Book Reviews

Ars Botanica for your sanity


In a year full of political and social turmoil, it’s easy to forget some of the good things that have happened this year, such as all the amazing literature published. The folks at The Rumpus compiled a list of their favorite books so far, including Tim Taranto’s Ars Botanica.

The Rumpus staff states, these are “the books that have kept us sane, challenged us to work harder and think bigger, and kept us dreaming and hopeful despite, well, everything else.”

We’re honored to have Ars Botanica included in this list and to help retain some sanity. We certainly need it now.


You can read the full list here!

Revise the Psalm review – The New York Times

We're proud to announce that Revise the Psalm has received a New York Times book review by Claudia Rankine, alongside The Golden Shovel Anthology: New Poems Honoring Gwendolyn Brooks (University of Arkansas Press). This is our first NY Times review, and we're are all the more happy to have it be of this book in particular.

Rankine writes that Revise the Psalm is an "expansive response to Brooks . . . we get a keen sense of the poet and her fierce commitment to community engagement," and that "in their shared mission, [Revise the Psalm and The Golden Shovel Anthology] complement each other." 

The full review can be read here, and Revise the Psalm is available for purchase in our web store. We also encourage you to read The Golden Shovel Anthology, which can be purchased here.

We would like to extend our thanks to the New York Times, to our contributors, our editors Quraysh Ali Lansana and Sandra Jackson-Opoku, to you, our readers, and – of course – to Miss Brooks. 

Book Tours

Ars Botanica is Coming Soon!

We’ve been holding onto this gem for so long, and we can’t wait anymore to get it to you! While Ars Botanica  is officially being released July 25, you can preorder from our website to ensure your copy before it hits bookshelves.
Written as letters to his unborn child, Tim Taranto’s Ars Botanica describes the infinite pleasures of falling in love — the small discoveries of each other's otherness, the crush of desire, the frightening closeness — and the terrifying impossibility of losing someone.
Publishers Weekly writes it’s "Part epistolary memoir and part emotive taxonomy of significant flora and fauna, the primary endeavor of this book, Taranto’s debut, is transformation: to wring from grief the shape and substance of art."

Catch Tim on tour:
July 21, 7:30 pm
Women and Children First, Chicago
with Suzanne Scanlon
July 24, 6 pm
A Room of One's Own, Madison
July 26, 7 pm
Magers & Quinn, Minneapolis
July 27, 6 pm
Prairie Lights, Iowa City           
July 31, 7 pm
Green Apple Books (Clement St. location), San Francisco
August 1, 8 pm
Stories Books, Los Angeles
with Barret Baumgart
August 2, 7 pm
Mother Foucault's, Portland
with Karen Russell

See You at Pitchfork!

We’ll be at Pitchfork Music Festival again this year as part of Book Fort.
Things are kicking off with the BK4T P4K Pre-Party 2K17  tomorrow, Thursday July 13 at 7pm.
Friday through Sunday, catch us slinging books (including new titles like Ars Botanica and Body Horror) at the Book Fort tent at Pitchfork in Union Park, Chicago.


Curbside Here, There, Everywhere

As much as we love to be stuck inside reading, it’s too nice out to avoid the sun. If you’re looking for an excuse to leave the house, we've got lots of events lined up for you!

Swing by Printers Row Lit Fest this weekend to grab some Curbside titles at Tent M for Book Fort: The Wandering Book Fair.

Printer’s Row, the Midwest’s largest literary gathering of book enthusiasts and authors, will be hosting their 32nd annual festival this coming weekend.  Over 200 authors will be attending this event from across the nation, but be sure to checkout the astonishing and wonderful voices of Curbside giving various talks and doing readings of their poetry and prose.    

Quraysh Ali Lansana & Sandra Jackson-Opoku – Revise the Psalm: “Our Miss Brooks: A Centennial Celebration” with Quraysh Ali Lansana & Sandra Jackson-Opoku on 9 am Saturday in room 4034 on the fourth floor of Jones College Prep.  

Ben Tanzer – Lost in Space:  Ben Tanzer in conversation with Michael Phillips, 10 am Saturday in room 4038 on the fourth floor of Jones College Prep.  

Samantha Irby – Meaty: “Wise and Witty” with Samantha Irby at 10:30 am Saturday in the South Auditorium of Jones College Prep.  

Megan Stielstra – Once I Was Cool: Thrity Umrigar, “Everybody’s Son” in conversation with Megan Stielstra at 11:15 am Saturday in room 4004 on the fourth floor of Jones College Prep.    

Anne Elizabeth Moore – Body Horror: “Horrors: Real and Imagined” with Anne Elizabeth Moore at 1 pm Saturday in room 4008 on the fourth floor of Jones College Prep.  

Toni Nealie – The Miles Between Me: “Inside the World of Hate” with Toni Nealie at 4 pm Saturday in room 4004 on the fourth floor of Jones College Prep.

Disco Demolition at Elmhurst History Museum

Disco Demolition: The Night Disco Died by Steve Dahl, Dave Hoekstra, and Paul Natkin is featured in an on-going exhibit at the Elmhurst History Museum. Using video, artifacts, interviews, memorabilia, and photographs by Natkin, this exhibit examines the culture, the music and the conflict that came to a head on a warm summer night when the wheels came off a promotion — and disco met its demise. The Disco Demolition exhibit opens today and will run through October 8th.

Revise the Psalm at ETA Creative Arts

Join Curbside Splendor and ETA Creative Arts on Saturday, June 17th, for a discussion and book signing with Quraysh Ali Lansana and Sandra Jackson-Opoku, co-editors of Revise the Psalm: Work Celebrating the Writing of Gwendolyn Brooks. Lansana and Jackson-Opoku will discuss the production of “Among All This You Stand Like a Fine Brownstone,” as well as their own relationships to Gwendolyn Brooks and her work. The discussion will begin at 6pm and end with signings. Copies of Revise the Psalm will be available for purchase; 20% of all proceeds will be donated to ETA. The show begins at 8pm, with open seating at 7:30; tickets are available on their events page

Ars Botanica at, well, all over the place

Tim Taranto’s debut Ars Botanica will be released next month. Written as letters to his unborn child, Tim Taranto’s Ars Botanica describes the infinite pleasures of falling in love — the small discoveries of each other's otherness, the crush of desire, the frightening closeness — and the terrifying impossibility of losing someone. At times astonishingly personal and even painful, Ars Botanica is also playfully funny, a rich hybrid of memoir, poetry, and illustration that delightfully defies categorization. Tim will be reading throughout July and August in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, and multiple other cities.

Hope to see you around!

- the Curbside Splendor team


Anne Elizabeth Moore reads from BODY HORROR on Lumpen Radio's Eye 94

Anne Elizabeth Moore's essay collection, Body Horror: Capitalism, Fear, Misogyny, Jokes has been featured this week on Lumpen Radio's Eye 94. Eye 94 is Lumpen Radio's books and literature program, airing every Sunday at 10 am CT. Listen below!

About the book:
Every day, heinous acts are perpetrated on women's bodies in this political economy—whether for entertainment, in the guise of medicine, or due to the conditions of labor that propel consumerism. In Body Horror: Capitalism, Fear, Misogyny, Jokes, award-winning journalist and Fulbright scholar Anne Elizabeth Moore explores the global toll of capitalism on women with thorough research and surprising humor. The essays range from probing journalistic investigations, such as Moore’s reporting on the labor conditions of the Cambodian garment industry, to the uncomfortably personal, as when Moore, who suffers from several autoimmune disorders, examines her experiences seeking care and community in the increasingly complicated (and problematic) American healthcare system. Featuring illustrations by Xander Marro, Body Horror is a fascinating and revealing portrait of the gore of contemporary American culture and politics.

About Anne Elizabeth Moore:
Anne Elizabeth Moore is the author of Unmarketable, Cambodian Grrrl, and Threadbare, former editor and co-publisher of the now-defunct Punk Planet, the founding editor of Best American Comics, a Fulbright scholar, and a USC Annenberg/Getty Arts Journalism Fellow. In 2016, she was awarded the third Write A House permanent fellowship and currently resides in Detroit.

Body Horror is now available!