April - May 2013
- I reviewed new documentary Out of Print, about the rise of digital reading and the decline of printed books, for PBS MediaShift.
- I'll be teaching two classes for Boulder Writing Studio this winter and spring. On March 16, I'll teach a workshop about building your web presence, and on April 9, Robert Gatewood and I will teach a class about writing query letters, finding an agent, and submitting your work. Check the Boulder Writing Studio website for details.
- I wrote about the potential for Amazon to begin selling "used" e-books for PBS MediaShift, and I discussed the article on Los Angeles NPR affiliate KPCC.
- My writing buddies and I established the Denver Literary Kidnapping and Drinking Club last year. Join us on Facebook, and come to our kidnapping of Emily Rapp at the Tattered Cover on March 11. Stay tuned--we'll be kidnapping Benjamin Percy in May.
January - February 2013
November - December 2012
- I reviewed Dana Johnson's wonderful novel Elsewhere, California for High Country News.
- I'm looking forward to reading at the High Plains BookFest in Billings, Montana on Saturday, October 20 at 2:30 p.m. in the Yellowstone Art Museum, along with Adele Dueck, author of Racing Home, and Robin Troy, author of Liberty Lanes.
- The High Country News fall book issue is out now, and I happily contributed three pieces to it--an appreciation of Kent Haruf's Plainsong in "Best of the West: Our Favorite Books," a review of T.C. Boyle's San Miguel, and an interview of three terrific fiction writers whose debut books are set in Nevada: Tupelo Hassman, Claire Vaye Watkins, and Ben Rogers. You have to be a subscriber to read the interview, but you can find the outtakes on my blog.
- I interviewed literary agent Jason Ashlock for PBS MediaShift about how publishers are responding to the rise of e-books.
- Thanks to the Billings Gazette for this great review of The Ringer, "Shank Masterfully Mixes Baseball, Social Unrest" by Montana bookseller Kate Manley. I'm looking forward to attending the High Plains Book Award festival in October.
- I reviewed Chris Cleave's Olympic cycling-themed novel Gold and Claire Vaye Watkins' debut story collection Battleborn for the Dallas Morning News.
- Thanks to Michael Merschel, my fabulous editor at the Dallas Morning News, for this shout out for being one of the "guys" who writes reviews for his fine book section.
May & June 2012
- The Ringer is a finalist for the High Plains Book Award in fiction! The winners will be announced in Billings in October.
- The McSweeney's Book of Politics & Musicals, with one of my pieces in it, hits stores on June 26. Order it from the Tattered Cover here.
- I'm reading at the SoBo Reading Series with poet Chip Livingston on May 10 at Vic's Espresso, 4770 Table Mesa Dr., Boulder, 7 p.m.
- I wrote about how libraries are handling the transition to digital books for PBS MediaShift. (It was also on KQED's MindShift.)
- My reviews of Deborah Copaken Kogan's The Red Book and Alyson Hagy's Boleto appeared in Dallas Morning News.
March & April 2012
- My story "Casa del Rey" appears in the spring issue of Santa Monica Review. Stop by the journal's table at the Los Angeles Times Festival of the Book (April 21-22) for a free copy of the issue.
- I spoke to publisher Richard Eoin Nash and library specialist Samantha Becker about the results of the new Pew study on the rise of e-books for PBS Media Shift.
January & February 2012
- Happy news: my "Recycle, Compost, or Trash: A Guide" that originally appeared on McSweeney's Internet Tendency willbe included in a forthcoming anthology, The McSweeney's Book of Political Discourse, Scandals and Musicals, to be published by Vintage this summer. And my short story "Casa del Rey" will be in the spring issue of Santa Monica Review.
- I'm starting to teach a new 8-week novel class for Boulder Writing Studio on Monday, January 23. There are a few spots left, so check it out!
- Poets & Writers Magazine published my literary guide to Denver as a part of their City Guide series. It's long--I wanted to include everybody who makes Denver a great, bookish place to be.
- Algonquin Books asked its authors to write about their favorite books of 2011, and Jonathan Evison, author of the awesome West of Here, was kind enough to mention The Ringer! He writes, "As good as Chad Harbach’s The Art of Fielding is (and I wrote a
blurb for it which started with the word “spectacular”), The Ringer may
be even better. Like Harbach’s Fielding, baseball serves only as a
framing device for this promising debut about such durable American
themes as race, class, and family." Evison mentioned The Ringer on Northwest Book Lovers and Three Guys One Book, too!
- Thanks to Amy Steele for including The Ringer on her best books of 2011 list on Entertainment Realm!
- My review of Mary Doria Russell's Doc ran this month in High Country News. It's a fascinating novel that gave me a new appreciation of Doc Holliday. I also reviewed Joe Henry's Lime Creek, a beautiful book about a Wyoming ranch family, for HCN. I reviewed Best of the West 2011, an anthology of Western short fiction edited by Seth Horton and West of 98, an anthology of essays about the West, edited by Russell Rowland and Lynn Stegner, for the Dallas Morning News.
- I did my annual reading tally: I read 48 books this year. That's down about seven from my high a few years ago. I blame it on the fact that my own book came out this year and I had a lot of gallivanting around to do.
- I'll be reading from The Ringer as a part of the Colorado Authors Series at the Schlessman Family Branch of the Denver Public Library on Saturday, October 22 at 2 p.m.
- Thanks to my friend David Abrams for his generous review of The Ringer for The Quivering Pen. He calls it "one of the best overlooked books of 2011."
- I'm looking forward to heading to the Montana Festival of the Book in Missoula on October 6-8. On October 7, I'll will be on a panel with Craig Lancaster, Keir Graff, and David Abrams about online book reviewing, and I'll be doing a reading from The Ringer. On October 8, I will be on a panel about themes of novels set in the West with Bonnie Jo Campbell, Jonathan Evison, and Joe Henry.
- As you may have noticed, New West, where I was the Books Editor for four years, has gone dark. I have started my own blog, Mixed Company, which I hope to add more to in the future.
- Ryan Warner interviewed me about The Ringer for a Colorado Matters show that will air on August 17 on Colorado Public Radio. You can also stream it online from cpr.org.
- I'm teaching an eight-week novel writing workshop through the Boulder Writers Workshop at the Boulder Book Store. It'll meet on Monday evenings, 6-8 p.m., starting on September 12. Sign up here. (You have to join the Boulder Writers Workshop Meetup to register, but don't worry, it isn't hard!)
- I recently interviewed Manuel Muñoz about his wonderful new novel What You See in the Dark for New West.
- The Denver Diatribe hosted me for a discussion of the little league baseball and literary scenes in Denver. You can listen to the podcast here.
- I'll be teaching a class about novel writing for the Boulder Writers Workshop on July 16 at the Paradise Bakery in Boulder at 9:30 a.m. You can sign up here.
- I'm looking forward to my reading at the Englewood Public Library on Monday, July 18 at 6:30 p.m. It's free to attend, and all are welcome.
- Cathy Langer, head buyer for Denver's Tattered Cover, recommended The Ringer in this Summer Book Preview on Colorado Matters, a Colorado Public Radio show, and chose The Ringer for the Tattered Cover's Summer Reading 2011 list.
- New Pages reviewed The Ringer: "Shank’s novel is a solid, well
written, and enjoyable summer read, especially for fans of
baseball…and homesick Denverites."
- New West ran two excerpts of The Ringer, chapters one and two, along with some cool illustrations by Patrick Gill.
- And this is not news about me, but my family is so excited: My cousin Tommy Hottovy just got called up to pitch for the Red Sox after six years in the minor leagues! Read all about it here and here and here.
- I just heard that The Ringer is one of five finalists for the Reading the West Book Awards sponsored by the Mountains and Plains Independent Booksellers Association! I'd do a backflip if only I were able!
- Thanks to everyone who turned out for my Boulder Book Store reading, The Ringer is #1 on the Boulder Daily Camera Best Seller List and #10 on the Denver Post Hardcover Fiction Best Seller List!
- A kind bookseller nominated The Ringer for the Reading the West Award, sponsored by the Mountains & Plains Independent Booksellers Association.
- Paris-based novelist Janet Skeslien Charles was kind enough to interview me on her blog.
- My review of Ann Packer's new story collection, Swim Back To Me, ran in the Dallas Morning News.
- There was a great review in the Boulder Daily Camera in advance of my reading at the Boulder Book Store on April 27: The Ringer is "a compelling story that explores cultural and
economic divisions, even as it makes clear they can be bridged through the most
unexpected of circumstances."
- I'm gearing up for the big book launch of The Ringer at the Tattered Cover (LoDo) on Friday, April 8 at 7:30 p.m. Come for the reading, and join me afterward for a drink at the Wynkoop Brewery!
- Westword interviewed me about my Denver novel crusade and was kind enough to invite everybody to my Tattered Cover book launch. And my former employer, The Onion A.V. Club, gave a nice shout-out to my book: "In The Ringer, first-time novelist Jenny Shank displays an unerring sense of direction while steering her book through rugged emotional terrain with a deft touch and obvious skill."
- Three Guys One Book features my essay about my childhood literary influences for their series When We Fell In Love: a shout out to Mark Twain, Sherlock Holmes, and Zora Neale Hurston.
- Check out the great review of The Ringer in the April issue of 5280 Magazine: "Newbie novelist Jenny Shank knocks it out of the park (pun intended) with her first book, The Ringer. The dramatic story, set against the backdrop of a Little League championship, follows two Denver families from different cultures--opposing teams off the field, but teammates during the game--who are forced to deal with the tragic repercussions of a deadly mistake. Shank has a knack for writing prose that's both artful and detailed, and is bound to have a rewarding career as a novelist: This book was a semifinalist for the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award." - Anna Bergquist
- Listen to The Write Question on Montana Public Radio on March 24 at 7:30 p.m. or check it out online to hear my discussion with Chérie Newman about The Ringer.
- I will be speaking and reading from The Ringer the Denver Woman's Press Club meeting on March 21.
- Image Journal gave The Ringer a great review: "The Ringer is a quintessential American story that deftly and compassionately examines the nuances of race, culture, and religion in contemporary society—and it does so with heart, wit, and playfulness."
- I'm excited to report that I will be on Denver's KUVO during the R&B Jukebox on Saturday, April 2 at 8 p.m. for an interview with Easy Bill, who will spin a Ringer-themed setlist. Tune in to 89.3 if you're in Denver, or stream it from KUVO.org from anywhere.
- Operation El Johnway is on! Now to distribute his postcards around Denver…
- The book launch for THE RINGER is set for April 8 at the LoDo Tattered Cover. I'll do a baseball-themed reading in honor of the Rockies' opening week.
- Library Journal gave The Ringer a fantastic review in their Spring Baseball Book Roundup: "Every first novel has the potential to seize the interest of a wide readership when it combines these elements: a young baseball player seeking solace on the field for the loss of a father killed by police in a botched drug raid; a veteran Denver police officer (and baseball coach) scarred by a life-ending and life-changing split-second decision; and the women-mother/widow and the wife-who seek to move forward with their lives. Add to the mix a fragile history of urban ethnic discord, rivalry and then unity in a common pursuit, and the fact that no truth ever remains hidden. The result is an entertaining and suspenseful tale with a compelling climax. For diamond fans and those who enjoy a well-written contemporary novel.—G.R."
- Kirkus Reviews gives The Ringer a rave: "Shank's first at-bat as a novelist is a hit."
- The Ringer's very first review in Publishers Weekly: "Shank debuts promisingly with the dramatic story of two families upended by an accidental police shooting. Denver police officer Ed O'Fallon is wracked with guilt after he guns down a man during a drug raid; Patricia Maestas, meanwhile, is instantly made a widow and single mother. Their narratives are equally engaging: as Ed's marriage buckles under the weight of his feelings of guilt, Patricia struggles to keep her 12-year-old son, Ray, out of trouble. What keeps Ray off the streets is baseball--the same sport Ed's sons are devoted to. When an investigation reveals the warrant for the fateful raid had the wrong address, Patricia and her family become a symbol of the wrongs suffered by the Latino community. The novel comes to a full boil after Patricia and Ed discover one another's identities through their sons' baseball teams…The narrative…barrels toward a well-handled climax."
- It's official! I'll be reading from THE RINGER at the Boulder Book Store in Boulder, Colo. on Wednesday, April 27 (7:30 p.m.).
- I am happy to report that my essay about writing, "Ham-and-Egger," will appear in the January/February 2011 issue of Poets & Writers.
- I reviewed Benjamin Percy's taut, accomplished first novel, The Wilding, for the Dallas Morning News.
- I reviewed Danielle Evans' moving and funny story collection Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self for the Dallas Morning News.
- My story "Moonlight, Starlight, Boogie Won't Be Out Tonight," is in the Fall/Winter 2010 issue of Alaska Quarterly Review.
- I interviewed Benjamin Percy about his new novel The Wilding for NewWest: Part 1 & Part 2.
- Check out this cool new Google Map of Book Festivals of the West we put together for New West. (And let me know if I forgot any festivals, conferences, or workshops.)
- I wrote for the Dallas Morning News that Jennifer Egan's A Visit From The Goon Squad "expertly captures the spirit of our times."
- My review of Brady Udall's awesome novel, The Lonely Polygamist, appeared in the Dallas Morning News. I also interviewed him for New West, here and here.
- My review of Pam Grier's memoir, Foxy: My Life in Three Acts, ran in the Boulder Daily Camera. I, like Pam Grier, grew up in Denver and graduated from a Denver Public high school. Then, our paths diverged: she became the glamorous star of blaxploitation films and Quentin Tarantino's unforgettable Jackie Brown and the world's first female action hero, while I became a simple book reviewer. Also, guess which one of us Snoop Dogg visits when he passes through Colorado?
- My review of the new English translation of Adriana Lisboa's 2003 novel "Symphony in White" appeared in the Boulder Daily Camera.
- New West April Fools' piece "Dr. Seuss Explains the Rocky Mountain Pine Beetle Epidemic" was reprinted in the Forest Health Task Force newsletter, the Mountain States Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association newsletter, Sharon O'Toole's Western Folklife blog, Sun Valley Online, the Montana Wood Products Association, the Helena National Forest Newsletter, and the Minnesota Forest Insect and Disease Newsletter. According to one ranger, the piece has "circulated like wildfire around the Forest Service." This caused me to wonder how often forest rangers use the phrase "like wildfire" to describe non-fire phenomenon.
- My review of Laurie Wagner Buyer's When I Came West appeared in the Dallas Morning News.
- Story, "Moonlight, Starlight, Boogie Won't Be Out Tonight," will appear in a forthcoming issue of Alaska Quarterly Review.
- Review of The Geographical Imagination of Annie Proulx: Rethinking Regionalism, edited by Alex Hunt, appears in the Winter 2010 issue of Western American Literature.
- Story, "Lightest Lights Against Darkest Darks" appears in the Winter 2009 issue of Prairie Schooner.
- Check out my picks on New West for the best books in the West for 2009 (Part 1 and Part 2), as well as my top five books in the West.