Pure magic. Shakespeare, comic books, Star Trek, and the apocalypse all swirl together into one of my favorite books of the year. Mandel deftly weaves us through multiple characters in the past and present in this strangely real yet fantastically imaginative tale. And unlike many of its fellow world-ender novels, Mandel paints us a future full of hope and new beginnings.
One of the most influential novel's I've ever read. The comic book aspect drew me in, but I the depth of the characters gave it the lasting impact. We are all searching for oursevles. We all have a secret identity. We are all trying to escape something. We all want to change the world. Chabon's characters struggle along with the rest of us with the medium of comic books as their backdrop. One of the most impressive feats is Chabon's ability to verbally paint for us what his characters are painting in their own fictional world within world. They say that readers of fiction have a greater ability to empathize with the people. You can't read this book without feeling empathy. You can't help but realize how much you and these people share in your own ways. "Forget about what you are escaping from. Reserve your anxiety for what you are escaping to."
Published: Melville House Publishing - May 10th, 2016
This spellbinding, multi-faceted novel is everything you could want-- thrill, fantastic imagery, realistic voices, and originality. I won't spoil it for you because you seriously need to read this book.
One Plus One incorporates all things Moyes is excellent at. With a main character you can't help but love and feel bad for aside a main character you want to smack across the face, you'll laugh the entire way through. Don't worry, though, because these dynamic relationships are much more than just laughs. Moyes has many enticing books, but this one takes complexity, love, and life's journeys to a whole new level.
OkCupid, Tinder, Grindr, Match, Plenty of Fish, Christian Mingle...
You name it, a dating website for it exists. Ansari and Klinenberg detail the facts behind the massive upswing in online dating and endless love options at our fingertips in a way that doesn't make it seem so daunting or hard to understand. You'll laugh, you'll cringe, and you'll definitely consider re-downloading your favorite dating app.
A dystopian fantasy that completely deconstructs the history of the world in an incredibly intricate way while maintaining a striking cultural critique on our ideas of masculinity, money, blood, and love. With an almost Danielewski approach towards using the novel as an artpiece, Dodson has created an immensely stark world and has proved himself as one of the most imaginative writers that I've encountered in a very long time.
Published: Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers - September 30th, 2002
This book is action packed. A page turner in which some beloved characters redeem themselves, some perish while evil characters ebb and flow in triumph and despair too. This has to be the most entertaining part of the book: the way that Jacques is able to deliver a story that is devastating, and yet in the end, hopeful. It is a strong testament to the fantasy novel, especially one made for kids of all ages. There are battles and strategy and adventure; everything needed to keep a kid entertained and looking for more to read.
*Whether you are a sommelier, a boxed-wine drinker, a rose fanatic, or just wondering what the heck the buzz is about, Bianca Bosker delivers with Cork Dork!
Bianca Bosker co-founded The Huffington Post’s tech section and served as the site’s Executive Tech Editor until 2014 when she handed herself over to the life of wine.
Cork Dork is that story: all at once a hilarious memoir, an instructional guide to drinking wine, and a window into the history, science, and philosophy of living for taste.
With writing that is both informative and laugh-out-loud hilarious, Cork Dork makes wine accessible. It shows you how to be present in the experience. To savor each sip, letting it play over your senses and your memories. And for civilians like me, it makes you want to participate:
While learning the proper routine of blind-tasting, I attempted to “blind” taste the GoT red blend.
While reading about the neuroscience of smell, I tried to better appreciate my pineapple coconut smoothie.
And while sitting in a very quiet cafe, I laughed out loud at the image of corks flying and exploding bottles of red wine.
This book left me breathless, heartbroken, and hopeful. Exit West is one of those rare titles that quietly speaks truth in the face of chaos and crisis. By bringing the refugee crisis to our own doorstep with magical realism, Hamid's narrative demands empathy for people whose struggles are otherwise filtered through political agenda. Nadia and Saeed help us to understand what it means to be forced into change despite overwhelming adversity, to be loyal to a past that is all but lost, and to finally find a new home in hope and love. Mohsin Hamid has given us a lens into the hard reality of our time while suggesting that with some humility, tenderness, and revision, we might just arrive to a new future battered but in tact and looking forward.
The One-Eyed Man is provocative and exasperating.
Ron Currie has presented readers with a unique insight on the human condition. Is our narrator painfully honest or unreliable to a fault? After the death of his wife and a moment of enlightenment, K. has found the ability (or so we are lead to believe) to see without bias and speak without filter. Grief and pain are irrelevant. But by "liberating" himself, K. may have doomed those around him. Is it better to drown in delusion or to be ripped apart by awareness?
In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king of his own mind until the blind revolt.
Incredibly well done.
Pardon the temporal drag, but I believe that's future me declaring this my favorite book of 2017.
I am so grateful for the few months I have to digest this novel so I can present it to customers without dissolving into squeals and feels (Because if you review the audio of me reading the last 50 pages of this book, I very loudly experience the full range of human emotion)!
Where this book is science fiction, it is smart and quirky, as fresh as a lemon tart and just as delicious. When it starts getting too complicated, our narrator reminds us that he doesn't really get it either.
But WAIT, this book is more than time travel. It is the consequences of our actions, the hope for a better tomorrow, the strength to be our best selves, the guilt we endure, and the love we live for.
Plus it's REALLY fun, and is going to make an amazing film some day. 5 stars, plus a little gold star sticker on the side.
Published: William Morrow & Company - June 3rd, 2014
Ocean at the End of the Lane was the most gripping novel on my 2015 list, occupying my time on two flights to and from Orange County. Complicated and heart-wrenching, it had me squirming in my seat. I found myself horrified and in awe of this young boy whose innocence allows him to recognize a danger that no "grown-up" can while leaving him feeling incapable of confronting its authority. Sitting on that plane, I felt both enlightened and powerless.