Like if George Saunders re-wrote The Monkey Wrench Gang. Only, you know, better.
The Hawaiian motto of “Ohana Over Everything” sums up this beautiful debut novel by Kawai Strong Washburn. This is a family that swims off the page into real life. As the son of Native Hawaiians from the Big Island myself, I often felt like the children of this novel. I understood Dean’s rebellion, I felt Kaui’s search for purpose, and I rooted wholeheartedly for Nanoa’s ambitious spirit to save the family. This is the Hawaiian novel I’ve long waited for.
Amazing characters and regional history. One of my top 10 books of the year.
This is the perfect autumn read. Not only is it set in Boston during October, but there are costumes; there are ghosts; there are old houses, scavenger hunts, gothic writers, and family mysteries! But more than that, these unabashedly REAL characters will stay with you like crisp fall air -- their secret sorrows, humorous quirks, and brilliant wisdom permeating your days. So, as you read (whether under a cozy blanket or on a street strewn with leaves), let your imagination run wild in a way that would be pleasing to the stories eccentric, deceased billionaire. Then, ask yourself the book's ever-present question: how will you play the ultimate game?
This is a tightly wound mousetrap of a story that plays out like a Hitchcockian fever dream. It follows comically foibled Lise, an unraveling heroine on a bewildering mission of self destruction. The author had me fooled up until the final pages where everything snapped into place. Genius.
With my own cozy reading chair and judgmental cat, I spent most of this book believing Abbi Waxman had probed my brain while I was sleeping. Frankly, I’d be surprised if other bookish folks, general nerds, or organization enthusiasts didn’t feel the same way. It’s a perfectly weird combination of rampant thoughts, happy places, and anxious social encounters; the frustration and comfort of a crazy family; a thoughtful love letter to booksellers and bookstore patrons. Add the sassy narrator, scents of pine and flavors of ice cream, and sickeningly cute romance--and I'm sure it’d pair well with summer itself.
Isambard Kingdom Brunel—legendary civil engineer and real historical figure—is trapped in a game of cat and mouse between Captains Nemo and Ahab in this entertaining literary pastiche in which two of the greatest monomaniacs in Victorian adventure writing are drawn into a deadly collision course. Laying undersea cable has never sounded so thrilling.
If Haruki Murikami had been born in Mexico and raised in southern Texas, this is the book he would have written. It's futuristic and hallucinogenic look at that region gives us a unique and welcome lens to view the border.
In this gently fantastic and hallucinatory first novel by celebrated graphic designer Peter Mendelsund (What We See When We Read), Percy Frobisher travels to a kind of uncanny TED-conference institute in the desert to work on a project that grows more unfocused as the days pass, while becoming more and more fascinated with a local shop that can apparently reproduce anything at all.
A tragic accident orphans the Moreau children, catapulting them into boarding school and points yet to be known. Older siblings Liz and Marty move on, while Jules seems paralyzed by the loss of his parents and their idyllic life in Munich. With Jules' narration, Wells elegantly weaves the intricate patterns of reaching for security. Flowing language recounts the reunion of this scattered family and the unexpected interruption to their re-found lives. Through Jules, Wells will push readers into also wondering, "What if there's no such thing as time? If everything we experience is eternal, and it's not time that passes us by, but we ourselves that pass by the things we experience?"