Plant a tree

Local Flatmancrooked press gives us this stunning novel, which asks, “Do we need all this technology?” The author attempts to answer in a series of four interrelated stories that often reach sublimity. In “The Surrogate,” a girl leaves the nameless character a “Dear John” note, except his letter only says “Dear.” “You Must’ve Heard Something” documents two neighbors in opposing buildings as they fend for themselves without electricity or food. In the title story, a group of travelers follow Dan—a man who is violently set on regression. “I didn’t come out here to fertilize eggs,” he says of a girl he imagines mating with. “If anything, I’d rather watch a child retard, rather than develop.” The first edition of this book is made from a seed paper cover, so when you’re done you can bury it in the ground to make a birch tree. I’m keeping mine, though. Purchase online at