We Love Anderson Cooper
"Told with humor and wisdom, these charming stories burst with possibility: At any moment, a character might risk all, or the world might tilt on its axis. Here is a wildly entertaining new voice, one to revel in."—Rebecca Makkai, author of The Great BelieversIn this quirky, humorous, and deeply human short story collection, Pushcart Prize-nominated author R.L. Maizes reminds us that even in our most isolated moments, we are never truly alone.In We Love Anderson Cooper, characters are treated as outsiders because of their sexual orientation, racial or religious identity, or simply because they look different. A young man courts the publicity that comes from outing himself at his bar mitzvah. When a painter is shunned because of his appearance, he learns to ink tattoos that come to life. A paranoid Jewish actuary suspects his cat of cheating on him—with his Protestant girlfriend.In this debut collection, humor complements pathos. Readers will recognize themselves in these stories and in these protagonists, whose backgrounds are vastly different from their own—we’ve all been outsiders at some point.

We Love Anderson Cooper Details

TitleWe Love Anderson Cooper
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJul 23rd, 2019
PublisherCeladon Books (Macmillan)
Rating
GenreShort Stories, Fiction, Contemporary

We Love Anderson Cooper Review

  • Jennifer Blankfein
    January 1, 1970
    This short story collection was an unexpected treat! Not really a short story reader, I was taken by surprise at how engaging the stories were and how engrossed in them I became in such a short time! Book available for preorder and will be published in July.Follow Book Nation by Jen for all reviews and recommendations.Feel Like an Outsider? You Are Not Alone. R.L. Maizes’ characters try to overcome challenges in We Love Anderson Cooper.Review and Q & A With R.L. MaizesI haven’t read a lot of This short story collection was an unexpected treat! Not really a short story reader, I was taken by surprise at how engaging the stories were and how engrossed in them I became in such a short time! Book available for preorder and will be published in July.Follow Book Nation by Jen for all reviews and recommendations.Feel Like an Outsider? You Are Not Alone. R.L. Maizes’ characters try to overcome challenges in We Love Anderson Cooper.Review and Q & A With R.L. MaizesI haven’t read a lot of short stories and when the publisher asked me to take a look at We Love Anderson Cooper I was happy to do so…the title made me smile and when the book arrived I was increasingly motivated by the great looking cover!A teenage boy coming out publicly at his Bar Mitzvah, a cat playing favorites during the Christmas/Hanukah holiday season, the relief of a called off wedding, and the power of a couch…so wonderful getting to know the varied characters and becoming absorbed in their emotional journeys in such a short time.I really loved all the stories and was thrilled to have the opportunity to chat with author R.L. Maizes about this new short story collection, her writing process and more.Q & A with R.L. MaizesQ: From a reader’s point of view, each of your stories in this wonderful collection stand on its own and is unrelated, with different characters and situations. Every main character seems to have a problem or obstacle they face and tackle during the short time we are with them and I became invested in each and every one! Are any of these short stories in We Love Anderson Cooper linked or connected to each other in any way?Thanks so much for the kind words about the collection. What connects the stories in We Love Anderson Cooper is that the main characters are outsiders. For example, in the story “Tattoo,” a tattoo artist is shunned because of his unusual appearance. In “Collections,” a woman is excluded from her wealthy partner’s upper crust world because of her race and class. In “No Shortage of Birds,” a young girl becomes alienated from her mother and her friends when her father dies. Being outsiders creates challenges for these characters that they try to overcome in the stories.Q: Did you write each story with the others in mind? Are there other stories that didn’t make the cut? Did you always plan on putting these together in a collection?I wrote the stories over a ten-year period. The pain we all feel at being excluded and our tremendous desire to belong was one of my preoccupations, but I wasn’t thinking of writing a collection during that entire time. Many stories I wrote didn’t make the cut. Q: How long did writing each story take? Have any of them been published on their own prior to this book?With the exception of one very short one, I spent more than a year writing and revising each of them. Some took many years. A number of the stories were published in magazines before being included in the book. One aired on National Public Radio. Another was dramatized in a production of Stories on Stage. Q: From a writing standpoint, how do you gage timing, know how much to reveal in such a short time and do you have to do any work developing the characters or the story arc before the story is written or does it just all come together as you write?I’m what’s known as a pantser, which means I develop the stories as I write them (“fly by the seat of my pants”) rather than plotting them out beforehand. The stories end up needing more revision this way, but it’s the only way I know how to write. Figuring out when to reveal information is one of the great challenges of fiction writing, and each story has its own needs in that regard. In “Ghost Dogs,” for example, the last story in the collection, I intentionally hold back important information until the middle of the story. While in another story, I reveal the end of the story first, allowing the suspense to arise from how the ending comes about. Q: What is the editing process like for a short story – do you generally write too much and have to cut, or too little and have to expand?Both! I have to write too much to discover what the story is really about. Once I know, I cut to the heart of the story. The challenge of the form is compression. At the same time, when I want to go deeper into a character or to slow down a scene for dramatic purposes, I expand parts of the story. Q: Would you ever consider expanding any of these stories into a book?I’m writing a novel now called “Other People’s Pets.” The main character is an animal empath who drops out of veterinary school to become a burglar. Her father’s been arrested and she’s desperate to earn enough to pay his attorney’s fees. It has some similarities with the collection. The main character is an outsider and the book features animals. But it’s not an expansion of any of the stories. I don’t plan to expand any of the stories in the collection because each one feels complete to me as it is. Q: How do you get your ideas for your writing?Stories are everywhere. A news report might trigger an idea for a story. Something that happened to an acquaintance might be the genesis of a story. I might observe something odd in my neighborhood. But the finished stories are always greatly changed from what initially sparked them. Q: Are you going on book tour?It’s a little too soon to know. I’ll be reading at bookstores in Colorado where I live. But I’m not sure where else I’ll tour. Q: What are three books you recently read and would recommend? I loved Rebecca Makkai’s recent novel, The Great Believers, and her story collection, Music for Wartime. Mad Boy by Nick Arvin is a wonderful book, funny and tender. It’s currently a finalist for a Colorado Book Award. I’m a big fan of Steve Yarbrough’s novels because of the compassion he has for his characters. The Unmade World, which came out this past year, was fantastic. I thought Sigrid Nunez’s The Friend was great. Naturally because of the dog. But also because the structure of that book was marvelous. I guess that’s more than three.Q: What is on your nightstand to read next? I’m looking forward to reading Susan Choi’s Trust Exercise and was lucky enough to pick up an advance reading copy at a conference I recently attended. I’m also about to begin Kali Fajardo-Anstine’s debut story collection, Sabrina & Corina. Thank you to R.L. Maizes for answering some questions! If you feel like an outsider, you are not alone. Easy to read, engaging and thought provoking, every step of the way, I highly recommend pre-ordering a copy of We Love Anderson Cooper today – book will be available in July.
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  • R.L. Maizes
    January 1, 1970
    It's too strange to review your own book. So instead I'm going to quote what two authors I admire had to say about it: "Told with humor and wisdom, these charming stories burst with possibility: At any moment, a character might risk all, or the world might tilt on its axis. Here is a wildly entertaining new voice, one to revel in." —Rebecca Makkai, author of The Great Believers"I found myself dazzled, moved, and lost in admiration for these unforgettable stories, each one a gem. Where do I sign It's too strange to review your own book. So instead I'm going to quote what two authors I admire had to say about it: "Told with humor and wisdom, these charming stories burst with possibility: At any moment, a character might risk all, or the world might tilt on its axis. Here is a wildly entertaining new voice, one to revel in." —Rebecca Makkai, author of The Great Believers"I found myself dazzled, moved, and lost in admiration for these unforgettable stories, each one a gem. Where do I sign up for the R.L. Maizes school of brilliantly depicting off-kilter love and loss with unfailing wit and empathy?"―Elinor Lipman, author of Good Riddance and On Turpentine Lane
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  • Cheri
    January 1, 1970
    !! NOW AVAILABLE !!A collection of eleven short stories by R.L. Maizes, another new author for me.The first of these short stories is the one the title of the book is based on - “We Love Anderson Cooper.” This story begins with young Markus who is reluctantly listening to his Rabbi’s recording of Leviticus 20:13 ”If a man lies with a man…both have committed an abomination…” ”In less than a month, he was supposed to chant those words from memory” in the temple, but laying on his bed with these !! NOW AVAILABLE !!A collection of eleven short stories by R.L. Maizes, another new author for me.The first of these short stories is the one the title of the book is based on - “We Love Anderson Cooper.” This story begins with young Markus who is reluctantly listening to his Rabbi’s recording of Leviticus 20:13 ”If a man lies with a man…both have committed an abomination…” ”In less than a month, he was supposed to chant those words from memory” in the temple, but laying on his bed with these words pouring into his brain through a single earbud, all he can think of is having sex with Gavin, and his plans of announcing that he’s gay during the bar mitzvah speech, hoping the YouTube video will catch Ellen DeGeneres’ attention and bring him instant fame. 4 stars“Collections,” the second story, is about a woman whose partner died, after they’d lived together for fourteen years, leaving her nothing. 2. 5 starsThe third story is “Tattoo” and follows an artist-painter who gives up his painting and uses his art afterward to focus on tattoo art, becoming more and more convinced of the life-altering nature of his new art. 4 starsFourth is “The Infidelity of Judah Maccabee” which was probably had the lightest feeling to it, without really being light. A love story between to actuaries: Barry -a male Jewish cat owner sharing his life with Mac (the cat), and Annette – a Christmas-decorating-loving woman who slowly comes to be Mac’s person. 2.5 starsFifth “No Shortage of Birds” is a sad and disturbing story of a mother and teenage daughter coming to terms with life during the aftermath of the husband / father’s death. The mother brings home a parakeet a month after his death as a gift, which the daughter doesn’t want, and tells her to take it back. 2.5 starsSixth – “L’Chaim” is perhaps the shortest, and is a tenderly moving story of a woman whose wedding has just been cancelled, looking over the venue. 4 starsSeventh – “A Cat Called Grievous.” A man and his wife, after seven non-child-bearing years, find a cat, ”curled up inside a fleece-lined boot” on their porch. The wife chooses to use the unused nursery as a room for the cat. 4 starsEighth – “Better Homes and Gardens.” A man loses his suffocating and boring job with excellent pay during the economic crisis, and takes a job delivering pizza, much to the chagrin of his wife and his two entitled teen daughters. 3 starsNinth – “Couch.” Penelope is a therapist, whose office couch had once belonged to her grandmother, and it was free so it began as her office couch out of economic sense. “ Without quite realizing it, Penelope had come to believe the couch was responsible for her success.” 4 starsTenth – “Yiddish Lessons” concerns a young teen girl trying to come to terms with the things she is prevented from pursuing since she is a girl. 4 starsEleventh – “Ghost Dogs” - this is a sad story – most of these stories have some ‘tinge’ of sadness to them, but this was sadness upon sadness upon sadness. ”Thwap. Thwap.” 4 starsAs with any collection of short stories, I enjoyed some more than others, and I’m sure that other readers might enjoy some more than I did, and others will enjoy some less. I found all of these interesting and worth reading, and I found the author’s style and viewpoint were creative and refreshingly unique. Pub Date: 23 Jul 2019Many thanks for the ARC provided by Celadon Books
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  • Jill
    January 1, 1970
    You just gotta love a short story collection titled We Love Anderson Cooper.Anderson Cooper is, of course the ultimate insider’s outsider – proudly gay and successful without making traditionalists the slightest bit uncomfortable. And that’s the thing about R.L. Maizes’ characters: they’re all outsiders and many are even quirky. But they are also recognizably us – even if, often, they are an exaggerated portrait of who we are.Each short story collection has its subjective favorites, and so here You just gotta love a short story collection titled We Love Anderson Cooper.Anderson Cooper is, of course the ultimate insider’s outsider – proudly gay and successful without making traditionalists the slightest bit uncomfortable. And that’s the thing about R.L. Maizes’ characters: they’re all outsiders and many are even quirky. But they are also recognizably us – even if, often, they are an exaggerated portrait of who we are.Each short story collection has its subjective favorites, and so here are some of mine: the story Tattoo introduces a fine painter, face covered with large black moles, who becomes a sought-after tattoo artist because his inkings turn into living flesh. In A Cat Called Grievous (it helps to love animals to enjoy R.L. Maizes’ stories!), an infertile couple take in a stray cat whose litter has died and then watch the daughter they eventually have adopt some of her behavior. In Shortage of Birds, a grieving young teen whose dad has just died feels jealousy toward a parakeet who usurps her mom’s love.There is a Jewish actuary who feels cheated that his cat seems to prefer his new Protestant wife. A teenage boy whose reading of Leviticus prompts him to come out of the closet during his Bar Mitzvah. And more – 11 stories in all. With a touch of humor and more than a touch of compassion, this debut author writes engaging stories that reveal that all of us – no matter what background we are or emotional state we’re in – just wants understanding and love.
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  • Marjorie
    January 1, 1970
    A young girl’s father dies and her mother gives her a parakeet to cheer her up but that only worsens her feelings of loss. A young boy decides to use his bar mitzvah as the time to come out about being gay. A struggling artist turns to doing tattoos which are more real than usual. A Jewish man struggles with his jealousy of his cat’s affections for his Christian girlfriend and her desire to celebrate Christmas. A cat named Grievous makes a profound impact on her family. A therapist finds a couch A young girl’s father dies and her mother gives her a parakeet to cheer her up but that only worsens her feelings of loss. A young boy decides to use his bar mitzvah as the time to come out about being gay. A struggling artist turns to doing tattoos which are more real than usual. A Jewish man struggles with his jealousy of his cat’s affections for his Christian girlfriend and her desire to celebrate Christmas. A cat named Grievous makes a profound impact on her family. A therapist finds a couch for her office that does a better job than she does. Petal and Tanner are two dogs that are sorely missed by their owner.I couldn’t have been more impressed with these wonderful, unique short stories. Many of the stories have pets as a focal point. The author uses these conflicts caused by pets as a fascinating way of exploring grief, loss and jealousy. Another theme the author uses in these stories is that of being an outsider. Some of these stories are humorous, some are tragic and some are pure magic. The last line of the last story, “Ghost Dogs”, quite literally tore my heart in two. I just sat there stunned. This isn’t a book I requested but it found its way to me anyway and I’m so glad it appeared one day. Thank you, Celadon Books, for sending me this lovely book. I will treasure it always.Most highly recommended.This book was given to me by the publisher in return for an honest review.
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  • Lisa
    January 1, 1970
    *I received this book as an ARC from the author for an honest review.*4.5 stars!Short stories and I don’t always get along. They’ve typically been a hit or miss with me in the past. I’m pleased to say these stories were a hit! Some were humorous, some sad and some I found myself cheering the protagonist on. There were some dislikable characters but they made the stories what they are. This is R.L. Maizes debut collection and I look forward to anything else she writes in the future. You may recog *I received this book as an ARC from the author for an honest review.*4.5 stars!Short stories and I don’t always get along. They’ve typically been a hit or miss with me in the past. I’m pleased to say these stories were a hit! Some were humorous, some sad and some I found myself cheering the protagonist on. There were some dislikable characters but they made the stories what they are. This is R.L. Maizes debut collection and I look forward to anything else she writes in the future. You may recognize yourself in some of these stories and others may be totally different than anything you’ve experienced. I definitely recommend this collection!This book will be released 7/23/19.
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  • Laura G (lauralovestoread)
    January 1, 1970
    I was pleasantly surprised by these short stories! Told with humor and in such a wonderful way. I don’t read many short story collections but I highly recommend these! *Thank you to Celadon Books for providing a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own
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  • Kasa Cotugno
    January 1, 1970
    What a strong, involving collection this is. And not a clinker in the bunch. Although I've checked my culture-Jewish and magic realism boxes, not all stories fall into those categories, but enough do to warrant notice. The author's ability to create characters at a crossroads and have their situation play out in ways that are truly original kept me reaching for "one more, just one more," until the book was done. I usually like to stretch collections of short stories out, but each story was so di What a strong, involving collection this is. And not a clinker in the bunch. Although I've checked my culture-Jewish and magic realism boxes, not all stories fall into those categories, but enough do to warrant notice. The author's ability to create characters at a crossroads and have their situation play out in ways that are truly original kept me reaching for "one more, just one more," until the book was done. I usually like to stretch collections of short stories out, but each story was so different from its predecessor, I just kept going. Maizes also has a true knack for portraying the affinity between animals and their humans, exhibiting a deep understanding of the heart.
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  • Amy
    January 1, 1970
    Usually I’m not much for short story collections. They seem to be hit and miss. I absolutely loved this one though! I felt connected and interested in each one. Even found myself repeating the stories to my husband. :)
  • Beverly
    January 1, 1970
    This is why I revere short stories and have been exploring them for 50 years. I love what goes on in R.L.’s head. Brilliant and life-affirming pieces.Update: posted today on “The Millions” is a lovely interview with R.L. I look forward to “Other People’s Pets”.
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  • Jessica
    January 1, 1970
    WE LOVE ANDERSON COOPER is a short story collection bringing together tales about characters that have experienced being treated as outsiders for a variety of reasons, such as sexual orientation, religious identity, socioeconomic status, and their appearance. Each story focuses on a unique situation with a mixture of humor and heavy topics. Maizes debut collection drops the reader into stories that make they question what they would do in someone else’s shoes, while at the same time evaluating h WE LOVE ANDERSON COOPER is a short story collection bringing together tales about characters that have experienced being treated as outsiders for a variety of reasons, such as sexual orientation, religious identity, socioeconomic status, and their appearance. Each story focuses on a unique situation with a mixture of humor and heavy topics. Maizes debut collection drops the reader into stories that make they question what they would do in someone else’s shoes, while at the same time evaluating how we treat those around us.I don’t read a lot of short story collections, but I’m always intrigued by them and think they make a great compliment to a chunky TBR. I always envision them as short stories to sprinkle in between reads to break up the bigger books. That being said, I’ve mostly read collections by various authors or with a focus on horror/thriller stories. When I received WE LOVE ANDERSON COOPER I had no idea what to expect. By the time I finished, I was in love!R.L. Maizes has put together a collection of eleven stories that range in topic, but always fit the same formula. The stories all focus on an individual dealing with a situation where they are made to feel like an outsider. There are some heavy topics to digest, but Maizes always finds a way to balance that with humor. I was very pleasantly surprised by the inclusion of a magical realism aspect to several stories. If I had to pick my favorite stories from this collection, I would choose: A Cat Called Grievous, We Love Anderson Cooper, Tattoo, and Collections. There were a few stories I think missed the mark for me personally, but I can see them working for others. If you’re looking to add a short story collection that will make you think to your TBR, I would definitely giving this one a go!Disclosure: Thank you Celadon Books for sending me a free copy of this book!
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  • Susan Kaplan
    January 1, 1970
    This is one of the most delightful collections of short stories I've ever read. Although Ms. Maizes has her own, distinct, voice, her dry wit, clever character development, and sometimes peculiar situations remind me a lot of Jacob M. Appel and David Sedaris (two of my all-time favorite contemporary writers). The book's title is also the title of the first story; in brief, the story of the angst of a boy preparing to "become a man" at his bar mitzvah.. While you don't have to be Jewish to apprec This is one of the most delightful collections of short stories I've ever read. Although Ms. Maizes has her own, distinct, voice, her dry wit, clever character development, and sometimes peculiar situations remind me a lot of Jacob M. Appel and David Sedaris (two of my all-time favorite contemporary writers). The book's title is also the title of the first story; in brief, the story of the angst of a boy preparing to "become a man" at his bar mitzvah.. While you don't have to be Jewish to appreciate it, I think the fact that I am Jewish made this story even more delicious for me. This boy is suffering more than the usual pre-bar mitzvah jitters; his bar mitzvah Torah portion just happens to be from the chapters in Leviticus that admonish that men should not lie with men. While only the Orthodox still believe this to be a prohibition against homosexuality (the Reform Movement has figured a way around this by dismissing this commandment as no longer relevant), it's a tricky subject nonetheless. made even more difficult for this young man because he is gay, and, in fact, has a boyfriend. He refuses to read the speech his mother wrote for him, choosing instead to use his own words, but when the moment arises, he's so flustered that he publicly comes out before the congregation, his friends and family, and all the other guests. By the time this happened, I was laughing so much that tears ran from my eyes and snot from my nose. Well, okay, that's an exaggeration. But it's darn funny. And it doesn't end the way the poor bar mitzvah boy fears.Ms. Maizes is an absolute delight as a writer. She infuses all her characters (including a couple of cats) with humanity and makes them believable, then adds her twists of fate and wit to make them truly come alive. All the other stories in this collection measure up to the high standard set by "We Love Anderson Cooper." Ms. Maizes has either published the other pieces in magazines or read them on NPR, but I'd not heard of her before receiving the book as an ARC from NetGalley. I think she is currently writing a book. I'll be first in line to get it.
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  • Anneke
    January 1, 1970
    Book Review: We Love Anderson Cooper: Short StoriesAuthor: R. L. MaizesPublisher: Celadon BooksPublication Date: July 23, 2019Review Date: June 27, 2019I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. From the blurb:“In this quirky, humorous, and deeply human short story collection, Pushcart Prize-nominated author R.L. Maizes reminds us that even in our most isolated moments, we are never truly alone.In We Love Anderson Cooper, characters are treated as outsiders because of Book Review: We Love Anderson Cooper: Short StoriesAuthor: R. L. MaizesPublisher: Celadon BooksPublication Date: July 23, 2019Review Date: June 27, 2019I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. From the blurb:“In this quirky, humorous, and deeply human short story collection, Pushcart Prize-nominated author R.L. Maizes reminds us that even in our most isolated moments, we are never truly alone.In We Love Anderson Cooper, characters are treated as outsiders because of their sexual orientation, racial or religious identity, or simply because they look different. A young man courts the publicity that comes from outing himself at his bar mitzvah. When a painter is shunned because of his appearance, he learns to ink tattoos that come to life. A paranoid Jewish actuary suspects his cat of cheating on him―with his Protestant girlfriend.In this debut collection, humor complements pathos. Readers will recognize themselves in these stories and in these protagonists, whose backgrounds are vastly different from their own―we’ve all been outsiders at some point.”The author has been published in numerous literary magazines, but this is her debut book. This is a extraordinary collection of short stories. Weird, strange, outside the box, sharp and very funny. As I’ve mentioned before, I think writing a good short story is difficult and rare. I absolutely loved every single story in this book. I can’t wait to read the author’s next book, and will look for her writing elsewhere. Her stories reminded me of Amy Bonnaffons’ book, The Wrong Heaven, published almost one year ago. The same outside the box, sharp, funny type of short stories. The characters in the stories were well pictured and the arc of each story was perfect. Many of the stories featured companion animals and the love and devotion we have for our pets. I highly, highly recommend this book! 5+ Stars!Thank you to Celadon Books for approving early access of this book to me. And best of luck to the author. This review will be posted on NetGalley, Goodreads and Amazon. #netgalley #celadonbooks #weloveandersoncooper #rlmaizes
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  • BookGypsy
    January 1, 1970
    A short story collection I found to be different than most. In these stories the characters are all outsiders. Either by sexual orientation, racial, religious and even appearance. These stories are unique, heartfelt and funny. I enjoyed every of them. Cleaver and witty. A wonderful collection. I wanted to more!Thank you Celadon Books!Dawnny-BookGypsyNovels N LatteHudson Valley NY
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  • Elizabeth
    January 1, 1970
    11 amazing stories about outsiders, told with compassion and great humor and the occasional bit of magical realism. Maizes is a master of openings: the first sentences of the book begin the title story with: "Marcus hadn't had sex with Gavin. Not yet." Then we watch Marcus (and ache with/for Marcus) as he comes out as gay in front of all the guests at his Bar Mitzvah. Later, we meet the tattoo artist who transforms, and maybe heals, his clients, but not himself. And the therapist whose patients 11 amazing stories about outsiders, told with compassion and great humor and the occasional bit of magical realism. Maizes is a master of openings: the first sentences of the book begin the title story with: "Marcus hadn't had sex with Gavin. Not yet." Then we watch Marcus (and ache with/for Marcus) as he comes out as gay in front of all the guests at his Bar Mitzvah. Later, we meet the tattoo artist who transforms, and maybe heals, his clients, but not himself. And the therapist whose patients are magically healed by her couch. The teenager who feels guilty for her father's death. The woman struggling with infertility who develops an attachment to a new-found cat. (Pets play a major role in the lives of many of these outsiders.) Every story is different, and every story delivers a surprise. Pub date is July 23 -- order it now!
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  • BookTrib.com
    January 1, 1970
    I haven’t read a lot of short stories and when the publisher asked me to take a look at We Love Anderson Cooper (Celadon Books) I was happy to do so…the title made me smile and when the book arrived I was increasingly motivated by the great looking cover!A teenage boy coming out publicly at his Bar Mitzvah, a cat playing favorites during the Christmas/Hanukah holiday season, the relief of a called-off wedding, and the power of a couch…so wonderful getting to know the varied characters and becomi I haven’t read a lot of short stories and when the publisher asked me to take a look at We Love Anderson Cooper (Celadon Books) I was happy to do so…the title made me smile and when the book arrived I was increasingly motivated by the great looking cover!A teenage boy coming out publicly at his Bar Mitzvah, a cat playing favorites during the Christmas/Hanukah holiday season, the relief of a called-off wedding, and the power of a couch…so wonderful getting to know the varied characters and becoming absorbed in their emotional journeys in such a short time.I really loved all the stories and was thrilled to have the opportunity to chat with author R.L. Maizes about this new short story collection, her writing process and more.Our interview with the author: https://booktrib.com/2019/06/feel-lik...
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  • Crystal Zavala
    January 1, 1970
    I very rarely seek out short story collections, but I will be looking forward to anything R.L. Maizes writes in the future. I really enjoyed all of these stories.We Love Anderson Cooper ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐Collections ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐Tattoo (Initially ⭐⭐⭐, but in the end this story stuck with me the longest and I am going to change it to ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐. It was just so different from all the other stories that it caught me off guard)The Infidelity of Judah Macabee ⭐⭐⭐No Shortage of Birds ⭐⭐⭐⭐L'Chaim ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐A Cat Called Grievous ⭐⭐⭐⭐ I very rarely seek out short story collections, but I will be looking forward to anything R.L. Maizes writes in the future. I really enjoyed all of these stories.We Love Anderson Cooper ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐Collections ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐Tattoo (Initially ⭐⭐⭐, but in the end this story stuck with me the longest and I am going to change it to ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐. It was just so different from all the other stories that it caught me off guard)The Infidelity of Judah Macabee ⭐⭐⭐No Shortage of Birds ⭐⭐⭐⭐L'Chaim ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐A Cat Called Grievous ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐Better Homes and Gardens ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐Couch ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐Yiddish Lessons ⭐⭐⭐Ghost Dogs ⭐⭐⭐⭐
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  • Daniel Cuthbert
    January 1, 1970
    I received a e-galley of this title from Netgalley and leave my honest thoughts about it below. Humor and sadness combine in this slim but enlightening collection of 11 short stories by R.L. Maizes. Besides the title story, in which a young boy growing into his sexuality finds that fame and freedom aren’t all that you need, Maizes includes stories dealing with the magical power of couches, the role of a cat within family relationships, and in both the shortest and yet in my opinion, the most pow I received a e-galley of this title from Netgalley and leave my honest thoughts about it below. Humor and sadness combine in this slim but enlightening collection of 11 short stories by R.L. Maizes. Besides the title story, in which a young boy growing into his sexuality finds that fame and freedom aren’t all that you need, Maizes includes stories dealing with the magical power of couches, the role of a cat within family relationships, and in both the shortest and yet in my opinion, the most powerful of stories, L’Chaim, how tragedy and humor can mix together to devastating effect. There is much here to find that is both interesting and delightful. Infidelity and secrets are dealt with both tragically and in “A Cat Called Grievous” humorously, albeit with a bitter blackened edge. “Better Homes and Gardens” talks of the divides that occur when financial circumstances turn and priorities amongst family members turn against each other. And “Yiddish Lessons” speaks of the eternal battle between traditional and modern priorities. Some may look down at short stories collections as secondary works for authors, preferring to see the skill involved in weaving one longer tale as the better talent. But what keeps me coming back to strong collections like this is in getting to peek behind the mask of an author, where each story illuminates the priorities and concerns the author sees around them. In reading these stories, you get to see a more complete picture of what they have to say, and in the case of R.L. Maizes, she has a great deal to tell us. I for one, am looking forward to reading more of it.
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  • Kate TerHaar
    January 1, 1970
    This is a wonderful collection of stories all of which deal with overcoming challenges of one type or another. Each story different from each other yet all cohesive in the theme and all very readable and enjoyable.. Couldn't help but root the characters in each story with their quirks and Idiosyncrasies after all , all of us outsiders want to be cheered on and loved, Highly recommend.
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  • Jennifer Haupt
    January 1, 1970
    I couldn't love these stories more. They are funny, touching, thoughtful, transformative... everything you want from a short story collection. My only complaint: I want MORE!! My favorite is the one about the guy who thinks his cat is cheating on him with his girlfriend -- hilarious and touching. Kudos, Ms. Maizes!!
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  • Kate Vocke
    January 1, 1970
    I was so excited to read this one in May because it was Short Story Month! I don't read a lot of short stories, so I hadn't planned it - and when this one came across my path - something about it just really intrigued me. And I am SO glad I read it!The stories are so fresh and modern, that even though some weren't necessarily something I could relate to - they felt very contemporary as far as the world today, and how it feels to be different - or an outsider. There's tales of coming out, marriag I was so excited to read this one in May because it was Short Story Month! I don't read a lot of short stories, so I hadn't planned it - and when this one came across my path - something about it just really intrigued me. And I am SO glad I read it!The stories are so fresh and modern, that even though some weren't necessarily something I could relate to - they felt very contemporary as far as the world today, and how it feels to be different - or an outsider. There's tales of coming out, marriage, several animal stories (including that bird on the cover!), stories of isolation and jealousy, and every single one of them just seemed so incredibly human.Some made me laugh out loud, every single one moved me. The whole collection is quirky and eclectic and held my attention. This book has invigorated my desire to seek out and read more short stories!
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  • Barbara (The Bibliophage)
    January 1, 1970
    R.L. Maizes tells stories of discovery, haunting, and the everyday rhythms of life. Her writing is by turns eloquent, poignant, and groaningly funny. And her characters are as unique as you’ll find in contemporary short stories.Maizes’ tales feature teenagers, grown men and women, and more than a few beloved pets. Each character voice is clear as a bell, with conundrums to solve and hurdles to jump. Well, in fact, sometimes the hurdle trips them up.But the stories are believable constructs with R.L. Maizes tells stories of discovery, haunting, and the everyday rhythms of life. Her writing is by turns eloquent, poignant, and groaningly funny. And her characters are as unique as you’ll find in contemporary short stories.Maizes’ tales feature teenagers, grown men and women, and more than a few beloved pets. Each character voice is clear as a bell, with conundrums to solve and hurdles to jump. Well, in fact, sometimes the hurdle trips them up.But the stories are believable constructs with some slightly out-of-the-ordinary details. For example, the man who discovers his tattoo artistry helps him change lives. Or the therapist whose couch might be the literal reason for her practice’s success.In a few stories, teenagers face difficult life decisions. One is working through her father’s untimely death. Another is deciding if he can recite part of the Torah he doesn’t believe at his bar mitzvah. A third struggles to feel like a part of her family.Pets do feature strongly in Maizes’ stories, including the Jewish actuary whose non-Jewish girlfriend steals his cat’s love. And the woman mourning her dogs’ death.The breadth of this collection is matched only by the intensity of its small and meaningful details. There should be a picture of this book next to the expression “all the feels” in the bibliophile dictionary.My conclusionsI took this story on a vacation, and it was the perfect choice for a busy trip. In the spare moments on trains and planes, I was excited to see who Maizes would introduce to me next. Even amongst some fairly tragic story lines, she almost always slides a laugh in sideways.I can’t even begin to pick a favorite, since I liked so many of them. And as much as I typically give books away after I read them, I may need to keep this and revisit the characters. The only thing that’d make it better would be if Maizes would expand some stories to a full-length book.This would be a great summertime read for a book club. It’s meaty enough to discuss, but easy to slide in a carry on or poolside tote. Definitely a winner in my book!AcknowledgementsMany thanks to the author and Celadon Books for an advanced reader’s copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. Publication date is July 23, 2019.Originally published on my book blog, TheBibliophage.com.
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  • Bruce Katz
    January 1, 1970
    Charming, surprising, disarming... The author has an eye for the people on the fringes of some cultural ledge: the young boy who comes out at his Bar Mitzvah (the title of the collection comes from this story, where the mom scolds her son for not telling his parents he’s gay, proving that they would have understood and been supportive because “We love Anderson Cooper”), the man who leaves a successful but pressured career to deliver pizza, the young man who feels betrayed by his cat. Some lovely Charming, surprising, disarming... The author has an eye for the people on the fringes of some cultural ledge: the young boy who comes out at his Bar Mitzvah (the title of the collection comes from this story, where the mom scolds her son for not telling his parents he’s gay, proving that they would have understood and been supportive because “We love Anderson Cooper”), the man who leaves a successful but pressured career to deliver pizza, the young man who feels betrayed by his cat. Some lovely touches here.
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  • Erika Dreifus
    January 1, 1970
    I'm placing this book on my "Jewish Lit" shelf although not all of the 11 stories fit that label. (This book has many strengths, and the diversity—religious and other—of its characters is one of them.) I can't claim to be completely unbiased, since the author is a friend (thus, my access to a pre-publication copy). But on its own terms, the book offers a varied set of situations and stories, all infused with lively intelligence and crafted expertly. I am eager for others to have the opportunity I'm placing this book on my "Jewish Lit" shelf although not all of the 11 stories fit that label. (This book has many strengths, and the diversity—religious and other—of its characters is one of them.) I can't claim to be completely unbiased, since the author is a friend (thus, my access to a pre-publication copy). But on its own terms, the book offers a varied set of situations and stories, all infused with lively intelligence and crafted expertly. I am eager for others to have the opportunity to read it.
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  • Loraine Oliver
    January 1, 1970
    I really enjoyed this anthology of different stories by R.L. Maizes! I can't believe this is a debut author. All of the stories are very well written and thought provoking, and I really can say I enjoyed each and every one of them, and hope for more by this author!
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  • Carrie Nellis Crisp
    January 1, 1970
    I thourghly enjoyed reading this . Tattoo blew me away I have to admit . To those who don't have time to read this is perfect and who knows you might slow down a little because these short stories has a lot to offer
  • CuppaWords
    January 1, 1970
    I remember the warm delight that spread through me the very first time I encountered Russian nesting dolls. Holding the large doll that had been handed to me, I shook it, my face scrunching up as I tried to comprehend the rattle coming from within, the subtle vibrations crawling up my arm. Twisting open each one, I’d find a little gift—another doll! Like a tiger fueled by an insatiable hunger, I voraciously worked my way through the remaining dolls until the smallest one now lay nested inside my I remember the warm delight that spread through me the very first time I encountered Russian nesting dolls. Holding the large doll that had been handed to me, I shook it, my face scrunching up as I tried to comprehend the rattle coming from within, the subtle vibrations crawling up my arm. Twisting open each one, I’d find a little gift—another doll! Like a tiger fueled by an insatiable hunger, I voraciously worked my way through the remaining dolls until the smallest one now lay nested inside my tiny hands and a Cheshire grin splayed across my face.What does this have to do with this book, you may ask? Books provoke memories. At least for me they do, and it was this little memory which surfaced upon my completion of the first short story contained in R.L. Maizes wonderful collection, We Love Anderson Cooper. The collection reminded me of that original doll, each story then begging me to flip, flip, flip the page faster, each character a rare and special gem tucked inside. We Love Anderson Cooper is a delightful collection featuring a cast of characters who each feel as though they are the only soul who hasn’t been invited to the party; outcasts of society for a myriad of reasons. As a person who has felt utterly alone at one time or another, I wanted to hug each and every one of the characters Mazies introduced to me. In fact, I very much doubt any human being who reads this literary masterpiece won’t feel the same way about at least one of her characters. One pertinent note—this collection has nothing to do with Anderson Cooper; the title is derived from the first short story.Told in a sincere and charismatic tone, We Love Anderson Cooper reminds readers of the struggles we face, this reminder perhaps lending to a kinder, more empathetic society. I loved each of the stories, but if you tied me down and forced me to choose a favorite, I would struggle to decide between the “Tattoo” and “The Infidelity of Judah Maccabee.”I have said it a million times and I will say it a million more—short works of fiction tell us all we need to know about the ability of an author. After all, if a writer is able, within a very short span of parchment, to make a reader care so deeply about a character that we carry them around in the palm of our hand protecting them and cherishing them forever—just like that small Russian doll—we know we’ve stumbled upon an artist capable of anything, an artist of undeniable talent.If you are already a lover of short fiction, We Love Anderson Cooper will only make you fall in love a little deeper. For those who have typically shied away from shorter works, I encourage you to give this one a try; it won’t disappoint.We Love Anderson Cooper is a collection with which every human being will instantly feel a connection, and R.L. Maizes is an author to watch. Her talents, I know, are about to take her to heights no bird has ever dared to soar. Thank you to the publisher and Net Galley for connecting me with one of my new favorite authors, and for providing me with this copy in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Nursebookie
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you NetGalley, Publisher Celadon Books and Author R.L. Maizes for the ebook copy of an ARC of this book, We Love Anderson Cooper.I loved the short stories. I thought they were "MURAKAMIesque" as they were told in such a delightful and witty fashion. I found that through these stories, there were opportunities for deeper understanding and reflection; either to find meaning or an opportunity to relate in some way. The stories were all so different; for example, the first story which is based Thank you NetGalley, Publisher Celadon Books and Author R.L. Maizes for the ebook copy of an ARC of this book, We Love Anderson Cooper.I loved the short stories. I thought they were "MURAKAMIesque" as they were told in such a delightful and witty fashion. I found that through these stories, there were opportunities for deeper understanding and reflection; either to find meaning or an opportunity to relate in some way. The stories were all so different; for example, the first story which is based on the book title, is where a gay teen going through Bar Mitzvah, ended up confessing in public, while being recorded, His story of coming out and outing his friend were posted to YouTube. Another relates the story of the unsuccessful artist who started to use his talent tattooing nipples and beautifying bodies to earn a living. There are 11 other wonderful stories in the collection, and each one is as wonderful a read as the next. I highly recommend this book by R.L.Maizes, who is a new author to me, but one that I will be watching for in the future. I look forward to her next book/novel. She is quite a talented story teller.
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  • Andrea O
    January 1, 1970
    This collection of short stories packs a punch of memorable characters told in dark tones that teeter on the edge of bleak. Each story includes a main character that is marginalized mostly because of religion or sexual identity and several end on an unexpected note. Dark humor, healing, and affection all play their role here. Great, strange collection.
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  • Gloria
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for an eARC of this book. This collection of short stories is striking in the evenness of quality combined with a wide variety of people and situations. All of the characters are quirky and weird and out of the ordinary. While I am not a huge fan of short stories because they often give you a taste but not enough to satisfy, each story in this book felt complete. My biggest problem was wanting to hurry on to the next story without taking time to digest the o Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for an eARC of this book. This collection of short stories is striking in the evenness of quality combined with a wide variety of people and situations. All of the characters are quirky and weird and out of the ordinary. While I am not a huge fan of short stories because they often give you a taste but not enough to satisfy, each story in this book felt complete. My biggest problem was wanting to hurry on to the next story without taking time to digest the one I just read.
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