Litstack Rec: Bridge & The Stargazer’s Sister

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Bridge, by Robert Thomas “Welcome to the prayer-strewn pews of my brain,” Alice, the narrator of Bridge tells us, and quickly, we understand that this intellectually gifted young woman sees the world, and herself, in unconventional, and often dangerous ways. Robert Thomas’s powerful debut novel (BOA Editions 2014) takes place in fifty-six brief chapters that [….]

Flash Review: The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro

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The Buried Giant Kazuo Ishiguro Alfred A. Knopf Release Date:  March 3, 2015 ISBN 978-0-307-27103-7 It’s the dusk of Arthurian England; an uneasy peace lies over the land.  Britons Axl and Beatrice, an elderly couple, leave their village to travel to the town where they believe their estranged son lives.  Their memories are cloudy, but [….]

LitStack Review: The Standard Grand by Jay Baron Nicorvo

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The Standard Grand Jay Baron Nicorvo St. Martin’s Press Release Date:  April 24, 2017 ISBN 978-1-25010-894-4 It’s rare when an author is able to take characters that are not exactly admirable, and makes them beautifully memorable, especially when the author does not shy away from that which makes them, well, objectionable. It’s also rare to [….]

LitStack Review: Exit West by Mohsin Hamid

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Exit West Mohsin Hamid Riverhead Books Release Date:  March 7, 2017 ISBN 978-0-7352-1217-6 Immigration is a hot burner issue right now – who to welcome, who to keep out, if to welcome at all. What gets lost in the discussion, often, is the individual element of those fleeing war, fleeing poverty, looking for a better [….]

LitStack Review: The Wanderers by Meg Howrey

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The Wanderers Meg Howrey G. P. Putnam’s Sons Release Date:  March 14, 2017 ISBN 978-0-3995-7473-4 This book…wow. I read a lot of books; a lot of good books. But this one? Wow. The Wanderers is a work of fiction but it feels real, taking place in the imminent present day surrounding the final training simulation [….]

LitStack Review: Universal Harvester by John Darnielle

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Universal Harvester John Darnielle Ferrar, Straus and Giroux Release Date:  February 7, 2017 ISBN 978-0-37428-210-3 Full disclosure:  I grew up in Iowa, so John Darnielle’s new novel Universal Harvester has home field advantage in a play for my loyalty. After all, I already knew that Nevada, Iowa is pronounced Neh-VEY-dah, so I had the inside [….]

LitStack Review: The Wonder by Emma Donoghue

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The Wonder Emma Donoghue Little, Brown and Company Release Date:  September 20, 2016 ISBN 978-0-316-39387-4 It’s 1859, and English nurse Lib Wright has been hired to travel to the Irish Midlands to observe a pending miracle – a young girl who for four months has supposedly subsisted only on “manna from heaven.” Lib is skeptical, [….]

LitStack Review: Nicotine by Nell Zink

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Nicotine Nell Zink Ecco Publishing Release Date:  October 6, 2016 ISBN 978-0-06-244170-6 I get it. Not all books are going to appeal to all people. But I have to admit, I don’t see what all the fuss is about when it comes to Nell Zink’s latest novel, Nicotine. Oh, it’s pleasant enough. Quirky enough, poignant [….]

LitStack Review: The Little Red Chairs by Edna O’Brien

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The Little Red Chairs Edna O’Brien Little, Brown and Company Release Date:  March 29, 2016 ISBN 978-0-316-37823-9 On April 6, 1992, a siege began in Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which lasted over three and half years. Government forces were outgunned by heavily armed Bosnian Serbs who held the heights around the city. [….]

LitStack Review: Rare Objects by Kathleen Tessaro

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Rare Objects Kathleen Tessaro Harper Release Date:  April 12, 2016 ISBN 978-0-0623-5754-0 In 2013, Kathleen Tessaro’s novel, The Perfume Collector, became one of my favorite reads of all time despite it not falling within the parameters of my preferred genre. Now, three years later, her newest book has been released, and while it doesn’t hold [….]