with an uncertain destination. It's the premise of two fairly recent best-sellers... — Elizabeth Pandolfi


The joys — and value — of sci-fi and fantasy
The joys — and value — of sci-fi and fantasy The Back of the Bookstore

While trying to make it as a writer, I took a day job at a small bookstore on a college campus. Being surrounded by books all day was an absolute joy, and working on a college campus put me in touch with those creating, instructing, and learning literature. — Hugh Howey


This summer's best book bets
This summer's best book bets From Neil Gaiman to Chuck Klosterman, these are the books you should be reading

Kirkus Managing Editor Eric Liebetrau first compiled a list of his top 20 book recommendations for last year's Book Issue, and we liked it so much that we asked him to do it again. If you're still in need of some solid summer reading, give this list a once-over. If you don't find something here, you probably just don't like books. ­—CP Eric Liebetrau


Find yourself a good summer read
Find yourself a good summer read Better off read

The staff at Blue Bicycle Books has book recommending down to a science. They put together this handy, professionally-calibrated flowchart to help you navigate a few titles that are local, out this summer, or otherwise on the staff’s radar. — Cameron Jones


David Sedaris returns to daily life and his eccentric family in his latest book
David Sedaris returns to daily life and his eccentric family in his latest book Language Lessons and Donny Osmond

Self-deprecating writer and humorist David Sedaris never fails to be an absolute hoot. He returns to his mostly-memoir format with another riot of a book, Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls. His last one, Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk, dealt with talking animals rather than entries from one of his many meticulously composed diaries. — Kelly Rae Smith


Neil Gaiman revisits the loneliness of childhood with <i>The Ocean at the End of the Lane</i>
Neil Gaiman revisits the loneliness of childhood with The Ocean at the End of the Lane Dreams and Nightmares

When Neil Gaiman came to the Lowcountry as part of the Unchained Tour of raconteurs last fall, he shared a story from his childhood. For 10 minutes, it wasn’t the successful, adult Gaiman on the stage of the Charleston Music Hall — it was his school-aged self, a child who was just beginning to learn the considerable power that a person’s words could have on others. — Susan Cohen


A modern author takes on classic Middle Eastern tales
A modern author takes on classic Middle Eastern tales One Thousand and One Nights: A Retelling

Hanan Al-Shaykh's retelling of One Thousand and One Nights begins with the recounting of man's glory and honor and woman's tendencies toward deceit and immorality. It hits you over the head with the idea that men must protect their egos, and women are the root of all their problems and sins. — Melissa Tunstall


Packing Heat and Playing it Cool
Packing Heat and Playing it Cool A review of Gun Guys: A Road Trip

As a self-described liberal who enjoys shooting guns, Dan Baum finds himself in uncomfortable territory. He loves the cold heft of a rifle in his hands at a shooting range, but when it comes to the organization that purports to speak for gun guys like him — the NRA — he bristles at their politics and scare tactics. — Paul Bowers


Carl Hiaasen's latest revisits his favorite themes
Carl Hiaasen's latest revisits his favorite themes Bad Monkey, Great Reading

With 23 books under his belt, Carl Hiaasen really needs no introduction, but here's a quick one anyway. Hiaasen is a South Florida native with strong ties to his state's unique, swampy environment, and it shows in his mystery books. — Elizabeth Pandolfi


<i>Star Wars</i> gets the Shakespearean treatment
Star Wars gets the Shakespearean treatment Speak, Thou Stormtrooper

On the surface, George Lucas and William Shakespeare are about as different as ice cream and coffee. One is light and sweet, the other dark and deep. But when you think about it, they were both icons of their time, masters of their theatrical worlds. — Leah Rhyne


<i>The Universe Versus Alex Woods</i> introduces another lovable scarred narrator to the Young Adult genre
The Universe Versus Alex Woods introduces another lovable scarred narrator to the Young Adult genre Scar Tissue

Nowadays, when one hears the term "young adult fiction," dystopias and vampires are the first subjects to come to mind. It feels as if the entire genre has been overtaken by doomsday tales and mystical characters, so when Gavin Extence's The Universe Versus Alex Woods opens with the title character being stopped by border patrol with 113 grams of marijuana and an urn full of his friend's ashes, it's nice to not have werewolves running off the page or R.E.M.'s "It's the End of the World as We Know It (and I Feel Fine)" playing in your head. — Melissa Tunstall


Q&A with Susan Crandall
Q&A with Susan Crandall Spoiler Alert!

As a public service to our fellow reading readers, we will now sound the POLER horn for this Q&A with Susan Crandall. You've been warned. — Elizabeth Pandolfi


Locals will find plenty to love in Karen White's <i>The Time Between</i>
Locals will find plenty to love in Karen White's The Time Between Our Carolina Home

Reading a novel based in your own city can be a cool combination of sweet and strange. Just as you’re swimming in the thoughts of a character, caught up in a scenario far from your own, you hear a name dropped, like Fast and French, and your mind shifts back to the present reality. — Kelly Rae Smith


Classified Listings
  • Bambu
    This was the worst restaurant I have ever eaten at. I have never had a… -JamesHayterCook
  • Edmund's Oast
    We ordered both charcuterie plates, and they were both solid. The beer selection is solid… -Native Ink
  • Edmund's Oast
    I've been there several times. Speaking focused on the food, beverage, decor and service while… -Dr. Giggles
  • Peninsula Grill
    Considered one of the best in town and still going strong. Would put in the… -JDChas
  • Edmund's Oast
    Went here for the first time last week after hearing about it and was pleased… -JDChas
Most Viewed

Powered by Foundation   © Copyright 2014, Charleston City Paper   RSS