Did You Hear? I Would Die 4 U

This is a great take on a Prince song, smoothing the staccato funk of the original into a more contemplative vibe. I especially like the barely in tune (and sometimes reversed) rubber band guitar effect that weaves its way through the song, imparting a little bluegrass twinge–it really grounds the sound for me somehow.

Here’s the original. Prince ruled. Also, how unnecessary and over the top is EVERYTHING about his performance?

Brook Reeder

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The Best Books of 2017 vs. the Republican Tax Plan

As you’ve probably read in a rage tweet, Republicans in Congress are spending the holidays giving tax breaks to rich people and corporations. We are all for advocating fiction here, but trickle down economics requires too much suspension of disbelief. Speaking as human beings and Americans, we believe the Republican plan is a bad idea that will hurt the country.  

Speaking as a small business, however, we look forward to our tax cut. Not only that — we look forward to using it for things that the modern GOP would absolutely hate. 

Small businesses like Fiction Advocate stand to benefit from rules designed to help rich guys who give campaign donations. In other words, the same law that lets right-wing religious fundamentalists give more money to buy political candidates will also give Fiction Advocate more money every time you buy a copy of Matthew Gallaway’s #gods, whose theme is that gay sex is like religion, only way better. It also happens to be one of our favorites from 2017. 

Buy #gods direct from Fiction Advocate and put this tax cut to good use. Or consider picking up one of the other great books published by small, independent presses this year. Here are the best books of 2017, from small presses that we love, and that we hope will get a nice tax cut from a not-nice law.  Continue reading

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Non-Fiction by Non-Men: Michelle Kuo

Michelle Kuo was born in Kalamazoo, Michigan to immigrants from Taiwan. After graduating with a degree in Social Studies and Gender Studies from Harvard College, she joined Teach for America and moved to the rural town of Helena, Arkansas, located in the heart of the Mississippi Delta. Kuo’s memoir, Reading with Patrick, is about her time teaching in Helena and, later, returning to the Delta to help one of her students after he is imprisoned for murder. Kuo teaches in the History, Law, and Society program at the American University of Paris on issues related to race, punishment, immigration, and the law. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, the LA Review of Books, Poets & Writers magazine, and Literary Hub, among others. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram @kuokuomich.

EB: What drew you to writing nonfiction? Continue reading

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The Boomstick Film Club: Watership Down and The Secret of NIMH

Stream it with us: Watership Down, The Secret of NIMH

The late 1970s and early ’80s was a great time for animated adaptations of high fantasy literature. Rankin/Bass studios adapted fantasy classics like The Hobbit and The Last Unicorn, and Disney turned out more mainstream, kid-oriented films like The Black Cauldron. In the midst of all this, two fantasy classics that had previously been thought unadaptable finally got the film treatment they deserved: 1978’s Watership Down and 1982’s The Secret of NIMH. Both feature talking animals, both tackle conservationist or animals rights concerns that were way ahead of their time, and both are just a touch scary—or at least I thought so as a tiny child. My younger self was impressed with the films’ fantasy landscapes couched in an atmosphere of danger. Revisiting them both as an adult, I still love them; now I find myself empathizing with each film’s reluctant leader while also squirming at the damage wrought by humans. Continue reading

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Did You Hear? Tennessee Stud

It’s just so simple, and I love it so much.  Johnny Cash doing the thing he does the best. Sometimes all you need is a simple story about man-horse love to lift your spirits.

Brook Reeder

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The 10 Best Books of 2017

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