Litstack Recs|There There & The Expanse Series

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There There: A novel, by Tommy Orange Brilliant, innovative, lyric. Tommy Orange’s stunning fiction debut is all those things, but trying to describe this eclectic, very personal novel doesn’t do it justice. Called “groundbreaking, extraordinary” by The New York Times, and garnering praise from People Magazine to Entertainment Weekly, and awarded prizes like The Center [….]

Litstack Recs | Commonwealth & Otaku

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Commonwealth, by Ann Patchett Of divorce, Nicole Krauss wrote, “One of us held on to the ambition of the one idea far longer than was reasonable, whereas the other, passing a garbage can one night, had casually thrown it away.” That’s how ending a marriage can feel, especially for the spouse who’s left behind, an [….]

Litstack Recs |Anna May Wong: From Laundryman’s Daughter to Hollywood Legend & Exit West

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Anna May Wong: From Laundryman’s Daughter to Hollywood Legend, by Graham Russell Gao Hodges Anna May Wong was the first internationally acclaimed Asian American actor, with a career that spanned decades, from 1919 to 1961, and Hodges’ biography is a meticulously researched and carefully constructed account of one of early cinema’s most notable icons. Many [….]

Litstack Recs |The Good Soldier & The Unchangeable Spots of Leopards

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The Good Soldier by Ford Madox Ford If this novel had been published under the title the author chose, The Saddest Story, contemporary readers might have had a difficult time locating a copy. Fortunately, Ford Madox Ford agreed to his publisher’s suggestion of The Good Soldier, and with that, the now-classic post-World War I novel [….]

Litstack Recs |Spielberg, Truffaut and Me & Glow

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Spielberg, Truffaut and Me: An Actor’s Diary, by Bob Balaban With the Pentagon’s recent release of three unclassified videos of UFO’s taken by navy pilots, it’s understandable you might be watching the skies. And if you’ve yet to see Steven Spielberg’s classic of extraterrestrial contact, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, the title of which [….]

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 | Little Failure & Chosen Ones

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Little Failure: A Memoir, by Gary Shteyngart “In order for me to be born,” Gary Shteyngart says early on in his memoir, “all four branches of my family have to end up in Leningrad, trading in their tiny towns and villages for that somber, canal-laced cityscape. Here’s how it happens.” Voice, more than anything, can [….]

Litstack Recs |The Clothing of Books & The Sisters Grimm

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The Clothing of Books, by Jhumpa Lahiri “How do you clothe a book?” is the how this small, but powerful volume begins. For a writer whose stories are as personal and complex as Jhumpa Lahiri’s, a cover’s design presents a different set of questions. The Clothing of Books began as an essay, translated from Italian [….]

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 | The Marriage Plot, by Jeffery Eugenides

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The Marriage Plot, by Jeffery Eugenides “Heartbreak is funny to everyone but the heartbroken.” That ironic reflection comes early in Jeffrey Eugenides’ lively 2011 novel. The observation is made by Madeleine Hanna, one of three central characters, all of whom are students at Brown University. We meet them on the morning of graduation in 1982: [….]