I Read Therefore I Am

Reading on a Train

Charles Kingsley said Except a living man, there is nothing more wonderful than a book! I tend to agree with him. And who am I? I’m Carla. I was born smack dab in the middle of Manhattan. I have been an avid reader since the second grade when my best friend introduced me to The Baby-Sitters Club. This blog is my way of putting that passion to good use.

By way of credentials all I have to brag about is a Bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing and a hopeless addiction to writing poetry. Sometimes nice editors at awesome literary magazines even publish my work.

Though I tend to gravitate toward literary fiction and nonfiction, by no means do I limit my reading to those genres. When I need a good escapist read I reach for an urban fantasy. Peruse my bookshelves and you’ll find material on a number of subjects and variety of genres: science fiction, romance, poetry, psychology, self-help, sociology, young adult fiction, women’s studies, philosophy, queer studies. Likewise, I don’t limit my reviewing to a particular subject or genre. I read what I feel like reading and review what I feel like reviewing. And, while I believe I have fairly wide-ranging tastes in literature there’s a firm possibility I’m the only person who thinks that, so if you would like to recommend a book for review, go right ahead. I’m always looking for something new to read.

I love discussing books, particularly with people who disagree with my opinion, however, there are some things you should keep in mind when posting a comment:

1) All comments will be screened.

2) Comments containing profanity, threats of violence, personal attacks, rants that have nothing to do with the content of the book in question, or any other form of harassment directed at me or any other commenter WILL NOT be made viewable.

3) This is a personal blog, not an open forum. I am under no obligation to make abusive comments viewable, nor am I obligated to respond to them. If you want to put your two cents in around here you must be respectful of those who disagree with you, otherwise you will not have a voice here.

I hope you get as much out of reading this blog as I get out of writing it.


  1. walter kirn said,

    i just wanted to write and thank you for your kind and perceptive review of the unbinding. it made my day to come across it on the web. yours, walter kirn

  2. Ellen Ruppel Shell said,

    web surfing, I stumbled upon your “best book of the year” nomination for The Hungry Gene–how very kind!


    Ellen Ruppel Shell

  3. tableclothtips said,

    I am also an avid reader and find this blog great- you certainly have a very wide range! Have you read any South African books?

  4. iread said,

    Mr. Kirn,

    I am really glad my post was able to make your day. Yours pretty much made my month.

  5. alicia said,


    I’d like to credit you– I’m a student at IAIA and I read your review of Natasha’s book. I can’t find your info listed… would you kindly email me and I can have a name source for your page:


    Also I know this poet so I’ll send her your words. Thanks for your love of literature.


  6. Jennifer said,


    I’m writing you (full disclosure) as author Tom Gammarino’s publicist at Chin Music Press. I wanted to thank you for your review of his debut novel, “Big in Japan: A Ghost Story.” We’re so excited that early copies of the book are finding appreciative readers – thank goodness for LibraryThing.

    Have you seen the book’s website: http://chinmusicpress.com/biginjapan.html

    I wanted to ask if you would be willing to post your review (or an abbreviated version of it) as an amazon.com review. We’re preparing for the 1 November release of this book, and it would be great to have a few positive reviews up there ahead of the pub date.

    Thanks again for reading “Big in Japan.” Not sure where you’re located, but Tom will be giving readings in Seattle, Vancouver BC, Philadelphia and New York this winter. Maybe we’ll see you there!

    Cheers and thanks,

    • iread said,

      Hi Jennifer,

      I’d be happy to post an abbreviated version of my review on Amazon. The more readers a good book can get, the better. If I hadn’t been pressed for time (I wanted to make sure I posted my review before Nov. 1st), I probably would have written ten pages of pure literary criticism. Big in Japan is so thematically rich I spent days thinking about how language, emptiness, purity, and contamination all intersect in the novel. I love books that give me something to chew on.

      I’m actually in NYC, and I see Tom will be reading at KGB Bar in December. You can bet I will be there with bells and whistles on.



  7. mykola (mick) dementiuk said,

    Hi Carla, I spotted you on the Ephemeral New York column and that you are an avid reader just as I am. I’d like to interest in a book of mine ‘Holy Communion’. Was picked by the Rainbow Awards 2009 as Best Overall Bisexual Novel. There isn’t much sex since the boy is seven years old but how he is introduced in it is very powerful.


    I’m an ex-New York too and had to move out when I had my stroke about 15 years ago, now living in lovely New Jersey, ugh! Haha!

    Wishing you the best, Mykola (Mick) Dementiuk

    • iread said,

      Hi Mick,

      Thanks for stopping by. Jersey? Really? You have my condolences, lol.

      “Holy Communion” sounds very interesting. I will definitely take the suggestion under advisement. My review schedule is a bit back logged at the moment, but I’m always looking for new reading material!

      Thanks again,


      • mykola (mick) dementiuk said,


        Many thanks for replying. My publisher submitted the novel to LAMBDA Awards and PEN/Faulkner, both to be decided in the Spring. I know it’s a long shot but hell, why not…

        Oh, just last weekend I had a gay short story about a bathroom in Times Square in the 60s. Have a look if you don’t mind.


        Best, Mick

  8. mykola (mick) dementiuk said,

    I wrote to you a while ago. Just want to let you know I’ve been chosen as finalist in the Lambda Award for Bisexual Fiction for my novel ‘Holy Communion.’


    And I’ll be at a reading May 27 in Greenwich Village

    Bi Lines III: A Celebration of Bisexual Writing in Reading, Arts & Culture, an event to honor the Bisexual Lammy Award winners, finalists and nominees, will be hosted by the Bi Writers Association the night after the Lammy awards on Friday May 28 at the LGBT Community Center at 208 W. 13 Street. Bi Lines III is co-sponsored by the Lambda Literary Foundation, the organization that puts on the Lammy Awards.

    Hope to see you there. Look out for the writer in a wheelchair.

    Best, Mick

    Lambda Awards Finalist 2010/Bisexual Fiction for Holy Communion. Won the 2009 Rainbow Award for Best Overall Bisexual/Transvestite book and 2nd place for 2009 Rainbow Awards: Best Coming of Age / Young Adult Novel

  9. tracys10 said,

    I love that you created this blog and I am sharing it with some of my friends in L.A. who are huge readers. We are always looking for suggestions (good and bad) and I can’t wait to get bunches of them from you. Hope you are insanely well Carla.

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