Month: June 2014

Giving Citibike a Ride

Summer weather is finally here and I am loathe enter the alternately humid and freezingly-air-conditioned subway system. I prefer to stay above ground and outdoors as much as possible. My husband was one of the original Citibike adopters and has been bugging me to join. I was unsure, as I have a very expensive bike that I never ride. Would I really use Citibike more? He finally got fed up and ordered me a membership anyway.

I gave it a try this week for the first time and, let me admit, I was wrong. It is so much more convenient than riding my own bike! I wasn’t worried about getting is scratched up and had a dock in which to place it, so there was no fear of it getting stolen while I was having a bite to eat. If it started raining before I went home, I could have hopped on the train without a second thought about my bike. It was wonderful!

Now, don’t get me wrong, riding a bike in New York City is never 100% enjoyable. I did nearly get run over a few times and the first dock we went to was full. There was another one a few blocks away, however, and I was wearing a helmet, so I wasn’t too worried. All in all, I would say go for it if you have been on the fence. And if you haven’t considered it, take a look. I’m looking forward to many more summer rides, to slinging baguettes across my back to feel Parisian and to breaking a sweat before I even get to the gym. It will give me a reason to explore new parts of the city and maybe I’ll even take my writing with me to the park. Now if only I could teach the dog to trot along next to me…

Summer Reading for the Readerly

Just because we’re out of school doesn’t mean we can’t use the summer as a time to catch up on our reading. In fact, most of the writerly and readerly folk I know are hungry for those warm months when we can finally devote our energy and attention to a big ol’ book. In the past I’ve used summers to get through David Copperfield, Middlemarch, and War and Peace (not all in the same summer!). Your summer reading list doesn’t have to be hefty old tomes, though; it could be way to get your finger on the pulse of contemporary literature. Here’s the list of recently completed and upcoming books on my list, and why they’re already making my summer awesome.

All the Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr

Is it a coincidence that I picked up this book right around the 70th anniversary of D-Day? Either way, I’m glad I did. The reminders of the absolutely titanic struggles in the time of world war II are on my mind these days, and they’re brought to brilliant life in this intricate, epic, tender, crushing World War II-era novel. I haven’t actually read that many books from the perspective of the occupied French, but half of this book is closely with Marie-Laure, a young blind Parisian in love with her Braille edition of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, and deeply attached to her father. On the eve of a calamitous firebombing by Americans, she will find herself in a northern seaside town scheduled for total destruction. And that’s only in the first chapter. Every other chapter will be following Werner, a penniless orphaned German boy determined to escape the life in the mines that has been slated for him. The book is dramatic, mythic, sometimes whimsical, but always moving.

The Sandman, Neil Gaiman

I’m working my way through Neil Gaiman’s funny, thought-provoking, and certainly dreamy comic book series about Morpheus, god of dreams. He is a very cool character, sometimes intimidating, sometimes gentle, sometimes merciful, sometimes horrifying. He reminds me a lot of a character from the Matrix, and I’m not just saying that because of the name.

Sleep Donation, Karen Russell

One of my favorite current authors has a short novella out this season, and as with her previous work, it’s funny, quirky, mythical, strange, and blurring the lines between fantasy and science fiction. In this one, a contagious insomnia is sweeping across the nation. The only cure is the donation of sleep from unaffected donors; and the protagonist must perform the story of her sister’s death from the disease again and again to win donors.

What books do you have on your list for this summer? I hope it’s not silly mindless beach reads that I’ll see poking out of your bag; just because the weather’s warm doesn’t mean we have to read soggy warmed-over writing! On my list to come are Re-Deployment, The Goldfinch, The Savage Detectives, A Possible Life, White Out…and too many more to count!

Issue 2 Is Out!

Our gorgeous second issue of Two Cities is officially available and ready for reading! Get on over to our Current Issue page and read some stunning new nonfiction, fiction, and poetry by both established and exciting emerging authors. We’re very proud of this one and want you to spread the word. Enjoy and happy reading!

Issue 2 on its Way

We are hard at work this week, finalizing the summer 2014 issue of Two Cities Review. In some ways, getting out the second issue will prove that we’re the real deal, a literary magazine with plans for the future. After all, many people and organizations can cobble together one issue, but we’re here for the long haul, and we’re wildly excited about the poetry and fiction set to appear in the next week. I thought I’d point out a few intriguing lines and opening scenes just to whet your appetite.

From writer Bhaswati Ghosh:

“The road is a messy
half-eaten casserole.
The weekend sun, a limp
slice of lemon.
It sneaks out without a whimper. and is not missed.
I sit in the car, waiting for you to return
with vegetables,
their attendance necessary for updating the week’s meal roster.”

Or from Rachel Lyon:

“THE BEETLE LEOPARD was about the size of a large cocker spaniel, with a coat like the coat of a tortoiseshell cat: uneven, mostly dark, of mottled browns and blacks. The private company that kept him in his vivarium on Pigeon Street claimed he was the only beetle leopard on Earth.”

You’ll have to stop by Two Cities Review’s page later this week in order to read more, and to see other stories and poems from our wonderful lineup for this issue. And don’t forget that we are always reading submissions for our next issue, too; visit our Submit page for more information.