Marketing Coordinator. Enjoys science, nature, & food writing, historical & speculative fiction, fantasy & books about books. ~Bookie since 2017~
I read Love in the Big City laughing, grimacing, and frequently with tears in my eyes, hooked and invested from page one. Sang Young Park's rendering of our yearning for love and companionship, dry yet humane, is a joy to read. The narrator's voice is so honest and gritty, yet vulnerable - I found myself wanting to reach out and reassure him. I wept for this character who feels absolutely real, so well-rendered is his inner life and journey. Sang Young Park is a writer to watch!
How can we figuratively and literally go home again, once we've expanded our circles? How do we reconcile our inner states and desires with those projected upon us by society and family? In Cairo Circles, Doma Mahmoud gracefully explores how expectations - socioeconomic, cultural, emotional - both separate and bring us together, how our circles are both cuttingly drawn and ineffably fluid, intersecting and refracting, creating complex new geometries of being. Mahmoud manifests these soul-jostlings through a cast of characters rendered with incisive sympathy, beauty, and humor - compelling, real characters that linger long after the last page. A fabulous debut!
Fans of Naomi Novik's Spinning Silver will LOVE The Wolf and the Woodsman, a fresh take in folklore-based fantasy, with grisly romance and weird magic, infused with the scent of paprika. In a land of ambulatory trees, witches in disguise, flesh-hungry sprites, our protagonists navigate their woundedness and political peril to find themselves. This story of a woman born between worlds, cultures, and peoples, learning to wield her inborn power, is addictive, grimdark-sexy, and thought-provoking.
How does one observe without objectifying? Systematize without soulnessness? Empathize without sentimentality? Humanity has painted itself into a strange, solitary corner of the ecosystem; biologist Catherine Raven's numinous, nature-centric memoir nudges us out of that corner and into the glorious midst of it all. With wry grace and exquisite discernment, she invites the reader to witness her left and right brains learn how to play together. Science alone cannot carry us; our understanding of the world languishes in the absence of stories. Raven's elegantly self-deprecating struggle to synthesize the logical and the ludicrous is a gift to anyone who ever balked at assigning meaning to earth's sublimity.
An incredible debut collection... It is a tragedy that we have lost this writer so soon.
Aroooooooo! This is Kafka for the modern woman, a visceral exploration of the resentments bubbling up beneath dreams deferred. Pairs well with a heaping plate of steak tartare.
A classic tale of a wish gone wrong, modernized. Addie LaRue lives in small-town France in the 1700's and burns to escape her provincial life. She makes a bargain with a dangerous entity but is not careful about the parameters of the deal. She gains a sort of immortality but is cursed by being almost instantly forgotten by everyone she meets. Her story reaches modern-day New York where she meets a handsome young bookseller who, against all odds, seems to defy the curse and REMEMBERS her. This is a story about stories, books and writing, creation and art, and about how we use them to deal with life's disappointments, especially mortality. It clever twist of fairy tale and mythological motifs makes it a natural match for fans of Anne Rice, Naomi Novik, Alix E. Harrow, & Erin Morgenstern.
O'Connor chronicles the dark despair of the act of writing itself through the lens of London's famous Lyceum Theater. A book-within-a-book of the highest caliber, it treads the boards from the dazzling spectacle of Shakespeare to the quiet desperation of everyday life. It's also occasionally, as befits a story of Dracula's creator, creepingly spooky... Very good reading as the nights (hopefully) turn to chilly autumn. Shadowplay made me laugh, weep, and most importantly, begat a sense of intimately knowing its real-life muses: Abraham Stoker, Ellen Terry, and and Henry Irving.
Regency chaos magick sorceresses with creepy dystopian patriarchy problems. A quick, fun, romantic read - it's all that's fun about Austen: the details of beautiful people in beautiful dresses dancing beautiful dances - but under the surface there's substantial exploration of feminist concerns that is ALSO reminiscent of Austen.
Please do tell the details of your whalebone corset while you draw a circle to invite a lucky spirit to inhabit you for the night in order to aid you in escaping an unhappy marriage! *swoon*
So good, simultaneously funny and heartbreaking. I'd recommend it to pretty much anyone who doesn't mind a corvid dropping lots of curse words. Helen McDonald, author of H is for Hawk and Vesper Flights, says that "Hollow Kingdom is a nature book for our own age, an exuberant, glittering, hard-hitting mashup of Dawn of the Dead and The Incredible Journey. It's an adventure lit by strange myths, brand-names, television and smartphone screens, a fable with teeth and claws about animals making new lives amongst the ruins of humanity. It's transformative, poignant, and funny as hell."
This is one for people who, like me, really really miss live music. It's a fantastic specimen of music writing. Jack Carneal looks upon on his music career as a touring drummer, especially one summer when his band played that little thing called Lollapalooza.
Highly entertaining, lively but introspective writing addresses how you square simply surviving with taking the artist's journey.
Super funny, self deprecating, just a great piece of music journalism and memoir in general.
A worthy addition to the Austen canon, The Other Bennet Sister gives voice to a much-maligned character from Pride and Prejudice, sister Mary, the awkwardly bookish middle child. We see the events from the original story afresh through her eyes, and find out what happens after all her more glittering sisters are married off. Is poor bespectacled Mary doomed to spinsterhood or, even more terrifying, the itinerant life of a governess? The reader keenly feels the pain of living in the shadow cast by siblings gifted more liberally with those characteristics society and fiction reward - vivaciousness, beauty, elegance. Hadlow seamlessly and respectfully fits this side-story into the Austenverse while provoking new insights into the characters you thought you knew inside-out.