The Mouse and His Child

Author: Russell Hoban Artist: David Small Type: Fiction, novel Published: 1967 I read it: November 2017 It’s strange which books enter into a canon, and which drift away. I don’t know how I heard about The Mouse and His Child—probably just while perusing Goodreads—but it struck me as one that flew under the general radar…

Kindred

Author: Octavia E. Butler Type: Fiction, novel Published: 1979 I read it: November 2017 There is a brilliant conceit at the center of Octavia E. Butler’s classic novel Kindred, and it’s not necessarily the time travel. Even though you can find the book on the sci-fi shelves, Butler prefers to call it a “grim fantasy”…

Wishtree

Author: Katherine Applegate Artist: Charles Santoso Type: Fiction, novel Published: 2017 I read it: October 2017 “We grow as we must grow, as our seeds decided long ago,” goes one clever aphorism delivered by the protagonist of this book, who happens to be a red oak tree named, you guessed it, Red. (The other talking species…

The Gift of Stones

Author: Jim Crace Type: Fiction, novel Published: 1988 I read it: August 2017 Before visiting Iowa City, I flipped through a little book I have called Read This!, which puts together a bunch of favorite book picks from book store owners across the country. Something that stuck with me was a man from Prairie Lights proclaiming his…

The Halloween Tree

Author: Ray Bradbury Type: Fiction, novel Published: 1972 I read it: October 2017 The ghost. The mummy. The grim reaper. The witch. The beggar. The gargoyle. The apeman. The skeleton. Eight classic costumes for eight boys on a single Halloween night. And little do they know how each costume reaches back through centuries to original…

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

Author: Ransom Riggs Type: Fiction, novel Part of series: Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children (#1) Published: 2011 I read it: October 2017 This book rests heavily on its presentation, which is not necessarily a strike against it. When you remove the slipcase, the front of the hardcover has the signature “Alma LeFay Peregrine,” as if you’re…

The Haunting of Hill House

Author: Shirley Jackson Type: Fiction, novel Published: 1959 I read it: October 2017 “Let us go and open doors,” says Theodora, the livelier of the two women invited to stay at Hill House. The other is Eleanor, the lonely protagonist, and they are joined by two men, Luke (who will inherit the property) and Dr.…