Staff picks by Katelyn.
Never in my reading life have I encountered a book that so completely captures the dread, uncanny familiarity, and off-kilter pacing that often characterizes a nightmare. This haunting little volume is an astounding accomplishment of craft and reminds the reader that the horror lurks in true unexamined common place.
A hothouse little novel exploring the slowly corrosive and claustrophobic nature of sudden wealth of power on the modern family. The expert pacing in this slim but ultimately cautionary tale still knock out out—read in one sitting!
Per Petterson is back after 2007's stunner OUT STEALING HORSES, and his latest is well worth the wait. The story begins with a chance encounter between two long-estranged friends, both radically changed since their boyhoods. Through a series of remembrances narrated by the two men and others close to them, the reader sees the lasting effects of childhood traumas and the inevitable melancholy of life's ever-shifting fortunes. Coolly composed, elegiac, and engrossing.
Laing sets out on a trans-America journey to better understand six literary powerhouses' relationships with alcohol and the effects the elixir had on their craft and personal life. Told in a series of place-based anecdotes and carefully researched, the contents of this book will make you an infinitely more interesting person at cocktail parties. Cheers!
This is not your mama's devotional. Instead it offers a glimpse into the writer's life at 22, studying at the esteemed Iowa Writer's Workshop. Her struggle to balance literary ambition and a meaningful relationship with Catholicism is as eloquent and engaging as her fiction. A must-read for aspiring writers and fans of Southern Gothic.
What if Flannery O'Connor wrote Wise Blood in a crummy strip mall instead of Andalusia? The end result would probably resemble this knockout "Christ haunted" novel. Steinke mines the Grotesque in every corner of the deperate press-board universe she's created and paints each page with startling and innovative metaphor. Check it out if you like to chew your words before you read them. WWJD? Probably buy this book.
This slim volume meditating on the small joys of domesticity and feline chamrs is the literary equivalent of a deep exhale at a day spa. Even if you aren't crazy for cats or lack poetic inclinations, I guarantee this book serve to remind you to slow down and rediscover the peace and beauty of your everyday surroundings.
Widely regarded as one of the literary world's most accessible poets, neophytes and die-hard fans alike will relish this definitive collection of the late Nobel Prize winner's work. Flip to any page and you'll be convinced this is a necessary volume for any bookshelf. Revelatory but rooted in commonplace.
Smith is a weird and wonderful mix of Sylvia Plath and Shel Silverstein baptized in the Thames. (Visit p.67 to see what I mean). Suggested pairing: Ginger scone from Bottletree Bakery and an Irish coffee.
I can't count the number of times I've recommended this collection to friends and customers wanting to add some edge to their library. Think of Mr. Keret as Israel's answer to Chuck Palahniuk (only so much better). You'll laugh, cringe, shudder, and gawk at this fresh and culturally vital voice. (P.S. last story is source material for indie darling Wristcutters: A Love Story).
If you like
- abnormal sperm
- Walt Whitman
- aortic dissections
- presidential addresses
- Marfa, TX
- bagging mangoes
- baby octopus
- and self referential fiction
...Quick! Read this book!
A phrase repeated throughout the book postures that the real powers of a story "are the possibilities and ideas that the novel's imaginary plot infuses us with." Oh the possibilities of The Infatuations, a deeply affecting hybridization of murder mystery and metaphysical crisis. Though the whodunit plot provides the reader with genuine thrills, Marias's genius lies in his ability to construct a dense labyrinth of examination with a profound sense of empathy, making hard and difficult truths easily digestible. Hauntingly familiar, narrartor's reflections and digressions will bleed into your non-reading life like some kind of brilliant literary bruise leaving you stunned and heartsick in the best way. Infatuated? I'm hopelessly devoted.