Tag: Fiction

Oct 26 2019

The Woman Who Died a Lot by Jasper Fforde

The Woman Who Died a Lot

Jasper Fforde’s Thursday Next series takes place mostly in an England that’s a republic a Wales that’s a socialist republic; of Scotland there is practically no mention, though I cannot say whether that is a comment or happenstance. The Crimean War was still being fought in 1985, and there are various other bits of history …

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Jul 19 2019

Welcome to Lagos by Chibundu Onuzo

Welcome to Lagos begins well outside of the Nigerian metropolis, at a hot and dirty army outpost somewhere in the Niger delta: oil country, but also rebel country. Serving under a corrupt colonel and terrorizing local people is not what Chike Ameobi signed up for the army to do. After twelve months as an officer …

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Mar 23 2019

You Are One of Them by Elliott Holt

This is another novel whose story I could have easily wandered in and out of, with just a minor tweak or two. Sarah Zuckerman, the protagonist of You Are One of Them, works for an English-language newspaper in Moscow in the mid-1990s. My newspapers were in Budapest, and I didn’t relocate to Moscow for another …

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Mar 03 2019

Elmet by Fiona Mozley

My first reaction upon finishing this book was to e-mail the friend who’d sent it to me and ask if she was okay, primarily because this is the latest in a string of sexual assault revenge fantasies she’s been recommending to me. Fortunately, she is alright and the theme has been entirely coincidental, but Elmet …

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Feb 11 2019

The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick

Y’all, that was delightful. Ngl, I totally pictured Bradley Cooper and JLaw in the roles (and had to suffer the cognitive dissonance of her being way too young to play Tiffany) but that aside, I was incredibly moved by this surprisingly gentle tale of lost love, mental illness and sports fandom. Pat Peoples is not …

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Dec 24 2018

2018 Reading Roundup

I’ve now read 100 books in 2018. I won’t stop between now and the end of the year, but this seemed like a good point to pause and take stock. Here’s a list of my top 10 SFF, fabulist, or otherwise wackadoodle books from the last year, presented in the order that I read them …

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Dec 17 2018

The Favorite Sister by Jessica Knoll

I don’t think it’s possible to review The Favorite Sister without bringing up Jessica Knoll’s searing debut Luckiest Girl Alive. That book centered a female protagonist who was done being “nice”, to the consternation of a large number of readers. To the rest of us, TifAni FaNelli was a source of cathartic glee. TFS expands …

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Oct 17 2018

Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll

This book first came to my attention when work was doing coverage of the Edgars the year it was nominated for Best First Novel, but I deliberately chose another book on the slate because the blurb was equal parts attractive and repulsive to me. It sounded very much like rich white people problems, plus every …

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Oct 15 2018

The City & The City by China Miéville

Don’t read the second sentence of this post. Don’t read the sentence that comes before this one. In this world, we do not acknowledge italics. Italics are the only text there is. If you see something written in another way, avert your eyes, unsee and unread before it is too late. We have some leniency …

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Sep 11 2018

There There by Tommy Orange

Tommy Orange is such a superlative writer that he can do things that irritate the hell out of me in other books and somehow make them work. And better than work: he creates magic on the page. It’s not really a spoiler to say that There There ends with multiple storylines left unresolved. In the …

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