Pirate Talk or Mermalade

Author: Teresa Svoboda Type: Fiction, novel Published: 2010 I read it: July 2018 This modern take on Treasure Island reads like a play or even a prose poem—there is no exposition, just dialogue, and while I stumbled multiple times when more than two characters entered a scene, I still applaud the author for the format.…

Never Let Me Go

Author: Kazuo Ishiguro Type: Fiction, novel Published: 2005 I read it: July 2018 I was vaguely aware of the speculative element that is ever-so-slowly revealed in Never Let Me Go, but like I’ve mentioned before, anything that takes place at a boarding school already has a tinge of the unreal to it. But sci-fi elements…

Shriek: An Afterword

Author: Jeff VanderMeer Type: Fiction, novel Part of series: Ambergris (#2) Published: 2006 I read it: June 2018 There’s something about the book you read around the time of the summer solstice. Sitting outside in the evening when the birds, beasts, and insects are all lively—the day creatures mingling with the night flyers. I knew…

A Swiftly Tilting Planet

Author: Madeleine L’Engle Type: Fiction, novel Part of series: Time Quintet (#3) Published: 1978 I read it: May 2018 I’m going to criticize this book for the number of similarities to its predecessor, A Wind in the Door, but there’s one similarity that’s simply a pattern in L’Engle’s stories, and one that I’m a fan of. I’m…

West

Author: Carys Davies Type: Fiction, novel Published: 2018 I read it: May 2018 I’ll be vacationing in Nashville soon and was curious about reading material connected to some part of Tennessee. I found the Cormac McCarthy’s novel Suttree, and got about 30 pages in before I realized I didn’t have it in me to finish…

The Subtle Knife

Author: Philip Pullman Type: Fiction, novel Part of series: His Dark Materials (#2) Published: 1997 I read it: April 2018 (re-read) If The Golden Compass focuses strictly on Lyra, even while cramming in plenty of other characters, The Subtle Knife slices up the primary narrative to cover several angles that inform the story at large. This…

Fever Dream

Author: Samanta Schweblin Translator: Megan McDowell Type: Fiction, novel Published: 2017 (English) I read it: May 2018 I read four titles from the 2018 Tournament of Books, the most I’ve gotten around to from any one year of the competition. I didn’t even know Dear Cyborgs was in the running, and I was lukewarm on…

It’s Kind of a Funny Story

Author: Ned Vizzini Type: Fiction, novel Published: 2006 I read it: April 2018 I didn’t know a thing about this book or the author, so I caught up quickly with Rachel Cohn’s foreword. Turns out, Ned Vizzini spent five days at an adult psychiatric hospital, wrote this book immediately afterward (all of it within a…

News of the World

Author: Paulette Jiles Type: Fiction, novel Published: 2016 I read it: April 2018 In the years after the Civil War, the state of Texas was still defining itself, split as it was amongst settled towns, outlaw stretches of road, contentious local politics, and a good chunk of open country that made up the wild west.…

Exit West

Author: Mohsin Hamid Type: Fiction, novel Published: 2017 I read it: April 2018 Exit West, a novel by an author new to me, and one garnering great praise, the book, that is, not the author, although he too, I would assume, has also gathered praise independent of this publication, is the story of two young…