The Sound of Things Falling

The Sound of Things Falling
Juan Gabriel Vásquez
© 2011
Translated from Spanish by Anne McLean
© 2012

Pablo Escobar

In the 1980s, Pablo Escobar was an evil, murderous drug trafficker, who was responsible for creating an atmosphere of fear in Colombia. He killed (or had assassinated) those people who tried to stand against him.  People were scared to venture outside, worried about criminals and drive-bys. But Escobar had a huge estate on which he created his own personal zoo, so this awful drug lord’s home became a tourist attraction. Families would visit his massive estate to see the hippos, giraffes, elephants, and tigers.

Escobar was killed in 1994, and, after his death, his estate (including the zoo) fell into disrepair. The Sound of Things Falling begins with the death of one of Escobar’s hippos: Continue reading


Hello, email subscribers and followers!

You may have noticed that you got an email notification for a review of Where’d You Go, Bernadette on Tuesday with a dead link. That was a mistake. I accidentally published that review and then immediately deleted it.

The review is now live (and will remain live this time!). You can access it here:

Thanks for following IKWYSR. Sorry for the confusion!

Where’d You Go, Bernadette

Where’d You Go, Bernadette
Maria Semple
© 2012

After reading The Round HouseI was in the mood for some fluff reading.


Mmmmm, fluff.

Everyone has a different definition of fluff.  For me, there is acceptable fluff and unacceptable fluff.  Acceptable fluff is fun, not super “thinky,” and easily digestible.  Unacceptable fluff is poorly written, trite, or just plain dumb.

Acceptable fluff includes: Continue reading

Turn Around Bright Eyes

Turn Around Bright Eyes: The Rituals of Love and Karaoke
Rob Sheffield
© 2013

I have another confession to make: I looooooooove karaoke.

I love your standard get-up-in-front-of-a-group-of-drunk-people-and-sing karaoke:


(A disclaimer: this picture is from the late ‘90s.  I have no explanation for my hairstyle or why my stepsister and I are dressed alike.  I do know, however, that we were singing “Miss You Much” by Janet Jackson.  I’m not afraid to admit that it was one of my karaoke go-tos back then.)

That picture was taken on a cruise.  I used to think it didn’t get much better than cruise-ship karaoke . . . but that was before I’d experienced true karaoke. Continue reading