“The Complete Stories of Flannery O’Connor” by Flannery O’Connor (FSG Classics, 1971)


There aren’t many authors whose entire oeuvre can be read in a relatively short amount of time. J. D. Salinger comes to mind, and Flannery O’Connor is another. Other than the couple books she published, her short stories are what she is best known for and this collection brings all thirty-one of them together for the first time, including twelve that didn’t appear in her two published short story collections.

In “The Crop,” we learn about a writer writing about a share cropper and as she’s writing, she becomes part of the story in a great example of meta fiction. “A Stroke of Good Fortune” is a moving story about a woman dealing with an ailment that she does not realize is in fact her blossoming pregnancy. One of her best known stories, “A Good Man is Hard to Find,” features a family on a day trip who hear about an escaped killer on the loose and how their lives are irrevocably changed when they coincidentally meet up with said killer.

The stories cover Connor’s entire career in chronological order with something for everyone; whether you’re trying her for the first time or giving her another chance after some required college or high school reading.

Originally written on December 4th, 2015 ©Alex C. Telander.

To purchase a copy of The Complete Stories of Flannery O’Connor from Amazon, and help support BookBanter, click HERE.

Book News: ‘Preacher’ Co-Creator Steve Dillon RIP, November Reading List, America’s Most Beautiful Bookstores & More

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Many Fantastic Beasts
J. K. Rowling is predicting at least five movies in the new franchise.

Steve Dillon (1962-2016)
Comicbook artist, best known for his work on The Punisher and co-creator of Preacher, dies at 54.

Beren and Luthien
A century after it was written, J. R. R. Tolkien’s story, Beren and Luthien, is finally getting published.

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“Codex Ocularis” by Ian Pyper (Pelekinesis, 2016)


Codex Ocularis is a journey; a journey through time and physical space to a distant planet, but also a journey through the mind.

There is a planet in a galaxy far, far away that is unlike any planet you’ve ever seen or known of. It is known as Ocularis because it is eye-shaped, and has a focused lens pointed right at planet Earth. Yes, the planet is in fact looking at Earth and from what it sees, it is creating unique creatures in the aqueous humors of its surface. How do we know this? Because of one Astronaut/Psychonaut/Holonaut who has traveled across the dimensions of time and space and visited the planet through this unique advanced technology that employs the mind in some way. His words and diagrams have been left in his log book known as the “Codex Ocularis,” where you’ll find his thoughts and musings, his scientific theories and revelations of Ocularis.

Codex Ocularis is partly a storybook, partly a philosophical journey, and partly Ian Pyper having a lot of fun illustrating the ideas of a planet. The concept is an interesting one, but the execution is a little lacking. The astronaut’s notes are done in cursive that make it hard to read certain words at times. The content of the writing is pretty complex and “pretend-scientific” that kind of loses the reader. The illustrations are fun, but get a bit repetitive and when the reader isn’t sure what they’re reading, it makes understanding the images even harder. The book could’ve used more structure and plot to help the reader along.

Originally written on May 12, 2016 ©Alex C. Telander.

To purchase a copy of Codex Ocularis from Amazon, and help support BookBanter, click HERE.

Book News: Heisenberg Speaks, The Toxicity of Social Media For Writers, Seattle Bookstores Thriving & More!

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Nobel Prize
The Nobel Prize for Literature winner has been announced in Stockholm and in a big surprise legendary songwriter Bob Dylan won.

Reading Bad
Bryan Cranston shares some Breaking Bad info in the audiobook of his recently released memoir, A Life in Parts.

Election Memoirs
Once the election is finally, thankfully over, who’s going to be writing and publishing books on their experience?

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Book News: 50 Best Libraries in the US, Patterson Gives Away Bonuses, New ‘Unfortunate Events’ & More!

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Mo’ Money
James Patterson is giving away some substantial holiday bonuses once again to deserving booksellers.

How the Internet Helps Bookstores
An interesting New York Times article about how four independent bookstore use the internet to improve their business.

Best Libraries
Elle Decor makes its picks for the 50 best libraries in the country. Time to start checking them off.

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“Kronos Rising: Kraken Volume 1: The Battle for Earth’s Oceans has Just Begun” by Max Hawthorne (Far From the Tree Press, 2016)


After thrilling fans with a new giant-sized menace on the high seas with a taste for human flesh in Kronos Rising, Max Hawthorne is back with a new species of sea monster in Kronos Rising: Kraken. If the first book was the “Jaws” event for readers, then its sequel takes it to the level of Pacific Rim.

It has been thirty years since the tragic events of Paradise Cove, and the world is now a changed place. Giant pliosaurs now ply the oceans in the multitudes wreaking havoc against sea vessels and wiping out crews. In retaliation, there are those crews with unique vessels looking to capture the high-priced bounty that is the pliosaur. There are specific rules on what can be killed and what can be captured. Our story focuses on brothers Garm Braddock running the Gryphon, an anti-biologic submarine with some unique weaponry and tactics specifically designed to take out the pliosaur or bag it. At the secret research facility known as TARTARUS is Garm’s brother Dirk, working on the primeval pathogen that is alive and well within the blood of the pliosaurs. Meanwhile, in the deep ocean depths there is a new menace on the rise, one that makes the pliosaurs look like puppies.

Hawthorne has once again done his research in marine life and what it’s like living on and off the sea, whether it be above or below the waves. While the characters are interesting and well-developed, Hawthorne takes it too far with men being men in a combat zone and wanting to outdo each other; at some points the reader is just waiting for them to undo their flies and whip it out. There are a number of graphic sex scenes in the book that just come out of nowhere and derail the reader from novel. Overall, Kronos Rising: Kraken goes on for too long and loses its momentum unlike its thrilling predecessor.

Originally written on July 13, 2016 ©Alex C. Telander.

To purchase a copy of Kronos Rising: Kraken from Amazon, and help support BookBanter, click HERE.

Book News: Tale of a Notorious Book Pirate, The Fall of Camelot Arrives, Hollywood Ranks Power Authors & More!

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Hollywood Authors
Hollywood’s 25 most power and influential authors for your perusal.

Pirated Book
Michael Koryta tells the unbelievable tale of someone pirating his book and selling it on Amazon.

NYPL Train System
The New York Public Library has a new transportation system in place . . . for its books and files!

F*CK Portlandia
The unique bookstore featured on the popular show has severed all ties for some very important reasons.

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