5 Most Popular Posts: July 2020
- August 4, 2020
We here at the Independent love every piece we run. There are no winners or losers. Seriously, though, here are July’s winners.
- Salley Shannon’s review of The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir by John Bolton (Simon & Schuster). “Bolton does throw a few serious punches. Many are directed at then Secretary of Defense James Mattis, who, in his telling, slow-walks presenting military responses when the president (and Bolton) asks they be among a range of options. Mattis delays ‘to the last minute, to have things come out as he wants.’ Mattis, he continues, is ‘a classic bureaucrat’ who plays with ‘marked cards.’ John Bolton has been in public life for four decades. As the saying goes, takes one to know one.”
- “An Interview with S.A. Cosby” by E.A. Aymar. “The concept [for Blacktop Wasteland] pretty much stayed the same, but some of the themes became more complex. The original idea was to write a crime story that deconstructed how much poverty influences the decisions people make in regards to getting involved in criminal activities. But it also became a cathartic release for me in respect to issues I was dealing with about tragic and toxic masculinity and the systemic racism that exist not only in the South but throughout America.”
- “An Interview with Solveig Eggerz” by David O. Stewart. “Icelandic was my first language, but after spending 11 years of my childhood in England and the U.S., English became my ‘school language’ and my language of expression. While I often think in Icelandic, English is for writing. No, I don’t translate the books myself. I wanted someone who is as strong in Icelandic as I am in English to create the Icelandic version. For me, a translation is a new creation. My cousin, Hólmfríður Gunnarsdóttir, offered to translate Seal Woman. Because she is an excellent writer herself with a strong sense of the nuances of Icelandic, her Icelandic version of Seal Woman, or Selkonan, may be a better book than the original. For Sigga of Reykjavik, I hired a translator. But I worked closely, word for word, with both translators.”
- J.H. Bográn’s review of Lockdown: Stories of Crime, Terror, and Hope During a Pandemic, edited by Nick Kolakowski and Steve Weddle (Polis Books). “The stories are varied and written in different styles and points of views, from traditional third-person past tense, to the unusual second-person present tense. However oppressive the present feels or dark the future may be, what binds these stories together is the fact that life always finds a way. Some readers might be put off by the idea of reading stories that seem taken directly from today’s news. It begs the question: Is it too soon to be writing about the lockdown, the virus, the ways they’re affecting lives on a daily basis, and how society may evolve afterward?”
- Drew Gallagher’s review of Make Russia Great Again: A Novel by Christopher Buckley (Simon & Schuster). Christopher Buckley is at his side-splitting funniest in Make Russia Great Again, which includes lines of such pure comedic brilliance that the reader is tempted to stand and applaud like one would for a soloist at the Kennedy Center. This is what Jonathan Swift envisioned when he introduced the world to political satire. Conversely, Make Russia Great Again is probably not what President Trump envisioned by way of his legacy (fictional or otherwise), but there’s little risk of his reading this book unless it appears on the Fox News crawl.”