Kitri enjoys listening to what has been described as "sad kitchen music". She is close to perfecting her brownie recipe, and fears one day accidentally roasting her dog, who is just a little chicken. Kitri is the only person in the history of the world to have ever laughed at Kitri's jokes, and she doesn't mind all that much.
I didn't expect to care, but by the end I was crying. Not simply a character study of Marie de France, nor your average Medieval Nunnery slice of life; this epic story is also a meditation on power. Groff deftly asks readers is it better to be great than good? Do characteristics that society deem monstrous create the fortitude necessary to affect change? I don't know yet, but sapphic nuns are softly singing me to sleep, so I'll tell you in the morning.
This "certain dark thing" broke through my reading slump, and made me excited about reading again. Set in a "neon noir" Mexico City where vampires hide from Sanitation sweeps, a modern detective with a Van Helsing reputation gets swept up in a blood drenched turf war, and somewhere, a dreamy young garbage picker rides the subway across from a beautiful ... woman. I got swept away—along with Domingo, Atl, and a worldly melange of mythologies—into a world of drug cartels, vampire clans and romance.
I once heard a tall tale about M. T. Anderson that I like to repeat. While he was writing Feed, his futuristic Young Adult novel in which the English language has evolved to the point of near unrecognizability, he read nothing but teen magazines. While writing the Octavian Nothing duology, set just before and during the Revolutionary war, he consumed no media that was created after 1800. If these incredible stories are true, I wonder how he conjured this incredibly deftly written graphic novel. Did he enslave a sea serpent? Fall in love with one of the Fae? Or did he just find a fairy tale that hit a vein of deep humanity, because Anderson tapped in on this one.
The sheer beauty of the images Queen has conjured, coupled by the clarity with which she captures the human condition are a necessary, if welcome, slap in the face. This slim volume left me reeling.
When Roiphe isn't unflinchingly examining her own flaws as what our society wants a woman to be, she is picking apart the very essence of femininity. Occasionally I felt skewered by the barbs she hurls heedlessly into the void, but ultimately I felt empowered to be my own flawed self and appreciate my power, be it soft, hard, or something altogether different.
If you’ve ever read the title of Carson McCullers’ seminal work “The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter” and thought: “I’ve just read the most beautiful poem, written for me”—if you’ve ever done that—maybe you should pick up this book.
Shapland deftly writes about closeted queer desire, her own coming to terms with herself, and McCullers vs. the coded language she has long been shrouded in.
I don’t know where to put this magnificent book—but maybe it belongs with you.
This is the cookbook of the season. Buy it for newlyweds, buy it for yourself, buy it for babies who will probably cook in the future.
In picking the carcass of her own experience, Carmen Maria Machado has written a new kind of memoir. Short vignettes, told through kaleidoscopic lenses, are pieced together by the reader—not that it feels anything like work. It feels more like therapy.
The epigraph of Edwidge Danticat's new story collection generously claims that everyone experiences diaspora, as we are exiled from our mother's body as soon as we are born. What follows are stories that strive to prove its' universality with equal attention to tenderness and brutality. In this collection that lingers on family and death, she has tapped directly into the core of human experience. This book will make you cry, probably in public, so prepare accordingly.
This is a blossoming romance set among the rubble of incomprehensible destruction. This is not Doctor Who fan-fiction, nor is it the concrete, expository science fiction we're used to. This is for the dreamers who want to look through broken windows into another reality.
Maybe you already know her short story "Cat Person," which captured a modern feeling—one that has barely begun to be put in print—so well I felt it in my body. There's more of those sickeningly visceral moments in this collection. The stories feel like urban legends stretched into something else, something you feel in the pit of your stomach and taste at the back of your mouth.
It's been years since alien bio-warfare killed off all the women on the new world, leaving the men alone with nothing but their thoughts. Literally. They call it the Noise. It is constant, it sounds like the inner voices of everyone nearby, and it is all Todd has ever known. When he senses an impossible gap in the Noise, he looks for the source, and discovers a second impossible thing: the source of the gap in the Noise is a girl. If you like post apocalyptic societies, science fiction, or nail-bitingly compulsive reads, this is for you.
This novella won't take you long to read, but it will stick with you. It's the kick to jolt you out of a reading slump. Joe extracts kidnaped girls from dangerous situations, but when one job gets messy, the violence of his work threatens to spill into his carefully guarded personal life. The writing is intensely physical, gritty, and concise without being too spare. Nothing is wasted here.
The first in the Books of Ambha, this is an epic fantasy based in Mughal India. Mehr is a young Ambhan noblewoman with the magic of her exiled Amrithi mother running through her veins. Although Amrithi have always been feared and misunderstood for their power, now huge numbers of them are disappearing. To protect her family, Mehr strikes a deal that proves to be more complicated than she could have imagined. Suri has woven an exciting tale of embracing your heritage and acknowledging your privilege, being true to yourself and doing what's right.
notjust another addiction memoir. But don't worry—that's the point. Jamison's own story is told in fragments, interspersed with the stories of many others (names you already know, others the world never will), brilliantly structured much like the AA meetings that ultimately helped her get sober. Each story is a drop in the bucket, a part of the whole. It is Jamison's voice—unflinching, self aware—and not necessarily her story that captivates. She is not tone deaf to the experiences of others, which serves her well as she presents so many stories alongside her own. I was so ready to dismiss this book, but I simply couldn't. I couldn't put it down; nor could I put it out of my mind.
This is one of my favorite "I-WANT-TO-CRY-FOREVER" books, and has some of the most finely wrought star-crossed lovers in YA. That is still the true today - 20 YEARS after it came out. An instant classic that still feels fresh - and certainly feels timely.
This is, through and through, an adventure tale. Mild-mannered headmaster loses his wife and belongings to the treacherous thieving throng at the base of the Tower of Babel. He must climb the tower to find her. Shenanigans obviously ensue. I was quickly charmed by not only the ever-changing scenery of the Tower, but by the wonderful cast of characters (including a few truly kick-ass women). This airship may take a while to heat up, but there are plenty of diversions along the way - and once it does, you'll be hooked.
The first in a trilogy of mysteries featuring Stevie Bell, the crime fanatic and new student at a quirky, yet prestigious New England boarding school. Without telling you everything that is on the inside flap, let me just say this book is dark, gripping, funny - and will leave you howling for the next one. I loved it.
When I am creatively blocked, I remember Barry's exercise for getting un-stuck. Draw 100 demons. The point is to take the pressure off the blank page, the unlimited possibilities that so often paralyze us. But when Lynda Barry draws 100 demons, her own come out. What follows is a cathartic, autobiographical essay collection in graphic novel format. Often sad, mostly funny, these demons will stay with you for years. Until you draw your own.
The author of the wonderful Graceling trilogy has written a charming standalone mystery with 5 different outcomes - all based on a single choice. ROMANCE! INTRIGUE! ESPIONAGE! ART THEFT! UMBRELLAS! Suspend your disbelief and go with Jane to Tu Reveins. You won't regret it.
A classic collection has been given a new makeover. This stylish edition has been stuff with gorgeous new illustrations by a highly curated selection of artists. A perfect gift for the young (or the young at heart) artist/book collector/designer/folktale enthusiast on your list.
You might fall in love with Merricat Blackwood, the murderous narrator of this atmospheric, chilling read. You might enjoy the off-kilter, simple - not spare - language Jackson used to craft her story. Or you may simply eat up this delectable table of treachery, magic, madness, and posen.