Litstack rec | Vanity Fair & The Stars Are Legion

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Vanity Fair, by William Makepeace Thackeray The early nineteenth century didn’t have reality television, but it did have William Makepeace Thackeray’s Vanity Fair—and if you’re in need of a novel to escape into, this is the one. Vanity Fair is a classic of social-climbing, backbiting, profligate behavior, and true love. Subtitled A Novel Without a [….]

LitStack Recs|The Priory of the Orange Tree & The Death of the Heart

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The Priory of the Orange Tree, by Samantha Shannon Samantha Shannon’s The Priory of the Orange Tree has been getting quite a bit of buzz from the sci-fi/fantasy crowd of late, but for the longest time I wasn’t able to free up enough time to sink my teeth into it – until recently! I understand [….]

Litstack Recs| How to Write an Autobiographical Novel & A Song for a New Day

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How to Write an Autobiographical Novel: Essays, by Alexander Chee “Writing is a way of going to the depth of Being,” wrote Marguerite Yourcenar, and the sixteen essays that make up Alexander Chee’s 2018 memoir are about the heart of being—and writing, about striving to succeed as a writer, reconciling the pain and trauma of [….]

LitStack Recs: Car Trouble & Ninth House

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Car Trouble: A novel, by Robert Rorke As Car Trouble opens, the novel’s young protagonist, teenaged Nicky Flynn, is driving backwards in a Chevy Impala nicknamed the Blue Max. The car, which belongs to his impulsive father, Patrick, goes in one direction only, backwards, due to a jammed gearshift. And Patrick, who Nicky wryly refers [….]

LitStack Recs: Great Expectations & The Dead Fish Museum

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Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens Narrated by Eddie Izzard I will admit that in a life full of fondness for Charles Dickens (I have on one bookshelf a full set of the Worthington Dickens, published in 1884), Great Expectations is not my favorite. Not my least favorite, but definitely not my favorite. I am also [….]

LitStack Recs: This Is How You Lose the Time War & The UnAmericans

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This is How You Lose the Time War, by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone In this extraordinary novella, two warring factions -the Garden and the Agency – are pitted against each other over control of existence. Their time traveling operatives slip upthread and downthread, influencing history in the making and remaking, braiding their own strands [….]

Litstack Recs: Without & Ormeshadow

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Without, by Donald Hall It doesn’t matter what I’m doing or what time of day or night it is, when I pick up this collection, I read it from first page to last. Published in 1998, Without traces the illness and death from leukemia of Hall’s wife, the poet Jane Kenyon, in an arc of [….]

Litstack Rec: The Vexations and The Lost Child of Lychford

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The Vexations, by Caitlin Horrocks One of my favorites books of this year, Caitlin Horrock’s debut novel, The Vexations, is an intricate portrayal of the life of modernist composer Erik Satie, and his artmaking, that mines his most nuanced sensibilities. Throughout this enchanting novel, it’s the details that matter: the way a street looks, the [….]

Cover Reveal: American Demon by Kim Harrison

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Guess who’s back? Our favorite ginger witch, no…not Mrs. Potter, the smart-talking, mostly demon, once-was witch, Rachel Morgan has returned in Kim Harrison’s latest Hollows installment, American Demon. Here’s what ACE has to say about the June 2020 release: A thrilling return to the #1 New York Times bestselling urban fantasy series, continuing Rachel Morgan’s story. RACHEL [….]