The Wrap: April 2019 + Announcement!


Author’s note: I hope you all are doing well. This week, a freshman student at my Alma mater passed away in a freak tragedy. It’s yet another reminder that life is short and this life is temporary. Hug someone you love today.

Things have been busy. I was finally able to take some time yesterday and today to just… be. I’ve been working three jobs, house sitting on the side, and trying to be a human. As a result, I haven’t been able to read nearly as much as I wanted to. However, part of the hustle has led to some exciting news!

I have a couple of projects slated for release later this year that have to stay under wraps, but for now, I’m excited to announce I’ve started a partnership with Book Depository! I’ve bought most of my paperbacks through them and have loved the experience. Their phenomenal customer support, affordable prices, and FREE worldwide shipping has made them a no-brainier. Use this link (or the one above) for any of your book purchases, and a small portion will be kicked back to me. Also, every book recommend from now on on here will be through our partnership. You now have a simple way to stretch your dollars into support for a young artist. Happy reading!

Spoils by Brian Van Reet

1 Sentence Synopsis: American soldiers Cassandra and Sleed and Iraqi Abu sit on opposite sides of the Iraq war proving that there are no good guys in war, and tragedy lies around every corner.

Review: There’s few things I like more than multiple characters alternating narratives. Van Reet (whose full name sounds like a knock off me) paints a richly atmospheric novel that’s horrifyingly vivid and depressing. If you don’t like to feel sad, this isn’t for you. I was disappointed to find that Van Reet’s novel, which claimed to show war as morally complex was still very much an American novel. Sure, the Iraqi soldiers were given a voice, but the overall effect was disappointing and obvious. Still, if you like war books, this is worth your time.

(Purchase here)

 But What If We’re Wrong? by Chuck Klosterman

1 Sentence Synopsis: Pop-culture journalist Chuck Klosterman goes on an existential tirade and questions whether everything, from literature to gravity, we know is a lie.

Review: I bought this on my trip to Portland last month and it has one of my favorite jackets of all time. At times, Klosterman’s interviews and analysis can drag, but most of the time, this is a fascinating and humorous theoretical query into the way we think and how culture changes. As a social scientist, I loved this, and will definitely keep it in my office to reread in ten or so years.

(Purchase Here)

Becoming by Michelle Obama

1 Sentence Synopsis: The story of how one woman moved from a shared room with her brother to the East Wing of America’s most famous house.

Review: Hate Barrack Obama? Love Barrack Obama? Great, either way, you should meet his wife. Michelle Obama came from nothing and, through hard work and networks, made her life one of great historical significance. We talk a lot about the American dream, but we rarely meet someone who lives it. Becoming is not just a good memoir; it’s a reminder to love the places we’ve come from, and never stop believing that the arc of history is bent towards justice.  (Read my full review here)

(Purchase Here)

May Reading Recommendations

Mother’s Day is May 12. In honor of all the moms out there, I’ve assembled a series of recommendations, fit for all kinds of situations.

(P.S. Be sure to read last year’s post for more great literary moms)

If Your Mom’s a Quiet Sort of Badass

The Awakening by Kate Chopin – The lyrical and beautiful story of a mother trapped in a loveless marriage, emboldened to love herself and the body she inhabits.

If Your Mom’s Crazy but Lovable

Where’d  You Go, Bernadette? By Maria Semple – Soon to be a major motion picture starring Cate Blanchett and Kristen Wiig, this story takes soccer mom drama to a whole new level. Told in epistolary form through Bernadette’s daughter Bee, Semple presents a complicated mother who’s gone comically missing.

If Your Aunt is Your Mom

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows – Written by an aunt-niece team after Shaffer’s declining health, this epistolary novel details a different side of WWII literature: how people on the fringes of war survive in its aftermath.

If You’re the President of the United States

Raising Trump by Ivana Trump – 45’s first lady wrote a book about what her life was like and how Donald Trump Jr., Eric, and Ivanka , literally, came to be. Also check out First Mom Michelle Obama’s book above.

Bryce’s debut collection can be purchased here. 25% of the profits go to organizations like RAINN, 1in6, and End The Backlog. He writes short stories for free here.

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You can follow Bryce on FacebookInstagramTwitter, or Goodreads.



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