5/30/13: Some Good Reads

The Tide King is coming off the press soon—I'm so excited! If you haven't preordered, there's still time! You can visit the Black Lawrence Press website here. Also, please enter to win 1 of 10 free copies Black Lawrence Press is giving away on Goodreads. It's free, as long as you're signed up to Goodreads, and the contest ends on June 13th, so there's still plenty of time. You're feeling lucky—I know you are! The entry form is here.

Now that the second draft of my next novel is with my beloved (and extremely talented) editor (who I can't recommend enough), I am writing short stories again. It feels weird. I never thought I'd be happy going back to the short form, when the novel is so sprawling, encompassing, a great calculus equation. But there is nice algebra in short stories. It feels good to be working with different characters, in new situations. It feels good to use different words. And it's a relief to know that my story well isn't dried up.

I just finished Tim Wendel's novella Habana Libre, the story of a baseball player who must decide whether to defect to America or leave his the complicated but tantalizing Cuba. But, of course, it is more about Cuba, its inhabitants, about the invisible braids of family and duty and fear that bind us rather than physical barriers.

Like the pitchers he so often profiles (particularly in High Heat), Wendel has good mechanics. He's like Jamie Moyer; nothing flashy, but all the pitches. And if you sleep on him, he'll pop the glove behind you and put you back on the bench. Anyway, check it out on Amazon: it's published by the wonderful CityLit Press (who I worked with on City Sages: Baltimore).