I love cats and I love Halloween, so this is the perfect combination!
(Paperback) What a wonderfully strange little novel. Other reviewers have suggested that it is reminiscent of Kafka. It seemed as if I was reading a dream. It has a timeless quality, as I wasn't sure whether it was set in the present or the past. Haunting and full of weirdness, it is brimming with emotion-- and schnapps.
(Hardcover) What a wonderfully strange little novel. Other reviewers have suggested that it is reminiscent of Kafka. It seemed as if I was reading a dream. It has a timeless quality, as I wasn't sure whether it was set in the present or the past. Haunting and full of weirdness, it is brimming with emotion-- and schnapps.
A sweet Halloween story about being yourself and finding out where you belong. I loved it so much that I sent a copy to my mom!
Though set in New England during the time of many witch trials (10 years before Salem), the real story here is of a young Puritan woman attempting to achieve a better life for herself. Such a fascinating look at Boston society in the 1680s! Among other things, who knew that it was even possible for Puritans to divorce? The author does a fantastic job at slowly building the tension until the final, satisfying conclusion.
I was shocked at how fast I read this book! It was heartbreaking and inspiring, and it felt brutally honest. One of the best coming out stories I've read. I hope Edgar Gomez keeps writing, because I want to keep reading.
I don't really know what it's like to be transgender, but I do my best to understand. And when I read books like this, set in a small town in Canada in the early 90s, I am hopeful that things are at least slightly better now. In an attempt to save her child from suicide, Nadine enlists the help of a small town loner to perform a radical procedure. What follows is an exploration of the ways in which people in town are affected by the incident.
I put off reading the ending for a long time because it could have gone in several terrible directions. Luckily, I was treated to an outcome that was mostly satisfying, if not entirely realistic given the circumstances.
I absolutely loved this book! I was rooting for the author the whole time. Growing up gay in small town America isn't easy (we have that in common), but I felt so much pride and happiness as I got to see how he survived, and how he learned to thrive. Now, I want to write to Papi!
This book doesn't try to convince you that there's no god, but it does give some great advice on how to talk to other people about your non-belief. Though written for an atheist audience, theists may find it interesting, as well!
Personally, I have always loved cemeteries. The older, the better. Every marker is a story. I am surprised that there are not more books set in them.
This book is beautiful! Stories told in flashback are sometimes tedious, but it works remarkably well here. Getting to know Violette Toussaint in this way makes her seem more real. She is someone I wish I could sit down with and talk to over coffee, or something stronger.
Noé Álvarez is the son of working-class, immigrant parents and he wants desperately to get out of Yakima, Washington. After an initial try at college, he signs up for the Peace and Dignity Journeys-- a run from Alaska to South America celebrating indigenous peoples. Along the way, he connects to the land and the people in ways he never expected. He finds a sense of peace within himself and a new appreciation for both where he's from and where he wants to go.
Being from the Yakima Valley myself, and a fan of Raymond Carver, this book holds a special resonance. But that aside, this is a book about a journey. And like any great pilgrimage, this one is thoughtful, honest, emotional, and yes, spiritual.
Perhaps reading this in the middle of social distancing wasn't the best idea. Or maybe it had more resonance because of that. This book lifted me up and then punched me in the gut. It is tragic in all the best ways. Humanity at its loneliest-- its happiest and its worst.
If this was a novel, there would be moments where I would have thought, "How can that person be so gullible? How does this guy not set off alarm bells?" Only, this really happened! An alleged lost Gospel that made headlines in 2012 for making reference to a "wife of Jesus."
Ariel Sabar was the only journalist of note present at the announcement of the discovery, and he was instrumental in researching the provenance (or origins) of this small scrap of papyrus. At the heart of the story is the polite con-man, pathological in his ability to deceive, and the eminent Harvard professor so anxious to have her views reinforced.
A fascinating read on all levels!
A fantastic follow up to Heller's previous book! This has everything-- adventure, intrigue, a love story, and even dealing with a great loss. Current events inspired this plot in a pivotal and wholly original way. Even non-outdoorsy types may find themselves longing to get to the mountains!
This was touted to me as a great adventure story, a real page turner. It certainly was, but it seems to me that it was more a book about friendship told in the context of an adventure-- one that turns into a struggle for survival. It affected me much more than I expected and it turned out to be an even better book than I'd hoped.
Larry has a problem. He's young and directionless and doesn't want to say Kaddish (the Jewish prayer for the dead) for his father. He discovers Kaddish.com which promises to do the praying for him! Years later, as a changed man and a rabbi with a guilty conscience, he sets out to regain his honor from the people behind the Kaddish.com website.
Irreverent, funny, and surprisingly touching-- I finished this book in 2 sittings!
The National Road by Tom Zoellner is a travelogue of sorts, with each chapter occurring in no particular order. The author explores sites that are of historical significance, climbs the highest peaks in each state, and visits a pornographic film set in California. He takes a virtual tour of major newspapers, past and present; and he tries to get an actual glimpse of Area 51. The last chapter, focusing on a final visit to his grandmother's home, is especially personal. This is, refreshingly, not a political book except as it relates to historical events. This is about the land itself and the stories it holds. This is the author attempting to understand what holds the disparate parts of America together. And it's a fascinating perspective.
A fictional book based on real events, this story, at its heart, is one of survival. Beautifully written with unexpected twists, I had to take brief pauses between certain chapters to absorb what I'd just read. Sometimes beautiful and often heartbreaking, this one stays with you after you're done reading it.
When a freelance reporter is first asked to write the coming out story for a group of people with special abilities, he can't imagine that his own daughter will be included in that group. As he learns about a secret school for young "Resonants" as they're called, it may start to seem like familiar territory (think: X-men). However, this story is less about superheroes and really more about people who are different-- the social pariahs who just want to exist and live their lives. As in real life, nothing is black and white in this book and it is sometimes difficult to determine who the worst villains are.
Full disclosure: I don't read a lot of poetry. Still, I have developed a major crush on Jericho Brown. This particular collection was a finalist for a National Book Award in 2019 and is an exploration of social injustice as well as personal intimacy. Far from becoming sappy or morose as one might expect, Brown's words exude an upbeat attitude. Despite everything, Jericho Brown is just fine.
This prequel to Dracula is written by Bram Stoker's great grand-nephew and the main character is Bram Stoker himself! Full of adventure and bloody vampire fun, this book is sure to put you in a Halloween spirit. For added fun, make sure to read Dracula immediately after this one!
(Please note: This book cannot be returned.)
One of my favorite books of all time is Mary Doria Russell's The Sparrow, which can be described as "Jesuits in space." So when a friend recommended this novella to me I thought, "Nuns in space? Count me in!" I was not disappointed. There is so much to this little book-- the characters, the story, and a fully realized world that I'd like to revisit some day. I loved it!
Unidentified was unexpected! It reads more like a travelogue than a book about monsters. Colin Dickey has researched extensively about the origins of some of the world's most popular monsters and myths. I think this is the first time I have ever heard Bigfoot explained in terms of cultural appropriation.
If you're looking for a fun whodunnit, give this a read! Detective Sergeant Adam Tyler has a problem. As it turns out, the charming guy he hooked up with last night is the prime suspect in his murder investigation. To make matters worse, Tyler's boss doesn't seem to like him very much and someone is setting fires all over town. And what is the deal with the two old ladies that live next to the murder scene?
Ted Chiang writes some of the most original sci-fi I have ever read. Short stories aren't generally something I read a lot, but the medium works especially well for these tales. I was thoroughly engaged!
(Please note: This book cannot be returned.)
In another timeline, in a universe that slightly resembles our own, young Quincy Harris must navigate life without her parents. Flying to a new school on the backs of giant eagles, Quincy makes new friends, fends off enemies and tries to discover her own hidden Talents as well as the secrets of the mysterious key left to her by her mother.
In her debut novel, R. M. Seidler has created a richly fascinating world that you will sorely wish you could visit. The Key to Time is a great book from a fresh new author with a promising future!
In an effort to challenge state law, Herb Silverman ran for governor of South Carolina in the 1990s. At the time, the state constitution required that any holder of public office could not be an atheist. The state supreme court eventually overturned this requirement as unconstitutional under U.S. law. As a prominent atheist and activist for civil rights, Silverman has written extensively of his observations and experiences in the American South and he shares many of those insights here.