Bird Box

Author: Josh Malerman Type: Fiction, novel Published: 2014 I read it: November 2018 I’m sure I’m only one of many who glance at the plot of this novel—about a possibly-creature-induced-calamity that causes survivors to keep their eyes closed (at least while outside) so as not to succumb to involuntary hyper-violence—and are instantly reminded of the…

Sharp Objects

Author: Gillian Flynn Type: Fiction, novel Published: 2006 I read it: October 2018 I had seen the image released by the recent TV version of this book, with Amy Adams’ exhausted face front and center. I pictured the main character as Adams the entire time, which helped immensely in connecting with the character. The protagonist…

There There

Author: Tommy Orange Type: Fiction, novel Published: 2018 I read it: October 2018 If there’s a snapshot of what it’s like to be Indian (or Native American, or… see below) in a big city today, Tommy Orange’s There There has to be it. The title is a nod to a Radiohead song (“just ’cause you…

Meddling Kids

Author: Edgar Cantero Type: Fiction, novel Published: 2017 I read it: September 2018 The premise of Meddling Kids can be guessed due to the cover art and the pop culture timing: this book is riding the same ’80s kids-vs.-weirdness nostalgia waves as Stranger Things and the new movie version of It. I’m not yet burned…

Nightbooks

Author: J.A. White Type: Fiction, novel Published: 2018 I read it: September 2018 J.A. White has coined a nifty new term with “nightbooks,” which in his story are the journals that the protagonist, Alex, uses to house his scary stories. Predictably, the boy is made fun of for his interest in horror, which spurs him…

The Naked Sun

Author: Isaac Asimov Type: Fiction, novel Part of series: Robot (#2) Published: 1979 I read it: August 2018 After the events from The Caves of Steel, the setup for The Naked Sun has the basic serial elements required to continue the regular installments: the reluctant duo of Elijah Baley (human) and R. Daneel Olivaw (robot),…

Case Histories

Author: Kate Atkinson Type: Fiction, novel Published: 2004 I read it: September 2018 I’d only read Atkinson’s more recent pair of WWII stories, Life After Life and A God in Ruins, and didn’t know much of her past work. But Case Histories was one that my wife had recommended, and at some point I found…