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Chris Blocker

Literary snobbery and other thoughts by Chris Blocker

Currently reading

Visible Empire
Hannah Pittard
The Deptford Trilogy
Robertson Davies
Life on Mars
Jennifer Brown
The Family Under the Bridge
Natalie Savage Carlson


Shenanigans! - Joseph Michael Owens

I know Joseph Michael Owens. He's a great guy and conversations with him, regardless of the topic, are always interesting. Whether he's talking about string theory, tree nuts, or David Foster Wallace, Owens has such a passion for life that it's difficult not to listen.

Owens' voice comes through strong in Shenanigans!. No matter the subject—and he covers a wide variety of subjects here from nunchucks and lasagna, to love and cancer—Owens yanks in the reader. With a tone that is both casual and exciting, Owens approaches life's big issues with humility and its more trivial matters with great expertise.

Charming. Funny. Aching. Insightful. Gentle. In a mere 100 pages, Owens' voice parades around in the dress of so many adjectives it's like a game of Apples to Apples. These stories are so many things because they vibrate with life. This collection is a genuine conversation with its author; even if I didn't know Joseph Michael Owens, after reading Shenanigans! I believe I would feel like I did